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Counter Weighted Studio Easel

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Project by Charlie posted 225 days ago 1096 views 4 times favorited 10 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. :)





10 comments so far

View AandCstyle's profile (online now)

AandCstyle

1130 posts in 757 days


#1 posted 225 days ago

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

3845 posts in 793 days


#2 posted 225 days ago

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

337 posts in 2153 days


#3 posted 225 days ago

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

-- Yves

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

14500 posts in 1689 days


#4 posted 224 days ago

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

2253 posts in 393 days


#5 posted 224 days ago

Great job, love the design of it.

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

View fernandoindia's profile

fernandoindia

1054 posts in 1444 days


#6 posted 224 days ago

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

-- Back home. Fernando

View Bill_N's profile

Bill_N

234 posts in 779 days


#7 posted 224 days ago

Sweet….!

-- I have the Saw Dust Fever

View Billp's profile

Billp

780 posts in 2700 days


#8 posted 221 days ago

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

1001 posts in 787 days


#9 posted 221 days ago

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

11162 posts in 676 days


#10 posted 220 days ago

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

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