These plans for how to make a chalkboard have an interesting background. A friend of mine emailed me about needing to build this as a prop for a new sermon series at church. There wasn't much of a budget and it needed to be done in a week. I drew up the plans to resemble some other frames we had seen in pictures. Luckily, he was able to cut and assemble it before services the next weekend.
Although it was only intended as a prop, we discovered that it actually worked as a chalkboard! So I'm sharing it here for anyone who would like to build a VERY reasonably priced roll-around chalk or whiteboard.
My friend simply painted the MDF (medium density fiberboard) green for the chalk surface. MDF is nice and smooth and takes paint well. A couple of manufacturers actually make blackboard paint in both black AND green that would also make a suitable writing surface.
There are also various paints and decals available for creating writing surfaces that could easily be applied to the MDF panel. Formica makes a high gloss white laminate designed for use as a whiteboard. Abet-Laminati even makes magnetic laminate with either a whiteboard finish or a finish suitable for writing on with chalk. The possibilities are nearly endless, so use your imagination!
Materials for constructing the frame are standard dimensional lumber sizes. Since ours was built on a tight budget, we used whitewood and left it unfinished. However, any species of wood could be used to suit your own taste. You could even use 3/4" plywood ripped to the proper width.
For the church the frame needed to be portable, so casters were mounted on the feet. I'm not entirely sure where ours came from, but Rockler sells a reasonably-priced set that would fit perfectly under the 1 1/2" thick feet.
Assembly was accomplished with glue and screws. A few pin nails were used to hold things together while fastening the screws. Regular wood screws can be used with a decent result. For a more refined look, either use screws with a decorative head or countersink and plug the holes before sanding and finishing.
To view the plans just click here. If you'd like to download a copy to your computer, right click then "save-as". Either way, you'll need the Adobe reader to view the file.