As mentioned, melamine is not "whiteboard" material and is not well suited to your task. the coating needs to me smoother and more non-porous. Cutting up actual whiteboard material to your required size is the way to go.
Oh, I'm not questioning the value in them - I want parallel clamps. There are a few woodworking items where the US market and Canadian market are totally different, and this is one of them. They're more expensive to begin with here, and the best sale you usually see is 10-15%, even on black Friday. The F style clamps I have are actually pretty good, the heavy duty ones from Lee Valley. I could have bought cheap ones, but I didn't - I'm trying not to get clamps I'll want to replace. I was thinking of getting a pair of the 31 inch clamps and a pair of the 40 inch ones, then I'll throw on all my other clamps for good measure.
Good parallel clamps are hard to beat. I don't have good F style clamps but i grab the parallel clamps over my F style clamps any time I'm working on something larger then 12". For small work i still like F style clamps because they are easier to wield. Buy them slowly over time start with 2 and go from there. I personally use my 24" ones the most.
Civil, thought i probably should have done mechanical. I've had more then half a mind to go back for a masters in mechanical a few times. The thought of having student loans again keeps me well enough away.
Yeah after thinking about it last night i remember my hardwood guy selling some "rustic" grade cherry for considerably less. I can't remember the actual grade of it but it was $2 BF less expensive i might just go solid and free float the shelf on dominos. I'd have 1/4" to 3/8" of expansion across 24" which if my research is right the widest setting the domino should be able to handle.