#Maker Hacks — Fascinating Wood Properties

Woodworking is a popular maker skill. Let’s start by learning common boards used in woodworking and their features!🪵


It’s crafted from assorted scraps of wood, which are layered and bonded together using adhesive and pressure to form a sheet. With the use of recycled raw materials, it is an environmentally friendly alternative.

✅Smooth surface, low formaldehyde level, environmentally friendly

❎Low wood density, low weight capacity, not resistant to moisture

Usage🪚Parts that do not need to support weight, decorative surfaces Price 💰

Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF Board)

After mechanical and chemical treatment, the wood fibers are bonded by synthetic resin and compressed through pressure and heat, resulting in a solid and very uniform board.

✅Smooth surface, can be sculpted easily

❎Swells easily when exposed to moisture, contains formaldehyde

Usage🪚Cheap furniture, DIY furniture, Laser-cutting

Price 💰


Created by pressing layers of wood plies under high pressure and the grain direction alternates at right angles in successive layers. The more layers it has, the stronger it is.

✅Moisture resistant, not easy to deform, high weight capacity

❎Poor sound insulation, coarse surface, environmentally unfriendly

Usage🪚Custom-made furniture, wall paneling

Price 💰💰


Consisting of a face and back veneer,  with a layer of small wooden strips sandwiched in the middle. It is stronger than chipboard and MDF, but is less durable than plywood.

✅Sturdy, not easy to deform, high weight capacity, strong holding power

❎Cannot handle moisture well, high formaldehyde level, environmentally unfriendly

Usage🪚Table surfaces, doors, windows

Price 💰💰

Solid wood board

There are two types of solid wood boards: lumber and joint board. Joint board is made with lumber edge-glued along the wood grain and pressed together. It is more common than lumber and thus more affordable.

✅Sturdy, with natural pattern and aroma

❎Deform easily with temperature changes

Usage🪚Flooring, custom-made furniture

Price 💰💰~💰💰💰💰

If you’re interested in diving deeper into the workings of different tools, feel free to sign up for our Maker Workshops.

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Ms. Angie Zhou

Education Specialist

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Angie Zhou is an Education Specialist at MIT App Inventor. She was the founder and CEO of Dreams Come True in Shenzhen, where she developed online coding courses for kids. She also has previous curriculum development, teaching and staff training experience at First Code Academy in Hong Kong.