Timber and Composites

Timber is the material of choice for builders looking to put up any sort of lasting structure. From processed beams to antique logs more than a hundred years old, good lumber can last years. Many types of commercially available lumber are processed in order to make them pest-resistance and completely moisture free, thereby ensuring your project can last decades.

What are the different types of timber?

There are two general types of lumber: hardwood and softwood. Softwood lumber includes pine, fir, spruce and cedar. They get their classification because they are easily dented, lose and absorb moisture much easier and therefore require extra maintenance to optimise its lifetime. Hardwood trees take much longer to grow, and hence the lumber comes at a premium. With that, however, you get great results in fine woodworking projects when using hardwood.

What are composites?

Wood-plastic composites are relatively new materials that meld the naturally aesthetic properties and texture of wood with the durability and mouldability of plastic. Composites are made by mixing wood fibre or wood flour with melted thermoplastics to produce an extruded material of a desired shape.

What are composites used for?

An advantage of using composites is that they are perfectly workable using traditional woodworking tools like table saws, band saws and routers. The result is a versatile wood material that is more durable than traditional lumber. They are also sustainable materials to produce since waste wood from natural lumber processing plants are the main raw materials used to make them. However, timber-concrete composites are different in that this technology focuses on optimising performance and material requirements by establishing a structural connection between timber and concrete. Precast composites are available for purchase.

How do I choose materials to use for my projects?

For restoration projects of old houses and other structures holding sentimental value, hardwood is the better alternative, especially when you want to maintain a particularly antique and fine feel in the home. Quick or modern projects can do well with processed structural lumber made of softwood. Pressure-treated softwoods are particularly resistant to rot from water and fungus, so they are ideal for creating outdoor projects like decks, light posts, picnic tables and other such projects. If the project entails creating a novel accent on your ceiling, such as a faux beam primarily for aesthetics, then reclaimed hardwood lumber is your best bet at creating that lovely effect.