What is MDF, HDF, HPL, Multiplex, and Raw Materials for Making Furniture other than Solid Wood

In the wood-based furniture industry, the use of alternative materials for solid wood is used on an average to reduce production prices. this is very reasonable because the price of furniture with solid wood is so expensive and hassle making. now you imagine, to make a wooden panel 200 x 100 cm wide with a thickness of 3 cm for example, the jepara furniture craftsmen would think many times before deciding to make it. wide panels like that need wood board material that comes from large diameter logs / spindles. which is difficult and expensive.

The drying process must also be intense and careful not to damage the expensive board, so the process must be very precise and careful too. with a complicated and troublesome process even though the risk of damage still cannot be considered lost and finished. wood will remain motionless, both shrink and expand. it won't disappear even hundreds of years, the proof ... let's look at the houses that have wooden doors, we can compare the distance / gap between the door and the frame in the summer with the rainy season. definitely different. and this will last forever.

Why is it that wood can keep moving so rich? the answer in our opinion is because wood has a direction fiber which can move freely in a long or wide direction without any binding. specifically for wide-direction curves are much influenced by the origin of the pieces of the board, if the board comes from the edge of the wood then the possibility of curving will be much greater than the board originating from the middle wood. this is the influence of the direction of the wooden cambium circle.

Well ... to get around the weakness of the natural wood board, other materials that are still woody are used, but are able to minimize the weakness of natural wood boards. these ingredients are actually really bad to use on our daily household furniture, but maybe we don't understand the name of the ingredients. Well ... don't know then it's not dear, so let's get acquainted with some natural wood board replacement materials.

MDF and HDF (Medium and High Density Fibreboard)

The MDF and HDF are boards made of soft powder of hardwood and hard mixed then hot press with adhesive and certain densities which are on average sold in length x width of the size of a plywood. This material is probably the most popular after multiplexing. the main material for its manufacture is called wood fiber / wood powder, which can be made from hard or soft wood.
The difference from the MDF and HDF is the density, which is measured in units of kg / cubic. if the MDF is of medium density (Medium Density Fibreboard) and HDF is high density (High Density Fibreboard) and there is another low density that we usually call the Particle Board. the comparison try to see the picture below.

The Jepara furniture industry that is widely used is MDF, so we explain it, yes, if particle boards rarely use it because it is quickly damaged, HDF is rarely due to weight and easily broken. MDF is widely used for block table leaves because the surface is smooth and cannot be broken. Oiyha ... MDF is also coated with veneers so that it resembles real wood. You can read more information about veneer furniture here. the quality of the MDF also varies depending on the price and brand.

The advantages of using MDF


Cheaper than using solid wood. cheap in ingredients and also in the production process. Sir, the masons only need to cut and install it if they use the MDF, different if using solid wood which must be split, twisted, connected blah blah blah blah ... hassle.

Besides being easy to work with, the use of MDF is also less risk of breaking and cracking. even arguably without the risk of breaking. it is made from powder so it does not have fiber, whereas if the wood is broken it must be in the fiber. so yeah so ...

Oh yes, there is one more advantage of this material, even though we don't recommend it, the MDF can be carved, you know. so you can order carved jepara furniture using MDF material too. the price can be cheaper than using solid wood.

The weakness of the MDF

Not waterproof, if you get water either directly or only because of high humidity, the MDF will be damaged which is marked by peeling and falling off like some other powder. or if it gets humid he will mold. so bad if you mushroom right? this is usually addressed by using a veneer-coated MDF or using the HPL coating. but what is called water, he still looks for a gap to sink in, so the risk cannot be eliminated at all.

Multiplex or Plywood

Its name comes from the word ply or thin sheet, so basically plywood or plywood is a board consisting of several layers of thin wood slices stacked and glue and press into a thick sheet. the thin wood slices were obtained from logs which were used by a giant machine whose working principle was exactly the same as a pencil sharpener.

There are several types of plywood in the market today. all are distinguished from wood and adhesive materials used. Here are some types of plywood / plywood in the market, as well as availability in the Jepara furniture industry.
Hardwood plywood, wood materials used such as meranti, camphor teak and other hardwoods. Usually used for making houses that require maximum strength. In Jepara it is rarely used for furniture because prices are expensive and rarely demand.

Softwood plywood, wood used by softwood species such as sengon, cypress or pine and its class. This type of plywood is widely used in Jepara to make furniture from plywood.
Marine / water resistant plywood. Made from teak wood and a kind of waterproof wood from Africa, if it's not mistaken it's okume. usually made for ship materials, not for furniture in general. the adhesive used is also waterproof.

Plywood with a veneer layer, this type of plywood is widely used for making furniture from plywood. The raw material is basically soft wood plywood but the top layer is given a layer of teak, mahogany or mindi veneer. An explanation of veneers can be read under this post.
Plywood, we call it plywood because the core or inside is a small piece of wood2 which is then coated with thin plywood to "clamp" it into one solid block board. widely used also as material for making furniture in Jepara.

Plywood Advantages Compared to Solid Wood

There is one that is anti shatter, plywood is made from several layers of wood which cross each other the fiber, this makes the plywood can hardly crack, unlike solid wood which if it is not completely dry it will break or crack. the crossing layer also makes the plywood more resistant to warping.

No shrinking ... again, the process of making plywood has dried the wood material first to a minimum level, some even boiled in an anti-pest liquid. Maximum drought is the main requirement for plywood to be perfectly glue and resistant to pests. softwoods are very susceptible to pests, so inevitably the manufacturer must prevent this. if you don't want to lose.

The process of making furniture from plywood is very fast, how come it does not want to be fast, there is no process of splitting wood, the process of oven drying wood, the drawstring process of dragging wood and glue gluing wood. so just buy what is the thickness, cut according to the size needed ... already. our hearts are happy.

Weakness of Furniture from Plywood

Its strength is lacking ... in our opinion, even hardwood plywood is still less powerful than solid wood. especially when compared to softwood plywood. do not believe ? try hammering the hammer onto a 2 cm thick plywood board and on a wooden board of the same thickness, see how deep the damage is. yes indeed it is not a fair and accurate test. but it can be made as a shadow.

Water and moisture resistance, Even in marine plywood or waterproof plywood, the strength of moist air is still inferior to solid wood. however, moisture will more easily penetrate the adhesive layer in plywood than penetrate wood fibers / pores. the moisture "trapped" in the wood layer in plywood will speed up the process of "delamination / peeling. this does not happen in solid wood.

Another disadvantage for making jepara furniture is ... it can't be carved, it can, but it's bad #Smile

HPL (High Pressure Laminate)

After we know the solid wood substitute materials that are widely used in the Jepara furniture industry, we go on to HPL, these words have been called lately because there are many requests for products that use this material. craftsmen here call it "hapeElan", which on average Hpl is used to order kitchen sets and cabinets or also minimalist model furniture that is just plain surface.

Is that actually HPL? High Pressure Laminates which stands for HPL are actually thin layers made from certain patterned / drawing craft paper which are referred to as kraft paper which are then injected with high pressure resin to produce thin, tough, and pictorial sheets. the application cannot be directly used as furniture but only as a final coating. the framework of the product still uses other solid materials such as multiplex, MDF or even solid wood.

The advantages of HPL

Neat the end result, there will be no such thing as a cracked, curved connection, broken hair, holes and other wood defects. there is a perfectly closed surface.

Relatively cheap and fast to process, HPL can only be affixed to a flat surface. so the process is easy to cut, the raft sticks and finishes. different from Veneer which is very complex.

Weaknesses of  HPL

In our opinion, those who have a "somewhat fanatical" background with solid wood furniture, the final look of the HPL looks ... "Plasticky", like plastic. even if you use HPL with even natural or even rustic wood patterns, it cannot be denied that the end result will still look like artificial, unnatural. it's neat but yeah ...

The second weakness in our opinion is that the product cannot be varied, only a minimalist model that is straight can use HPL. Want a carving model? forget HPL

So the conclusion is, why do you want to use HPL? if you want a modern, simple minimalist and neat home decor. use HPL. there are very many choices of patterns to choose from so the final appearance can be unlimited.

So sharing our knowledge, please if anyone wants to add or correct the information, please leave a comment. Also, if you can, bro, comment are manually approved by me. Thank you for dropping in here ...

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