diy magnetic board

DIY: How To Make a Magnetic Board on a Budget

Magnetic boards can be found in almost any room of the house, or at the office, for that matter. These practical items can help you organize and display everything from crafts and sewing notions to children’s artwork and school papers to dried herbs and spices. Here are some tips for making a DIY magnetic board without breaking the bank.

Start With a Pre-Made Frame

The easiest – and most cost effective – way to make a magnetic board is start with a frame or framed piece of artwork. Remove the glass, cardboard backing, and the art. Then use the cardboard rectangle as a template for a piece of sheet metal.

Select The Right Metal Sheet

Though you made find small sizes of metal sheet at a hobby store, a metal supply stores carry a larger variety of steel sheet. Make sure you don’t choose aluminum sheet, because it’s not magnetic. Galvanized steel sheet will resist rust and corrosion over the years. Choose a thickness that’s easy to work with and not too heavy – for example, 16-gauge galvanized steel sheet, which is about 1/16-inch thick.

Cut The Sheet to Fit the Cardboard Template

Very small-gauge steel sheet can be cut fairly easily with tin snips, or you can ask the hardware or metal supply store for custom cut-to-size sheet.

Prepare The Frame

Before assembling the magnetic board, you may want to change the look of the frame to fit the style of your home. If it is bare wood, sand it lightly and then stain it, following the directions on the package. If the frame was already stained, start by sanding it down to the wood grain before re-staining or painting. If you’re going to paint the frame, you may need to sand it and coat it with a couple layers of primer, let it dry, and then apply the final color.

Assemble The Magnetic Board

Insert the steel sheet into the frame, followed by the cardboard backing. Use the same hardware provided to lock them into the back of the frame. Add hanging hardware as needed, and then hang and enjoy!

For a wide range of steel sheet, visit Industrial Metal Supply today.


How to differentiate sheet vs plate

What is the Difference between Sheet, Plate, and Foil?

Aluminum sheet and aluminum plate are both widely used and respected due to the metal’s light-weight strength, along with high corrosion resistance. But what is the difference between sheet, plate, and foil?

When choosing between the three types of products, the only difference is the thickness – with plate being thickest and foil the thinnest. However, the exact thicknesses separating the categories depend upon the application, the metal in question, the gauge, and product specifications.

Independent & Inconsistent Metal Standards

Historically, gauges were the standards used to specify the thickness of metal wires before new, more accurate measurement technology was developed. Each industry created its own standards independently, and as a result, gauge numbers vary for aluminum, copper, brass, and different types of steel.

For example, the Dictionary of Units of Measurement defines 10 gauge aluminum as being 0.1019 inches thick, while 10 gauge standard steel is 0.1345 inches and a 10 gauge galvanized steel is 0.1382 inches.

As a result of this confusing state of affairs, the American Society for Testing and Measurement (ASTM) says in specification ASTM A480-10a, ‘The use of gage number is discouraged as being an archaic term of limited usefulness not having general agreement on meaning.’

Modern Metal Thickness Measurements

The common practice today is to specify the exact thickness of the product in question, thought the gauge may also be listed. In the case of aluminum and its alloys, sheet is typically defined as a piece of metal that is less than 0.249 inches thick. Aluminum plate is 0.25 inches and thicker, while aluminum foil is defined as anything thinner than 0.006 inches.

Due to their superior physical properties, aluminum sheet and plate are sought after for many different industrial applications. Aluminum plate is used for heavy-duty and structural applications, such as aerospace, military, and rail and sea transportation.

Aluminum sheet is the most common form of the metal, and is used in a wide range of industries, from food & beverage canning to cookware, appliance, and auto manufacturing. It is especially useful for construction of roofing, gutters, and siding.

Contact Industrial Metal Supply for your aluminum sheet & plate needs, or if you have questions.