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Last edited 04 Feb 2020
Blockboard is a timber-based sheet material that comprises a core faced on both sides. The core is made from parallel, rectangular-section, bonded softwood strips (around 28mm wide); these are sandwiched between a variety of facing materials which can include veneers of softwood, hardwood, thin MDF or particle board. The assembly is glued under high pressure.
The construction can be three-layer – with a single facing on each side of the core, e.g MDF or particleboard, or it can be five-layer for better stability – with two facings on each side. The grain of the facing material is usually arranged so that it is perpendicular to that of the core strips – which for reasons of strength run along the length of the board and are usually made from seasoned, lightweight timbers, such as poplar or spruce. Their moisture content is usually 12% or less.
Like chipboard, blockboard is used mainly for interior uses due to the nature of the adhesives used. But in contrast to chipboard, blockboard has great structural stability and strength and is suited to applications such as doors, shelves, tables, panelling, partitions or kitchen worktops which have no intermediate supports.
Blockboard also forms a good base material for veneering, but the edges will have to be lipped with solid wood. It can also be painted after a light sanding but the edges will still require lipping or alternatively filling and sanding.
Blockboard is commonly available in 2,440mm x 1,220mm sheets (based on the imperial 8ft x 4ft dimensions) and in thicknesses of 18mm and 25mm.
Blockboard can be worked with standard tools: it is easily sawn and has good screw-holding and nail-holding properties. It can be resistant to warping if both sides have similar treatments. It can also be boiling water-proof and 'eco-friendly'.
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