design help with an artbox/easel design - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-08-2018, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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design help with an artbox/easel design

I am working on a design for a combination cart / easel, which is designed much like a chest. I would like to figure out how to make the lid of this chest rise up to about the height of a table. I am an artist first, woodworker second, mostly learning things as I go, and probably don't know quite basic things, but at the same time seem to be able to figure out how to make things work.

I have some ideas, but would like to know if there are terms for what I am describing - searching for a riser leads to unrelated results, and this isn't designed like any existing easel.

To give background...
This was designed to carry my art supplies, but also to fold out in various ways to I can just start painting in a minute, instead of taking 5 minutes to fold out the legs of a french easel ( not to mention getting everything else set up ), but it has everything laid out how I need it. This is all very experimental with the intent of seeing if there is a better way.

I have an existing box like top section ( my lid ), where two drawers slide out to allow a tilting drawing board to rise from underneath - using friction hinges, while the art supplies are on each side. I copied this from some chests I have seen where the top opens not up, but instead has drawer slides to let it slide out. I am not going to go into the design details more than that, except it's a working unit which is complicated (there is a picture attached). This is about 6" tall with plans to add another 2-3" to work as a lid, lights, or other things for art supplies.

Now I also designed a simple cart/box, which is about 12" tall, which fits under this box which it uses as a lid. There is a wheel on one side, and I am planning on adding a handle of some sort to help me pull it.

This combines to be 20" in height ( which just fits into my car trunk )
So what I need is a means of getting the lid to rise up to table height, via some sort of legs that come from the cart, which are both stable and sturdy. The goal here is to have it rise up to about 30", give or take, but I don't mind it being a bit low.

I can think of two approaches, the first is telescoping, where the legs are done like what you find on french easels, two pieces with one inside the other, which let me rise the lid as needed. The problem I see is each leg moves separately, and I would have tighten all 4 at once - or hold up the lid while I am tightening them, which is kind of why I don't like the french easel approach. ( This was my original design idea, but it's exactly why I am building this, to get away from this sort of approach, plus making this sort of leg seems complicated )

The second is to rotate the lid up, by having the legs stored at an angle, and having the lid rotate up into the upright position, then have some means of locking it into position - now here once it's up and the first leg is locked, then the others can be tightened. ( I included a simple design sketch for this )

There is a contraption you can get from rockler, which adds a lift to coffee tables, kind of the ideal solution, but far far too heavy.

All of these let the lid rise up in a manner that it's level all the time.

So I am wondering what other methods are there for lifting a lid.
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Last edited by Brian Meyer; 05-08-2018 at 08:25 PM.
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post #2 of 8 Old 05-08-2018, 09:43 PM
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I can't get Pinterest. Maybe one of these would work for you?
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/54043264256904983/
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post #3 of 8 Old 05-08-2018, 10:21 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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these come pretty close to what you want ....

They fold down low to the ground and have wheels for transport:
https://www.google.com/search?q=port...w=1920&bih=966

There's one DIY version also..

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #4 of 8 Old 05-09-2018, 03:44 AM Thread Starter
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I set up a test of the contraption, it seems to work even though I can't seem to drill holes which are centered even after tapping a starting point. The top piece stays level all the time which was my main goal. It really turned out better than I thought. Wonder if this 3 legged lifter has a name.

The problem seems to be that the device isn't centered on the box, it's on the far right side of it, so I am hoping that isn't an issue where it's imbalanced. I also put the top on it with this device in the middle, but it's not capable of lift it up and staying up without some sort of catch, plus the light clamps I was using just can't handle any real pressure.

Right now it's clamped to the sides, I am still deciding on where and how to attach it, both to the bottom and to the top. The bottom piece has some rather large bolts which are sticking out which I don't want to be in the way in the final design. I am thinking I can put a solid piece of plywood across the top, and across the back leg after it's in position, this will work as a cover for the box. The very top portion I want to bolt on via wingnuts so it's something I can detach when I want to.
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post #5 of 8 Old 05-09-2018, 07:56 AM
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Unless you are very gentle with it what you have built won't last. Where the bolts are the wood will split the ends of the stick. These parts need to be made out of metal for normal use.
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post #6 of 8 Old 05-09-2018, 11:49 AM
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Brian, Very unique! You could put a swing up support on the right (this picture) on the inside or the outside of the wagon box that would support the offset weight. Are you going to add a handle to dolly it around? Another thought would be to lengthen the uprights on each side (at the center point of the wagon) and drill a hole in it...and the wagon side, to lock it in the upright position with a bolt/knob for use. I think you have devised a very good idea. Well Done!
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post #7 of 8 Old 05-09-2018, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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Yes I am planning on doing some sort of handle which swings out to pull it. Right now I have a husky box which I load my gear into. This works, but it's messy as I have to pack and unpack, the goal here is to unfold or open drawers when I set up, perhaps tighten something, and when I am done to simply untighten, and close the drawers.

I don't understand what you mean by swing up support? Is that something which comes up from the box itself? I could probably put a hinge on the back under what comes up, might even be useful to keep the top closed when it's in movement. I kind of illustrated what I am thinking, ideally with some sort of knob that pulls out to allow it to go upright.

I was thinking the back of the far right pair of supports would act as a lid, but what I could do is add a triangular support as well which comes out on a hinge. As it tries to move forward to go down, this would increase the pressure on the triangular piece. ( this seems rather complicated to me, it could work, but not sure if it's a good idea ). Just adding a leg which goes to the ground might be a good idea too.

Are you saying make one of the uprights longer, soas to put a hole or some such to put in a retaining pin. I could probably do that on the middle support, the distance between holes would be the same, but the longer wood will swing lower, and I can put both a stop and a catch on it.

Quote:
Unless you are very gentle with it what you have built won't last. Where the bolts are the wood will split the ends of the stick. These parts need to be made out of metal for normal use.
That is kind of why I am posting here, is there a better approach for the lift mechanism, ideally using wood? I am leery of getting a heavy metal mechanism, mostly because I would have to design everything around it. I was hoping to see if there are other design approaches - this is my way of brainstorming.

Most easel legs on french easels are of similar design and much thinner wood. Does the kind of wood matter, I avoided pine and am using oak for these. It seems easel legs all use very hard woods. There are metal inserts at lowes, which are basically tubes, perhaps adding these will reinforce the wood so it does not cause it to split.
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post #8 of 8 Old 05-10-2018, 09:39 AM
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Brian, in your illustration center pic, lengthen the support on the left (bottom arrow) so it can be pinned to the side of the wagon.

Cantilever the storage box in the other direction (forward on the wagon) and put the swing up support (possibly your pulling handle) at the front of the wagon. I am just thinking about the center of gravity, and support for the box.

The box could be mounted to the top of the support assembly with drawer slides (so it could be slid forward/rearward) if necessary...using bearing drawer slides. and could be pinned thru the slide for transport.
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Last edited by gmercer_48083; 05-10-2018 at 09:57 AM.
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