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Blog entry by BritBoxmaker posted 09-29-2010 01:13 PM 2592 reads 1 time favorited 28 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Clipboard series Part 2: Old Friends »

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before I do a fairly mundane day job, stacking shelves. One of the main tools for this is a clipboard, to hold my picklist. It invariably goes missing. Either I leave it in a trolley somewhere or, worse still, somebody ‘borrows’ it without asking. Hence the cry ‘Where’s me clipboard!’. The use of ‘me’ instead of ‘my’ is a dialect feature of East London and Estuary English which, along with commeritis, I can’t shake off.

So I’ve decided to make my own. How hard can it be? I’ve already decided on a 3 mm Birch ply board, veneered on both sides. I used to do a lot of veneering, parquetry (regular geometric shapes), back in the day. The first thing to do was search out Enola Gay, my veneer clamp. There is an ‘atomic’ theme to the way I name my clamps etc, as Patron once noted. They include

Enola Gay – Veneer Clamp (1220mm x 310mm)
Little Boy – Veneer Caul (400mm x 300mm)
Fat Man – Veneer Caul ( 400mm x 500mm)
Los Alamos – 45° Mitre jig (sled)
Trinity – 30°-60° jig.

I digress. To the best of my recollection I haven’t opened Enola up since we moved here in 2004. I found her at the back of the wood pile and removed the spiders (ugh Arachnids!) etc and here she is

The first layer was some fairly unimpressive ash, ideal for the working face of the board.

Next and sadly last layer held Sapele, some kind of Lacewood and a thin strip of American Black Walnut.

This gave me an idea. When I was heavily into veneering I used to make writing slopes. Here are the last two, partially completed ones.

On top of which I found the rest of my Walnut stash and some small bits of Ripple Sycamore. Together with the clip I rescued from a badly beaten old clipboard here are my materials.

I plan on veneering the working face with one solid piece of Ash and the rear will hopefully be some form of Louis Cube (Tumbling Blocks) pattern, suitably edged for wear and tear. Although I may not have enough veneer to pattern the whole of the back, we’ll see. I plan on finishing the board in Yacht varnish. Its going to have to take a lot of punishment. Not least from my steaming tea mug stood on it.

This has to be easier to do than start Impossible V, which is in the pipeline. All I can say to people new to patterns is ‘Beware the Tumbling Blocks. Look where they lead to!’

Be seeing you!

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

28 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2826 days

#1 posted 09-29-2010 01:20 PM

Martyn, this looks like it is going to be an interesting project and, with your imagination, there is no telling where this one will go but I am sure it will end up being a unique clipboard, to say the least.

Of course, you do realize that once your co-workers see yours they will want one of their own. :)

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4562 posts in 2041 days

#2 posted 09-29-2010 01:28 PM

At a ‘reasonable price’ of course. That should put them off.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 2119 days

#3 posted 09-29-2010 01:43 PM

Huu Martyn but sorry once at work you will never see it again
after the first tea break
my adwice to you is set up a production line from start …you will need it to overcome
how fast they seems to disapear….LOL

I´m looking forward to see this

take care

View Don "Dances with Wood" Butler's profile

Don "Dances with Wood" Butler

1051 posts in 2400 days

#4 posted 09-29-2010 01:50 PM

Martyn, please be warned by my experience.
Once coworkers become envious of anything you have there will be some one of them that will decide it is, indeed, his (or hers) and expropriate it.
I had to resolve this problem by labelling everything, “Stolen from Don Butler”.
It actually worked and today, many years later, I still have things left over from that era with those inscriptions still there.

So perhaps you can do something like that in the veneers!
I’d like to see that!


-- Will trade wife's yarn for wood.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

8486 posts in 1924 days

#5 posted 09-29-2010 02:01 PM

I have a big box of veneer from Lee Valley and have used some of it here and there for back boards for some of my scroll projects or thin overlays. This will be very exciting to see how you utilize veneers to make your beautiful designs. Without even seeing it, I am filled with anticipation as to the outcome of this project. I am sure it will be something that will be another masterpiece.

(No pressure to you there, Martyn. Just an educated guess!)

I can’t wait to see this!


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View patron's profile


13395 posts in 2345 days

#6 posted 09-29-2010 02:10 PM


tow chain

studded necklace


happy stocker !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View a1Jim's profile


113641 posts in 2581 days

#7 posted 09-29-2010 02:14 PM

Sounds like a good project,just don’t put to much pressure on Enola gay we wouldn’t want her to blow :)

-- Custom furniture

View SPalm's profile


5163 posts in 2886 days

#8 posted 09-29-2010 02:27 PM

Sweet. This will be fun to watch how you develop this.
Sounds like a nice project.

I have never named my tools, collections, or jigs. Maybe it is time to start.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Cozmo35's profile


2199 posts in 2040 days

#9 posted 09-29-2010 03:13 PM

Sound like you had a “BLAST” working on this project! ....I know, I am reaching! :-)

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 2439 days

#10 posted 09-29-2010 03:25 PM

You know naming tools and things seems to be a Brit Trait. All the cars I had over there were given names and 3 bass guitars and the big bass amp too. It’s just like Brits often name their houses – this is quite rare over here. I was wondering if other Commonwealth countries give names too?
Good luck worth your projects, a new title of Clipboard Czar may be bestowed on you. :-)
I went to school in East London where funny dialects are questioned with “Why don’t you Speak Proper, like what I Do”? I often use Cockney slang over here to maintain privacy – people think you have lost your marballs.
Have a great day.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View Don "Dances with Wood" Butler's profile

Don "Dances with Wood" Butler

1051 posts in 2400 days

#11 posted 09-29-2010 03:36 PM

Pardon my cheeky behavior, but I have to differ with you, Roger.
Naming things isn’t just a British thing.
I have practically no Brit blood (well, maybe a smidge) and I name things all the time.
We had a Volkswagon bus we named Brunhilda.
The last three Outbacks we had are named Princess, Prince and King.
I confess I haven’t named our house, but it’s a shame. The old dear should have a name after 206 years!

-- Will trade wife's yarn for wood.

View sras's profile


4211 posts in 2134 days

#12 posted 09-29-2010 04:19 PM

Looking forward to seeing what you create – it is always a treat!
Maybe you can work your initials into the artwork on the back, that may help with any inappropriate acquisitions.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 2439 days

#13 posted 09-29-2010 05:17 PM

Don – Here ya go——-

As a surname, “Butler” was originated by Theobald le Botiller FitzWalter (Lord of Preston). Lord FitzWalter accompanied King John to Ireland to help secure Norman areas. When men Walter led killed Dermot MacCarthy, prince of Desmond, Walter was granted land holdings of Baggotrath, County Dublin, and the Stein River lands around what is now Trinity College Dublin. He was also given an important fief, on which Walter both founded an abbey and established his Irish seat. Upon returning to England, King John endowed Walter with the hereditary office “Butler to the Lord of Ireland” in 1177; some evidence indicates that he was also dubbed “Butler of Ireland”. As such, he had the right to pour the King’s wine. This title can be defined as Governor by today’s standards. His son, Theobalde Butler, was the first to hold the name and pass it to his descendants. Walter’s grandson was James Butler, 1st Duke Of Ormonde.[46] Kilkenny Castle was the main seat of the Butler family.

Any particular reason for giving your outbacks such Imperial Names ? Must be in the genes. lol

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View grizzman's profile


7600 posts in 2308 days

#14 posted 09-29-2010 05:42 PM we go….......ya know we have these great stores over here called wal mart…they have these really utilitarian type clip board..i believe there made from layers of cardboard…and probably exotic cardboard…from south Mongolia…i think…i would be glad to ship you an American exotic clip board…maybe with a label from one of the dog food makers….how about Purina…...or chow chow……i know you might be tempted with this just think on it….lol….grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 2308 days

#15 posted 09-29-2010 05:51 PM

I wonder if that flying clamp will produce a flying clipboard?


-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

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