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This tip was born out of the frustration of not being able to find a commercially available clipboard big enough to accommodate a 24-inch by 36-inch set of building plans.
After making one too many sets of prints unreadable because I had to hold them down with 2x6 blocks, I finally decided to build a clipboard and headed to the hardware store for supplies — including two sets of inexpensive, spring-loaded screen-door hinges.
Here's what I did:
As shown in the accompanying drawing, I screwed the hinges to a piece of scrap birch plywood left over from a cabinet job.
I attached each pair of hinges to a 2-inch by 22-inch clip.
I screwed the spring-loaded leaves of each hinge to the plywood back through blocks the same thickness as the clips.
To counter the strength of the hinges, I snagged two handles left over from the same cabinet job and affixed one to each clip.
To smooth the edges of the clipboard, I ran the backing through my router table with a roundover bit.
Then I drilled three holes — one centered, two on 16-inch centers — to hang the board.
The result is a pretty handy tool that keeps my blueprints from blowing all the way to the next development. It has survived two houses so far — and attracted more than a few suggestions that I should put a patent on it.
One last tip: Use wide, clear packing tape around all the edges of your prints to prevent tears from starting on the edges. You only have to put the tape on one side. The tape works almost as well as laminating the prints and it’s much cheaper.
— Ben Miller Kalona, Iowa
Tips & Techniques provided by Fine Homebuilding.
©2010 The Taunton Press
To contact Fine Homebuilding, e-mail Christina Glennon.
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