Best way to frame a chalkboard

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Forum topic by JMott posted 11-05-2014 10:29 PM 1076 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8 posts in 1958 days

11-05-2014 10:29 PM

My wife has been asking for a while for me to build her a large chalk board framed by some reclaimed barn wood I found a while back. The chalkboard will be made by priming and chalkboard painting a piece of 4’ x 6’, 3/16” hardboard.

My question is what is the best way to frame the hardboard?

My first thought was to simply cut slots in the frame and “float” the hardboard like a panel in a cabinet door. The other option is to rabbit the frame 3/16” and flush mount the hardboard with the back of the frame. Neither way is any more difficult or time consuming than the other, but I thought I’d ask if anyone has an opinion one way or the other.


8 replies so far

View newwoodbutcher's profile


733 posts in 2812 days

#1 posted 11-05-2014 11:05 PM

I would cut a rabbit to fit

-- Ken

View AandCstyle's profile


3023 posts in 2219 days

#2 posted 11-06-2014 12:08 AM

+1 for the rabbet. That way if something should ever damage the hardboard, it can be easily replaced.

-- Art

View FellingStudio's profile


93 posts in 1645 days

#3 posted 11-06-2014 04:29 PM

What would concern me more than the joinery in your plan is that 3/16” hardboard is going to flex pretty good when somebody is writing on it with chalk unless it is pressed firmly against a wall. A rabbet and a frame is a good plan, but you will have to attach the 3/16” hardboard to the wall independently of the frame (probably with some sort of construction adhesive.)

-- Jesse Felling -

View MT_Stringer's profile


3160 posts in 3193 days

#4 posted 11-06-2014 05:50 PM

Here ya go. I built a frame for a tile mosaic my wife put on the wall above and behind our stove in the kitchen. I think the same principal would apply. Cut a rabbet and attach the blackboard to the frame.

Hope this helps.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View bigblockyeti's profile


5085 posts in 1683 days

#5 posted 11-06-2014 06:56 PM

I would cut a slot, if anything were to happen to the board itself, it would likely need only paint + you don’t have to fasten it with anything. I usually reserve rabbets for a frame that would hold glass and have a greater chance of complete destruction necessitating replacement.

View Yonak's profile


986 posts in 1483 days

#6 posted 11-06-2014 07:11 PM

I don’t believe it really makes a lot of difference. The slot design may make the entire assembly a bit more rigid, counting on the additional integrity of the board rather than just the frame itself, if the board isn’t mounted quite firmly in the rabbeted area.

I’m curious how you plan to join the corners of the frame.

View JMott's profile


8 posts in 1958 days

#7 posted 11-06-2014 08:45 PM

Thanks for the responses.

Jesse – I agree that the hardboard might have some flex when writing, but I’m not too concerned because it will primarily be a decorative piece. My wife also decided she wants it 3’ x 6’ instead of 4’ x 6’ which will help with the rigidity.

Yonak – I plan to glue and v nail the miters.

View Yonak's profile


986 posts in 1483 days

#8 posted 11-07-2014 04:40 AM

I plan to glue and v nail the miters.

- JMott

Then I would choose the slot method for rigidity’s sake.

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