In box with clipboard lid

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Project by TechTeacher04 posted 03-13-2016 10:57 PM 1851 views 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I teach in 3 different rooms over the course of my school day. One of my colleagues does not like the idea of a tray to hand in work, so I started thinking about how to keep papers secure after the bell has rung and during my travels between rooms and my office. I complicated the design because I could to include a sliding lid that is also a clipboard and used half blind dovetails to help me rationalize why I have a dovetail jig that has been collecting dust for the last 12 months. The material is all reclaimed alder from some unfinished furniture components I picked up when a box store 10 years ago. I always knew I would find a use for it.

The bottom is a solid floating panel 1/4” thick. The sides are all 1/2” joined with half blind dovetails cut on my Leigh Super 18 dovetail jig. The top/clipboard is 1/4” thick with lightly chamfered edges to allow it to slide in and out easily. I used a slim profile clipboard clip from Saunders.

3-4 coats of Minwax wipe-on satin polyurethane. Paste wax topcoat to allow the clipboard to slide in and out easier.

The hardest part of this project was getting the dovetails right, After several days of failure I posted on Lumber jocks and called Leigh only to find out I was using the wrong bit for the depth of cut I needed. Once my new bits came the joints went right together on the first try.

4 comments so far

View kiefer's profile


5852 posts in 4120 days

#1 posted 03-14-2016 02:49 AM

Cool Idea keep the papers fairly secure and the clip board handy and nice dovetails too .


-- Kiefer

View Boxguy's profile


2905 posts in 3720 days

#2 posted 03-14-2016 03:28 AM

TT, I do get the tray. I’m not sure I get the clipboard, but it is a neat box with fancy dovetails. Nice work. The dip in the side might be more handy for getting hold of papers if it went all the way to the bottom board. For just my taste, the sides are a bit thick and the clipboard is a little thin. Did you make one of these for each class you teach?

Just as an aside, Freud would have had something interesting to say about your phrase, “used half bling dovetails.” Being a traveling teacher is a tough job. Most travelers have to live off a cart they push around the building. it certainly limits hands-on work. Thank you for your dedication to teaching, and being willing to educate the next generation. May you get your own room soon.

-- Big Al in IN

View TechTeacher04's profile


495 posts in 2984 days

#3 posted 03-14-2016 01:47 PM

I added the clip to the lid to make it dual purpose, I needed a lid and since it was there the clip adds more utility.

I only need one, I grade the papers between classes and then put them in my filing cabinet.

I brought it to school today, it is working out well. I thought about making the relief cut in the front lower, but I wanted it to also function as a handle to carry it vertically.

View Boxguy's profile


2905 posts in 3720 days

#4 posted 03-15-2016 06:00 AM

TT, good reasoning. Sounds like you have really thought this design through. The handle idea makes sense. Having heard from you that the sides are 1/2 inch, I think the thickness is fine. That is what I get from just looking at pictures. Glad to hear the design is functioning well. Enjoy the rest of this school year.

-- Big Al in IN

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