Chalkboard Instructions

Chalkboards are becoming more difficult to find but for drafting they are invaluable.  I use a musical staff writer, which uses chalk to make five parallel lines, to create a grid on a chalkboard for drafting.  This chalk holder does not accommodate marking pens--I've tried!--so if you cannot find a chalk board, here are the instructions for making one.  Four feet by six feet works well but larger is fine.

All of the following materials are available at Home Depot, Lowe's or the equivalent "big box" stores.

To be useful the board must be very smooth; a sheet of  Masonite, 1/8" thick is perfect.  It is floppy, so using contact cement to attach it to a sheet of plywood (1/2" is thick enough) will make it stable.  Prime the surface of the Masonite and apply two coats of chalkboard paint.  (If you can buy it in a spray can, do because it makes a smooth, ridge-free surface.)

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Chalkboards have a slight "tooth" that permits the chalk to adhere to the surface.  Ordinary paint does not have the right surface.