Model Building Board

Follow the instructions to build this woodworking project and you'll enjoy using the model building board for years to come. The free plan makes it easy to build for any parent and kid.

Portrait

Model Building Board

Follow the instructions to build this woodworking project and you'll enjoy using the model building board for years to come. The free plan makes it easy to build for any parent and kid.

Landscape

Model Building Board

Follow the instructions to build this woodworking project and you'll enjoy using the model building board for years to come. The free plan makes it easy to build for any parent and kid.

By Gene and Katie Hamilton

Model Building Board

Here's our solution to the two problems all model builders face - where to work and how to keep all the parts neat and organized. This model building board can be placed on top of a desk, kitchen table, or any well-lighted surface to protect your furniture from a young modeler's glue or paint.

The board is portable, with handles for easy carrying. The sturdy base rests on mar-proof feet. Along the back of the board are four compartments, handy for organizing parts and supplies, and an instruction holder with a metal clip that you can purchase at most stationery number 3 finishing nails 3 inches apart partway through the sides and back about 1/2 inch from the bottom. Run a bead of glue along the back edge of the bottom. Place the back piece in position, lining it up flush and even with the ends of the bottom. Have one team member hold the bottom in position while the other drives in the nails.

The sides are glued and nailed in place the same way. Put glue on the sides of the bottom piece and the ends of the back. Align the sides with the front edge of the bottom and nail them into place. Then drive three evenly spaced nails into the back edge of the sides to hold them tight against the back of the board.

Shopping List

This board is easy to construct and has a tough particle board base. We found 3/4-inch-thick, 12-inch-wide shelving at our home center and based the design around it. Purchase 2 feet of this material for a ready-made base. If your lumberyard does not stock shelving that wide, have them cut the base from a quarter sheet of particle board.

Since the back (B) and sides © are made from 1x4 pine stock, only their length needs to be measured (see Cutting List). Lay this out, and then cut the sides and back.

Both sides have a 31/2-inch-radius rounded end. Use a compass to scribe the arc. Then clamp the side to a table, and cut the rounded corner with a coping saw.

Cutting List

The handle slots are laid out by marking the location of the slot end holes. On each side piece ©, make a mark 5 1/2 inches from the square end and 11/4 inches from the top edge, and another mark 81/2 inches from the rounded end and 11/4 inches from the top. Then, for each side piece, secure it to the table and drill a I-inch hole through each mark.

Connect the two outside edges of these end holes with straight lines. Then use a keyhole or coping saw to cut from hole to hole, creating the handle slot. Sand the back and sides to remove any rough corners. Wrap sandpaper around a short piece of scrap wood or dowel when sanding the inside of the handle slots.

Your board is ready for assembly. Drive number 3 finishing nails 3 inches apart partway through the sides and back about 1/2 inch from the bottom. Run a bead of glue along the back edge of the bottom. Place the back piece in position, lining it up flush and even with the ends of the bottom. Have one team member hold the bottom in position while the other drives in the nails.

Plan

The sides are glued and nailed in place the same way. Put glue on the sides of the bottom piece and the ends of the back. Align the sides with the front edge of the bottom and nail them into place. Then drive three evenly spaced nails into the back edge of the sides to hold them tight against the back of the board.

Set the board aside to allow the glue to dry while you cut the compartments. The compartment front (D) is cut from 1/2-by-3/4-inch parting stop, and the dividers from 1/4-by-13/4-inch lattice. Following the lengths on the Cutting List, cut part D and also cut out the full-size template for the sides (E). Trace the template for the sides on the lattice, and cut out the remaining three pieces.

Place a compartment divider temporarily in each back corner, against the sides of the model board, to hold the compartment front in place while you glue and nail it with several evenly spaced number 3 nails. Then put glue on the front and back edges of the compartment pieces, and space them to form three compartments-one 3 inches wide, one 4 inches wide, and one 6 inches wide.

Cut a 12-inch piece of parting stop for the instruction holder (F), and attach the spring clip (G) to one end with a number 6 wood screw. At the other end of the holder, drill a 3/16-inch hole 1 inch from the end. Place the instruction holder in position on the back of the board and make a pencil mark through the hole on the backboard. Drill a 1/16-inch pilot hole through this mark, and mount the instruction holder with a number 6, 1-inch wood screw. Attach one furniture foot to the bottom of each corner.

Your model building board is ready for finishing. A coat of varnish will protect the wood. Give the bottom a single coat to seal it; more finishing will lift if modeling cement is spilled on it. The flakeboard is tough and will stand up to cutting. When the surface becomes coated with globs of glue and paint, scrape it with a razor, give it a light sanding, and recoat with finish.

TIME REQUIRED Four hours for cutting, building, and assembling, plus drying time for glue and finish.

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Find helpful advice and tips about tools, finishing, safety practices and a glossary of woodworking terms at Before You Begin