Using Particle Board in Your Woodworking Projects

Particle board, coupled with good veneers, can be made to look as close to natural woods as possible with today’s technology. What might look like a beautiful piece of oak hardware furniture could upon closer inspection instead may be a piece made from veneered particle board.

Why you may ask?  Well because this combination is cheaper and far less expensive to produce (simulated particle board hardwood) furniture than using the actual woods. So considering so many manufacturers use it, should you use it in your own woodworking projects or not?

Particleboard: Everything You Need To Know

At their most basic, particle boards are manufactured wood products that can take on the appearance of other woods. They tend to be environmentally friendly and are built from compressed shredded wood pieces that are held together with resin. While they can be cheaper than the real woods, they arent:

  • as strong
  • as resistant to moisture
  • easy to  paint or stain

One of the biggest problems with particleboards is that they suffer terribly under moist weather or environmental conditions. They could expand, weaken, and even change color if they arent protected from the elements. the risk is increased further if they haven’t been sealed or painted over. This is one of the main reasons that particleboard isnt commonly used in areas where it would be exposed to water and moisture.

Are Particleboards Good For Woodworking Projects?

Some woodworking purists hate working with particle board and chip board. however, as with most woods out there, there are real instances when particle boards may be a good choice.

One of the most simple and common uses of particle boards is building the internal layout of cupboards, closets, drawers. They make excellent shelves, and due to their light weight and comparable sturdiness, are a good choice.


Tips on using Particle Boards

Well first of don’t use regular nails or screws because they won’t hold the boards very well. Instead use adhesives or specially-designed particle board screws.

If you are using veneer covered particleboards in your project, and need to cut or resize them, be careful when using cutting tools. due to its make up, particle boards are prone to chipping when being sawed. The best way to get a clean cut is to either score the length you want to saw, or using a solid tape such as masking tape, and cut through that.

If you are cutting your particleboards, make sure you get banding that matches your boards veneer. Exposed edges of particle boards do not look great and dont take paint well. Edge banding would save the hassle of dealing with ugly exposed chipboard surface.

Remember – always use the right tools for your woodworking projects.

Safety While Using Particle Board

Like any material there are some safety risks with using particle boards.

One of the main issues is  that the resins used in the manufacturing of particle boards can contain formaldehydes. And this can become a problem when cutting the boards as you can breathe in the very fine dust particles created while sawing.

As a result, you should make sure you cut the particle boards in a well vented area and of course follow the regular safety protocols that you would if you were cutting standard normal wood. For example, using the right type of dust masks and if possible, working in an area serviced by a decent dust collection system.

Particle boards are useful materials that can be used for a variety of woodworking purposes and projects so enjoy crafting and creating with them but make sure you do it safely.

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