When wood chips are dried and then pulverized to make a fine powder, the result is known as wood flour. This product is primarily made from maple or pine, but other types of wood are sometimes used as well. Wood flour looks and feels much like sawdust, but typically has a much finer texture. It can be combined with an epoxy resin to develop putty that is useful in a number of building projects.
This flour may not hold together well if it contains a great deal of moisture, so wood must be thoroughly dried before creating this product. In large lumber mills, a solar or electric-powered kiln is often used. Workers in smaller operations might simply cover the wood and then allow it to dry naturally over time. Maple and pine chips are often dried for this purpose because these two woods are commonly harvested in many areas. Other varieties such as oak or hickory may be used instead, or the flour could contain both maple and pine wood.
After being processed, this pulverized wood may have a consistency similar to that of wheat flour. It might look similar to sawdust, yet does not feel rough or grainy. Wood flour might be a light to medium brown color depending on the type of wood used in making it. This product does contain a great deal of dust, so workers should wear goggles and a mask whenever working with the flour.
Wood flour is typically used by mixing it with a bonding agent. Artificially produced agents called epoxy resins are often used to turn wood flour into a substance that could be used as filler. When these two ingredients are mixed together, the result is often a thick and somewhat sticky substance similar to putty. This can be placed on surfaces by using a putting knife and may sometimes need to be sanded once the mixture is dry.
There are many uses for a wood flour and resin mixture both indoors and out. This substance can be used to join pieces of lumber when building an outdoor deck or stair railing. It is also a popular choice for construction on boats because it is somewhat waterproof. When large amounts of wood flour and resin are placed in a mold, these products could also be used to create a toilet seat. Some homeowners use this concoction to fill in holes in doors or windowsills as well.