White Metal Magnetic Noticeboard Free– ( plus free “fridge” strip magnets)

How to Make a Free white metal Magnetic noticeboard – ( plus free fridge strip magnets ) in photos and easy step by step instructions. easy s

Here’s how  to save money and   make  your own  noticeboard from a recycled freezer or fridge door . (another  “how to”  E Book in pictures project from photographer and author John Coxon.

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Introduction

Working all hours on my photography  business at home in my office I converted from a small bedroom, I had been investigating the cost of a pin board to cover a space on the wall under the bookshelves I had made because the small cork board I had from a pound shot was too small for my purposes. The best material for pin board is called “sundaela” ; it was always quite expensive but I was shocked recently when my local timber merchant  told me it was now special order only  and £70 a board ! I thought of alternatives such as plasterboard with cork floor tiles glued on the surface.

Meanwhile, coming home from a brief trip to the local shops I noticed one of my neighbours had left a discarded and conveniently separated  freezer door, intact ,  outside her gate at the rear of her house. As it looked pretty close to the size of board I needed, I salvaged it.

WARNING ( If you are discarding old fridges and freezers there may be a potential hazard while waiting to be collected  to kids playing outdoors or to curious animals that may get trapped inside what are airtight compartments when the door is closed.  I know of at least one child who suffocated when he had been hiding in a fridge that had been fly tipped irresponsibly on waste ground near his home.  The grip of the magnetic seals on these doors is surprisingly strong and the little boy was unable to push the cabinet door freezer door up and open and  tragically lost his life.  Since then if getting rid of such items I either remove the doors or the brown magnet seals to prevent any accident s.

From previous experience salvaging for free thin metal sheets  I knew that so called household “white goods”, washing machines, freezers and fridges etc ar basically mild thin steel boxes with insulated sides and  doors which have  magnetically rubber like sealed doors .  I had reclaimed strip magnets from fridge doors seals many times for various uses including when I used to make wooden toys. I had   included some designs of fun fridge magnets in my first craft book published way back in 1987.

you'll need glue gun & glue sticks & "Stanley knife"

you’ll need glue gun & glue sticks & “Stanley knife”

 

also a cross cut saw, screwdriver and decorator's scraper . ( I used a cordless power screw driver ease of use & speed!

also a cross cut saw, screwdriver and decorator’s scraper . ( I used a cordless power screw driver ease of use & speed!

 

A discarded "combo" freezer compartment door showing magnetic seal in brown , side of the metal face & plastic inner surface. This is simple to deconstruct to make the noticeboard.

A discarded “combo” freezer compartment door showing magnetic seal in brown , side of the metal face & plastic inner surface. This is simple to deconstruct to make the noticeboard.

Having wiped down the door and gathered the tools I needed, (A1 ) “Stanley”  knife, cordless power screwdriver with Philips screwdriver bit ( or ordinary Phillips heads screw driver) scraper, hand saw  and , if you want to have some fun making fridge magnets , scissors, a glue gun and glue sticks . and a small dish or other container for saving and recycling the screws.

Deconstruction

Fridge and freezer doors are a sandwich of thin steel, insulating foam and a plastic backing, the later of which covers the foam and screws from the inside to the metal door. All around the door frame is a usually brown soft plastic or rubber seal which encloses long  lengths of magnetic strips which you can recover very easily.

cut between the door edge where the seal meets it.

cut between the door edge where the seal meets it

 

 

take care using the knife to slice into the rubber seal and cut all the way round the door edge.

take care using the knife to slice into the rubber seal and cut all the way round the door edge.

The stip magnets we want to save for later are enveloped insite the soft flexible seal – you can feel them –  cut between the magnet and the door face all the way around the door. Then run the blade all the way round underneath the seal and ease the entire brown lengths away from the door and put to one side .

Once you have made the two cuts ease the seal away from the door.

Once you have made the two cuts ease the seal away from the door.

Next  from the reverse side with the plastic of the inside of the door facing you, undo each Philips screw, keep the screws together in a dish for later use, and separate the plastic inner from the white spray painted steel door .

unscrew all the phillips head screws which hold the plastic inner door face in place - keep the self tapper screws in a container to reuse another time.

unscrew all the phillips head screws which hold the plastic inner door face in place – keep the self tapper screws in a container to reuse another time.

 

Free small self tapper phillip's head screws  to add to my tin of reclaimed screws of various types and sizes for other projects.

Free small self tapper phillip’s head screws to add to my tin of reclaimed screws of various types and sizes for other projects.

 

Depending on the design, the foam may simply lift off but in this case it was stuck to the back of the door and proud of the edges of the door by about an inch so I needed to remove it.

cut deep into the insulalting  from downwards flush with the exposed sharp metal inside edge of the door

cut deep into the insulalting from downwards flush with the exposed sharp metal inside edge of the door

To remove it I made cuts with the knife all round the perimeter into the foam at two angles , to leave me a neat edge but also to give me purchase to detach the foam.

Next push the scapper edge down, flush with the metal door edge right to the hitl - do this all the way round the door. this makes sawing easier and the deep cut helps keep the cut straight.

Next push the scapper edge down, flush with the metal door edge right to the hitl – do this all the way round the door. this makes sawing easier and the deep cut helps keep the cut straight.

Next I pushed down with a scraper into the underside of the foam against the metal of the door, again all the way round.

Saw down steadily starting with the top corner of the foam furtherest away from you.turn the door when  the saw has gone as far as it will go and repeat the process untill the foam comes away.

Saw down steadily starting with the top corner of the foam furtherest away from you.turn the door when the saw has gone as far as it will go and repeat the process untill the foam comes away.

 

Taking a hand saw I then simply sawed , cutting flush with the sharp metal edge until the foam came away in one piece. I was left with foam  I put that to one side as insulation for another small project I am planning rather than throw it away.

the insulating foam will hold board pins - see if you can thonk of a use rather than throw it away - I saved it to insualte a small pet project I am working on.

the insulating foam will hold board pins – see if you can thonk of a use rather than throw it away – I saved it to insualte a small pet project I am working on.

The edges of the thin metal when contructed into a door don’t offer a hard but when deconstructing be careful  lest you get a cut from what are very sharp edges and I got cauight today I am ashamed to say.

thumb knucle cut

 

when you have sawn off the prominent foam you should be left with a level surface of addtional foam and thos can be covered by sticking a sheet of recycled cardboard over it - i decided to remove the foam using the  scraper.

when you have sawn off the prominent foam you should be left with a level surface of addtional foam and thos can be covered by sticking a sheet of recycled cardboard over it – I decided to remove the foam using the scraper.

With the two lines of cuts down to the metal it was easy to use the scraper again to ease the remaining foam away from the back of the door surface and those chunks I did actually dispose of.

the remaining foam can be neatly removed using pressure on the decorator's scaper to  edge it off. the initial cuts you made ensire a neat edge

the remaining foam can be neatly removed using pressure on the decorator’s scaper to edge it off. the initial cuts you made ensire a neat edge

Door plus the plastic inner face which is like a large tray - I saved it for later use in the garden as a pot tray.

Door plus the plastic inner face which is like a large tray – I saved it for later use in the garden as a pot tray.

This is the door minus the foam. You could tidy it up by gluing recycled Large piece of cardboard to the back but since this was going to go against my office wall there was no need.

Recovering the strip magnets.

Feel for the flat hard face of the long strip magnets and run the knife blade along the middle the full lenght of the brown seal. do this for all four pieces you should have.

Feel for the flat hard face of the long strip magnets and run the knife blade along the middle the full lenght of the brown seal. do this for all four pieces you should have.

 

Turn one length of the seal you have separated flat an run the knife along its length and then prise it open and remove the length of magnetic strip – repeat for all four length.

 

Separate the magnets carefully by pulling sideways of the cut  and ease the magnets out. Discard the brown seal covers only if you are unable to recycle different types of plastic.

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I noticed that the edges of the door were untidy through wear and thus trimmed the two longest strips to cover the  entire length of the long edges on both sides having left the brown plastic cap and base cap in place  and the strips made a tidy finish , and a good way to store them for future use when necessary.

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DSC_3120

 

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The strips can be carefully broken into length or simply and easily cut to length using ordinary scissors.

 

Making “fridge” magnets.

Essentially if you have a heat glue gun like this you can stick a cut piece of strip magnet to a whole range of items which you might like to make to decorate your board or existing fridge or freezer. I’m a fan of animation and especially this Gromit dog charater and his expression. Here is how I turned him into a magnetic dog.

one side of the strip magnets is grooved, the other smooth. Apply glue with the glue gun to the groovy side!

one side of the strip magnets is grooved, the other smooth. Apply glue with the glue gun to the groovy side!

Simply wait till the glue gun heats up and a clear bead of glue appears at the tip. Squeeze the trigger and pipe the glue onto the reverse of the magnet strip you have cut with scissors to size. Uusually strip magnets reclaimed from fridge doors are smooth on one side and grooved on the other so glue the groovy side and attach that the the back of what you want to be magnetic. apply the glued magent piece to the back of the object you want “magnetised .”

 

a variety of small objects can be turned into"fridge" magnets this way - here is a favourite animation character I like getting the magnet treatment

a variety of small objects can be turned into”fridge” magnets this way – here is a favourite animation character I like getting the magnet treatment

I had a plywood cut out of my first name I hand cut out with a hand held fretsaw and thought it would be fun to make that magnetic . I also wanted to make a couple of small spring paper clips to hold postits and help with the organisation of my notice board.

for larger objects apply two small peieces of stip magnet so it doesn't slip when in place

for larger objects apply two small peieces of strip magnet so it doesn’t slip when in place

 

Taking care to keep the hot melted glue away from your skin squeeze out a small amount of glue onto the side of the strip magnet that is grooved. Press onto the back of the object and allow to cool.  Here are a couple I made  attached magnetically on the actual noticeboard just made  plus a little corner “parking” spot  for some short off cuts of strip magnets I cut to the useful size I’d need  on the   board when in place.

home made fridge magnets

the spring paper clip handy for gripping and keeping organsised for example a  series of “post-its”

the finished board in place , actuall held in place by my printer.

the finished board in place , actuall held in place by my printer.

 

Here is the finished board in place actually virtually exactly the right size for the gap here completely by accident  and I wouldn’t advise trying to cut down a door skin because to the sharp edges but also because it is hard to cut painted thin metal without denting and distorting it.

home made frid

The small spring paper clip with green post its sticks by magic – in fact I located a powerful magnet on the reverse side of the door where I wants the clip to stay. My calendar is suspended on a powerful small magnet which has a hook screwed into it.

Here are some designs of simplee fridge magnets I have designed and made, cutting out with a hand held fretsaw and using food  colouring pains and dyes for decoration,

simple drawing directly onto birch plywoord and cut out by hand with a fret saw.

simple drawing directly onto birch plywood and cut out by hand with a fret saw.

 

john coxon photographer , author and hand  tool craftsman.

 

nikon pro

 

I remember making this life size  macaw for a proposed second book, a sequel to my first, and that included a range of unique originals designs , like my first book, . the prswident of Sterling International declared my first effort ,50 unique wooden toys to my own design, the “best how to book he had ever seen” but I decided back then , even though I had designed and made fifty new toys not to take up his offer as I  felt that the percentage take by the publishers didn’t make it worth while so I still have it on hold. I intend now to publish it myself in Ebook parts so watch this space ! (The macaw was cut by me, by hand, using a hand held old fashioned fretsaw, my favourite hand tool  and  various simple , easy to learn, techniques and I used food colouring to get the colours.  I was  professional special educator for 25 years working in inner city schools hence eyars of experience using desk top and other skills to nake effective learrning material in plain English.

 

Here are a number of the original photos I took having  designed another  fifity  original toy items them for a proposed second book on the subject illustrating  the range of fresh ideas I come up  with:-

Easy to Make Wooden Toys  2 – new designs reasy for my s econd book on the subject in my Flickr based slide show here   Book Two

 

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