Having an easel is essential for anybody interested in painting that has a dedicated space for their hobby, and can be a great home-made gift for any budding artist. Easels are canvas-stands, holding up the artist's current work at a comfortable height and angle. They are relatively simple wooden structures, and can be made by anybody with some experience working with wood. Building your own easel can also add a personal touch to your art studio set-up, and is a cheaper alternative than buying one pre-made.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- Three pieces of 2-inch x 3-inch lumber, two measuring 82 3/8 inches and one measuring 81 inches
- Four foot long piece of 2-inch x 4-inch lumber
- 3/4-inch thick piece of plywood, measuring 48 inches x 33 inches
- 3/8-inch carriage bolts, two 7 inches long, and one 5 inches long (with nuts and washers)
- Wood glue
- 2 1/2-inch nails
- Drill, with 3/8-inch fitting
- Short piece of rope
- Eye screw
Cut the two front legs to the correct size, with a 15 degree angle at the top. The front legs need to be 82 3/8 inches long, up to the pointed end. Cut the 15 degree angle out of the 3-inch side of the wood. Cut the back leg to 81 inches long, with a flat top.
Drill 3/8-inch holes in the legs. On the front legs, the hole should be 78 inches up, on the wider face of the lumber. On the rear leg, drill one hole 39 inches up, and the other 74 inches up. These should also be drilled in the widest side.
Arrange the legs on the floor, with the rear leg in the centre and the front legs at a 15 degree angle (line the slanted cut up with the flat sides of the rear leg). Line up the holes in the top of the legs, and then insert the 5-inch bolt through them. Place a washer and nut on the end of the bolt, but don't tighten it yet. Pull the front legs out so they are 45 inches away from each other at the bottom. Tighten the nut to secure the frame.
Attach the 4-foot piece of 2-inch x 4-inch lumber to the front legs. This is the block that supports the canvas on the finished easel, and should be bolted to the front legs, 38 inches up from the bottom of the legs. Drill the holes through the 2-inch side of the lumber, and through the 2-inch side of the legs. Secure the horizontal piece to the front legs using the two 7-inch bolts.
Attach the plywood board to the legs using the wood glue and/or the 2 1/2-inch nails. The board should sit directly on top of the horizontal piece of lumber and should be glued to it for added stability. When this is dry, stand the easel up and spread it apart so it is stable and at a comfortable angle.
Screw the eye screw into the back of the horizontal piece of lumber. Thread the rope through the hole halfway up the back leg and attach it to the eye screw before tying it up. This prevents the easel from opening too widely. The easel is now ready to use.
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