Sunday, May 1, 2011

How to Rig a French Easel for Working Outside

Last year I bought a French Easel for $50 bucks - the same one with a "brand" name costs three times as much.  It does what it needs to do and I have taken it out in the field about a dozen times.  The first few outings were disastrous because the legs would collapse in the middle of me working. The last straw was when it collapsed right after I set up and the fall broke my turpentine jar.  Needless to say, I was forced to go home early. 

The problem is that most of the appendages and bars have a little bolt you hand tighten to keep it in place, but it never stays tight enough and they slip.  So I drilled holes in the legs and slid a nail through so they cannot collapse. The holes are a hair larger than the nails, so the fit is easy, and they go in and out smoothly.   The nails are 2" so they hang out the other side.  I keep a bunch inside the easel, and in my bag when I go out, so I don't worry if I loose one or misplace one.
 I did this on each leg - just above the extension of the slide out leg. This way the easel is "locked" in its most open position.

This works perfectly. 

It is very stable -

This picture is of my first day out painting this season.  Woods Pond in Lenox. 

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