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Old 04-06-2017, 06:43 AM
DriesBE DriesBE is offline
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Why are Pochade boxes so expensive?

Hi,

I'm thinking of trying my hand at plein air oil painting.
I really like the practicality of having everything in one simple box.
But + $200 ??
That's alot. I would expect that here would be one for like $ 50 max. But no, they're all expensive!!

Can anybody help?

Thanks!
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Old 04-06-2017, 10:19 AM
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AllPointsBulletin AllPointsBulletin is offline
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Re: Why are Pochade boxes so expensive?

I can tell you from experience that building a solid box from parts available at hardware/lumber stores is going to cost you at least $50. Most boxes available use quality materials with some having proprietary parts like hinges and latches. They also don't make many boxes, some companies won't even make a box until you order one. They have to make a profit. If it costs them $50 to make they will charge at least $100
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Old 04-06-2017, 10:53 AM
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Alerio Alerio is offline
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Re: Why are Pochade boxes so expensive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DriesBE
Hi, I'm thinking of trying my hand at plein air oil painting.
I really like the practicality of having everything in one simple box.
But + $200 ?? ...
Look through what other people are using. It doesn't have to be grand. A chair and a piece of canvas taped to a board - the chair because you can put everything else on the ground and reach it easily, I've seen people do that. Or, look on eBay for a French easel, cheap and everything in one box!
I've been enjoying looking at people's creative solutions on the "What Plein Air Equipment do you use?" thread, too.
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Old 04-06-2017, 10:54 AM
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josewu josewu is offline
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Re: Why are Pochade boxes so expensive?

Take a look at these:

artsupplies.co.uk/pochade-boxes

abbeyseasels.co.uk

Or you can build your own, I recently made this myself:



You can see more pics in a temporary page in my under construction website:
Jose Romero - Pochade Box
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Old 04-06-2017, 10:59 PM
bartc bartc is offline
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Re: Why are Pochade boxes so expensive?

The classic pochade was a cigar box converted at home. You can do this for under $10 (actually as low as $3/box at stores near my house.) Or you can DIY more elaborately if you want. I priced out materials for a basswood and birch ply box with fixin's and it would be about $25-30, but you would need some basic skills and tools. For under $20 I can get a commercial box on eBay and have done so and adapted it to a tripod which itself cost about $40. But to do plein air all you need is a few paints, your lap (or a place to put the support for the paint) and a good subject. Don't let the high priced spread dissuade you at all!
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Old 04-07-2017, 04:50 PM
old_hobbyist old_hobbyist is online now
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Re: Why are Pochade boxes so expensive?

Why do you need a pochade box? Why buy an expensive box that needs to be supported on a tripod when you can spend even more for a Soltek that has everything included?

Consider what a PA set-up needs to be.

Some way of supporting your working structure
Some convenient way of displaying your art media and still allow easy access
Some way of holding the devices you use to convey what you see from your art media to your painting surface
Some way of cleaning (if necessary) those devices, viz, water, solvent, etc.

Many PA painters think "outside the box" when it comes to PA gear. Mine is a 1 x 2 x 14 inch stick that fastens to a tripod. My go-to homemade pegboard surface contains my solvent, brushes, and paint, and my palette is a plastic coffee can lid on a stick.

Having said that, I'd love to have $$$ to buy a Soltek!
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Last edited by old_hobbyist : 04-07-2017 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 04-07-2017, 06:06 PM
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Trikist Trikist is offline
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Re: Why are Pochade boxes so expensive?

Just an added note to what others have said. I would find a box big enough to carry all my stuff too heavy. A backpack is better to me for carrying. You could add a simple field easel and palette paper pad, and get the job done.

I do have a pochade box - Open Box M - and like it very much. I started with something cheaper to make sure that I wanted to do this first. I got hooked. Gary
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Old 04-08-2017, 09:20 AM
bartc bartc is offline
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Re: Why are Pochade boxes so expensive?

One of the joys of painting outdoors is to be fresh and free. Take less along and you might find yourself happier! I wasn't kidding that all you actually need is about 4 tubes of paint (or colors), a couple of brushes, a pad of suitable weight paper (or other supports of your choice). Then find a place to sit and you are in business. Some of my best days painting outdoors have been with a tiny watercolor kit, pad, my lap and the inspiration of what I'm seeing. If you simply MUST carry a lot of gear to feel outfitted and it's heavy and awkward, backpacks, rolling pochade boxes, etc. will do the trick. You can find these for under $50 if you bother to look. I love my Guerrilla Painter box, but that doesn't stop me from converting a cigar box for the fun of it.
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Old 04-10-2017, 10:48 AM
DaveCrow DaveCrow is offline
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Re: Why are Pochade boxes so expensive?

I use a backpack as my primary "pochade". In it goes a tripod easel, water, paint, paper, brushes, and paper towels. I have a travel kit that fits in a small (4x4x6) camera bag.

I did buy a 5x7 Guerrilla pocket box and I love it for small quick oild sketches. I carry it and my paints in a small bag. I got teh box as a "second" so the price was lower. I like it enough that I am considering getting a larger one.

I suspect that a big part of the reason why pochades are expensive is that there is no economy of scale in their production. I don't imagine that even the most popular sell many units.
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Old 04-19-2017, 03:40 PM
bartc bartc is offline
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Re: Why are Pochade boxes so expensive?

I am nearly done with adapting a couple of cigar boxes and the process and product are delightful! Essentially, I glued two matched boxes together, added a DIY hinge support and a few frills to my own liking. The result will be under $25 (probably less than 20), fun and functional for my needs. I already have an excellent workhorse Guerrilla Painter 9x12 for my acrylics, which is what I use the most out in the field. But for my smaller paintings (though size of support is not the real issue) in Ceracolors I wanted someting even lighter. And at about 1/6 the cost or less, I'm a happy camper indeed. So this notion that you need to spend a lot on a pochade is really bogus. Of course you CAN spend a lot and many of the expensive commercial versions are excellent; I'm not knocking them. It's just that the original pochades were converted cigar boxes and they still have a style all their own and are cheap as dirt. At their base level you just need a box and no tools. With a screwdriver and a knife you can adapt them endlessly and go elaborate if you really want to trick them out.
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Old 05-01-2017, 11:08 PM
bartc bartc is offline
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Re: Why are Pochade boxes so expensive?

OK, now I'm done with my DIY pochade and it cost me between $25 and $30 all inclusive. Made it from 3 cigar boxes, 2 glued together for depth and pieces of a 3rd used to make trays, etc. Various pieces of commonly available hardware (screws, nuts, knurled nuts, mending pieces, washers) in brass. Some glue and some cork, and a set of 4 rubber feet, and a piece of an old belt for a handle. I'll post a picture when I get the chance. This has a pull out secured tray for my tri-brush washer and an attachable tray to hold whatever else I want. It's a complete little studio, weighs far less than my Guerrilla Painter box, BTW. I could have simply used a single cigar box the old fashioned way, but what kind of fun would that have been for a tinkerer? LOL
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