|Project by Charlie||posted 326 days ago||1409 views||4 times favorited||10 comments|
I just finished building this counter weighted studio easel. I blogged the details here.
Essentially this is a frame within a frame. The inner frame slides. The center rail is part of the inner frame and is where the top and bottom canvas supports are located. When painting on a large canvas, you can have the top of it near eye level or wherever is comfortable and by unlocking the inner frame you can easily slide the entire thing up so you can work near the bottom of the canvas at eye level. Travel is about 4 feet up and down. Requires some serious headroom to fully extend it up. :)
When completely collapsed it is 7 feet 2 inches tall. It will handle a canvas up to 6 feet tall. It is made of 90/50 cherry and trimmed in walnut. The pulleys in the counter weight system are rated at 400 pounds. A bit of overkill, but I liked them. It takes 22 and a half pounds of weight to counter balance the sliding frame and I can move it with one finger. It holds position without being locked so I feel like I have the counter weight pretty much spot on. The bottom canvas support has a simple tray projecting about 6 inches. Future tinkering might have me making a swing out “wing” for the tray so I have additional room to set brushes and other supplies.
This has been a fun project. When I was looking to BUY a new easel, one like this would have cost me about $1600. I have less than $200 into this and it took me about a week. A lot of that was looking at the plan and figuring out where I wanted to deviate.
Oh and the finish on this is simply BLO and Johnson’s Paste Wax. I’ll probably cry when I get paint on it, but that’s kind of inevitable and part of its job, so… it is what it is. :)