quick access calculator holder for a math teacher

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Project by jamsomito posted 08-28-2017 04:27 PM 2301 views 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

A friend of mine teaches high school math and she needed a case for 30 graphing calculators, but had to have easy access so students could grab one on the way into class and quickly put them back on the way out. I was originally thinking something like a slotted mailbox with hardboard dividers, but I didn’t know if that would hold up to kids quickly mashing their calculators in and out of it. So, I just used some 3/4” plywood scraps I had laying around and came up with this design.

Features: 3/4” plywood construction – could probably park a car on it and it would hold up. 30 slots, all with a “funnel” effect from the roundover applied to all the top surfaces. Calculators protrude beyond the top of the box for easy grabbing. Finger holds for moving the box if needed. Eventually she is going to paint the box and add a small foam strip down the middle of each column so the calculators don’t get banged up being dropped in the box, but for me, it’s complete. Also, it’s totally over-thunk, which is just my thing.

I’ve always liked making custom things and only recently donned a table saw and started to hone my craft. This was my first attempt at dadoes and rabbets on the table saw – I only have a combination blade, which I knew wouldn’t be perfect but I learned it’s super repeatable and easy to do and was a pretty enjoyable project to try. I found my table saw likes to creep up for some reason though, so a lot of my 3/8” dadoes became 7/16” deep and it threw a few joints off, but for the most part they were fixable and/or at least hide-able. Also, lots of hand sanding to get everything smooth for hands all over it – not quite enough to get rid of all the router burn marks though.

I don’t know what it is about this box but I really like how it turned out. It’s square, solid, and will serve it’s purpose well. Definitely have the itch for more!

1 comment so far

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3394 posts in 4905 days

#1 posted 08-30-2017 03:34 AM

This must be a common need for math teachers – I did one myself. But yours looks much better than mine did. I didn’t take into account the abuse it would take. It held up okay but looks a bit ratty now. I think your plywood box will last a lot longer than mine. Maybe your friend’s class can do the math and figure out just how much weight the box should be able to hold and then test their answer!

Seriously it’s a good looking box and I’m sure it will be well used and appreciated.

Thanks for sharing.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

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