I enjoy the process much more than the result sometimes. This goes for both my painting time and tinkering around the studio with projects. I get a lot of 'painting gear' envy when I see what other artists are building/using online. I am always trying to build something similar cheaper. If the design works for me, then I may buy the real thing.
I own several different styles of oil painting palettes or pochades. Most have the panel holder directly attached to the paint mixing area. I find that a bit confining and wanted to try out the style that has these separate such as the Coulter Art Box and Panel http://artboxandpanel.com/ or the Joshua Been Prolific Painter http://www.joshuabeen.com/prolific-easel/prolific-easel-painters but my budget doesn't allow me to purchase these well made products. I would prefer to put my money into the paint.
I've been thinking about building my own for some time, so finally did it! My version cost me about $40 in materials. Most of that was hardware - hinges, screws, etc. and for the rest I used a luan plywood panel, 3/4" square dowels, and some odds and ends from the junk drawer. I worked on the design for the hanging hook for a long time, going through at least 5 different designs. It took alot of trial and error, and fitting it to my particular tripod. If I had the right tools, such as a band saw, I could make it exactly like the online versions, but I am limited in my wood working tools. And I only own a chop saw - no table saw - so I cut my luan to size with a utility knife!
Mine is not as pretty as the online versions, but for the BIG price difference, I'll use this for awhile. If I really enjoy this style, I may eventually buy one ready made.