In my classroom makerspace, student-sized whiteboards were a vital part of the planning and feedback process used by my students in their ideation work.
But when they weren't being used, they were always in the way. They were left leaning against tables or walls, and inevitably need to be moved a few times each class so students could get around the space. It was a problem ripe for solving.
Enter the dowels!
These simple pegs served an important purpose in my classroom makerspace - they provided a place for both the storage AND displaying of student project plans. When we didn't need them, up on the wall they went. And if a student needed to reference their plans while working, their board went on last so their sketches could be seen.
The build was super fast and super easy. This Instructable will build a 48" hanger system, but bigger systems can be built by modifying, or duplicating, these plans accordingly.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
This page has the materials needed for the boards, the hangers, and the tools you'll need.
- 4 - 2'x4' whiteboards
(cheapest way to get these it to pick up a 4'x8' sheet of white panel board and have the folks at your favorite "big box" store cut it on their panel saw. Note that if you do this, your boards won't be exactly 2'x4', but that's okay in the big scheme of things... and your wallet will thank you.)
- 1 - 48" wood 2'x4' (typically comes in 8' lengths)
- 4 - 5 3/4" long 1" pine dowel (typically comes in 4' lengths)
- 4 - 2" drywall screws
- 3" drywall screws (quantity will vary depending on how my wall studs you have to drill into when hanging the 2'x4')
Step 2: Putting Holes in Everything
The picture shows my (horrible) handwritten notes on where all of the holes need to be drilled. Use the tape measure to mark the center of each hole that you are going to drill. (NOTE: I changed some of my measurements to help get more finger space between the boards so it was easier to take them down)
Use the hole saw to put the openings in the whiteboards.
Use the spade bit to put the holes in the 2x4s. And go ahead and drill right through the boards since these holes are for the wooden dowels which are going to be stopped by the wall once the boards are attached to the wall.
Step 3: Screwing Things Up... to the Wall That Is :-)
For this step, you will need to locate the wall studs that your 2x4 will attach to. Place small pencil marks on the walls to indicate where each stud is located.
You'll also want to find the height that you are going to be hanging the 2x4, and mark that height on the wall as well. Some things to keep in mind when deciding on that height:
- Will you, or others that are using the white boards, be able to hold them high enough so that you can reach the pegs?
- Will the whiteboards cover anything that you don't want covered when they are hanging? Remember, the white boards are 4' long.
- If you are going to use the whiteboards to display work, are they at the right height for doing so?
- Will the wooden dowels, that stick out 5 3/4" from the wall, be in the way of anything?
Hold the 2x4 against the wall to transfer the marks for the studs to the board.
Take the board down and make two pilot holes in the board where each stud is located. This will help you more easily drive the screws through the board and into the wall studs. (see the 2nd picture)
Hold the board back up against the wall and screw it to the wall.
Insert the dowels into the holes you drilled for them.
Drill a small pilot hole into the top of the board and through the dowel. Drive a screw into the hole to help secure the dowel. (see 3rd picture)
Step 4: Hang 'Em
Now all that is left is to hang the whiteboards on the pegs, and then stand back to admire your work!