children love to draw and doodle. Crayons and/or markers
on paper are a great choice...but errors made with these materials
can be difficult or impossible to correct. On the other hand,
colored chalks on a chalkboard like this can be a lot less
frustrating...and that can make everything a lot more fun,
let these easy-to-follow plans guide you to the creation of
a project that's handsome enough to display in any room of
the house...and enjoyable enough that your favorite kid (or
kids) will look forward to hours on end of self-entertainment.
We made this one out of hard maple with contrasting cherry
drawer sides. Both of these are durable woods that are a true
joy to work with.
Be sure to select stock that's of a consistent, 3/4" thickness.
If you have difficulty doing so and own a thickness planer,
be sure to plane the stock for the stiles and rails (A,B,C)
to 3/4" and cut them to size, according to the Bill
Of Materials. If you are going to plane your own stock,
joint one edge of these pieces first, then run them all through
your planer at the same time. This way, you're certain to
get the straightest, most consistently thicknessed stock possible.
Note that the inner rail (C)
is 1/2" wider than the other two rails (B).
Using your dado setup, cut the 2" long x 3/8" deep lap joints
in the ends of the stiles (A)
and rails (B),
as shown. If you make these joints about 1/32" or less wider
than the indicated 2", you can sand the joints off flush once
you've assembled the framework.
CAUTION: Using the dado setup requires working without
the upper saw guard. Be extremely careful when performing
Next, lay out and cut the mortises and tenons for attaching
the inner rail (C)
to the stiles (A).
The tenons on each end of the inner rail (C)
should be 1/4" thick by 2" long by 1/2" deep. Now, cut the
mortises using your Shopsmith
Hollow Chisel Mortising setup or your Router
setup with a 1/4" straight bit. If you don't own either
of these setups, you can drill your mortises out with a 1/4"
brad point bit, then clean them up with a bevel-edged wood
chisel. To keep the tenons from bottoming-out,
make the mortises just slightly deeper than the 1/2" tenons
-- 9/16" is about right. Dry fit the frame assembly to be
sure everything goes together properly.
your dado or router setup, cut a 1/4" deep by 3/8" wide rabbet
along the inside back edges of the stiles (A),
top rail (B) and
inner rail (C)
to accept your 1/4" thick chalkboard. NOTE: If you're using
a purchased chalkboard that's thicker than 1/4", adjust your
rabbet depth accordingly.
and assemble the stiles (A),
rails (B) and inner
rail (C) to create
the framework. Be sure to check carefully for squareness at
all joints and set aside to dry.