Clipboard for Left Handed People




Introduction: Clipboard for Left Handed People

About: I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying posting things I have learned and done since I got my first ...

If you are left-handed, you know how difficult it is to write on a clipboard. The clip, even on a low profile clipboard like the one shown here, is in the way of your hand constantly.

Step 1: One Possibility

It is nearly impossible to write near to the top of the paper without turning the paper upside down or writing with the paper held by one side. Then the paper is often creased by running into your stomach while you write, if you are sitting on a chair in a hall where there is no table surface for you to use.

Step 2: Another Possibilty

Or, you can remove the paper and write with it loose. But, it still has to bend upward where the clipboard contacts your stomach.

Step 3: Materials

I wanted a clipboard for a left-handed person. I had some scrap luan mahogany panelling about 3/32 of an inch thick and I had a clip as shown here. The clip is 3/4 inch wide.

I cut a piece of panelling 10 x 14 inches. At 14 inches it is short enough to fit into a fabric attache' I have, but also long enough for 8 1/2 x 14 inch legal paper.

Step 4: Make a Slot

I drilled a series of holes 1/8 inch in diameter next to one another to make a slot for the clip. The slot begins 5 inches from the top end of the clipboard and is on the right side of the clipboard. I wiggled the drill bit while the drill was "on" to smooth out the slot between the holes. The slot prevents losing the clip later.

Step 5: Insert the Clip Into the Slot

Insert one wire handle on the clip into the slot.

Step 6: Pull the Clip Into Place

With a little muscle power spread the clip as much as possible and work it into the slot fully. Be careful. What is left between the slot and the edge of the panelling is fragile and can break away easily.

Step 7: Finished

The clip is not visible, but is just off of the right side of this photo. Notice that I can now write at the top of the paper with ease. There is even enough of the panelling to support my hand. I drilled a hole at the top of the clipboard in case I want to hang it on the wall. Sand and smooth any edges. I did also round two of the corners: one under my hand in this photo, and its mate at the bottom of the left side of the clipboard as shown in the photo.

For storage, I can fold the handles on the clip so they lie flat on the clipboard.

I do not use a clipboard a lot, but having one that fits my left hand is a big improvement.

Step 8: Another View

Here is the whole clipboard as I would use it on my lap.



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    17 Discussions

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh-sighhhhhhhhh my first love wrote with his left hand. He tried to teach me to play the guitar, but it was all backwards to right handed me :0) We went our separate ways-he turned left and I turned right lol ;0)

    1 reply

    Surely your remember the old folk song "Crabs Walk Sideways" about Herman, the lobster who walked straight, and Sally, the crab, who walked sideways. Even though they loved each other deeply, it was not to be because lobsters walk straight and crabs walk sideways.

    Thanks. I have looked at similar things before. They are interesting. They did not mention that sinister is from Latin referring to the left.

    I just flip my paper upside down so the clip is at the bottom. This works for me. *shrugs*

    1 reply

    I have done that. It is not too bad with the little low profile clipboard in the Instructable, but it is not much fun with the older style high profile clipboards. The parts of the clip press on my stomach. Try one of the modified boards I suggested and you will likely find it much better.

    At school, we take a swimming "noodle", slice it to fit the width of the clip board and then cut the noodle in half vertically. This gives the clip board s nice slant for writing and helps the children write on their paper with a more natural wrist position.

    since clipboards are symmetrical, i dont see how they could be more stressful for lefties than righties explanation?

    3 replies

    Your assumption about symmetry would be valid if both lefties and righties held their hands at the same angle when writing. Look again at the early steps in this Instructable and notice the angle of my hand. That is typical of the way lefties hold their hands when writing. It is really almost impossible for them to do it any other way. So, if you want a clipboard that is symmetrical for both left and right handed people, you would need to mount the clip at about the 2 o'clock position, rather than the 12 o'clock position.

    I have a lefty for a sister, a brother-in-law, his entire family except his sister (5 more in all), two of my six nieces, and more than a dozen friends and acquaintances.Don't ask me how or why I have encountered such a hugely disproportionate number of lefties - I have no clue! And no two of them write alike, out of the dozens I know, only 3 of them (each in their mid 40s or older) write in the manner you show. The rest describe that method as anything from 'weird' to 'torturous'. I have seen a lot of variation for right-handed writing as well, but nowhere near as much as among lefties. While I am sure your idea here works for a lot of people, it is no better for lefties than it is for righties. It simply suits some people who have trouble with clipboards (I know of a few right handed clipboard haters). I started to put 'You shouldn't be so prejudiced against lefties.' as the final statement, meant as sarcasm and a light-hearted joke, but I know that it would come off wrong over the internet, so instead here is this much longer and convoluted final sentence which is just as unnecessary, but hopefully conveys my intent at some humor and fun.

    I know we lefties are only about 11 percent of the population, but having something that fits and works is a big help for anyone. Using one of these in a meeting should draw some interest from people around you. Chances are some of those folks have friends and relatives who are lefties. At the least they can tell their lefty friends and relatives about your clipboard. At the most they can make some as gifts for the lefties in their lives. Thank you for your comment.

    I don't think people realize what a pain it is to use products designed for the other hand until they try it. Right handed scissors, anyone? Those actually hurt to use with your left hand.

    I really like this! I have to use a clipboard a lot at work in meetings and it does get in the way! This is a really nice solution. :)

    1 reply

    Jessy, I have thought about making a neater version with some 1/8 inch Plexiglas, possibly a translucent black, like the commercial clipboard I showed. Also, after posting this I contemplated making the small piece between the slot and the edge a little wider. I also thought about making the slot just a little wider. That would make inserting the clip easier. Thank you for your comment.