Instructables
I thought that I would finally bit the bullet and make a whiteboard. I made a bunch of them in college for my fraternity, so that we could do our engineering homework. But all of those were frameless and 4' x 8'.

In my current house, I don't have that kind of free wall space, so I need it a bit smaller.

Not being one to waste materials. Out of one 4' x 8' sheet of melamine coated hardboard I can get three 32" x 48" whiteboards. So lets get to work.
 
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Step 1: Gather tools and materials

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What you'll need is the following materials:

qty description price
3___1"x4"x8' standard pine board_____~$1.54 each
1___4'x8' sheet of tileboard (melamine finished hardboard)____~$9.93
24___1.25" long course pocket screws
1___bottle of wood glue
picture hanging hardware


tools:
rubber mallet
Pencil
speed square
Measuring tape
hand saw
power miter saw
table saw
Sandpaper or an Random Orbit Sander
Drill/Driver
Pocket Screw jig
12" Quick Grip Clamp
2-5' pipe clamps

Step 2: Start the cutting

First cut up the tileboard to size, you can either use a tablesaw, handsaw, or a circular saw. I ended up using a circular saw, since cutting it on the tablesaw would be unruly for me. Plus it was raining, so I needed to do it quick. Basically cut every 32 inches on the long side of the panel, so that you'll end up with three panels that are 32"x48".

Next is time to cut up the frame material. The first cut is to rough length, so crosscut the 8' board into a 3' piece and a 5' piece. The second cut is to rip the two pieces in half, so that you have all four pieces of the frame. Since the 1"x4" is really 3/4"x3 1/2", when you rip it in half it won't be 1 3/4" but more like 1 5/8, or maybe even smaller. It really depends on the kerf of the rip blade you are using, more then likely it will be 1/8". So make sure to adjust your measurements.

TIP: Cut all the pieces before resetting the fence.
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melcron1 year ago
Thank you very much! I was about to buy a 48"x36" whiteboard for $40 and was disappointed with the dimensions and the price until I stumbled upon your instructable. One trip to Home Depot and I walked away with a 97"x48" "whiteboard" for $14. Who needs a frame! :-)
Penguinja4 years ago
im too lazy too get bthat stuff from the hardware store and i dont haveeee moneyyyyyy, partly cuz im only 15 and get money from my parents. SO i just got the plastic cover (the one you put into your binders) and got a white piece of paper and slipped it inside. WAAA LAAA!
nice idea, but I built one that works even better. find a suitable size sheet of glass and sandwich a sheet of white paper between the glass and a sheet of plywood or such at the back to give the glass a bit of strength and to hold the paper flush to the glass. just make sure u don't glue the paper to the glass it doesn't look too good.
Alternatively, for a distinctly modern look, simply mount glass (or plexiglass) flush to a white wall. I suspect a thicker plexiglass with no frame would look the best, but to avoid the gap between the writing and the white background being disturbing it would probably be best to stick with a thinner plexi, say 1/8". Just bung it up on a white wall and you're good to go!
Most glass shops have old shop doors that they normally have to pay to dump. If you ask real nice, they will give you one. They have nice aluminum frames and a key holder built in. Of course you will have to scrape off the credit card stickers. My shop used to be located next to a glass company and they would give them to people all the time. They make interesting coffee tables with plumbing pipe legs. They make great room dividers that open up the room. They make great replacements for interior home doors, where privacy is not needed. They make great art over the sofa when you put twinkle holiday lights behind them in a random pattern. One mounted in a garage door can bring in a lot of light to a garage workshop during bad weather.
Etitan6 years ago
Nice job on the instructable. When I wanted dry erase capabilities at my new place I opted for static cling sheets. One idea to pass on, when I was considering the melamine board idea, I also was going to add a metal backing to let me use magnets on it as well. Now that is posh.
bryren Etitan6 years ago
Glue felt to the back of your magnet. I have thot about doing this - metal - but not sure what gauge it will take.
...which gives me an idea -- put strong magnets inside your whiteboard eraser. It'd be a handy way to mount it, and if nothing else could be a fun gag -- "Let me just erase this here.... whoop, hmm... the eraser seems to stick to the board"

ausable (author)  bryren6 years ago
You could probably just use 22ga. sheet steel or galvanized HVAC ducting sheet metal. I just tried the HVAC sheet metal, and none of the magnets that I have are strong enough to pull through the 1/8" hardboard.
ausable (author)  Etitan6 years ago
Thanks. I actually thought of a steel backing as well, while I was making it. My only concern was finding strong enough magnets that wouldn't scratch the writing surface. I guess that could be a mod for later down the road.
sjs2295 years ago
Don't you think it would be cheaper to buy one?
Sunny1246136 years ago
very good job! I like these and might have to make some
kaboogie6 years ago
I use dry and wet erase right on my fridge at home, stainless, but regular fridges work too. My gf makes a sharpie calendar on hers, fills in the info with dry erase. The sharpie comes off with stainless steel cleaner of soft scrub....but I put contact paper over my stainless fridge :-) Wokrs great!
you can also remove sharpie from things like a fridge or whiteboard just by scribbling over it in a dry erase marker and then erasing it with a cloth or dry eraser.
I rushed to the fridge with markers in hand. It works! It works! Thank you! Thank you! What a wonderful idea that I can't believe I had not thought of before!
Great to see homemade whiteboards, and especially the fridge idea - marvellous. NOW, can anyone tell me how to create ink for refilling a marker pen. I already refill my computer printer cartridges with ink from 60ml or larger bottles of bought ink. That works in a marker, but is a bit greasy. I'll try diluting it with alcohol maybe in the weekend. But has anyone succeeded in creating a really good dry-erase ink from simple, very cheap off-the-shelf commodities? Thanks, Bruce Thomson
juanangel6 years ago
I use Formica. But before the first use, I coated it with car wax to avoid stains and easy to erase. Only maintenance is waxing.
Great idea! Today, the guy that works on my Jeep, told me that to remove the "haze" from my plastic headlight lenses of my ancient Jeep Grand Cherokee all I had to do was spray them Deet and wipe it with an old T-shirt. I wish he had told me that before I had replaced the headlight lenses.
Bill Hood6 years ago
Dry erase ink can be "re-wet" with dry erase ink. Even when you think it won't come off without buying an expensive cleaner you should try to simply mark over the old ink with the same color of pen. It will re-wet and can be wiped aways quite easily.
Cheap vodka will work too, or isopropyl alcohol...
What a waste of vodka - even cheap vodka! Plus the dry erase pen you already have in hand!
that works great! thanks
If this is the same stuff that they sometime use for shower walls, it does pose some problems. Many of the teachers at my school, due to severe budget cuts, have begun using this as an alternative to the expensive dry erase boards. They work for a while, but then tend to retain most of the stuff written on them. They get really grungy. The material you make yours out of may not pose the same problem. Either way, great instructable; very helpful.
Deception6 years ago
a very good material as well as tileboard is glass, it acts almost the same way but is easier to get when youve never heard of tile board
RaNDoMLeiGH6 years ago
This is a well-done instructable! I like the way you used the 1/4" drill bit as the guide to adjust the saw. Why haven't I thought of that??
ausable (author)  RaNDoMLeiGH6 years ago
Well the funny part about that is I can't believe that I didn't figure that out as well. Until one day while I was watching the Woodsmith shop, and they used a 1/4" drill bit to set-up a tablesaw to make a mortise and tenon joint.
I just went down to my local hardware store and found some wood that fit closest to that of a whiteboard... masonite. Bought it, bought some markers... came back and tried out the markers on the board and the ink disappears when you write on the board... as though it is seeping into the board. Any idea how to fix this?
ausable (author)  treelovinhippie6 years ago
Did you buy just masonite or coated masonite?
bilbox6 years ago
ABCstuff

You can buy rolls of whiteboard contact paper and make almost any surface into a whiteboard. 18" by 6 feet is $6.99 from ABCstuff.

This 'ABCstuff' could be stuck on a layer of sheet metal with a plywood backing in a frame. Then whiteboard magnets would stick. I would glue the thin gauge sheetmetal down with contact cement and fill any seams with Bondo or wax.
train106 years ago
I used be a trainer. We had lots of whiteboards and found that cheesecloth worked better than the erasers. We used to get big rolls of the stuff and cut off about a foot, fold it, and erase. When it got really ugly, just toss it and cut off a new piece. Worked well with dry or wet erase pens.
DaveNJ6 years ago
Great job. I just bought a white board from Staples and now I am going to return it and make this. It will be bigger, better and much cheaper in cost. Thanks!
DaveNJ DaveNJ6 years ago
I just made a 32" x 48" inch board today. It took about 2 hours and came out great. I ran the rails through the saw twice to open up the channel to a hair over 1/8". It made the assembly easier. It is still a good fit. I figure about $10 per board. I returned my little 24" x 36" to Staples for a $27 refund. Thanks for this simple idea. I also like the idea below about the wet markers. I will try that idea out too. Thanks tdbtdb!
ausable (author)  DaveNJ6 years ago
Cool, I'm glad that it worked out for you. And that you were able to save a couple of bucks to boot.
tdbtdb DaveNJ6 years ago
Everyone loves dry erase markers, but wet erase are even better and don't stink. The colors are better, price comparable. The brighter more opaque colors mean writing can be visible on top of a wider range of colors (dark panelling okay!). Not sure the environmental impact is lower, but all the solvent in dry erase makes me suspect wetter is better. Expo brightsticks are my brand, but I've seen & used others that are good too. Grocery stores used to use them to write specials on the windows, etc. Erasing actually is easier with wet than dry erase, though I guess if you tried using a dry eraser it might get full of pigment and not work well. I usually use a tissue or old paper towel. I can usually wipe it off without wetting the towel, if not, a little spit will do. I like to use the fridge, the bathroom mirror, and the interior window of my car to write on. I also recycle sheets of packing plastic to coer up stuff I otherwise wouldn't want to write on. The monitors we buy come with a nice (but floppy) sheet of clear plastic protecting the screen, that's what I've got stuck on the office file cabinets and my home fridge for scribbling. Dry erase was better than chalk, wet erase is better yet.
p1pe6 years ago
Hey, this is real nice. You did a great job on the instructable. I was wondering why you used the pipe clamps in addition to the screws :-)
ausable (author)  p1pe6 years ago
Your answer is all the way at the bottom of the comments section.
redskinsjbs6 years ago
Great idea and efficiency btw. Just a sort of side note, I use my desk as a dry erase board because it is made out of glass. It comes in handy if I have a presentation that need to be put together. Also, I took an old window from a construction site (they were remodeling and they gave me this giant floor-ceiling window for dirt cheap), and I just have it set up against my wall and I use that as another planning board. ( I am a graphic design/architecture student, so planning and drawing space is kind of a big deal). Yeah, great instructable. I think I might panel my walls with that stuff.
Never mind, turns out I wasn't using glass but a "XL10 UV Protected Sheet" that's "250 times stronger than glass". The thing is, I don't care if it breaks or not, I just wanna write stuff on it!!! (P.S. Tried writing on a mirror and it looks awesome!)
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