The number of homeschooled children has never been higher since the entire world has been affected by the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
The global lockdown forced many children to be homeschooled.
Although homeschooling has its advantages, many children, after being at home for a long time, begin to miss the familiar environment of the school.
To compensate for that lack, and to give them the school feeling as much as possible, this homemade school board is the ideal solution and it is also a fun project to make.
My kids love this homeschool blackboard and since I got it, they even play with it in their free time.
This homeschool chalkboard is super easy to make. All you need are magnetic paint, chalkboard paint, a small hinge, and a few wooden bars. This is a job that is done in a few hours for a cost of around $25.
Thanks to the step-by-step guide in this blog and accompanying video, and the free plans you can download here, any DIY enthusiast can make this homeschool blackboard themselves.
The great thing is that you can involve the children in building this blackboard and you will be the coolest mom or dad in the world to them.
Watch the video here
Before we start building this school board
To prepare you for building this project, I have made a few handy lists.
In addition to a few personal protective equipment that I use*, I also list the materials as well as the (power) tools you will need to build this jig.
* Safety is always your own responsibility!
Materials I used for this Homeschool blackboard
(power)Tools I used for this homeschool magnetic chalkboard
- Makita MLT100 table saw Watch my Unboxing video and my review video if you want to see more about this tool.
- Makita 3709 router
- Makita AF505N Brad nailer. Watch my Unboxing video if you want to know more about this tool.
- Brad nails 25mm
- Brad nails 50mm
- Air compressor
- Drill press
- Hilti cordless drill SF144-A
- Festool sander
- Kreg KMA multi mark and measuring tool
- Pica pencil to mark all the pieces.
Building this homeschool blackboard step by step
Now that we have gone through the list of what we all need for this project, I will explain step by step how to make this homeschool blackboard.
If you want to see even more details you can watch the video above.
Step 1 | Making the blackboard
Preparing the blackboard itself with magnetic paint and chalk paint
If you want to make the school board magnetic, start by applying 3 thick coats of magnetic paint.
This paint contains small iron particles that make the board magnetic.
This paint is easy to apply with a paint roller, but you can also pour the paint and spread it with a spatula.
When the magnetic paint is dry, you can sand it fine if there are large irregularities when applying the thick layers of magnetic paint.
After sanding, you can apply the chalk paint.
Use a paint roller for this.
You apply the chalk paint in 2 layers. Let the paint dry completely in between.
After the last coat has dried, this paint can be overwritten with chalk and is washable.
Making the homeschool chalkboard frame
For the frame of this homeschool chalkboard I used pine, but you can use the wood that suits your style and taste.
Saw beams from the wood from which you can get the pieces for the frame. You can find all dimensions on the free plans that you can download in this blog.
At the rear of the frame, you make a rabbet in which the chalkboard can fall in and lie recessed in the frame.
You can make the rabbet by placing the fence at a distance of 10 mm from the saw blade of your table saw. Also, lower the saw blade to 10 mm above the surface of the table saw.
Now slide the lumber in 2 directions along the saw blade and you have a perfect rabbet for your entire frame.
Now you can cut the parts of the frame to size. To have a nicely finished frame on this homeschool blackboard, I chose to make the connections at an angle of 45 degrees.
You can do this with the miter saw, but I used my adjustable miter crosscut sled for this.
Be sure to check out my blog Experimental adjustable miter sled | Any angle | Perfect miter cuts to see how I made it.
You can also download plans for free so that you can make this handy miter crosscut sled yourself.
Once all parts of the frame have been made, you can connect them together.
I used wood glue for this and to hold everything together temporarily until the glue was dry I used brad nails.
If you don’t have a brad nailer, you can use normal nails or clamp the frame in glue clamps.
Because I love nicely finished pieces, I finished the corners at an angle with the router and a 45-degree router bit.
The last step in making this homeschool blackboard is to place the board in the frame.
If the rabbet is made correctly, everything will fit together perfectly.
I attached the board to the frame using pin nails.
Drive the pin nails through the board in the frame about 20 cm apart.
Step 2 | Making the easel
To build the easel for this homeschool chalkboard, you can use the same type of wood as you used for the blackboard.
Cut bars to the dimensions you can find on the free downloadable plans in this blog.
Cut the corners for the legs for this homeschool blackboard as shown on the plans.
At the bottom of the legs, you need to cut an angle of 71 degrees. When the legs are mounted at an angle, the leg will make full contact with the ground in this way.
There is also extra space if you want to apply a self-adhesive floor protector for better grip on smooth surfaces.
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At the top of the legs, where they meet, cut an angle of 18 degrees.
If you don’t have a miter crosscut sled as I used, you will have to make this cut with a handsaw.
For this, I can recommend a Japanese hand saw like this SUIZAN Japanese Pull Saw Hand Saw on Amazon. This allows you to make very precise and clean cuts.
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Ok, all parts for the easel are now ready and you can start assembling.
Connect the legs that you cut off the ends at an angle to the centerpiece that we will extend later as the third leg and kickstand.
Use wood glue to make the connection.
To keep everything in place temporarily, I put some brad nails.
To make these legs stronger I reinforced this connection with screws.
Because I did not want to see the screws in the end result, I covered them with wooden plugs.
To do this, proceed as follows:
- First, drill a hole the diameter of the plugs you will be using.
- Drill this hole about 10 mm deep.
NOTE: Do not drill this hole all the way through the wood.
- In this hole, you can now place the screw that connects the parts tightly.
When the screws are firmly tightened, you can cover them with a plug.
Apply some wood glue to the plug and drive it as deep as possible into the hole so that it is firmly attached.
Then saw the plug flush with the side of the wood. Again, I recommend a Japanese handsaw or fine-toothed backsaw.
Before installing the third leg, you can touch up the edges with the router and 45-degree router bit to make it easy to work.
Now, after finishing the edges first, place the extension against the piece where the 3 previously made pieces meet.
Connect the third leg with a hinge.
The hinge makes it easy to store or transport the easel.
Because the kickstand would stay in a fixed place and to prevent the easel from falling over, you connect the three legs together.
I used a decorative chain for this, but you could just as well use a ribbon or rope for this.
Now we will create the clamp blocks that will hold the homeschool chalkboard to the easel.
Two of these blocks are blocks that can be permanently mounted on the easel and one block must be removable.
The clamp blocks are all made up out of 2 pieces. A thicker piece of wood that is the same thickness as the frame of the blackboard, and a thinner piece of wood that grips behind the blackboard and holds it in place.
I will start by explaining how to make the removable clamp block step by step.
- Take the thickest block and drill a hole in the center of the diameter of the bolt you will be using.
- To countersink the head of the bolt, drill out the top of the hole further with a wider drill. Drill as deep as the height of the head of the bolt.
- Place the bolt in the wood and press the head into the countersink hole. Use a hammer for this or you can also use the vise for this.
- Once the upside of the bolt is flush with the surface of the wood, you can glue the thinner piece of wood onto it. Look carefully at the plans to see what dimensions I used for this.
To prevent splitting of the wood I did not use nails or screws but glue. Starbond’s Ca glue is perfect for this. In a few seconds you have a solid connection.
Now make a hole in the easel where the bolt of the clamp block can pass. At the back, you can fix it with a washer and nut.
To place or remove the school board in the easel, just loosen this clamp block.
The other clamp blocks that will support the homeschool board are made in the same way as the removable clamp block.
The difference between these blocs and the removable bloc is that these do not have to be provided with a bolt.
Now only these blocks have to be attached to the easel.
I temporarily fixed them with CA glue.
Then I turned the easel and finally secured the blocks with a few screws.
Voilà, the homeschool blackboard is now ready and you can start teaching your kids in a fun way.
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Woodworking | DIY | Home decoration
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