How to Build a Wooden Easel
Free Woodworking Plans from Lee's Wood Projects
Posted by Lee Swindel
This wooden easel is a perfect way to display posters, and informational items as well as drawings and paintings. It also makes a great teaching aide for presentations. The magnetic dry-erase board facilitates learning in a colorful way. The sturdy mahogany frame comes with a tray for holding an eraser, magnetic items, markers, and other accessories. A flip chart can easily be attached with the spring loaded chart clamp mounted at the top.
Technical Information for Building a Wooden Easel
A. Materials List:
B. Cutting Procedures:
- The easel can be made two mahogany boards: one board 3/4" x 9" x 84" and the other 3/4" x 4" x 60".
- Joint one edge of each board straight and smooth.
- Use a table saw to rip four legs (A) 1 1/2"" wide from the longest board. Be sure to place the jointed edge against the fence.
- Scribe a 3/4" radius arc on one end of each leg, and cut the arcs with a band saw. Use a disk sander to smooth the arcs.
- From the rounded end, on each leg, measure 74". Use a protractor to scribe 77 degree angle on each leg, and cut the legs with a radial arm saw.
- Mark the center of each arc on the legs and drill 1/4" holes for the carriage bolts (H).
- Rip the longest board 1 1/2" wide and use a radial arm saw to cut two boards 26" long for the leg braces (B).
- Plane the remainder of the long board 5/8" thick. Rip the board 1 1/4" wide and cut the length 28" for the tray front (F).
- Plane the shortest board 5/8" thick.
- Use a radial arm saw to cut the board into two 28" lengths.
- Adjust the table saw blade to 77 degrees and rip one board 3 1/4" wide for the tray back (D). Rip the other board 2 1/2" wide for the tray bottom (E).
- Plane the remainder of the board 1/2" thick, readjust the table saw blade to 90 degrees and rip two pieces 9/16" wide for the leg latch assemblies (L).
- Use a router and a 5/8" round-over bit to route the arc on the top edge of the tray front (F). Route the edge from both sides.
C. Sanding Procedures:
- Rough sand the legs (A), leg braces (B) and tray pieces (D), (E), and (F) with an orbital sander and 80 grit sandpaper.
- Intermediate sand with an orbital sander and 120 grit sandpaper.
- Finish sand with an orbital sander and 220 grit sandpaper.
- Hand sand leg latch assemblies (L), all edges, rounded areas, and routed areas with 220 grit sandpaper.
D. Assembly Procedures
- Measure16" from the foot of each leg (A) for the placement of the leg braces (B).
- Use bar clamps to clamp the leg braces in place between the legs. Use a portable hand drill with a 1/8" x 1 1/2" counter sink to drill two holes in each leg for the wood screws.
- Remove the clamps and place wood glue on the ends of each leg brace. Secure the legs and leg braces with wood screws (K).
- Lay one leg-leg brace assembly on a work bench and attach the magnetic white board (C) to the legs with six wood screws (K). The white board should be attached 3/4" from the top of the legs
- Clamp the spring loaded chart clamp (G) to the magnetic white board. From the back side of the magnetic white board drill four 1/8" diameter holes through the white board and the spring clamp plate. These holes should be drilled 2" and 10" from each side and 3/4" from the top of the white board.
- Open the spring loaded clamp and place the four machine screws (N) through the holes. Secure the spring loaded clamp to the magnetic white board with the lock nuts (O).
- Place wood glue on the 90 degree edge of the tray bottom (E). Clamp the tray front (F) to the tray bottom and use a nail gun and 1 1/2" nails to secure them. Place glue on the 77 degree edge of the tray bottom and clamp the tray back (D) to it. Nail the tray back to the tray bottom. Clean up excess glue and allow glue to dry over night.
- Measure 30 3/8" from the bottom of the legs for the tray assembly placement. Temporarily clamp the tray assembly to the legs. Use a portable hand drill and a #8 x 1 1/2" counter sink to drill two holes on each end of the tray back. Remove the clamps and place wood glue on back side of the tray back. The glue should only cover 3/4" of each end. Secure the tray assembly to the legs with wood screws (K).
- Nail the non-skid rubber bumpers (M) to the bottoms of each leg. Note: The non-skid rubber bumpers should be attached after the finish procedures are completed.
- Insert a carriage bolt (H) through two of the legs (A) with a flat washer (I) separating the legs. Tighten with a wing nut (J). Repeat the process for the other two legs.
- Screw a brass hook onto one end of each wooden leg latch. Use a compound miter saw to cut the opposite ends of the wooden leg latches to 77 degrees.
- Measure 25 3/4" from the bottom of each leg to determine the placement of the leg latch assemblies (L).
- Clamp the leg latch assemblies (L) to outer surfaces of the legs (A). Drill a 1/8" diameter hole through the end of each leg latch assembly and the legs. Insert a machine screw (P) through each hole. A flat washer (I) should separate each leg latch assembly and leg. Tighten with lock nuts (O).
- Screw a round head wood screw (Q) into each rear leg. Leave approximately 1/8" between the screw head and the legs for the leg latch to hook onto.
E. Finish Procedures:
- Use plastic wood dough to fill all holes, cracks and imperfections.
- When the wood dough is dry hand sand with 220 grit sandpaper.
- If stain is desired, apply with a brush and allow to dry penetrate for 5-10 minutes, and then remove with a clean rag.
- Allow stain to dry 6 hours and then repeat with a second coat.
- Use a brush to apply a clear finish coat such as Varathane, Polyurethane, lacquer, etc. Allow to dry 12 hours.
- Lightly hand sand finish with 220 grit sandpaper.
- Apply second coat of clear finish.
- If additional finish coats are desired, repeat steps #5 and 6.
- Allow 24 hours for the finish to dry sufficiently.
2. Use a tack rag after each sanding procedure to remove the dust.
*Congratulations, your wooden easel is finished and ready to use!