Natural and manufactured timber


Wood can be classified as:

  • hardwood or softwood;
  • natural timber or manufactured board.

Hardwoods and softwoods have nothing to do with how hard or soft a wood is.

Hardwoods are timber produced from deciduous trees that have broad leaves.
Softwoods are timber produced from coniferous trees that have needle-like leaves.

Manufactured boards are sheets of wooden material such as medium density fibreboard (MDF) made from processed timber.

The advantage of manufactured boards over timber planks is that they are produced in large boards of even thicknesses. Boards are made from a variety of materials such as bonded fine wood dust as in MDF, bonded larger wood chips as in chip board, bonded veneers as in plywood and a bonded composite of battens and veneers as in blockboard.

  • Manufactured boards come in different qualities suitable for a range of applications, from construction to aircraft building.
  • The adhesives used in manufactured boards also vary, from water soluble to totally water proof as in marine grade plywood.
Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF)