Magnetic Glass 4 in 1 Productivity Tool

Introduction: Magnetic Glass 4 in 1 Productivity Tool

About: Called a renaissance man more times than I can count, I am the type of person who believes you can do anything you put your mind to. As a veteran I've seen some awful acts committed, and I guess my wanting to …

I've recently started a new job where it looks like I am going to have to take a lot of temporary notes, and being the out of the box thinker that I came up with the idea to build a small personal dry erase board. But it occurred to me that it had to serve more than one purpose (not to mention I wanted something one-of-a-kind)! Putting some thought into combining a couple of useful tools that I currently use and yet wanting to keep it small and portable so I can use it almost anywhere.

"Magnetic Glass 4 in 1 Productivity Tool"

NOTE: Pic's have a  piece of paper taped to the back so that the dry erase marker would stand out better to the camera!

Step 1: What You'll Need


Old All-in-One Printer
Heat Gun
Razor Blades
Masking Tape
Sugru Hacking Putty
Soapy Water
Old Hard Drive Magnets (or you can use Neodymium magnets from a craft store)
Dremel with cutting discs
Wood Boards
Speed Square
Various Saws (Miter Saw and Table Saw)
Sandpaper (Various Grits)
Drill with Drill Bits and Philips Head Driver
Plumbing Torch
Wood Stain
Wood Screws
Writing Utensils (Pens and Markers)

Step 2: Tearing Apart the All in One Office Printer

First off I decided to use glass so I can see through it, for aesthetic reasons as well as practical reasons. As per many of my Instructables  you can easily go out and buy any of these materials but I always suggest if you have materials laying around that may take a few extra seconds to acquire, always use them rather than throwing it away and letting it end up in a landfill as well as saving you a couple extra bucks for tools or materials you may need to purchase. Regular picture frame glass is thinner than I thought and the edges are very sharp. I've taken apart a few scanners in my day and found the glass usually has a curved edge and is considerably thicker than most picture frames.

1. If the scanner or all in one printer has security screws and your driver is too thick to reach them you may have to drill out the screw heads which is relatively simple to do. Just use a bit slightly larger than the head of the screw.
2. Once you have removed the casing from the top, the glass is just epoxy glued to the case, you can remove the glass by sliding a razor blade up under a glass then from the other side use a heat gun to slightly heat the epoxy making it a little easier to work with.
3. Take your razor blade work it in a little further using a screwdriver; start turning a screwdriver very easily, the glass should pop free as you are working your way around.

"TIP: Remember to take it slow and use the razor blade first and then the screwdriver to avoid breaking the glass, I've broke more than my fair share over the years and it is very easy to make a mistake going too fast ".

4. Now that the glass is free use a razor blade and working at a 45° angle start scraping any remaining epoxy from the glass.
5. Clean the glass with a window cleaner and then with soap and water to remove any dust or debris.

Step 3: Magnetic Sugru?

Now comes the fun part...

6. Take masking tape and lay down an overlapping square on your workbench (that your glass will set on) to make removal after the sugru is applied less of a pain.
7. Wet down the tape lightly with soapy water to aid in removal of the sugru.
8. Open and add the sugru to the corners of your glass.
9. Take out your Dremel with a cutting disc and slice a hard drive magnet into four pieces
10. Use each one of the four pieces by placing them in the center of each sugru blob on each corner
11. Next work the sugru around the magnets until they are completely covered (at this point it's pretty much up to you with the design of each corner, I left it pretty basic so it's up to you to add your own style)
12. At this point I added one additional last-minute idea: a paper holder magnet in the center of the top of the glass using the same sugru method.
13. Finally separate each corner using a razor blade slid up under the glass and slicing the edges away. 

Step 4: The Woodwork

Now that we have completed the glass part I wanted to add a desktop stand, just in case I find myself in the odd event the cubicle doesn't have the metal cabinets or metal runners to hang this on. A simple would stand would suffice!

14. Using a 3/4" x 10" scrap board I measured between the two bottom sugru magnet mounts on the bottom of the glass, and transferred that measurement to the board.
15. Then using a speed square, I set my pivot point and found an angle I was happy with (which read 30° on my square) and trace the matching line on the board from each end of my glass width.
16. Also transferring the glass width to a piece of scrap 1x2 for the mount.
17. Using a miter saw I cut the corresponding angles on the 10" wide scrap board, and also made my cuts on the 1x2.
18. Using a table saw I made a 30° cut through the center of the1x2 to create a slit for the glass to set in at an angle.
19. I set the table saw to a 45° angle and cut off the corners of the sides and the front of the 1x2 for a more finished look.
20. Then using a heavy grit sandpaper I sanded all edges and corners smooth.
21. Take a blow torch and start charring the wood lightly, just enough to highlight the ridges in the wood. This should give you wood an old look or as it looks to me like a driftwood piece of wood.
22. Next use a stain of your choice and coat the wood with a layer of color. Personally I like to use "Howard's Restor-A-Finish Mahogany" when I'm trying to get a driftwood look and still protect the wood itself.
23. Finally use a countersink and drill bit to drill holes for the mount to be attached, using a screwdriver attach the mount using wood screws to the base.

Step 5: 4 Tools in 1!

Well it took a few hours but I'm happy with the finished product, now I can use my whatchamacallit glass anywhere there is a piece of metal and have an idea that needs to be written down ( temporarily of course with a dry erase marker)!

So what can it be used for besides a dry erase board:

How about a refrigerator board to write down reminders of what you need before you leave the house!  Also useful on those overhead file cabinets and the metal railings connecting your cubicle walls!

Or maybe at the office the boss says "Here re-type this leaving out the corrections" all you'll need is a paperclip or piece of metal like a washer I used in the picture, now you have a document holder!

Let's not forget the cubicle notices we can leave for visitors! "OUT TO LUNCH"

One last note that comes to mind now that I'm finished writing you could take some etching cream and etch a design or border around the corners and the edges for a cooler look or effect! Or simply woodburn a comical note into the base for those who may not like your particular brand of style such as "Kiss My Glass"!

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    9 years ago on Introduction

    Neat project. You might advise to keep magnetic media away form the corners .

    Again good project.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    That's probably my favorite part of instructables it's not so much the projects as much as the little tips and tricks you pick up from them. My favorite i'ble's are the ones when I see something I like and then apply it to another project, seeing all the sugru projects just gave me the idea to hide stuff in the sugru.