The Child’s Chalkboard
Here's a nifty weekend project that will give the kids a great place to excersie their artistic talents, practice their math and leave important messags for parents, as well.
Cut the drawer bottoms (K) to size from 1/4" birch or maple plywood...or hardboard (Masonite), if preferred. Test assemble all drawer pieces, disassemble, glue, clamp, check for squareness, wipe off any excess glue with a damp cloth and set aside to dry.
Once the assembled drawer box and drawers have dried completely, carefully sand all assemblies smooth and flush with a belt sander, then finish sand them with fine sandpaper. Be sure to remove any sharp edges or corners that could injure children.
Rout a 1/4" deep by 3/8" wide rabbet around the inside back of the frame to accept the chalkboard. Square the corners with a chisel.
Ready-made chalkboards are available through office supply and specialty stores, or, if you prefer, you can make your own by spraying tempered hardboard (Masonite) with a special chalkboard paint that's available at craft stores.
Attach the completed drawer box assembly to the frame assembly with #8 x 1-1/4" wood screws. Drill pilot holes in the chalkboard and frame assembly to accept #6 x 5/8" wood screws but do not attach them at this time. Cut and glue the runners (L) to the bottoms of the drawers. These thin, 1/32" x 1/2" x 4-1/2" strips will make the drawers slide easier and give you an equally spaced gap around all drawers.
If you like, you can add the decorative apple and "ABC" appliques that are cut on your scroll saw from 1/4" plywood or Masonite. Paint them with a high gloss enamel, then use the same enamel to paint the matching drawer pulls.
Finish the entire chalkboard project (not the actual chalkboard) with a coat of semi-gloss polyurethane. Mount the chalkboard into the frame, attach the appliques and insert the drawer pulls.