I decided to build an ironing board. “What?” you say. “Just go buy one.” The type of ironing board I need isn’t sold anywhere, so I resorted to my back–up plan, build it. I needed a large flat surface on which to iron flat pieces of fabric used in my crafts. When I use a traditional board, I always end up with that little point on one end and have to jockey the fabric back and forth and wind up putting more wrinkles in than taking out.
By now, I’m thinking, “Wow! This is going together great. Why did I put off this project for so long?” (Cue the proverbial monkey wrench.) I decided to give my board a test run before I put it all together. The fabric needed ironing anyway so I pressed it and the board worked great. Easy to iron a large portion of fabric and no odd-shaped sections.
But a little thought kept nagging at me. Where’s the steam going? I folded back the fabric and batting and found it. A nice wetness on the surface of the board. Hmmm? How to solve this problem? My regular ironing board is made of metal with a surface that would make a slice of Swiss cheese jealous. My table-top board is made from a cheap piece of pressboard with a sad little layer of batting glued on top. So I know a “board” will work since I’ve never had a problem with wetness using my table-top board. Maybe a porous buffer zone between the board and the batting? Back to the garage warehouse. I found some thin sheets of Styrofoam so I cut and glued them to size. Second test run, same as the first. The steam just went through the Styrofoam. I knew the problem was that the board was painted with two coats of glossy paint and the answer was to drill vent holes in my board but I couldn’t bring myself to put holes in a ¾” wide piece of solid wood. So I did the next best thing. I took a break.
While having lunch, my childhood friend happened to call. I explained my problem and, being a retired engineer, she starts talking about heat transfer and thermal properties. After our conversation, I returned to the scrap lumber pile and found a piece of paneling (den remodel, this time). It was almost 2 feet by 3 feet and only ¼’ thick, much lighter than my first selection, and unpainted on one side. I cleaned it up and gave it a test run. When I peeled back the layers of batting, the wood was only slightly damp and dried quickly. No puddles!
I doubt if it will make ironing fun, but it sure will make it easier.