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Counter Weighted Studio Easel

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Project by Charlie posted 09-05-2013 10:03 PM 1981 views 4 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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. :)





11 comments so far

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

1474 posts in 1004 days


#1 posted 09-05-2013 10:11 PM

It looks great. Next you will have to put a canvas on it and take it for a test spin, so to speak.

-- Art

View HillbillyShooter's profile

HillbillyShooter

4873 posts in 1039 days


#2 posted 09-05-2013 10:52 PM

Impressive!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View yrob's profile

yrob

340 posts in 2399 days


#3 posted 09-05-2013 10:54 PM

excellent work. this look as good and as functional than my expensive commercial easel (a hughes easel).

-- Yves

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

15304 posts in 1935 days


#4 posted 09-06-2013 08:43 AM

Wow what a great idea and well done. Its a work of art!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View hoss12992's profile

hoss12992

2957 posts in 640 days


#5 posted 09-06-2013 09:54 AM

Great job, love the design of it.

-- The Old Rednek Workshop https://www.facebook.com/theoldrednekworkshoptn

View fernandoindia's profile

fernandoindia

1077 posts in 1690 days


#6 posted 09-06-2013 03:06 PM

Great jumbo work there Charlie. Thanks for the blog as well

-- Back home. Fernando

View Bill_N's profile

Bill_N

235 posts in 1025 days


#7 posted 09-06-2013 08:46 PM

Sweet….!

-- I have the Saw Dust Fever

View Billp's profile

Billp

784 posts in 2946 days


#8 posted 09-09-2013 06:10 PM

Charlie, great looking easel. I just made one for my wife. I like you saved a wad of money.

-- Billp

View Charlie's profile

Charlie

1064 posts in 1033 days


#9 posted 09-09-2013 06:44 PM

Bill,

I modified the counter weight system. It now looks like this:

By moving the upper pulleys inward a little and constructing a weight box, I’ve pretty much eliminated the “pendulum effect” in the original design. This weight box is just pine so I could see how it worked. I’ll build a nicer one out of cherry when time allows. Oh and I also switched from nylon rope to plastic coated cable. I had some here from a dog run we no longer use, so…. works great. :)

View Fishinbo's profile

Fishinbo

11343 posts in 922 days


#10 posted 09-10-2013 01:48 PM

Awesome idea and work on that super easel. I’m sure it will serve you well for a long time.

View woodrosin's profile

woodrosin

1 post in 30 days


#11 posted 11-20-2014 09:33 PM

This looks great!

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