Newbie - Counterweight Easel

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19 Apr 2021
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New Forest
Hi All, first post and first time into woodwork. I have a tendency to go all in and I've wanted to build my own furniture etc for a while. I will practice joins, cuts etc before getting started on the project, I'm just trying to put all the designs to bed before I buy anything else.

Sadly I've jumped in at the deep end and want to make a counterweight easel! I've bought a: sliding mitre saw, thicknesser planer, router and picked up a woodrat (too good a price not to).

Firstly, I'm trying to work out if I'd be better with a table saw/skillsaw/track saw? I've seen some jigs to enable each of them to become a poor mans jointer and also to cut lengths of wood to size. From youtube americans all seem to love a table/bench saw, but I also know how it's not ideal for long bits of wood without help. I think the maximum at the moment for the easel would be around 1.2m and I'm designing the posts to support it to be 5cm thick.

Another issue I'm having with the design is I want to combine the features of this DIY easel: Counterweight Easel

with the ability to turn into a table like this one: Table Easel

So I have a place to varnish the painting afterwards. Being completely new (and I know this should not be my first project!) I don't know about all the different methods to create a hinge like the second one to support the first (although it would be a bit smaller, I don't have ceilings like that!).

I'm thinking a coach/carriage bolt, with a plastic sleeve to reduce friction and a star knob to lock in place to make it sturdy?

Additionally, the back legs that support the easel and slide within one another to turn it into a table, would a sliding dovetail with a similar setup as the carriage bolt be ok or would T Tracks be stronger/more durable? I don't imagine moving it back and forth too much, most of the time it will be at 90 degrees.

Thank you for reading, I've been doing my old man's head in with questions, hopefully I've not done the same again!