A friend of mine wanted a chalkboard sign for her booth at a local farmer's market and after searching the internet and not finding a whole lot of instructions on how to build one, I naturally decided to make an Instructable out of my build.
Half a pallet's worth of wood (about 8 planks)
Medium Sized Hinges
1 inch screws
3/4 inch screws
Hooks and Chain
Step 1: Collect and Cut the Wood
I used wooden pallet planks for this project. I've detailed in my other instructables how to dismantle them with a reciprocating saw and what to look for in quality of wood so I won't go into that here. I found that for my design I would only need four relatively uniform planks for the legs and then four more planks each with about a third of their length cut off for the front and back braces. After getting the wood cut to my liking I sanded it and applied a red stain and spar varnish so the wood would be able to handle the summer sun and any possible moisture.
While looking for chalkboard paint at the hardware store I found a sheet of synthetic chalkboard with about a 1/8 inch particleboard backing which worked out really well for this project.
Step 2: Putting Together the Sides
I simply screwed each smaller plank to each larger one as pictured. Ignore the hinges for now and just focus on the planks (I didn't get a good picture before I put the hinges on). The space between the top plank and the bottom plank should be the same distance as the length of the chalkboard you cut because you will be attaching the chalkboard to these planks later.
Step 3: Attaching the Chalkboard and Hinges
Attach your chalkboard to what will be the front of your signboard. Do this by placing 3/4 inch screws in each corner and screwing them through and into the upper and lower planks. When a screw is drilled through the synthetic chalkboard it may cause some of the particleboard backing to bunch out around the screw. I used a utility knife to trim this away.
To attach the hinges I laid both signboard halves end to end (how it would look with each hinge completely extended) and screwed them in place using 1 inch screws. I found that laying them out helped with aligning them properly and ensured that each hinge would open the way I wanted them too.
Step 4: Attaching the Chain
In the name of reusing material I used an old dog tag necklace I found for the signboard's chain to keep it from falling open. The sign is sturdy and stands solidly so this was just for added safety. I attached two screw hooks, one to the front's side and one to the back's side. After that I hung the necklace from the back hook and bent it shut to keep the necklace in place. To decide the height of the screw hooks I opened the board to it's ideal position and attached the hooks at the point where the chain would be taut.
Step 5: Finished Signboard
Here is the finished signboard. Another idea I had was to place a chalkboard or dry erase board on the backside and add some plastic or metal feet to keep it off the ground but I didn't have time before my friend needed it for her farmers market.
Hope you enjoyed the Instructable, keep building and have fun!