Sunday, May 23, 2010

Beauport Easel Fix

Alot of people have been using or should I say "trying" to use the latest mass produced version of the original Goucester Easels, the Beauport. Working painters look for an outdoor easel that is sturdy while painting and they can actually leave for a second and not find fallen over, broken and your painting butter side down in the dirt when they return. This easel has that potential, the one thing holding it back is well, itself. The modern manufacturer ( I don't know the actual name) is sending these out for sale ignoring the best parts of the design that they have stolen (borrowed??)
With this post I'm hoping to help out those who bought one (or are about to) based on the photos and when they got it out of the bag and tried to use it said " WTF this thing is a POS!" Most of the measurements for the mods I'm gonna show you can be made by looking at the enlarged photo and guesstimating the location. Only a couple of things are very important to making this easel work correctly. Please ask questions if I am vague or over look anything.

First thing is the traveling, the "body bag" it comes with is ridiculous. You can probably use that to carry six of these easels...
Most all you need can be held in place with two small bungee cords.
1: First mod is taking one of the stock strap holder rings off and putting aside for later. Replace this with a decent frame hanger ring. The one you took off fits something else that we need to modify later. While doing this you can throw out the stock plastic clip that is attached to the strap. That thing is junk and you will do better to tie the long strap directly to the metal rings.

2: Place a small eyelet that has been bent open in the top inside of the back leg, as shown in Photo 3 and 4, this will be what holds the horizontal "A" cross braces in place when we are closing the easel and opening it. Notice the screws place into what will be the bottom front of the horizontal "A" frame. By the placement of the screws in the hinge area you should be able to get a ball park measurement to place these screws and leave them out approx 1/4 - 1/8 of an inch.

3: Here in Photo 5 we see where that strap ring clamp went, we placed it around one of the metal "C" rings that hold together the horizontal "A" cross braces. The other Metal "C" ring has been removed for the next step. Please click on photo as it should make what is going on here much clearer.

4: Notice in Photo 6 the location and orientation of the "metal C rings" one is in between the metal pins of the horizontal A cross brace and the other we must bend back on in front of the front set of pins. The opening of the "C" must be up on both metal "C" rings in order for the easel to close properly. Again click on the photo for clarification.

When you set up your easel now you will be able to use the supplied rod (the one that looks like there is a nail sticking out of one side) to pull the closest metal "C" ring towards you and this will tighten the easel. No more wobble. Genius right?
Anyway when these mods are complete your easel should fold up like an original and open like one too. If you ever get the chance to pick an original up, do it! They are about 3-4lbs lighter then the Beauport and the ones Ive seen open quicker then any other easel I know of.

No quotes today, a real post coming soon. Go paint!


Frank Gardner said...

Good post Dan, that should clear it up for a lot of people. I made similar fixes to mine and have had to help people that were really having a hard time trying to figure it out. You'd think that they would actually try and set one up at the factory or something.
The laundry bag it comes in is useless. That thing is huge.
Where's the painting you did on it?

Michael Chesley Johnson, Artist / Writer said...

Thanks for posting this, Dan. Now I'll take this to the studio and see if I can fix mine! (I'd moved an eyelet to the back to support the A-cross brace, which kinda sorta worked, but not very well. Wobble City!)

Daniel Corey said...

Hey Frank, Yeah that "Laundry Bag" (LOL) is ridiculous. I have been strapping my 20x24s to the EasyL, I'm gonna do a post on how that all works for people who have never tried that. It surprisingly works pretty good.

I forgot to mention in my write up here that David Lussier is the friend/great painter that showed me his original Gloucester and where the Beauport went wrong. I came up with my fixes but before he showed me I thought this easel was a very poorly designed POS.

Your Welcome MCJ, hopefully the photos will fill in the gaps of my explanation. If you want I'll give it the Maine State Easel Inspection when we meet up for some painting? lol..

Michael Chesley Johnson, Artist / Writer said...

Thanks so much for the "fix," Dan! It took me less than 30 minutes with my Leatherman tool. Gosh, this thing is such a neat design!

Florie Enders said...

Just got my Beauport today. I think they added a couple of eye hooks but still no instructions as to why??

Also, I can't get the rod (with the nail) thru the holes...can't hold the canvas! Any suggestions? Wax? Oil? Grease?

Daniel Corey said...

Hi Florie, thanks, do any of the new eye hooks do any of the things i talked about here? Hope so. If you are unsure send me some pics via my email and I will try to help sort it out. I wonder if I forward this post to ASW or Jerry's if they will thank me with some tubes of white or something??? :)

Daniel Fishback Fine Art LLC said...

I'm still using a french easel but this looks really interesting. I was wondering how you carry your wet oil painting when you are finished with it? The Beauport evidently does not have the walk with your wet painting still attached french easel capability.

Daniel Corey said...

Hi Dan, great name! Ha. On the wet canvas, I am trying to figure out the best way still....for now I just carry it wet back to the car or use an adjustable canvas carrier from "Trident " in one hand and the paintbox in the other. The easel goes over the shoulder and a backpack is on my back.
I am hoping to make an adjustable piece for the palette box to hold canvas but it has to work so the box can still fit on the easel right. Quite a quagmire. Thanks for stopping in.

Cobalt Blue said...

Dan thanks for this post--when I got mine I was convinced it was an unusable POS. Glad I didn't toss it out. Now that I have the thing spread out on my living room floor, with your blog on the computer, all is clear! Thanks again, man! Happy painting!

Tobin Nadeau said...

Hi Dan,

Nice post! How are you enjoying your authentic, hand-made Take It Easel, after which the Chinese-made Beauport was modeled??

Also, as an FYI to anyone interested, I've got a few modified Beauports on hand for sale, that my mother had stocked a while back for her students...brand new, with the modifications already made...feel free to contact me if interested

Happy painting!

Tobin Nadeau