While there are several types of easel, including table top easels and rigid floor easels, in general the most common type of easel is a free-standing adjustable type that comprises three legs and a cross beam where the painting surface can be mounted. Usually constructed from wood, home-made stands are fairly straightforward to put together. Here is how to make an easel in a few steps.
Measure and cut the wood
Using two inch by two inch timber, cut two lengths of approximately three feet for the front legs. At the top of each leg, draw a line approximately 4cm from the top at an angle of 15 degrees - use a protractor here for accuracy. Now, cut the tops with a handsaw. Cut a length of two by two approximately one inch shorter than the front legs - this will be the middle leg.
Drill holes for the bolt
Drill a hole on each of the two legs 2cm from the top so that the hole goes through the angled side. Use a 10mm (3/8-inch) drill bit for this. Drill a similar hole through the middle leg, again 2cm from the top. Insert a 10cm long bolt through one of the front legs and then through the middle leg. Finally, sandwich the middle leg with the other front leg. Attach a wing-nut to the end of the bolt and loosely tighten it with your fingers.
Cut the cross member
Cut two lengths of 4cm by 1cm timber approximately 60cm in length. Join these two lengths together at right angles, using wood glue and tacks. Starting approximately 10cm from each end, drill holes at intervals of 3cm on the upright length of the cross member. Use a 6mm drill-bit for this.
Drill holes in the legs
Now, drill similar holes on the front faces of the front legs, again at intervals of 3cm and starting 40cm from the bottom. Drill the holes up to about one third the length of the legs from the top. Next, attach the cross beam to the front legs by inserting 3-inch by 1/4 bolts through the holes on the cross beam and front legs. You can do this at the height that you require. Attach wing nuts to the ends of the bolts and tighten them with your fingers.
Mount the plywood backing board
Cut a panel of 60cm square from 1/4 plywood. Mount this onto the cross beam in an upright position with glue and tacks. Next, make the easel stand in an upright position and arrange the legs until the easel is balanced. Tighten the wing nut at the top so that the easel remains standing firmly upright.