Plywood

Plywood was the first ‘engineered’ wood product to be invented. Engineered wood now comes in a variety of forms and is manufactured by binding together wood particles, fibres, or sheets with strong glues.

Plywood is made from thin sheets of wood, called plies, which are stacked together at right angles to each other and then bonded under heat and pressure. It is generally used in furniture manufacture, construction, boat building, flooring, panelling and concrete formwork because it is stronger and less likely to crack, shrink, twist or warp than natural wood.

Veneer

When veneer logs arrive at the mill they are graded, cut into standard lengths, and graded again. They are then cut into slices called flitches, using special laser-guided saws. The flitches can have different patterns, depending on how they are placed in the saw.

The flitches are then heated in large vats of water to make them easier to slice and stop them rolling up into tight balls. They are ‘grooved’ with a chainsaw, to stop them ripping during handling, and then sliced into leaves that are only 0.6mm thick.

The leaves are dried, stacked, cooled, graded, trimmed and either sold as they are for further processing, or glued together for uses such as flooring and furniture.

Pulp, Paper and Particleboard

The production of these items is often carried out simultaneously by large companies which obtain supplies from their own plantations, other forests and sawmills, or from overseas.

Timber can be processed into pulp either chemically or mechanically. The wood fibres have to be separated from each other and then re-formed into ‘mats’ of various thicknesses, with additives such as bleaching agents, glues, colouring pigments, preservatives or fire retardants.

High-quality printing paper is produced by processing eucalypt, radiata pine, or imported hardwood pulp, while newsprint combines radiata and eucalypt pulp with recycled fibres. Particleboard is a reconstituted product made by coating wood particles in resin and forming them into sheets under heat and pressure.

Preserved Timber Products

Timber can be treated with preservatives to help it withstand rain, frost, sun, decay and fungal and insect attack when used in outdoor applications.

Softwoods are more prone to decay and rot than hardwoods, and they also absorb preservatives more easily. More recently the less toxic arsenic-free treatment (tanalith) has been used to preserve timber. Preserved softwood timber is popular for framing, weatherboards, decking, window frames, fences, landscaping, playground equipment, power poles and boat-building.

Other Uses for Wood

Timber can also be used for pallets, packaging, craft items, toys and instrument-making, and furniture production. Timber is also made into packing cases, wine barrels, cardboard, firewood, garden mulch, fibre adhesives, packaging and pet litter.

Unique to WA is the use of jarrah and pine to make ‘bio-char’. Bio-char is an important base product in the manufacture of silicone, and can also be used as a soil additive to increase levels or organic matter and improve structure.

  

more topics

Burls, Bowls, Boats & Birdseye

Find out more about the types of products which come from wood.

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Forest Photos

Different photos of forestry and the industry.

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Plantation Forestry

This resource discusses the history of plantations, the type of timber produced and the role of plantations in Australian Forestry.

Products from forests

Explore the different types of products we use that are made from wood.

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Products from timber

How we use timber products from paper, furniture to housing frames.

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Which woods work wonderfully well?

This resources discusses the types of woods which work well for certain everyday products.

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Wood Products from Laminated Veneer

This resource discusses new timber products including laminated veneer lumber.

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The pine plantation rotation

What happens in a pine plantation rotation from 0 years- 35years.  Find out through this poster resource.

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About wood

About Wood crossword puzzle with factsheet attached to help students give context to the answers.

To download this file

Cumberland State Forest Tour - Yr 11 Industrial Design Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet

This lesson plan takes Year 11 Industrial Design students through the Cumberland State Forest. Students will study the organisation and management of an individual business related to the focus area.
 

To download this file

Going Bush - Innovative ways of keeping the home fires burning - Worksheet & answers

Student worksheet with sample answers to accompany the Going Bush video 'Innovative ways of keeping the home fires burning'. Students learn how the forest industry can provide a renewable and low emision source of energy from wood waste in the form of engineered wood pellets for home heating.

To download this file

Going Bush - Residue from the one tree goes to make fine copy paper - Worksheet & answers

Student worksheet with sample answers to accompany the Going Bush video 'Residue from the one tree goes to make fine copy paper'. This video highlights the efficiency of modern forestry whereby all parts of the harvested tree are used in various applications. Low grade wood waste is used to make high value fine copy paper seen everyday in school printers and offices. Wood residues can also be used for renewable energy production.

To download this file

Going Bush - Various demand for plantation and native forests - Worksheet & answers

Student worksheet with sample answers that accompanies the Going Bush video 'Various demand for plantation and native forests'. Different uses for the wood sourced from these forests is discussed, as well as wood properties. The demand for wood in Australia is higher than the regulated supply, meaning imported wood is necessary. This raises various issues that students can begin to contemplate. 

To download this file

Innovation in Manufactured Wood Products and Construction

Students will learn about the different types of manufactured wood products and about innovative techniques to produce manufactured wood products. After watching the video lesson they will be able to answer questions on the lesson titled “Innovation in Manufactured Wood Products and Construction Q&A"

To watch this video

Innovation in Manufactured Wood Products and Construction - Q&A

Students will learn about the different types of manufactured wood products and about innovative techniques to produce manufactured wood products. After watching the video lesson titled “Innovation in Manufactured Wood Products and Construction" they will be able to answer these questions.

To download this file

iPad App- Timber Sleuth

Australian timber from sustainably harvested plantation and native forests is used in our homes in many different ways.  From paper to poles, from bowls to benches, timber is a great durable product and renewable tool.  This free ipad app game has been developed by Forest Corporation of NSW.  Primary school children can take on the challenge and see how many timber products they can spot in in the home.

Planet Ark - Schools Tree day

Each year in July, around 2500 schools across Australia take part in Schools Tree Day. Students nation-wide have learnt how to plant, and care for the seedlings they grow. Become involved.

Wild Forest Adventure Activity Book

Wild Forest Adventure is an activity based companion booklet especially designed for use with the Forests NSW website.

To download this file

Wild Forest Adventure online game

The Wild Forest Adventure section has been especially designed for students, to provide interesting and relevant information about the forest environment, in a stimulating and fun way.

Wood: Art, Design, Architecture. An Education Pack

WOOD: art design architecture: an education kit with information and exercises relevant to your curriculum, the kit is an easy-to-use guide for teachers and students across a range of art and design disciplines.

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Wood Properties

In this practical lesson, students will examine and compare the wood properties of different types of trees. They will learn how to measure the oven dried moisture content of wood in the laboratory, and be able to apply this knowledge when selecting appropriate uses for the timber.

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Going Bush - Stories from the Bush Capital

We go to Australia’s bush capital and the Capitol itself to see some of the decorative bits of Parliament House. Not the pollies themselves but some of the floors they walk, seats and couches they sit on and tables the argue across … all made from various Australian special species of timber. See how work is coming along with the National Arboretum, due to open next year. Being created on the site of the devastating 2003 bushfires, the collection of 100 forest communities from around the world will be an imaginative tribute to the heritage and culture of forests.

To watch this video

iPad App- Timber Sleuth

Australian timber from sustainably harvested plantation and native forests is used in our homes in many different ways.  From paper to poles, from bowls to benches, timber is a great durable product and renewable tool.  This free ipad app game has been developed by Forest Corporation of NSW.  Primary school children can take on the challenge and see how many timber products they can spot in in the home.

Planet Ark - Schools Tree day

Each year in July, around 2500 schools across Australia take part in Schools Tree Day. Students nation-wide have learnt how to plant, and care for the seedlings they grow. Become involved.

WoodSolutions

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Going Bush - A Northern NSW timber family answering the industry’s challenges

Meet a tight-knit timber family from northern New South Wales, which has responded to the vagaries of the forestry industry by getting bigger when the option was to get out and vertically integrating their operation so that in years to come a significant share of their resource will be harvested from their own plantations.

To watch this video

Going Bush - A timber product for the future from an antique Newcastle factory

We visit a factory near Newcastle that looks as ominous as a horror movie set … and that’s just what it doubled as for the filming of Tomorrow when the war began a few years back. But from this archaic looking mill comes an all-natural cladding product fit for the 21st century.

To watch this video

Going Bush - Chic Huon in upmarket Sydney

Follow the journey of the raw Huon pine log through a West Coast joinery shed to finally adorn the walls and fittings of an up-market Sydney board room, where advertising and media mogul John Singleton waxes lyrical about the timber.

To watch this video

Going Bush - Innovative ways of keeping the home fires burning

We investigate the future of timber production . not using a crystal ball but armed with Forestry Tasmania's Innovation Plan. The on-going challenge of getting more from less has Forestry Tasmania looking further into maximising returns from its resource by increasing recovery rates from logs and investigating a range of new engineered timber products and rayon production for clothing.

To watch this video

Going Bush - Innovative ways of keeping the home fires burning - Worksheet & answers

Student worksheet with sample answers to accompany the Going Bush video 'Innovative ways of keeping the home fires burning'. Students learn how the forest industry can provide a renewable and low emision source of energy from wood waste in the form of engineered wood pellets for home heating.

To download this file

Going Bush - Latrobe Valley environment benefits from factory upgrade

At Australia’s biggest paper mill and only office paper maker in Victoria’s LaTrobe valley everything is on a BIG scale. Andrew and Nick discover that flows through to Australian Paper’s approach to environmental improvement. As part of a $600 million plant overhaul the company not only introduced a bigger proportion of recycled material into production lines but dramatically improved its standard and quantity of effluent and through co-generation produces more than enough electricity to power the plant.

To watch this video

Going Bush - Planning for innovation in Tasmanian forest products

We investigate the future of timber production not using a crystal ball but armed with Forestry Tasmania's Innovation Plan. The on-going challenge of getting more from less has Forestry Tasmania looking further into maximising returns from its resource by increasing recovery rates from logs and investigating a range of new engineered timber products and rayon production for clothing.

To watch this video

Going Bush - Residue from the one tree goes to make fine copy paper

Continuing on with the journey of one tree in the Victorian highlands from forest floor to finished product. The lower quality parts are sent off for pulping to make Australia's only home-grown office paper at Australian Paper, Maryvale.

To watch this video

Going Bush - Residue from the one tree goes to make fine copy paper - Worksheet & answers

Student worksheet with sample answers to accompany the Going Bush video 'Residue from the one tree goes to make fine copy paper'. This video highlights the efficiency of modern forestry whereby all parts of the harvested tree are used in various applications. Low grade wood waste is used to make high value fine copy paper seen everyday in school printers and offices. Wood residues can also be used for renewable energy production.

To download this file

Going Bush - Stories from the Bush Capital

We go to Australia’s bush capital and the Capitol itself to see some of the decorative bits of Parliament House. Not the pollies themselves but some of the floors they walk, seats and couches they sit on and tables the argue across … all made from various Australian special species of timber. See how work is coming along with the National Arboretum, due to open next year. Being created on the site of the devastating 2003 bushfires, the collection of 100 forest communities from around the world will be an imaginative tribute to the heritage and culture of forests.

To watch this video

Going Bush - The story of one tree from Victoria's high country

Going Bush (Series 5 Episode 1A) provides valuable footage on the value adding process to native timber in the Victorian Mountain Ash forests. Mechanical harvesting is demonstrated, together with processing of saw logs for use in flooring and furniture, and structural timber for construction, and discussion on use of remaining defect wood (waste) for pulp wood. 

To watch this video

Going Bush - Timber harvested nearby makes a NSW south coast social magnet

We visit Bermagui to see how the controversial harvesting of a nearby forest has resulted in the creation of a new focal point for the town. The natural log pillars and timber cladding and decks, milled just down the road at Eden, of the Bermagui Fishermen's Co-op underline the South Coast's joint heritage of timber getting and fishing.

To watch this video

Going Bush - Timber vs Other Building Materials

Nick and Andy use science to see how timber's strength stacks up against other building materials.

To watch this video

Going Bush - Tracing the power poles back to North East Tasmania’s forests

You see them along the roadside throughout the land and they’re an easy fallback for long road trip games of I spy with my little eye … PP? Power poles of course. We go bush to find where the tallest and straightest trees grow and how they’re handled with kid gloves to provide the poles to carry electricity cables.

To watch this video

Going Bush - Value adding

This series of 'Going Bush' presents valuable information on value adding to our native forest resource from harvesting, through processing the various grades of saw logs and defect wood, to end uses in high value flooring and furniture, and low value pulp wood and waste for paper and electricity production.

It highlights the valuable contribution the native forest industry makes to supplying hardwood solid timbers in Australia, and the importance of sustaining this industry into the future.

To watch this video

Going Bush - Various demand for plantation and native forests

The importance for balance in consideration of native and plantation forests is explored from a Victorian perspective, where the main players say there will always be demand for resource from both.

To watch this video

Going Bush - Various demand for plantation and native forests - Worksheet & answers

Student worksheet with sample answers that accompanies the Going Bush video 'Various demand for plantation and native forests'. Different uses for the wood sourced from these forests is discussed, as well as wood properties. The demand for wood in Australia is higher than the regulated supply, meaning imported wood is necessary. This raises various issues that students can begin to contemplate. 

To download this file

Innovation in Manufactured Wood Products and Construction

Students will learn about the different types of manufactured wood products and about innovative techniques to produce manufactured wood products. After watching the video lesson they will be able to answer questions on the lesson titled “Innovation in Manufactured Wood Products and Construction Q&A"

To watch this video

Innovation in Manufactured Wood Products and Construction - Q&A

Students will learn about the different types of manufactured wood products and about innovative techniques to produce manufactured wood products. After watching the video lesson titled “Innovation in Manufactured Wood Products and Construction" they will be able to answer these questions.

To download this file

iPad App- Timber Sleuth

Australian timber from sustainably harvested plantation and native forests is used in our homes in many different ways.  From paper to poles, from bowls to benches, timber is a great durable product and renewable tool.  This free ipad app game has been developed by Forest Corporation of NSW.  Primary school children can take on the challenge and see how many timber products they can spot in in the home.

Wild Forest Adventure online game

The Wild Forest Adventure section has been especially designed for students, to provide interesting and relevant information about the forest environment, in a stimulating and fun way.

back to top
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