Homemade Easel – Stronger than Store bought

Homemade Easel – Stronger than Store bought
My son Jamie from Jamie Jansen Photography came to me with a problem.  He needed to participate in a large bridal show in Cleveland.  He needed to display large mounted photographs.  A normal easel would not be sturdy enough and could be knocked over by the crowd.  He asked if I could help.
I researched and designed an easel based on the above requirements. I decided to use 1×2 frames and construct it using ¼” bolts with wing nuts for easy dismantling. The 1×2 frame was built using wood from a local lumber yard. I cut the boards into 34” strips using my Dewalt 12” sliding compound mitre saw. After the wood sections were cut I ran each piece through a router with a 1/8” round over bit. This finished the edges taking away the sharp corners and eliminating the possibility of splinters. I finished each piece by lightly sanding to give a smooth surface. The holes, for inserting bolts, were bored in the widest portion of each board, using a Sears 12” drill press. The easel required six boards, two were needed for each of the three legs. Each leg was then constructed allowing them to overlap and inserting a bolt and washer on each end with the wing nut secured. At the top end of each leg, on the inside of each outer section, a 15 degree beveled cut was made. A hole was then drilled at the top to insert a 3 ½” bolt and washers. This allowed the two outside legs to attach and angle out for support.
This project stands approximately 65” tall and is 30” wide. I cut two boards 24” long which were used for the picture to rest upon. To prevent the picture from slipping off the support I routed a dado cut, using a ¼” straight bit, creating a rest for the picture frame. A hole was drilled in the center of each board. One board was placed on the front of the easel and the second board on the back of the easel. A  4” bolt was inserted to draw the boards together horizontally and so hold the picture in place. The final step in construction was to attach a chain from the front picture rest to the rear leg to provide support and hold the legs in position during use.
Jamie wanted it stained with a Minwax Ebony stain. This would provide the dark color which he wanted for his display. I finished by applying two coats of Minwax Ebony stain to get the required color.
I made two for a minimal cost of approximately $35.00.  These should last a lifetime and will be a great display piece for his studio. They are sturdy and can be folded at the joints for storage.
I hope you have enjoyed this project. I have many more to post. If you have any projects you are currently working on or have done please send me a note. I would like to hear about it.
Exciting restorations are ahead!!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>