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Thread: Material to make dry erase whiteboards?

  1. #1

    Material to make dry erase whiteboards?

    Hopefully someone can help me get a quick education on the materials use to make the dry erase or whiteboards you see in offices and schools

    What is the proper name of the sheet material(s) used in making these?
    Is there more than one type/brand of sheet material and which ones are better?
    What sizes (width/length and thickness) does it come in)?
    Who makes/distributes/sells the material?
    Any ideas on cost, i.e. a 4x8 sheet?
    Any special properties/concerns in working with (cutting, sawing, etc) the material?

    Also, I have seen a wallpaper type material that is applied to whole walls (floor to ceiling) for the same dry erase purpose. Any information on this product would also be helpful.

    Many thanks.

    Ben

  2. #2
    Hi Ben

    We homeschool our children so the dry erase boards are used daily.

    I've used what is called Tub Surround, it is about 1/8 very dense hardboard with a glossy white finish on the other side.

    It costs less than 15.00 for a 4x8 sheet around here.

    This is not the exact same material as a store bought dry erase board , but it does last as long in IMO.

    Tom

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Go to your local borg and get some Wilsonart laminate. The white pattern number is 1573 and get number 1 finish, that is gloss. Get yourself some contact cement and some plywood and glue together. Viola, you have dry erase board. Be sure to put a backer sheet on the back or the erase board or you will get a warped dry erase board. That is how the comercial dry erase boards are made. Hope this helps.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Benjimin Young View Post
    Also, I have seen a wallpaper type material that is applied to whole walls (floor to ceiling) for the same dry erase purpose. Any information on this product would also be helpful.

    Many thanks.

    Ben
    You mean this stuff?

    http://www.mywhiteboards.com/polritdryerw.html

    George
    2B1ASK1

  5. #5
    My local HD sells both dry-erase and chalkboard material in 2x4 sheets. I think the dry-erase are around $3.00 and the chalkboards are around $8.00. The dry-erase material they sell looks like 1/4" masonite with a very shiny white surface on it.

    Unrelated, but I'm considering trying a piece of it laminated on top of my table saw outfeed and extension tables. It seems like it would be very slick and easy to clean.

  6. #6
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Cowie View Post
    Hi Ben

    ...I've used what is called Tub Surround, it is about 1/8 very dense hardboard with a glossy white finish on the other side.
    ..Tom
    That's exactly the same thing our school district buys for our whiteboards. It works great. I've been using it ever since I started using computers in my classroom (as the earliest Commodores, Apples and radio Shack - long before IBM) because I wanted to eliminate the chalk dust, besides it allowed me to use color easier than with colored chalk on green boards. I bought some sheets, cut them to size and screwed them over my green boards. The stuff has held up well to daily classroom use.
    Don Bullock
    Woebgon Bassets
    AKC Championss

    The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything.
    -- Edward John Phelps

  7. #7
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    As an alternative, the Wall Talker's material can be bonded to just about anything you want, although I don't know if it's available in small quantities. We used it in my group's Miami labs and classrooms and it basically turned the entire walls (and room dividers) into white boards...
    “Never raise your hands to your children, it leaves your groin unprotected.” - Red Buttons

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  8. #8
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    A little off topic, but, I used this stuff for a medicine cabinet mirror backer and small drawer bottoms for a bathroom remodel I did. I was surprised to find this stuff is durable and the make-up and other marks clean up very easily.

  9. #9
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    One of the dry erase boards I was looking at for my office said it was Melamine (so don't go feeding them to your cat) But the tub board sounds like the best idea since it would be more durable when scrubbing off marker left too long and it would be cheap. If you are making frames, make the panel removable since they eventually go bad. Where I used to work we had some that were so worn you couldn't erase them--you had to clean them with the cleaner every time.

  10. #10
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    Another option....Rustoleum makes "Dry Erase Paint" which allows you to make any surface into a dry erase board. Believe its a two part exoxy type paint. Never used it...

    Good Luck!
    Kim

  11. #11
    who would have thought that so many woodworkers knew so much about dry erase boards. This is great information. With so many options I now have to make a decision, Tub Surround, Wall Talker, Dry Erase Paint, Wilsonart laminate, Opti-Rite, hmmm. Thanks!!

    Matt, great idea on making the frame removable
    George, that is exactly the stuff I was refeering too re wall covering.
    Steven, I like the idea of using it on an outfeed table. Be great for quicl figuring and on the fly sketching. I never though of using dryerase in the shop.

    Ben
    thats not a crack its a designed flaw

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Benjimin Young View Post
    I never though of using dryerase in the shop.

    Ben
    thats not a crack its a designed flaw
    I have a magnetic dry-erase board in the shop I use all the time. I can sketch on it, make shopping notes on it, and also stick things up with a magnet. For the board, I used the side of an old smooth porcelon fridge. Cut it out with tin snips, square it and put a frame around it.

    George
    2B1ASK1

  13. #13
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    My outfeed table is 4x7 melamine and I have drawn on it with pencil and dry eraser many times.

    I like the laminate method. You may be able to get vertical grade laminate which is a bit thinner for less but the regular counter top grade is about $1.50 a sq ft at most.

    I was tasked with building a dry eraser board / paper pad holder a while ago and my research pointed to the laminate. He ended up purchasing a commercial model so I never got to try it out.

    Good luck

    Joe
    For best results, try not to do anything stupid.

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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Chritz View Post
    My outfeed table is 4x7 melamine and I have drawn on it with pencil and dry eraser many times.

    Joe
    Joe,
    Do you mean the melamine that has a core of particle board? I was concerned particle board would be to flimsy for the outfeed, and so I wanted to use MDF and then cover it with something. If yours is particle board though, how has it done? How much support did you give it?

    Thanks

  15. #15
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    Steven,

    I made my outfeed table with a plywood undercarriage and then used melamine for the table surface. I made a fold-down extension table, so it is a little heavy for that, but overall it works fine. The reason I ended up using it was because I had a bunch of left over scraps. If I wouldn't have had the scrap pieces I would have used 3/4 birch or oak, then laminated it. It does scratch easily if I drag something heavy across it. And yes markings do wipe off easily.

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