Artist Easel - Counterbalanced

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Project by Brian Strothcamp posted 01-20-2013 08:30 PM 15025 views 8 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Built this as a present for the wife…
It’s entirely built with QSRO with Watco Dark Walnut Danish Oil

I ran across these killer boards and couldnt pass them up… hunt for a project to showcase them began and this was the result.

It has 2 sliding sections, the main 60” carriage and the center mast. This can easily hold a 96” tall canvas AND raise that canvas 60” off the floor. So you need a 15 foot ceiling to work that large (we have vaulted ceilings upstairs).

Benifits of the counterbalance is being able to work the top and bottom of the canvas without changing your position or even posture. A simple push with a finger and it slides to your desired position.

The bearings are wire rope sheaves riding on clevis pins retained by e-clips. The wire rope is 3/32 lubed mil spec and retained with set screws (one is enough but have room to for a backup).

This turned out to be a great project and looks so much better in person, definately furniture grade. Its near frictionless and very smooth which makes it a joy to use.

To see a short clip of it in action...

I experimented with transtint dyes (lemon yellow & honey amber) and various top coats to get the figure to pop but had less than desirable results. I think this stuff finishes a bit different than QSWO. I even tried fuming… I didn’t get the green tint like others experience but I never fumed WO to compare. All I know is it did make the finish darker. In the end I was quite happy with just the oil and doubt anything would have been better. Nature will take care of the rest.

I started this project just using pictures of something similar. Sketched up the main sliding carriage and winged the rest. I only got in a jam a couple times but my workarounds go un-noticed and appear to be part of the design intent.

8 comments so far

View Dwinkel5's profile


36 posts in 3500 days

#1 posted 01-20-2013 08:49 PM

Sweet project!

View a1Jim's profile


118162 posts in 4701 days

#2 posted 01-20-2013 08:53 PM

Beautiful easel,almost to nice to use.Your wife had to love this wonderful gift.


View Woodbridge's profile


3751 posts in 3542 days

#3 posted 01-21-2013 04:29 AM

That is a great easel. I have a couple artists in the family that would love something like that.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View jaysonic's profile


219 posts in 3266 days

#4 posted 01-21-2013 02:59 PM

LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!! What are the chances you have plans for this?? This is what I want to make my wife for her birthday!

View Ivan's profile


16851 posts in 3991 days

#5 posted 01-22-2013 05:18 AM

It’s realy piece of art. Looks like one of old Leonardo da Vincie’s maschines. Beautiful.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View CalgaryGeoff's profile


937 posts in 3606 days

#6 posted 02-14-2013 07:15 PM

Incredible build. It’s an amazing piece of art and furniture! Looks like picture frames are next.

-- If you believe you can or can not do a thing, you are correct.

View Beau & Kara Studios's profile

Beau & Kara Studios

123 posts in 3364 days

#7 posted 05-05-2013 05:00 PM

Awesome! Looks like my next challenge. I appreciate your posting. Very cool!

-- Beau Lasiewicz

View vladroy's profile


13 posts in 4518 days

#8 posted 07-10-2016 09:19 PM

OMG! This is exactly what I am looking for. Do you have any plans or sketches? Do you mind to share? This is incredible!

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