My Wife's Classroom

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Blog entry by Jay Neale III posted 08-24-2009 08:27 PM 1288 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here you can see two of my woodworking projects in my wife’s classroom. I built the Lectern and the In-Box out of birch plywood with no edge banding. She teaches 7th graders and it was decided to just use the ply, give it a small amount of style in the form of a routed edge profile where applicable, apply a durable finish and leave it at that. Seventh graders are not known for the care they lavish upon school furnishings. If the plywood gets scratched or dented I’m not going to feel bad about it.

My Wife's Classroom... Lectern, In-Box, Curtains, all made by me

Here is the other in-box in use in my wife’s classroom. I have built four of these altogether, and one is in use in an 8th grade classroom in the same building. The left side is thicker than the right so they can apply labels. I wanted to add brass label holders, but I was overruled because it was thought the kids would bend them. The in-box you see here is for my wife’s use only, but we wanted them to match, so…

I did make the base of hers thicker and heavier than the other one.

The shelves are just 1/8 inch hardboard cut to size, the edges sanded so they slide in and out.

In-Box, built out of birch ply

Here is the dry erase board I built for the door. The school colors are purple and gold, so I painted this piece purple. I couldn’t use gold paint or a clear finish because the dry erase markers would stain it. The dark purple works very well.

Dry Erase Board on her door

And here’s the twin to the first curtain you saw. My mother-in-law sewed them and I tie dyed them. You can see a border around the top of the room in the first and last photos as well. I tie dyed that, too. And about half of the things you see on her walls were created by me. I am her resident graphic artist.

The other curtain

-- Read my amazingly insightful blog at

10 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117592 posts in 3904 days

#1 posted 08-24-2009 09:25 PM

Good job

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3613 days

#2 posted 08-24-2009 10:33 PM

Your wife should probably hang on to you. Good job.


View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3885 days

#3 posted 08-25-2009 03:11 AM

I’ll bet the wife keeps you busy building things for the classroom. Great job.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2934 posts in 3765 days

#4 posted 08-25-2009 01:36 PM

I taught grades 7-8 for 30 years, little organizational things like this can make so much of a difference. All of your motions have to have meaning so a ‘system’ is really important or you lose track of everything. I’ll bet she’s responsible for over 100 students during the day. Give the woman a hug for what she does. Or try it for a week and you’ll see what I mean!

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Jay Neale III's profile

Jay Neale III

171 posts in 3662 days

#5 posted 08-25-2009 09:06 PM

I am my wife’s substitute teacher most of the time. I know exactly what you mean. And she’s actually responsible for more than 160 kids during the day.

-- Read my amazingly insightful blog at

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3912 days

#6 posted 08-25-2009 09:24 PM

Well done my friend and a good thing to help the comunity too.Kindest regards to both you and your wife.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Grumpy's profile


25093 posts in 4178 days

#7 posted 08-27-2009 02:53 AM

Well done Jay

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4488 days

#8 posted 08-27-2009 08:38 PM

and you haven’t been begged for by the other teachers?

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View patron's profile


13646 posts in 3668 days

#9 posted 08-27-2009 09:33 PM

way to go , jay !
functional and indestructible ,
or at least replaceable . nice tie-dye .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Jay Neale III's profile

Jay Neale III

171 posts in 3662 days

#10 posted 08-27-2009 09:48 PM

I have built a few items for other teachers. Teachers don’t get paid very well, though, and Wal-Mart and IKEA can usually bid a lot lower than I can. I understand that. The draw-back is the stuff they get from Wal-Mart falls apart in a few years… or weeks.

Slowly the school is looking more and more like my wife’s room, minus the tie dye and handmade posters of course.

And yeah, it is pretty close to being indestructible, especially the lectern. Check out my Project about that piece.

-- Read my amazingly insightful blog at

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