Classroom Furniture · Goals · Whiteboard Paint

DIY Mobile Whiteboard

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For those of you that do not know, I am obsessed with whiteboards.  I find that they add so much functionally to the classroom, promote collaboration, trial & error, practice and more!  In my previous school I painted all of the student desks into whiteboards.  (Click here to read more)

IMG_0272     Mobley

In college we have whiteboard partitions between tables that help my classmates and I to study together.  I started looking at buying some for my classroom…..they are way out of my price range so I decided to hack this myself after seeing a video of datascope hacking it using a clothing rack. This got me thinking as I starting research cheap clothing racks.  One thing I still wanted was for my whiteboards to be more mobile.  Just image having a partition, a whiteboard that students can work on at a table, or hang up on the wall all in one! Well this is what I came up with!

Parts

Here is what you will need for 1 mobile whiteboard.  I made three since it worked nicely with the shower board paneling that I bought.

  • 1 – 4′ x 8′ panel/shower board (roughly $13) [get cut to 32″ x 48″, 3 pieces]
  • 2 – 10′ 3/4″ PVC pipe
  • 2 – 3/4″ PVC elbow fitting
  • 4 – 3/4″ PVC t(slip) fittings
  • 4 – 3/4″ PVC caps
  • 4 – caster wheels (I will install these later)
  • 20- 8″ zipties (I recommend buying more in case you make a mistake)
  • Gorilla Glue

What I bought for 3 (this cost about $70)

  • 2 – 4′ x 8′ panel/shower board (roughly $13) [get cut to 32″ x 48″ pieces]
  • 6 – 10′ 3/4″ PVC pipe
  • 6 – 3/4″ PVC elbow fitting
  • 12 – 3/4″ PVC t(slip) fittings
  • 12 – 3/4″ PVC caps
  • 12 – caster wheels (I will install these later)
  • 100- 8″ zipties (I recommend buying more in case you make a mistake)
  • Gorilla Glue

Step 1 – Build the Whiteboard

Glue the 2 sections of panel board together so that you have a 2 sided whiteboard.  If you are using Gorilla Glue to need to dampen one of the boards.  Remember that Gorilla Glue goes a long way.  Place books or other heaving objects on the boards while th glue sets (1-2 hour, 24 hours total).  I waited 2 hours before using the board (drilling the wholes)

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Step 2 – Cut the PVC Pipe

Next you want to cut your PVC pipe.  I cut the pipe to be the same as the dimensions of my board, but cut the pipe for the height slightly longer (I want to fit hooks in to hang on the wall).  Make the following cuts in PVC pipe.

  • 2 – 49″ (I wanted extra space to hang)
  • 2 – 32″
  • 4 – 12″
  • 2- 1″

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*You will have left over pipe.  You can cut as you would like from the pipe based on the dimensions of your board

Step 3 – Assemble the frames

The whiteboard frame

While the whiteboard is still curing use the time to assemble the frame and the stand.  To assemble the frame for the whiteboard you will connect the 2- elbow fittings to one of the 32″ pieces (top).  Then connect the 49″ pieces to each elbow fitting (side).  Then connect two t-fittings to the 49″ and connect the other 32″ piece (bottom).  The t-fitting will allow you to connect the board to the stand.

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The Stand/legs

You will create two separate legs to connect to the board. You could chose to connect the legs together, but I just envisioned this taking up too much space in my room if the board were on the table or the wall.  To build the stand you will use a t-fitting and attach the 12″ pieces to form a straight line.  Then attach a 2″ piece to the top.  This is where the board will connect.  If you would like a higher board use a longer piece here. To finish it off, place caps on the open ends of the 12″ pieces.  You can also add caster wheels as well.  That is next on my list.

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Step 4 – Connect the Whiteboard

First you need to drill holes in the whiteboard for the zipties.  I used a 7/16″ drill bit for my holes so that they were snug on the zipties. I places 5 holes, roughly even, on each side.  Once the holes are drilled lay the white board with the drilled side up on the floor.

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Put the zipties down into each whole.

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Then lay the frame around the whiteboard.  You will have a snug fit so that the corners of the board fit into the corners of the pvc fittings.  Close each ziptie just until it clicks before you tighten the zipties.  You want to make sure everything is even before tightening.  Once the board is where you want it tighten all of the zipties and work your way around making sure that the whiteboard stays in the center.

Then you are DONE! Attach the white board to the stand, use it on table, or hang it on the wall!

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If you continue to hack this ideas I would love to know what improvements you make!

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6 thoughts on “DIY Mobile Whiteboard

  1. Looks great! One question, you haven’t mentioned PVC cement or anything to fasten the pipe and fittings together. Are they holding up without cement? Would be nice to be able to quickly disassemble for storage but I worry it may fall apart or fall over.

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    1. Kevin, I didn’t use any cement and they are holding up great! I did place some gorilla glue that I already had on the base pieces because they had accidentally been kicked off a few times. Other than that, they hold up great and the pvc around the whiteboard hasn’t come apart yet. We pick them up and move them frequently with no problems. For storage purposes I would just take the base piece off that act like the likes and stack all of the whiteboards next to each other.

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    1. It cost $70 to make three of them. I would say that one would cost $25 – $30 and you will have some left over panel/shower board if you used the same dimensions I did. If you want smaller boards they would be cheaper.

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