Intro: Classroom Pen Rack
Keeping track of pens and pencils is one of life's little nightmares for a teacher, and this is my solution to it.
The design and construction are relatively simple, and the holder can be easily personalised, or branded, so it would make a genuinely useful gift for the teachers in your life...
Step 1: Needful Things
I've designed this pen holder to be cut from 3mm thick materials - it will do well in either plywood or acrylic.
You'll need glue to suit your material, clamps, and the files attached to this step.
If you don't have access to a laser cutter (and why not??), you can also use an online cutting service, such as Ponoko - you'll need to use the file that starts with a "P2".
Step 2: Editing and Cutting
I created the files in InkScape, and they should be easy to modify if you need to.
In the files I used on my own cutter, the colour-coding controls the order of cuts - vector-engraved decorations are done first, before any parts shift and settle as they cut.
In the Ponoko files, the cutting and vector-engraved lines have to be 0.01mm thick, so they are almost invisible on the screen, unless you are working in outline view.
Once you've cut the parts (or received your cut parts in the mail), it's time to assemble...
Step 3: Main Body
Neptune the cat likes to help make things, but, if I'm honest, this is easier without her help.
Glue the sides and ends of the pen rack to the base.
Step 4: Inner Rack
Glue the two small rectangles to the inside of each end of the rack.
Add glue to the top edge of the rectangles, then drop in the large rectangle full of holes. These act the balance the pens, and keep things tidy.
Step 5: Top
Glue along the edges of the top of the rack, and glue the final part of the rack in place.
A note on clamping:
The pen rack as a whole does not need to take a lot of stress, so clamping the parts is not so vital as with some projects - simply glue and then hold the parts together until they are fixed.
If you don't have the time to glue the parts by hand, you will need to be gentle with clamps. The large holes in the sides make them very flexible, so stacking a paperback or two on top should be enough. Only use "proper" clamps on the corners of the rack, and, even then, not too tightly.
Step 6: Done!
That's it, you're done.
Drop in your pens and pencils, and, presto! A tidy work-space!