Kris carved the original then cast the sculptures for a series of these signs by Signstar of Tampa, Florida.

Build this portable easel and storage unit

By signcraft

Posted on Thursday, February 21st, 2019

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One thing that few sign shops have enough of is workspace. Kris Connors at Custom Sculpture & Sign Co. found that two of these shop-built large portable storage easels provide added workspace and storage at the same time. And since they roll easily on heavy-duty casters, they can easily be moved where you need them.

An easel is more comfortable to work at than leaning over a bench, and the moveable pins let you position the work at any convenient height. At six-feet wide, they can easily hold panels up to 8-feet wide or more. Positioned beside each other, they can accommodate longer projects. You can also use multiple horizontal ledgers to hold several small signs during production—freeing up other benches while panels dry or get graphics applied to them.

“We built two of these easels for our shop and they get a lot of use,” Kris says. “They are 6-ft. wide x 8-ft. tall. Movable pins let you raise and lower the support that holds your work. The caster wheels make it easy to move around the shop. We use the storage bin in the back for easy access to smaller pieces of material, which is really handy.

“It’s been a big help for me, because I don’t have a huge shop so it’s easy to run out of room. The easels save a lot of floor space.”

The easel is built from 2×4 framing with a 1×8 top plate. The two center supports behind the ½-in. plywood skin are 2×3 stock. Large eyebolts go through the ledger board and into a series of holes drilled down the right and left sides of the easel.

“Working at an easel is easier on your back,” he says. “I do a lot of sculpture panels, and the easel works great for that. You can leave a panel there to dry after painting, and it also makes a great place to store finished signs until they’re delivered. They’re up and out of harm’s way.”

As you can see from the photos, most of Kris’s work is sculptural signs, but the easel is just as much at home in any sign shop. It creates a convenient, comfortable workspace without sacrificing precious floor space. Being able to roll them around is a plus, and the storage bin on the back corrals a lot of material that would be clutter otherwise.

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