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Old 05-24-2004, 11:08 PM
Laura Shelley Laura Shelley is offline
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Home-built large pastel easel

Also posted in Studio Tips.

It's a slab of 1/4'' melamine board, six feet high and three feet wide, with a rolling base and an adjustable two-tiered melamine tray. For scale, the piece of matboard propped on the tray is 18x24, and the pad is 9x12. The upper tray shelf is 5'' deep, and the lower is 10''.

This took my husband about six hours to build with a circular saw and electric drill. I told him basically what I wanted, and he designed it from scratch. It's not quite complete--he's going to put quarter-round trim on the edges of the tray shelves after I do a little sanding and filing to clean it up--but it's fully functional as is. He'll write out a materials list if anyone would like to have it.



Locking casters on the base, and big angle irons to hold the uprights. I'm going to use sandbags for maximum stability.



This was his idea! It's plastic trigger clamps, two on a side. They hold the tray very securely and allow for infinite adjustability. These were less than $5 each at Home Depot. Much easier on my little hands than spring clamps.



I usually work on paper or on museum board, so I can tape it directly to the surface if it's small or clip it to the edges if it's large. I might also clip a big piece of foamcore across it and use pins. There are a few flathead screws near the edges, but they are just about flush with the surface, and if my paper happens to overlap them, I can just use a matboard or a few more sheets of paper under it for padding.

for my wonderful, resourceful hubby!
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Old 05-24-2004, 11:16 PM
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CarlyHardy CarlyHardy is offline
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Re: Home-built large pastel easel

This would be great for other mediums as well! Your husband gets the "Easel Builder of the Year Award" from the WetCanvas Pastel Forum!!

I want you to promise not to keep it so clean, however. After all a dirty dusty easel is the sign of a working artist!
carly
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Old 05-25-2004, 12:19 AM
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Khadres Khadres is offline
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Re: Home-built large pastel easel

Geez, I dunno.....you sure this is big enough???

Looks very useful to me! There was a time when my hubby built me this humongous A frame painting easle...that thing coulda withstood a Humvee collision! Someone bought it from us when we moved last...made me an offer I couldn't refuse since it was so unwieldly and I knew I wouldn't have space for it here. But I think hubbys are by far the best easel builders, for sure....too bad mine's "retired" from anything mechanical...to hear him tell it he has NO idea how to do such a thing anymore....which translates to "oh, just go BUY one!"

You should get many useful years of work out of this one! Makes my classic dulce look tiny in comparison! Enjoy!
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Old 05-25-2004, 12:41 AM
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MKathleen MKathleen is offline
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Re: Home-built large pastel easel

Hi There, this is a terrific easel and I know you'll get plenty of good use from it. Agree with Carly your hubby deserves a medal. Thank you for sharing your new easel with us.
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Old 05-25-2004, 02:05 AM
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jackiesimmonds jackiesimmonds is offline
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Re: Home-built large pastel easel

I want it.....





your husband, that is.

J
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Old 05-25-2004, 02:08 AM
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Mikki Petersen Mikki Petersen is offline
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Re: Home-built large pastel easel

That is a sensational design! I love the adjustable double tray. My hubby built me an H-Frame studio easel but I have to really wrestle with it to make any adjustments. Gotta show him this once he gets his shop built. Mine is also on locking casters (great help!) and for weight, I use the back of the stand for vertical storage. Here's a pic:

He's a scroll saw enthusiast so he had to do the fancy embellishment on the sides which surprisingly work well for holding things

I think your design is much more functional! And I love the idea of the clamps for holding the shelf.
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Old 05-25-2004, 09:58 AM
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Khadres Khadres is offline
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Re: Home-built large pastel easel

Hey, I like that scrollwork! Makes it really personalized and unique.

Having shopped around a LOT before finally buying my Dulce easle, I've noticed one flaw most of the less expensive ones have (and many of the high end ones) and many homemade ones, as well. That's the absence of true functionality of the upper canvas/drawing board holder. The Dulce has an excellent upper holder, designed to offset the canvas or board so that it doesn't interfere with the ability to paint right to the top edge of a canvas or whatever, BUT the darned thing will only lower to the top of the "H", which means that to use it, no matter how small the board you're using, you have to raise the bottom tray (the one you sit the canvas or board on) UP to meet the upper holder. Since a lot of my work isn't that big, I'm having to rig other ways of grasping the top of my foamcore "board" if I want to work sitting down which I HAVE to do most of the time (although I prefer standing) due to back and neck problems. This leaves me no way to tilt the board forward enough to let dust fall free of the surface, not to mention having the whole shebang loose and scooting around a bit. In shifting things around, I've had paintings fall forward and onto the floor a time or two....not a good thing at all.

For stability, I've managed to rig some pieces of 1X2 at the back with upside down over-the-door plastic hooks holding them and reaching through to grasp the top of the board on the front, but this leaves two little u-shaped places inaccessible to painting at the top of the board. It's better than nothing and it's not that difficult to cover the "u's" when finishing the painting, but I do wish manufacturers would offer "accessory" top holders that allow for this problem. If anyone out there has a different solution to this issue, please let me know!
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Last edited by Khadres : 05-25-2004 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 05-25-2004, 10:08 AM
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Re: Home-built large pastel easel

Yep...Easel Builder of the Year award!!!! (Better watch your back...that vixen Jackie is after your husband!!!! And you know how men are about sexy pastel-wielding women with English accents! )
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Old 05-25-2004, 10:09 AM
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Re: Home-built large pastel easel

I love both your easels! Easels like this are soooo expensive to buy. Please would you have a word with my boyfriend, I've been hinting at him to make me one for a while now

On a more serious note, I saw a website recently that shows how to make an easel a bit like these. Can't remember if it I found it via a forum on wc! or not. I'll add it here in case anyone might find it useful.

[http://www.itg.uiuc.edu/people/gross...grosser/easel/

Now must get back to working on my boyfriend!!
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Old 05-25-2004, 11:47 AM
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Re: Home-built large pastel easel

Wow! Those are both wonderful....what terrific hubbys you both have!


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Old 05-25-2004, 12:55 PM
Laura Shelley Laura Shelley is offline
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Re: Home-built large pastel easel

Hubby appreciates your kind compliments! This is a man to keep happy at home, don't you think?

All I had before this monster wheeled into my studio (AKA the dining room) was a rickety fold-up single-mast easel I've been using since college. It was almost impossible to secure a board to it in such a way that it wouldn't rattle and shift, because the upper clamp was usually stuck fast, and the grooves in the tray were meant for canvases. I was using a bungee cord to keep everything from rocking side to side! So I wanted something very big and solid that could handle any reasonable size I cared to try.

At first we were thinking of a traditional H-frame, but that would have been very complicated to build. I'm very impressed by yours, 1mpete! Then I realized that even if I started painting in oils again, I would probably use panels rather than canvases. I used to do a lot of my work on Masonite. So we kept it simple with just an upright flat surface. If I want to tilt anything forward--which I usually don't do--I can tape a strip of scrap wood under the top edge of a board to angle it out a few degrees and fasten my paper to that.
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Old 05-25-2004, 03:15 PM
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Mikki Petersen Mikki Petersen is offline
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Re: Home-built large pastel easel

Sooz, a couple of options for your top mount. 1) Find someone with a router or jigsaw to cut channels into the vertical supports. Then you can get some of those screw handle thingies at Home Depot and mount your 1x2 into the channels the way mine works. I've taken a pic of the front top half of my easel to illustrate. Notice both the top support and the shelf are adjustable.


or 2). Even more clever would be to mount your 1x2 using those clamps that Madame Manga uses. I really like that idea. I sometimes have to use a mallet to get mine adjusted.
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Old 05-27-2004, 08:16 AM
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Re: Home-built large pastel easel

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1mpete
Sooz, a couple of options for your top mount. 1) Find someone with a router or jigsaw to cut channels into the vertical supports. Then you can get some of those screw handle thingies at Home Depot and mount your 1x2 into the channels the way mine works. I've taken a pic of the front top half of my easel to illustrate. Notice both the top support and the shelf are adjustable.


or 2). Even more clever would be to mount your 1x2 using those clamps that Madame Manga uses. I really like that idea. I sometimes have to use a mallet to get mine adjusted.

Hmmm! I'll have to check that out and see if it'll work on mine! I love the easel otherwise....well, but your pic brings up one other tiny thing -- mine's built of golden oak, and they weren't kidding when they said OAK! Where you have your color chart tacked up, I have try tape, stick-on velcro, etc. About killed myself trying to get a push pin into it when I first got it.
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Old 05-27-2004, 12:21 PM
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Mikki Petersen Mikki Petersen is offline
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Re: Home-built large pastel easel

My chart is taped up not tacked. I've been thinking of putting up strips of adhesive backed cork on the back boards so I can tack things to it though.
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Old 05-27-2004, 02:46 PM
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Kitty Wallis Kitty Wallis is offline
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Re: Home-built large pastel easel

I use a section of plastic roof gutter for a trough on my easel. It collects All the dust and is deep enough so falling pastels don't bounce out and break.
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