Walnut easel. A gift for my mom.

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Project by BrentKistner posted 12-21-2013 01:25 AM 1447 views 2 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is an earlier project, a Walnut easel for my mom, aka “the mothership?” lol. She recently picked up oil painting, and I just couldn’t have the parental unit painting on any old easel. So I burned up a bunch of salvaged walnut for a worthy cause. :) The base and majority of the piece is walnut, reclaimed from a lumber mill that couldn’t get rid of the stuff. I got roughly a truck load of the stuff for free. Rough sawn, some of it was spalted, some of it dry rotted through, but a lot of it was well worth the time in the planer. Anyways, the accent strips and back of the work areas is old world Douglas fir I reclaimed from a deck built at the turn of the century. (I wish I had a truck load of that stuff. Such amazing grain.) The plans were purchased online, however, after building this one, there is a fair amount I would upgrade/streamline/improve before building another one. This could have been a gorgeous piece if I had been a bit more patient and thought those plans through before building. It’s not bad for a first run at it though, and I still have a bunch of that walnut. :)

Anyways, the mother unit loves this thing…and if she ruins it, it will give me a good reason to build a better one. The middle mast and two center shelves are fully adjustable to accommodate a fairly outrageously huge canvas. There are two shelves that slide out of the end of the taboret/table top. (which, apparently I didn’t care to photograph? whatagoon. lol) The whole system rides on counterweights, so the adjustments up and down are very easy. The hardware came from Rocklers and it is now finished in several layers of polyurethane. The bear paw inlay is, once again, copper. Undercut and sprung, with epoxy beneath. (the “bleed through/saturation of the epoxy shows on the thin edges here as well. bummer. I have to figure out a way to keep that from happening.) She kind of uses “Brown Bear” as a moniker for her paintings, so I thought it would be a nice little personal touch to the piece.

I hope this gives you the gist of the project. (Posting stuff here reminds me to take more and better pictures of the stuff I tinker with… forgive me. :) )

-- "Out of the darkness back into the darkness- affairs of the cat."

9 comments so far

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2438 days

#1 posted 12-21-2013 01:44 AM

Great looking easel for a deserving cause, and really cool copper inlay.

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

View Vagabondwheeler's profile


50 posts in 2136 days

#2 posted 12-21-2013 02:46 AM

Great job on an amazing piece. Now just hope mom doesn’t spill any paint on such a great work of art.

-- KDW

View Woodbridge's profile


3574 posts in 2564 days

#3 posted 12-21-2013 04:04 AM

great looking easel!

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View CalgaryGeoff's profile


937 posts in 2628 days

#4 posted 12-21-2013 04:54 AM

Wow, an amazing build and great looking piece. It’s bound to become an heirloom.

-- If you believe you can or can not do a thing, you are correct.

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 1970 days

#5 posted 12-21-2013 11:11 AM

Very nice indeed Brent, great design and looks nice and strong, definitely last a lifetime or two. I have a couple of artist friends who would like to have one of those…Great job and thanks for sharing.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View becikeja's profile


925 posts in 2959 days

#6 posted 12-21-2013 02:23 PM

Very Good job. I love it. Now to see the art work that it inspires

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View BrentKistner's profile


38 posts in 2081 days

#7 posted 12-21-2013 04:33 PM

Thanks for the comments, all. Even though I know there are many things I can improve on this design and execution, I really like how this one turned out. The scale and wood combinations seem to work really well together. With some tweaks, it will be really nice. As for paint getting all over it, I forgot to mention that the top is recessed for a sheet of glass, so clean up should be fairly simple.

I have reworked the plans for this one and will build it a bit better in the spring. (It’s hard to stay motivated in a non-heated shop in Wisconsin’s winter glory.) So she will have a pair of ridiculously expensive easels to paint all over. lol

-- "Out of the darkness back into the darkness- affairs of the cat."

View hoss12992's profile


4068 posts in 2039 days

#8 posted 12-22-2013 12:23 AM

Great job, and Im sure your Mom will get alot of use from it.

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View majuvla's profile


13038 posts in 3014 days

#9 posted 12-22-2013 07:08 AM

Outstanding easel. Can’t wait to see some paintings.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

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