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Happy New Year Memo board

The old year has just come to an end and some of you have probably made one or two good intentions for the New Year. To always remember them and keep useful things like keys and to-do lists always handy, I´ve here for you a simple instruction for a stylish memo board!

And that´s what you need:

Material Tools
Plate 20x900x800 mm Cordless drill
Plywood 410x310 mm Jigsaw
Blackboard paint Rotating sander
Primer spray paint Circular saw / Table saw
Colored spray paint Router
Clear coat aerosol Side cutter
Wood glue  
Screws 4x50  
Abrasive paper  
Abrasive pads  
Handles / hooks  

Step 1: Trimming the frame strips and the blackboard plate

First, we need an arbitrary wooden plate. I decided to take a 20 mm 3-layer spruce plate. With a circular saw, we can now cut the plate into suitable boards for the memo board.

You can orientate on my measurements:

1x   800x600 mm

1x   800x80 mm

1x   790x60 mm

1x   400x60 mm

2x   90x60 mm

For the blackboard itself, you need a 50-100 mm thick plywood board. When you´re done with cutting, your board should have the measurements 310x410 mm.

Tip: With a circular saw, the wooden plate will tear open on the side where you attach the circular saw. Therefore, I recommend to turn the top of the workpiece downwards while cutting. Alternatively, you can cover the cut edges with adhesive tape before cutting to prevent tearing as well.

Step 2: Sanding the boards

The large base plate (800x600 mm) is left out in the following step. All other pieces of wood are now sanded properly. I sanded everything from grain size 100 to grain 320 with my orbital sander.

Step 3: Gluing together the lower strips

In the next step, we glue together all the 6cm wide wooden strips (1x 790x60 mm, 1x 400x60 mm, 2x 90x60 mm). The construction is additionally fixed with clamps and then let everything dry.

If you do not want to paint your memo board, I would recommend cutting the corners with a mitre saw and then gluing it.

Step 4: Preparing the base plate for the blackboard plate

Next we cut a frame into our base plate in which we will later place our blackboard plate. My frame has the size 300x400 mm.

In addition, I have placed the cutout on the left side of my base plate. But you can choose this individually according to your own preferences.

For cutting you can use a router. Alternatively, you can drill out the corners of the rectangle with a Forstner drill and then saw along the sides with a jigsaw.

If you have a router, you can mill out a 1 cm wide chamfer on the back along the cutout. Later the blackboard plate can be inserted into the base plate like a picture into a frame.

Step 5: Building the grid

For my grid, which I placed on the right side of my memo board, I used an old rabbit hutch grid. You can of course use other similar materials as well. We now cut the grid to the desired size with a small side cutter. In addition, we let stand a 50 mm supernatant on two opposite sides of the grid. This is necessary to easily fix the grid in our base plate later.

For this purpose, we now measure 30mm, from the outer edge of the supernatant to the inside and mark this point. Then we clamp the protruding 30 mm long grid with the help of a piece of residual wood to a table edge and bend the outer sides of the grid slowly over the edge.

Step 6: Pre-drilling the holes for the attachment parts

Next, we will dedicate ourselves to the attachment parts. We take the base plate and place the individual objects like we want them to be.

Purely for visual reasons, I have provided the red marked edges with a chamfer. You can do this with the router, a hand plane or with other hand sanding materials.

When all the pieces are in place, we draw the outlines of the objects on the plate and pre-drill all holes for later final assembly. For the grid we drill a 2mm deep hole in the wood for each end of the wire. I have lowered the holes for the hooks from the back with a Forstner bit to hide the mother. In addition, you can lower all holes on the backside with a countersink.

Tip: I'm pre-drilling everything, because if the wood is then ripping from drilling, I will have the opportunity to fill it with wood cement. In case of a ripping on a finished painted surface it would be a bigger problem.

Step 7: Sanding the base plate

Now it is time to grind the baseplate. We grind up to a grit of 320. After that we grind all edges with a 400 grit sanding pad by hand.

Step 8: Painting the memo board

Next, let's give our memo board a nice colour.

The fact that spruce wood absorbs a lot of paint, we coat all parts in advance with a primer. Afterwards, we paint all the individual parts with 3 layers of paint and 2 layers of clear lacquer. Between each lacquer finish, we sand the paint with a K320 sanding pad and clean the surface with a microfiber cloth.

Tip: When painting with a spray can, it is important to ensure that you always spray the workpiece from an equal distance and over the entire length of the board. Alternatively, you can use a paint roller for painting. To prevent unwanted cracks in the paint, it is also advantageous to comply with the drying times.

Painting the blackboard surface:

In order to be able to write on our blackboard, we paint the board with special blackboard paint. The lacquer stays stronger, if the wood surface is not so smooth sanded. We apply the varnish with a paint roller in two different directions and sand it after drying with the rotating sander and a K400 sandpaper. We repeat this process 4 times.

Personally, I would let everything dry overnight to have a really hard and abrasion-resistant finish when assembling.

Step 9: Mounting the attachment parts

After all components have dried sufficiently, we can now start to assemble the different parts.

At first we fix the base plate with clamps. I recommend to place a piece of cloth between the clamps and the plate to prevent the paint from damage. Then we screw the frame strips.

Now we put the grid in the previously drilled 2 mm holes and glue it with super glue.

Then we attach the blackboard surface only with small nails on the frame on the back of our memo board.

Our memo board can now be individually equipped with hooks or handles. To attach the entire memo board, we simply drill 2 x 10 holes of 1.0 cm on the back and 2 screws are dowelled in the wall.

And finished is our self-made memo board.

I hope I could inspire you with my project to build your own memo board.

Let your imagination feel free, because there really are no limits.

I wish you a Happy New Year 2019

Ben Tews

AuthorBen Tews
Reading time10 minutes

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