I use chalk to mark boards when roughing out a project, and I recently decided that I also wanted an old-fashioned chalkboard for writing cutlists and sketching ideas. When I built it, I added magnetic primer behind the chalkboard paint to give the board a second purpose—a place to attach papers and plans using rare-earth magnets. I made the chalkboard from a piece of 1/2-in.-thick MDF with three thin coats of magnetic primer and three coats of chalkboard paint (both available from Rust-oleum). I built the frame using half-lap joints and then ran a rabbet around the inside to set the MDF blackboard flush with the back. I trimmed the ends of each rail and stile to get the look I wanted before glue-up. I love being able to hang my plans and keep notes in one place that is out of the way, yet accessible and visible from anywhere in the shop. click to enlarge
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