Carpentry Tips With Particleboard

by Lisa Starlings

Particleboard is a man made panel that may be composed of various wood materials such as flakes, chips, splinters, var-ious selected mill wastes, or even sawdust. The materials are combined with a bonding agent and put through the same type of heat and pressure procedure as waferboard. This results in hard surfaced panels that may be used as is or as core material for various types of surface veneers.

The bonding agent that is used and the particular manufacturing procedures determine the density of the panel and whether it is suitable for exterior applications. Common panel six is 4' x 8'readily available thicknesses range from Vs" to 1/4". In addition to paneling, the material is available as, for example, bull-nosed stair treads ready for covering with carpeting. or resilient flooring. It is often used as a core for doors and as vinyl-wrapped jambs and molding.

The fact that it is flat, smooth, and stable makes it an ideal substrate for countertops and similar projects. Kitchen cabinet manufacturers use particleboard for backs, sides, shelves, and front panels. The construction industry finds it a good material for floor underlayment.
Particleboard is very abrasive, so sawing should be done with a tungsten carbide toothed blade: a metal-cutting blade when saber sawing. Use tungsten carbide bits when shaping the material with a router. The material can be finished in various ways left natural, stained, painted, or varnished. Painting, unless you are using panels that were factory prepared for the purpose. calls for application of sanding sealer with special attention paid to edges, before final coats. More carpentry tips with particleboard.

Filling can be eliminated if you wish to achieve a textured effect. Use oil based instead of water-based material for staining. Stains can be overcoated with finish like varnish, or such materials can be used alone for a natural finish. Edges are usually more absorbent and rougher than surfaces and need more attention. They can be made smooth with applications of wood paste or. as is common, covered with strips of wood, veneer. or molding.

Edges are often covered with special metal moldings when the material is used as a substrate for countertops. Thanks for reading this page on carpentry tips with particleboard.

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