ON THE JOB WITH ROGER BISBY – JOSB DONE TO FILM SERIES OF PRACTICAL VIDEOS SHOWING THE BROAD USES OF OSB

JOSB Done, the trade campaign to promote the uses and benefits of Oriented Strand Board (OSB), is working with building expert Roger Bisby to create a series of practical videos showing everything OSB can do, with the first set to be released in June.

Focusing on practical projects and common construction jobs that timber panels are used for, these new videos from JOSB Done provide an engaging way for tradesmen to learn more about this strong, versatile panel and to see it in action.

For the first video, due to be released in June, Roger went to see the production process first-hand in order to explain what OSB is, how it's made and what its inherent characteristics are, as he explains.

"It's important to know where your panels come from, to tick off the environmental aspect, and you need quality reassurances too. This video is sure to put an end to those rumours that OSB doesn't measure up to plywood - OSB is guaranteed to perform and can in fact replace ply in most jobs.

"The world of plywood has become such a confusing area. There's so many different grades of plywood available on the market that you really don't know what you're getting. Unless you understand what the different certification marks mean, it can be difficult to be sure of the consistency of the product and prices can fluctuate dramatically per panel. Unless you know what to look for, you could get the wrong panel product for the wrong job.

"On the flip side of this, you have OSB. OSB that's made in the UK and Ireland, by manufacturers Norbord, has the consistency and quality level every time, without any confusion. If you go into any merchant and they have home-grown OSB, you know what to expect and you know it can do what you need it to - no uncertainty whatsoever.

"To get the consistency and the peace of mind that what you purchase is what you expect it to be, OSB can satisfy this requirement every time. There was a time when you just went and bought a sheet of plywood but now there's so many grades and various things you need to know - with OSB, it's much clearer. There's two types of OSB to know about - OSB2 for load bearing dry conditions, and OSB3 for load bearing humid conditions - much more straight forward to understand."

The second ‘On the JOSB' video will cover the popular project of flat flooring, to show how OSB is selected for its stability and ease of use in this particular application.

Over the next few months, Roger will be undertaking a series of different jobs which call for a strong reliable wood panel and where OSB has risen to the challenge. The videos will cover common building topics such as heavy lifting, loft conversions and timber frame housing, plus Roger will be getting the word on the ground about what panels people use and why.

After nine years of championing the use of OSB, JOSB Done wanted to take a fresh approach to capture the interest of builders and to give them something they can really use and take on board.

"JOSB Done has always been about variety," comments Alastair Kerr, Director General of the Wood Panel Industries Federation and spokesperson for the campaign. "This year, we wanted to take a hands-on approach to really show what OSB can do in a useful, informative and visual way. For some tradesmen, it's a case of ‘seeing is believing' so our series of ‘On the JOSB' videos is focused on showing how OSB can be the solution to a multitude of projects."

Roger agrees: "In my experience, based on appearance, some people think OSB is made from scrap material and therefore it should be cheap and can only be used for the most basic tasks, whereas in fact it is a highly engineered wood panel with dependable performance characteristics. JOSB Done discovered in the very beginning that some builders confuse it with chipboard and then think that OSB is the same so can't be used in some situations when in fact it can."

Engineered to perform, the manufacturing process of OSB happens in several stages, starting with the raw timber and ending with the finished board. Production begins firstly by sourcing logs from sustainable forests in the UK and Ireland that are independently certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and where smaller trees are usually cut down to allow the bigger trees in the forest plenty of room to grow.

These logs are then cut into smaller lengths and the bark removed before the timber is chopped into credit card sized strands of wood, which are required to start the process of constructing the OSB panel. At this stage, the wood strands are blended with resin and wax as part of a carefully controlled mixing process before they can be laid down, layer upon layer to create a ‘mat'.

Once coated with the resin mixture the first layer of strands are carefully and evenly distributed onto a conveyor belt. The credit card sizes pieces run first in one direction and then in different directions, as second and third layers are added. By layering the strands in this way, a cross-ply effect is achieved that gives OSB its extra strength and durability.

The final board is produced by pressing the three layers of the mat together under heat, resulting in one perfect board of OSB with a smooth, consistent and defective free finish.

Roger continues: "For me, the ‘On the JOSB' videos we are developing this year are all about getting the right message across, developing understanding and showing how OSB can be used to solve a number of problems."

There will be a new video each month available to view on the JOSB Done website and via YouTube. The campaign's Twitter feed - @JOSBDoneUK - and newsletter remain two other key resources for regular information on all things OSB.

Roger concludes: "Builders need easily accessible information. These videos will get the information across and will give the practical information that the guys need.

"They also give us the chance to show just what OSB can do - nothing can beat seeing it for yourself and these videos will tackle common projects and show how OSB can be part of the solution."