I did have to look around a bit to
get all the stuff I needed. Most items can be found at a 'home improvement'
store. I used a combination of Lowe's and Menards (Menards is a
local chain, I believe). A Home Depot would be simliar.
If you haven't already seen the materials
list, you might want to look there first before reading further.
The casters, bolts, hex nuts, and washers were
bought at the Lowe's. The other stuff, for one reason or another
were bought at the local Ace Hardware. Some things just weren't
available at the Lowe's, especially the square nut. Ask for a square
nut at Lowe's and they don't even know what you're talking about
-- 'Why won't a hex nut do?'. Only hardware stores have these weirdo
items. Also the thumb screw, hinges and all-purpose screws were
I also got my wood at Lowe's. I probably should
have gone to a lumber yard, but they aren't open nearly as late
as Lowe's and it just didn't fit my schedule as well. At the Lowe's,
you can select from different grades of lumber--you want the best
grade (price difference is nominal). At the Lowe's here, you're
presented with a huge pile of wood. DON'T just take 8 2x4's off
the top. Hold each one out straight in front of you and evaluate
the straightness of the piece. It will take a while to get 8 good
straight ones. I went through about 30 before I got my 8. This goes
for all the other wood, although the 2x4's are the most important
structurally and the hardest to find straight. The poplar, pine
and dowel came from their craft-wood section.
If you're willing to spend more money, you should
of course feel free to use a hardwood, such as poplar or oak. Several
people have done this from the plans. However, I suggest that you
might want to build one cheap one before you break out the good
wood, unless you have plenty of experience.
I won't start a war over where to buy tools (if
you read rec.woodworking, you know what I'm talking about :)). My
best reccommendation is to buy quality, name-brand tools when you
do buy them. Cheapos break when you most need them--quality tools
just do their job well.
Don't spend more than 4-5 bucks on the mitre box;
you will destroy it. At least, I did. The reason is because after
a few cuts, I no longer had the patience to cut 2x4's with a backsaw.
It's just a long way to go so slowly. So I took my crosscut handsaw,
which is thicker, and used that in the box. It screwed up the slots
(widened them), but worked for the project, and, most importantly,
worked much quicker. Now I keep it around for cutting 2x4's and
have a new $5 one for more precise work. The chisel, square, and
clamps all came from Lowe's (mainly Stanley). The power tools are
all Sears Craftsmen. The drill is great and the jigsaw is pretty
junky (it's their lowest-end one...see what I mean about buying
Since I first designed these plans and built an
easel from them, I've greatly enhanced my tool collection from that
category I was lacking in--power tools. I now have a stationary
contractor's table saw (Delta), a compound mitre saw (Makita), a
cordless drill, an oscillating sander and a few other odds and ends.
For those who have access to these tools, you can build this easel
much more quickly. I built my second easel after I got the mitre
saw, and it definitely made a difference in speed. The easel is
no better in construction, but it took less time to build. The one
tool that I don't have that would also really help is a router.
The router would make cutting the slots in the rear support very
simple and accurate. I mention these things not to discourage those
without them, but to encourage those with them. I especially encourage
those with power tools to be creative in thinking of improvements.
The gallery page mentions some
ideas by others.
I suggest using a phillips bit in your drill to
drill the screws into place (don't forget to drill pilot holes first!!).
3" screws are long and would take a year to screw in by hand.
All of the tools can be borrowed if you don't
have them. Lots of people have them. However, if you can afford
it, a drill should be the first tool you buy in my opinion--I use
it more than anything else (except for maybe my cordless screwdriver).
You can go for a corded or cordless. The corded will generally get
you a lighter and more powerful drill for the money. However, I
hardly touch my corded drill ever since I bought my cordless. I
bought a Black & Decker Firestorm and it works very well.
Proceed to the plans,