Introduction: Garage Door Whiteboard

Always working on projects in the garage and wish you could have a large uninterrupted whiteboard to play with? We did, so we made one - and mounted it right on the garage door!

But how is the garage door able to open with a large flat board mounted to it? We figured it out so we are sharing it with you.

We didn't have a garage door opener, so we didn't have to factor it into the design. If you do have a garage door opener, check its rating to make sure it can pick up the door and all the hardware you'll be adding to it. Also, you may have to modify the design slightly to allow for the opener mechanics.

Step 1: Get Materials and Tools

The materials you'll need for this project are:

- a garage door, any size will do - we used one a little wider than 8' and more than greater than 4' tall. You just will have to cut your whiteboard down to size if the door is smaller than 4'x8'.

- a 4'x8' sheet of tile board. We got ours for about 13 bucks at Home Depot.

- a 4'x8' sheet of Eucaboard or some other cheap paneling. This acts as a backer for the tile board and makes the entire thing stiffer.

- four 2"x2"8' pine boards. This acts as the frame.

- two 4' lengths of 1/2" threaded rod

- two eye bolts with 1/2" threaded portion

- four nuts for the threaded rod

- two connectors for threaded rod

- two ~3' lengths of PVC pipe large enough for the threaded rod to slide into easily. The closer the fit, the better.

- four metal pipe mounting brackets

- two large lag bolts

- two nuts that will easily fit over the lag bolts

- two large washers that will fit the lag bolts

- a box of wood screws

- a box of self-tapping screws

- four metal hinges

- 2'x4' scraps. We used two blocks about 4 inches long.

- wood glue

- drill, drill bits, drivers

Step 2: Prepare and Glue Tile Board

You'll want a place that you can lay down the tile board so that the face won't get scratched or otherwise damaged.

We had a large piece of carpet in the garage that we did all the work on.

You'll want to rough up the backside (the brown side) of the tile board with some rough grit sandpaper. The exact grit and how much sanding isn't important. We just want to make sure that the glue we'll be using soon has something to really grab onto.

This will create a very dusty mess, so you may want to sweep or otherwise wipe away as much of this dust as possible since it would get in the way of a good gluing.

Once you have it sanded and cleaned, drop a whole bunch of glue onto it and then plop the Eucaboard (or whatever backing material you have) onto it. Try to line up the edges as much as possible.

In order to get a really solid lock on the glue, you'll want to have a little pressure on it. We just marched around on the back of it like idiots and tried not to slide the panels around.

Step 3: Build Frame

Using the 2'x2'x8' boards, its time to measure and cut the frame.

We used two boards, uncut, to be the top and bottom of the frame. We cut the other two to be slightly smaller than 4' so that the entire frame was 4'x8'.

Two of the smaller beams (which will be the vertical ones) should be at the outermost edge. The remaining two should be placed so that you have 4 rectangles of about the same size.

Once you've got it all measured and cut, pre-drill the pieces (so that they don't crack when you screw it) and go ahead and screw it all together.

We used a countersink bit because we wanted it clean, but that is entirely up to you.

Step 4: Mount Hinges and Hang the Frame

Now that the frame and board are complete, it is time to prepare the garage door.

You'll want to measure both your completed frame and the door to find where the edges of the whiteboard should be.

At either edge, you need to attach the hinge to a part of the door frame so that the hinge ends up centered on the vertical beam.

Every hinge should line up with the vertical beams of the frame, so make sure you measure those as best you can. We put 3 self-tapping screws through each hinge into the garage door frame. This thing is going to be fairly heavy, and you don't want it falling off.

Once you have all the hinges mounted, open the garage door so that the hinges are now open and pointed at the ground. Get someone to help you get the frame all lined up. Once you have it lined up, lift it into place and get each hinge screwed to the frame.

Try to make this as even as possible to make it work smoother.

Step 5: Make Bottom Extension Hinges

Since the distance between the bottom of the whiteboard and the door will change as the curve of the door changes, we need a hinge for the bottom that can shorten and extend to deal with this.

You'll have to play with where the bottom gets mounted and with the exact placement of the parts in this step as it gets very garage door specific.

Use the pipe mounts to attach the PVC pipe the the two inner vertical support pieces. We put a screw in at the top to lock it all together. Do not put a screw in at the bottom or you've defeated the entire purpose of the pipe.

Once you have the pipe mounted, build the lower hinge mechanics. Use the eyebolt, rod coupler, pair of nuts, and the threaded rod to make a single metal rod with a loop at the end. Tighten it all up by tightening the bolts against the rod coupler. This forms one half of the bottom hinge.

Use the lag bolts, extra nuts, and large washers to make the other half of the hinge. This gets attached to the a low part of the door. We mounted it at the very lowest cross-member of the door.

Drill a couple of holes into the garage door so that you can get your wood screws through the metal and into the wood.

Now comes the tricky part. You have to get the rods into the PVC pipes, and then get the lag bolt assembly through the eye bolt and amount the lag bolt into wood you've mounted on the garage door.

You're going to have to play with spacings and the exact sizes of things to get the assembly to operate smoothly.

Here is a video of how these hinges should work, or at least how ours work.

Step 6: Mount Tile Board

Now comes the fun part, attaching the white board to the frame.

Rather than put screws through the middle of the white board, which would defeat the whole purpose of this amazing white board, we put some glue along the center two beams of the support frame to attach the board to the frame. You can put glue along the entire support frame if you desire, we just ran out of glue.

Get someone to help get the Tile Board and its attached Euca board lined up to the frame that is now mounted on the garage door and has glue on it.

Once you get the white board all lined up, it's time to screw it to the frame. Don't skimp on screws here as these screws are really the only thing keeping the white board from falling on your head.

We put about close to 20, counter-sunk screws along the edges at roughly the same distance from each other.

Once you have the board completely mounted, you're done! You can now enjoy your brand new garage door white board. Don't open the garage door if you can help it until about 24 hours have passed so that the glue on those beams can really harden up.

Make sure to keep markers and an eraser handy as you never know when you'll need to quickly sketch out something.