Primary Toolboard - A3

From DT Online

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Using only a few additional skills and techniques, together with some everyday materials and 'found objects', children can work in safety to produce an almost limitless variety of constructions and working models to enrich their learning generally.

At its most basic, the list of equipment required, can simply comprise: pencil, ruler, pencil sharpener, scissors, paper punch, stapler, junior hacksaw and a small clamp-on vice, together with PVA glue, paper clips, bulldog clips, wooden clothes pegs and adhesive tapes.

This basic tool kit can be supplemented with other equipment, some of which is for adult use or for use only under direct adult supervision, such as: Craft Knife, Precision Mitre Saw, Coping Saw, Hot Glue Gun, Low Voltage Soldering Iron, Hand Drill.

All Design and Technology tools, equipment and materials should be well organised and stored in a way which makes it clear which is for general use, which must used only under direct adult supervision, and which is for adult use only.

A3 Toolboard

One storage solution for Design and Technology tools and equipment is to rack them on Toolboards. These help make it clear what is available, where tools and equipment can be found - and to where they should be returned after use.

A Toolboard approximately A3 size can accommodate a basic Primary D&T Toolkit. Their size is such that they are easy too handle and transport and can be used 'back to back' to create portable Tool Caddies.

A3 Tool Caddies may be brought out as required to supplement wall-mounted A2 Toolboards which are kept on permanent display as a continuing prompt and reminder of what is available for use.

A3 Toolblock Construction

Some dimensions are given for a typical Toolblock suitable for an A3 size Toolboard designed to accommodate a basic Primary D&T Toolkit. The range of tools, and therefore dimensions, should be varied, of course, to suit any deviation from this norm.

Spacing blocks are cut to length (e.g. using a Precision Mitre Saw) and to a strip of plywood. The Toolblock is completed by gluing on another plywood strip and any holes drilled after this 'sandwich' assembly.

This construction avoids the use of any specialised tools or techniques.


A3 Toolboards & Boxes for Additional Tools

The Toolboard itself can be made quite simply by cutting out from a sheet of 8mm to 12mm thick plywood and wall-mounted. The tools are held within purpose-made Toolblocks which makes checking and managing their use easier.

Provision can be made to attach various removable Toolboxes. These can be used: to contain some materials which are always available for general use; to contain additional tools and equipment or to contain resources for a particular topic.

A simple mounting 'button' can be made by bolting a repair washer against a MDF, or similar, spacing disc. The spacing disc should be slightly thicker than the rear panel of the Toolbox, holes are drilled through the rear panel (e.g. with a Hole Saw) larger than the washer and all arranged such that the bottom of the box is level with the bottom of the Toolboard when fixed (i.e. top of spacer = top of hole in rear panel).

Toolblock Dimensions to Accommodate Additional Tools

A3 Toolboards containing a basic D&T Toolkit can be duplicated for larger group work or supplemented by others containing extra tools and equipment needed for a particular topic or those to be used only under direct supervision.

Dimensions are given for a Toolblock suitable for an A3 size Toolboard designed to accommodate additional tools. The range of tools, and therefore dimensions, should be varied, of course, to suit any deviation from this norm.


Toolboards & Boxes Caddy

The modest size of A3 Toolboards and Toolboxes makes them suitable for grouping together 'back to back' to create portable Tool Caddies for use in a Design and Technology Corner for example

In this configuration different combinations of Toolboards and Toolboxes can be placed together to not only provide a basic Primary D&T Toolkit but also any additional tools and materials required for the topic in hand (e.g. .an Electrical Circuits Toolboard and/or Toolbox can be added as needed).

A3 Toolboard & Box - alternative design

An alternative design is to make the Toolblocks an integral part of the Tool Boxes which are themselves permanently fixed to the A3 Toolboards rather than being detachable.

Note: The Toolboards are shown with a natural timber finish but painted in suitable colours may be preferred. Also, the Toolboxes are illustrated with through Dovetail Joints but any corner joint, including simple screw and glue, can be used.

Primary schools linked to a neighbouring secondary school, may find that students there would be interested in designing and constructing tool storage systems as a group activity, and would be able to manufacture them using the extensive D&T workshop facilities that most have.

DT Online Buyers' Guide
  • The tools and equipment listed assumes the existence also of commonly available classroom resources such as: basic geometry equipment (e.g. pencils, rulers, compasses); pencil sharpeners, artists' brushes or glue spatulas, paper punches and trimmers, paper clips, bulldog clips, PVA glue.

See also the Buyers Guides for:

Stanley Max Steel Comb Plier 150MM 0 89 866 Stanley Junior Hacksaw 0 15 218 8OZ SMALL METAL CLAW HAMMER - VINYL GRIP - DIY TOOL Silverline HA12B Hardwood Cross Pein Pin Hammer 4 oz Draper 38267 75 mm Bench Vice Draper 18052 Coping Saw Frame With 5 Blades Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks Bundle (50-Pack) - 60W Glue Gun Heats Up Quickly - Ultra Clear Hot Melt Craft Glue - Hobbyists, Crafters, Crafting, Fabrics, Ceramics & More - Glue Sticks (11.2mm x 100mm) Draper 61478 SI400 40W Soldering Station Draper DIY Series 09788 600 mm Fold-Down Workbench Habau 695 Garden Table with Zinc-Plated Working Surface
Combination Pliers Junior Hacksaw 8oz Claw Hammer 4oz Pin Hammer Clamp-on Vice Coping Saw Hot Glue Gun Soldering Station Fold-Down Workbench Garden Worktable