The purpose of present study was to investigate a cheap method to manufacture particleboard. The experiments were carried out using almond shell that had no economical value other than being used merely as low grade fuel and fodder. The parameters affecting composite particleboard production from almond shell and urea-formaldehyde were determined to be urea-formaldehyde ratio, reaction temperature, reaction time and almond shell particle size and the effect of these parameters on hardness and bending strength were investigated. The experimental results showed that maximum hardness and bending strength were 97.5 Shore A and 84.52 N/cm(2), respectively, at a urea-formaldehyde ratio of 0.97, reaction temperature of 70 degrees C, reaction time of 25 min and mean particle size of 0.3 mm. (C) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.