Cadmium Easel #1: Main Frame parts

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Blog entry by Charlie posted 08-27-2013 11:09 PM 6831 reads 1 time favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Cadmium Easel series Part 2: Base and Frame assembled »

I’m building myself a new easel. My old one is better than 30 years old and seen better days. This one will be much nicer. Basic construction is a frame within a frame, such that the inner frame slides up and down. This will be a counterbalanced easel. The inner frame will be counterbalanced using a system of weights and pulleys so that an entire canvas can easily be raised or lowered.

This build is all being done in 90/50 cherry. I got it at a great price, so… why not, right?
As I get farther along I may add accents in walnut or maple because I have leftovers of those from other projects.

So far I have the base and the inner and outer frames built.

Photo above is the inner and out frames, nested and fully closed.

And the one above here is the inner frame slid up about a foot and a half. That’s all the travel I can give it in its current position and until I get it standing. When done it should be able to travel about 4 to 5 feet up and down and will have the capacity to hold a canvas about 8 feet tall or more. I would usually wall mount a canvas that large, but this easel will hold it if I want. It’s more practical for paintings about 4 to 6 feet in height as you can raise and lower the canvas to work on the top or bottom comfortably. You need high ceilings to really extend this.

Above is a picture of the base. It is standing on its back in this photo. The front of the base is toward the ceiling. It is 30 inches wide.

I had to cut a slot in the top of the outer frame vertical pieces. The slot runs the width of the vertical frame stile and is 1/8” wide and 1-1/2” deep. It is made to accept a piece of aluminum flat bar stock that seats in a groove cut in the inner frame stile and serves to guide the inner frame and hold it in place so it doesn’t just fall out of the outer frame. :)

It looks like this:

The piece of aluminum bar stock will be trimmed to fit when I’m closer to completion. Right now it’s just easier to have it a bit long so I have something to grab to pull it out. Once we’re pretty much done with putting the frame in and taking it out and putting it in and….. then I’ll drill a hole and run a screw into it to keep it in place. Oversize hole in the aluminum, and a screw countersunk flush with the face of the stile. I want the aluminum to be able to float a little as the frames expand and contract.

Next I have to mill the stock to make the center post that will actually hold all the things that actually hold the canvas. And I have to make the canvas supports and the angle adjustment for the main frame. Should be fun :)

2 comments so far

View AandCstyle's profile


3219 posts in 2762 days

#1 posted 08-28-2013 12:47 AM

Charlie, this is quite an undertaking and it looks like you are doing fine with it. Thanks for posting.

-- Art

View Charlie's profile


1101 posts in 2791 days

#2 posted 08-28-2013 01:24 AM

Thanks! In order to get this all to work right, the inner and outer frames have to mate pretty well. They have to fit very close but still be able to slide. I built the outer frame first and then actually built the inner frame inside of the outer frame. Like using the outer frame as a jig. :)

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