There are two main types of wood – hardwoods and softwoods.
Hard woods come from broad leaved trees. These trees have flowers and produce seeds such as nuts and fruit). Examples are oak, beech and mahogany.
Hardwoods are denser than softwoods and are stronger and more durable too. They are used for furniture making. Beech is often used for making toys. Hardwoods are much more expensive than softwoods.
Soft woods come from cone bearing trees. Examples are pine, redwood and fir. Softwoods can be used for furniture and doors but are mostly used in construction for roof trusses and stud partitions.
Manufactured boards are processed timber. They have new and useful properties.
MDF (medium density fibreboard) is now widely used.
Plywood made up from alternating layers of thin sheets of wood is strong in all directions.
Chipboard made from softwood chips and sawdust is cheap but only attractive when coated with melamine – used for kitchen cupboards (carcases).