For many years OSB (Oriented Strand Board), also known as Sterling Board, has been a favourite in the building trade. This is hardly surprising, seeing how versatile – and affordable – it is.
It’s made of 95% criss-cross layers of thin, rectangular wooden strips, compressed and bonded together with 5% wax and synthetic resin. It is ideally suited to all kinds of building applications, including:
hoardings shelving and racking caravans garden sheds exhibition stands interior cladding agricultural buildings packaging and crates portable buildings roofs boarding up doors and windows
OSB is easy to work, file, sand, nail and drill. Because it has no grain, you can drive a nail to within 8mm of the edge without it splitting.
Because it is reconstituted wood, there are no knots or voids to cause trouble when you’re sawing. Yet because it is real wood, you can glue it with any PVA adhesive. At TBS we sell Everbuild PVA. You can also sand the surface and paint it with any good quality wood paint.
TIP: If you’re using a power saw, use a slower feed rate, as the stranded structure can make the board bind.
OSB ususally comes in 8′ x 4′ boards. TBS stocks two kinds:
11mm OSB2, the 2 signifying that it is intended for a DRY environment, i.e. indoors
18mm OSB3, the 3 indicating that it is suitable for humid conditions. OSB3 is BBA certified as structural grade.
Whichever OSB you are using, if it’s for an outdoor application, treat it with an appropriate preserver.