This tip was born out of the frustration of not being able to find a commercially available clipboard big enough to accommodate a 24-in. by 36-in. set of building plans. After rendering one too many prints unreadable by holding them down with 2×6 blocks, I headed for the hardware store and bought two sets of cheap, spring-loaded screen-door hinges. As shown in the drawing, I screwed them to a piece of scrap birch plywood left over from a cabinet job. Each pair of hinges is screwed to a 2-in. by 22-in. clip. The spring-loaded leaves of each hinge are screwed to the plywood back through blocks the same thickness as the clips.
After discovering the significant strength of even those cheap hinges, I snagged two handles (left over from the same cabinet job) and affixed one to each clip. A few trips through the router table with a roundover bit left the edges friendly, and three holes (one centered, two on 16-in. centers) to hang the board from gave me a pretty handy tool that kept prints from blowing to the next development. The clipboard has survived two houses and brought more than a few suggestions of putting a patent on it. One last tip: Use wide, clear packing tape around all the edges of your prints. You need to put it only on one side to prevent tears from starting on the edges. It’s cheaper than laminating the prints and works almost as well.
Ben Miller, Kalona, IA
Edited and Illustrated by Charles Miller
From Fine Homebuilding #180