The solid wood furniture panels are a material of precut and glued wooden beams 10 to 50 mm in width, produced in the form of square or rectangular panels. Furniture panels made of oak, which have been applied for more than 100 years, are used in various spheres of life. Due to their advantages, they have been used for construction works and in the manufacture of furniture and as well as for creation of decorative elements. However, the manufacturing technology, including a sequence of certain stages of work, has changed little, if at all, for the past century. Let's take a closer look at the main points which the processing procedure includes.
DRYING OF WORK PIECES
It is the most important step in the whole manufacturing process, as just drying determines the properties of wood that will be inherent at the end of the manufacture of a furniture panel. Drying includes three stages – initially, it is conducted in an open space, then the wood is dried in a special chamber (where it is exposed to temperatures above 100 ° C), and in the end the wood is gradually cooled after the evaporation process. After completion of these operations the water content in the work pieces must be in the range of 9-11%.
This processing step, which is also called the cutting out of defects, is crucial in determining the cost of the received raw material. After drying, wood may sometimes be deformed, so it is important to carry out the works so as to decrease the loss of material and not to reduce the quality of the work pieces obtained. At the end of the process, the fibres in cut-size planks must be positioned rectilinearly and parallel to the edge.
TRIMMING AND CUTTING
In the process of trimming round parts are removed, and then the cutting is performed: wide width work pieces are cut longitudinally into smaller parts. The log heartwood is usually removed. At this stage of the production, in-plane stresses leave wood, thereby the quality improves and a board undergoes less deformation.
A small layer is removed from the work pieces to control the wood quality, it is impossible to do this at the previous stage of the production because of the dirty wood surface after the saw mill.
END TRIMMING AND GRADING
In the process of end trimming the wood is cut into parts of specified length, and wood flaws such as resin streaks, knots etc. are removed. Depending on the presence / absence of flaws in the wood, the work pieces may reach different length and then should be sorted in terms of size and color.
Even small work pieces having a length of 150 to 300 mm, are not a waste. Such wood is also used in the manufacture process due to the methods of joining that is carried out in two ways - on the vertical and horizontal tenon. In the first case, the material usually goes to the manufacture of window or construction beams, and in the second - for the production of furniture boards.
At this stage, differences between lamellas and glue runs are removed. The accuracy of the production is of a great importance in this phase, because when the manufacturing technique is violated, it is practically impossible to glue together the processed surfaced lamellas in a quality manner. The most appropriate cutting step is deemed to be the value of 1.5-2.0 mm, and the depth of the pile should not be less than 0.1 mm.
The finished lamellas should be covered with glue in a certain way and then assembled to the panel. The work piece obtained thereafter is loaded into a press where under the action of the specified temperature the lamellas are exposed to pressing. Specifically in case of the manufacture of oak furniture panels it is better to use a so-called cold pressing, in which the temperature does not exceed 50-60 ° C. Otherwise wood microcracking visible after lacquer application may occur.
It is one of the final production stages when the panels are cut according to the size for the presentation to the consumer. Primarily, the technique involves cutting the panel along the length, and then the work piece should be formatted according to the width. Thus, the oak panel is transformed to the finished size ready for sale.
In the process of sanding, differences between lamellas are leveled and glue residues are removed to achieve the desired thickness of the product.
The final step in the technology of oak furniture panels’ manufacture is the packaging of finished products in order to prevent contamination or damage of the wood.