Transforming Art Box & Easel

This was a fun gift to make for one of my nieces, who is always painting something every time I visit. This is a combination of a “diary box” for her art projects (and brushes, paints, etc), which converts into a bench-top easel with extending legs that come out of the bottom. Took longer that I originally expected, but the result was worth it.

IMG_20171110_153516

Finished cutting all the pieces from pine rough lumber.

IMG_20171110_180052

Time to glue and clamp the “face” boards. Put some “light” 83lbs dumbbells (the 165’ers are out-of-frame) on top to keep it from potentially flying apart

IMG_20171111_140540

Cutting the remaining pieces to length.

IMG_20171111_140556

Rounded the “face” boards with my plunge router and a DIY jig I made.

IMG_20171111_174333

Stained all the pieces and finished with some poly. I think the stain was named “raspberry”.

IMG_20171112_091359

Initial assembly with pocket holes, glue, and wood screws.

IMG_20171112_122253

Installed the handle, latch, and hinges.

IMG_20171112_122307

Added some hooks and a “gold” chain inside to help hold the box open at a specific angle when in “easel mode”. I later used some transparent shrink tube on the majority of the chain so the box couldn’t lock itself shut.

IMG_20171112_122400

Legs deployed in “easel mode”. There are four sliding latches inside to lock the legs in deployed/closed positions.

IMG_20171202_001126

I used my chisel set and an eletrician’s knife to cut out a 6″x1.5″ recess to epoxy in some very strong bar magnets. After the epoxy dried, I filled the remaining space with wood filler, and stained it too. Now, we can just put a decorative magnet on the front outside face panel to hold pictures in place (no need for hooks or clips on the outside of the case).

IMG_20171202_005151

Finished result (inside). I supplied an additional bar magnet to hold pictures in place until a “pretty” one arrived in the mail to replace it. The magnetic area also keeps the chain from clanging around.