This is a project that I have been looking forward to completing for some time now. I am very happy to have this finished and look forward to getting out and putting it to use.
The outside dimensions are 12 x 16 inches and it was built with 1/4 inch plywood with 3/4 inch ripped pieces of pine, but you could use hardwood as well.
The palette is plexi glass that I happened to have. I would like to change this to glass when this one gets too difficult to clean. Underneath I have a piece of linen toned to a neutral grey. Since I like to paint on toned grounds this allows me to mix on the colour/tone that I will be painting on.
I built this entire easel with scrap materials that were left over from other projects, including the stain and clear coat. The only thing I purchased for this was something called a t nut, which is what allows me to fasten the easel to a camera tripod.
The side hinge was the only piece of hardware I had difficulty in sourcing. So much so that I built my own using two metal L brackets that I bent straight in a vice and with a hammer. Along with some washers, lock washers, two bolts, nuts and a wing nut to tighten and hold it in position, everything works perfectly.
The other aspect in this design that was difficult to decide on was how to keep the panel I would be painting on in place. I was considering fabricating my own hardware as I did with the side hinge until I came across Jim Serrett’s site Pochade Box Paintings. In his post on How to build your own Pochade Box , where he goes into great detail (and I highly recommend reviewing this post) he show’s how he used a small bungee cord through slots to hold the panel in place. I thought that was brilliant. It works great, it’s inexpensive, lightweight and you can tie a quick knot in it for smaller panels. Many thanks to Jim Serrett.
I first saw this design at Open Box M and just loved it. If you are looking at purchasing a plein air easel instead of building your own I would take a look at the Open Box M site as well as another great easel design at Alla Prima Pochade. They have a wonderful design as well.
Here are some more images of the easel to give you a better look at it and to help show you how it was built. If you have any questions about it feel free to post them or message me.