A Perfect Box for Painting on the “Gogh”

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Simple joinery, exotic materials and some rare earth magnets come together in a custom-designed paint box that doubles as a portable studio. It provides safe storage and space for finished pieces and supplies — all an aspiring Van Gogh needs to create masterpieces anywhere.

My brother is an artist, so I built  him a nice paint box for his birthday a few years ago. He showed it to co-workers at Disney Animation and before I knew it, I was in the paint box business. The version shown here is designed to hold three 11" x 14" canvas boards, as well as a pallet of the same size, without any wet surfaces touching each other. The top of the lid is hinged to reveal slots for the canvases, and the pallet rests on four posts in the corners of the box. I've included an option for a tripod mount on the bottom of the box (see sidebar at the end of the article). Another unique feature is the use of rare earth magnets in several locations. These are very powerful, so it’s important to read the warnings on the packaging.

If you know a fine artist and you’re ready to tackle a little metal and leather work in the woodshop, this beautiful box is an exciting project to build. It’s a good idea to have all of your hardware on hand at the beginning. The most obvious piece of hardware, the handle, is handcrafted leather. I’ve explained later how it’s made, but you may wish to purchase one instead. The handle is held in place by two brass plates, and these will have to be manufactured. See the sidebar on page 24 for instructions.

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