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Convertible Wall Easel #1: Wall Rails

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Blog entry by Craftsman on the lake posted 02-18-2017 07:03 AM 840 reads 1 time favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Convertible Wall Easel series Part 2: Assembly »

This is an odd item. I paint. The mediums I use are Oil and sometimes watercolor. When painting with oil you usually stand in front of an easel that is vertical. When using water colors, you usually paint at a table as the paper is often wet. Sometimes very wet so you paint with the paper horizontal. Thus, I decided to make an easel that is usable in both the vertical and horizontal mode. I also wanted one that was attached to the wall and made as to not be as conspicuous as a large artist easel and take up a lot of room. So, here I am starting from scratch as usual and without a plan on paper. But, as usual I’ve spent considerable time, almost two years in this case, using some of my spare time off and on, just designing it in my head. I have included a quick and incomplete sketch of a sideview of the easel just to give you an idea of what I’m making.

Here you see a sideview of the easel in both the horizontal position and then moved into the vertical position.

I’m using maple, for two reasons. Being made as ‘slight’ as possible I wanted some wood that would be strong for the sizes I would cut pieces. Second, I have offwhite walls and I wanted an easel that wouldn’t stand out too much. I finish a lot of my stuff in clear poly and wanted something light in color like the walls. Maple accomplishes that.

This post shows the two rails that will be attached to the wall.

I started by doing my jointing and planing, and then cutting strips of wood that could be glued together to make the rails.


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Then rabbets were cut into the wood and the wood glued together to accept some 7/8” sealed bearings.


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The rail halves are put together to enclose the bearings. A rod will go through the bearings on each rail so that the table and it’s supports can slide up and down the rails to allow it to be vertical or horizontal.


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Here is an assembled rail. The bearing goes inside but will be inserted later. As you can see the rail is long; 77”. The easel will reach nearly to the ceiling.


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Both rails are done. Both accept bearings. One has a closed side (on the right). The horizontal rods that hold the table insert into it with a bearing. The open one, (on the left), the rod goes right through it and the bearings and it will have a knob on the threaded rod to tighten it so the table will stay at the position you want.

I know this isn’t a complete explanation of how this will work but over the next few posts I’m hoping it will become clearer. Hmm. I should learn sketchup huh?

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Till the next installment…

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.



1 comment so far

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

7401 posts in 2145 days


#1 posted 02-23-2017 01:06 PM

Looks like a clever project Dan.

I like the way you incorporated the bearings to make it slide smoothly.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

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