Friday, January 1, 2016

The Best Clipboard

Where do you keep all your papers for projects and plans?
Can you always find your notes? 

If you are unorganized and have a hard time keeping things in order this project is for you. 

It is mostly made of wood except for a spring which I will show you how to make. The wooden clipboard  also has a storage compartment in the back for your other important papers.

It is an easy and fun project to make for woodworking and the workshop, or you can use it in your office and even the kitchen for recipes. 

Building the top and bottom

1/4 inch Baltic birch is used for the top and bottom board as well as the clip.
 First cut the boards on the table saw and cut them larger than a letter size sheet of paper, they can always be trimmed down later. I rough cut them 25x40 cm. The back board will be larger since it will have the back clip profile on it.

The spring clip                                          
The next part is to make the hinge. I like oak, it is strong and also a wood I enjoy working with. The length of the hinge is 35cm. 

Next is to drill the hole for a wooden dowel. The hinge will rotate on the dowel.
It is important to measure, mark and use a punch to make the centers before drilling, this will give you the best fit.

To make the other part of the hinge the first part was carefully outlined onto the first piece.

I made a mistake with the hinge and did not cut out the middle section. I removed the middle and that will be for the spring.

The piece was cleaned up using a small belt sander and the edges were rounded. Removing the sharp edges will look better.

The dowel (pin) is hammered into the hinge barrel and with just friction the pin  will not move.  If there is any creep a slight tap will set it back.  

How to make a spring                                                                          
To make the spring a slot was cut into  a piece of brass rod and a piece of piano wire was inserted into the slot. The other end should be held with a pair of pliers, I like to hold it firm with a pair of vicegrips. Then carefully start the drill and make as many coils as you need.                                               

A clip for the top was cut out using the Baltic birch and this will be glued onto the oak  hinge.

The two pieces are glued together and the spring is adjusted for best fit. The ends are slightly bent so they don't mark the wood. This will also increase the tension of the spring.

The backboard is cut out, it is cut the same length as the front plus the clip part as you can see below. The triangle on the side is cut, this will make it easy to grab the paper.

Sides are glued onto the backboard. The sides are larger than the board because they can be trimmed and cleaned up later. This way works very easy.

The last step is to glue the top on. I did not drill any holes on the clips yet because I have nowhere to hang it.


Keeping your shop clean and working from well organized notes makes things easier and now some of your shop projects can be neatly stored in the back of the clipboard. 

These will be great not only for the workshop but I will have to make a few more, one for the office and one for the kitchen

If you like this project let me know what you think. Also if you have any questions feel free to leave them below. 

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See Also:  
Make a Scrap Bin           Dowel Stop Gauge          Kitchen Utensil Holder                                                                       



  1. I forgot to mention I am on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google+. Find me there and let me know what you think, and if I can help you anyway let me know.

  2. Great Idea! Thanks for posting. Do you have the dimensions for the hinge?

    1. I don't have any right now but I will make some soon.

    2. Jack, thank you so much for these plans! I use clipboards a lot in the shop and office, and have looked for weeks for a plan to make a clip so that I could make my own. Lovely design and great tutorial! I will definitely be checking out the rest of your site!

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  4. Jack, thank you so much for these plans! I use clipboards a lot in the shop and office, and have looked for weeks for a plan to make a clip so that I could make my own. Lovely design and great tutorial! I will definitely be checking out the rest of your site!

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