Saturday, May 02, 2015

Easel for Painting Panels, My Hack

Again, I was inspired to finish the easel attachment for the folding hanging painting palette that I constructed last June:

I had attempted to make the easel part a couple other times, but the issue always was how to attach it to the tripod. I knew what I needed, but I hated to order a 79 cent part online. Finally I found what I needed at Menards - 1/4"-20 x 1/4" Brad Hole Tee Nuts. I've used these in a couple of my other pochade hacks earlier this year/late last year. When my friend Julie was emailing me about the easel she was constructing I had to get mine finished too.

I created mine with parts I already had and only had to buy the threaded tee nut. I have several of these inexpensive wooden table easels:
 I took it apart and realized I needed to put a couple of the legs back on because I needed something to use as spacers for the lower ledge so that the adjustable top bracket could slide in the grooves. These were the exact thickness I needed, and they already had holes drilled.

 I hacked them off. Later, I would be replacing these original screws with some that were 1 1/2" long to go through and attach the bottom ledge from behind.

Here you can see the 1 1/2" screws in black which go through the back block, the spacers and into the bottom ledge. The bottom ledge is one half of the folding lower ledge of the original easel. The knurled brass nut is the original nut to secure the sliding upper bracket bar.
 Here's a couple views from the side:

Shown adjusted to the largest space above, which will hold up to a 12" panel, and below shown shortened.
Here it is attached to my tripod quick connect hardware with an 8x10 panel.

 I took it out in the field today, and although it worked pretty well, it still needed tweaking. Because this tee nut required brads or tiny screws to attach, those raised the quick release plate too high and I couldn't get it tight enough.
I ended up using a couple layers of matboard and some sandpaper formed together with double stick tape to make a platform for the release plate to sit level.

I love to make my own version of the more expensive plein air gear I see online. I figure, it's just going to get messy and covered with paint, so why pay the big bucks?


julie said...

Way to go Nancy!!! Looks very professional.

julie said...

Way to go Nancy!!! Looks very professional.

julie said...

Way to go Nancy. It looks very sturdy and professional. I know you had fun constructing it

Nancy Van Blaricom said...

Great job Nancy. No doubt in my mind that you could create anything you needed, you've showns us before your creativity is unending. Awesome job !!

avery maples said...

Wahoo!!! Little money and big reward. Good job