A folding easel is an ideal activity and learning centre for young children.
This easel is a great way to entertain a young child, and subtly reinforce learning at the same time. Its double-sided design incorporates a chalk board, a wipe board and a metal strip for magnets, plus troughs to hold chalk, crayons and other bits and pieces, for hours of stimulating fun away from computer and TV screens.
This easy-to-build project makes a terrific Christmas gift for children aged three and up. It folds down for convenient storage and the legs can be lengthened or shortened depending on the child's size.
Step By Step
- Using the patterns provided, cut the easel frame, trough pieces and side supports to size and drill the holes.
- Using a table saw or router, cut a 1/2" wide x 1/4" deep rabbet into the four frame pieces as shown in the diagram. Later, the green board and white board panels will be set into these grooves.
- Drill 1/4" holes to a depth of 1" in the side frame pieces as indicated. Using glue and 3" screws, assemble the two frames. Drill pilot holes to prevent the wood from splitting. Check to make sure the frames are square.
- Install the four threaded bolts into the two frames. The side supports will be fastened to these hanger bolts with brass washers and wing nuts.
Prepare The Panel Pieces
- Cut the two plywood panel pieces to size. Apply two coats of green chalkboard paint to one panel, lightly sanding between coats.
- The second panel will have the white board material and the galvanized metal panel adhered to it. Seal the panel with one coat of sealing paint, and apply two to three coats of high gloss spray paint. A smooth high gloss surface is necessary for good adhesion of the white board material.
- Following the diagram, cut the galvanized metal panel to size and finish with two to three coats of high gloss spray paint.
- When the plywood panel is thoroughly dry, follow the directions on the package to attach the white board material to the bottom of the panel. Fasten the metal panel to the upper section of the wood panel using PL Premium adhesive. Allow it to overlap the whiteboard material.
- Assemble the two box troughs using glue and 2" finishing nails. Cut the 1" hardwood dowel to length, sand the ends, and insert after painting.
- Sand all the frame and box pieces, and prime the wood using Beauti-Tonereg; primer. Paint the frames, side support pieces and box troughs using Beauti-Tone Designer Series, acrylic silk.
- When the frame panels are dry, place the stencil on the frame, secure it with masking tape, and spray paint stars on the frame.
- Attach two 3" hinges to the top of the frames, and install the two panels into the frames using 1" finishing nails or a brad nailer.
- Install the side supports and troughs as shown, using brass bolts, washers and wing nuts.