Wipe Clean Memo Boards

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Project by Don Johnson posted 09-09-2018 11:20 AM 711 views 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

A friend asked me to make her a kitchen memo board, so I thought about framing piece of slate – rather like the one in our kitchen shown in picture 2. However, thinking that the chalk dust is a bit messy, I wondered about using some melamine board with wipe-off pens. I discovered that melamine does tend to get stained, but there is a special material that is actually designed for wipe-off applications. As I started to look for this material, I recalled that when our village hall was extended, the builders used a plastic material to line the walls of the kitchen, as it was washable and thus very hygienic. There had been some off-cuts left over when they finished, and I had grabbed them as ‘they might be useful’. I tested the sheets, and they worked very well with the wipe-off markers.

I initially intended to make standard picture frames to house the plastic sheet and a stiffening backer board, and was thinking about retaining pins or tags when I realised that the frame contents did not need to be replaceable, so I could just cut a groove to house them, so that’s what I did. When completed, rather than have a marker on a string, I found some aluminium extrusion to fit to the bottom of the frame to hold a marker, and completed a couple of frames in that way – picture 3.

I decided to make some more frames for sale at our village Christmas market, but had run out of aluminium extrusion. I came up with the idea of making the bottom part of the frame from a wider strip, and routing a groove in which a marker could rest and not fall out. I wondered how the mitred ends would look, sticking out from the rest of the frame – picture 4 – and thought that I might have to cut them off. However, they almost appear as a design feature so I left them alone. My wife thinks that the all-wood versions look much nicer than the ones with aluminium.

One problem with making the frames using a groove is that the boards have to be put in place during assembly. If the frame parts were pre-finished before assembly they would have to be super accurate, with no opportunity for final sanding or filling, which made that method out of the question for me. I therefore had to apply the finish of three coats of Danish Oil very carefully to avoid marking the plastic, and found the use of a small flat brush very helpful in this regard – picture 5. I also used an artists very soft brush to apply the rest of the Danish Oil rather than a rag as is my normal custom, and I did find that the oil went on very smoothly – but that might have been due to the fact that it was a brand-new tin of ‘Superior’ Danish Oil, rather that the rather sticky contents of the old tin that I had finally used up on my ACME bomb clock.

Later . . . . I forgot to mention earlier how disappointed I was when I saw for how little such boards were selling for on Amazon :-(

-- Don, Somerset UK,

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4481 posts in 2393 days

#1 posted 09-09-2018 11:43 AM

very nice Don and will be a handy addition to most households.
btw – wives are almost always right, just ask one and I agree with yours on this

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

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