Glossary of Terms
Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)
Medium-density fiberboard, or MDF, is a manufactured wood product composed of wood fibers that are mixed with resin and wax and pressed into flat panels under high temperature and pressure. It is used much like plywood as a building material. Unlike particleboard, with which it is sometimes confused, MDF cuts well and has a smooth surface that is ideal for veneering and painting.
High-density fiberboard (HDF)
Hardboard, also called high-density fiberboard (HDF), not to be confused with 'hardwood', is a type of fiberboard, which is an engineered wood product.
It is similar to particle board and medium-density fiberboard, but is denser and much stronger and harder because it is made out of exploded wood fibers that have been highly compressed. Consequently, the density of hardboard is 31 lbs. or more per cubic foot (500 kg/m³) and is usually about 50-65 lbs. per cubic foot (800-1040 kg/m³). It differs from particle board in that the bonding of the wood fibers requires no additional materials although resin is often added. Unlike particle board, it will not split or crack. It is used in construction and furniture. Hardboard is produced in either a wet or dry process
Wood veneer is a composite or very thin layer of high-quality wood that is usually laid over a less expensive piece of wood. Using a thin but high-quality piece of wood veneer laid over a less expensive framework for furniture enables a woodworker to save money and make more creative pieces of furniture. Wood veneer is peeled, sliced, or sawed from a piece of wood. Numerous kinds of grains are used as decorative veneers.
Veneer is obtained either by "peeling" the trunk of a tree or by slicing large rectangular blocks of wood known as flitches. The appearance of the grain and figure in wood comes from slicing through the growth rings of a tree and depends upon the angle at which the wood is sliced
Engineered veneer is the result of dying natural wood veneers, combining and joining them to form a compact block which is then transversally sliced to obtain the aesthetic look of the original design. This genuine material allows you to achieve really outstanding decorative styles, always combining perfectly the avant-garde and warmth which traditional wood offers.
"Finish" is often used as a general term for any chemical when it's applied to a surface. However, chemical applications can be divided into three main categories: stains, paints and finishes.
A stain contains pigments, that when applied to the surface of the piece of furniture, tint the wood.
Containing colored pigments, paint does not permeate the surface, but rather sits on top of the wood or metal frame and forms a protective coating.
A finish is generally a clear, protective coating that either sits on top of the surface or permeates the wood surface or sits directly on a metal surface. Six common types of finish are oil, varnish, polyurethane, shellac, lacquer and water-based finishes.