Dry Erase Board & Easel
For Carving Design
One of the most useful things a woodcarver can do is sketch, either on paper or the wood. Often when I'm working on a new carving project I will want to have it laid out on paper before I commit tool to wood. Other times I may be in the process of carving a project and I will get an idea about something I either want to add to it or change about it.
I have always found paper to be pretty good for these circumstances, yet just a little limiting. For one thing it is a hassle to have to scale down larger carvings to fit the piece of paper. Another thing that is a hassle is having to find a place to lay or hang the paper so that I can refer to it while carving. Well, though minor, those troubles are over for me now.
I have had this old homemade easel for a long time, though I never really used it as much as I thought I would when I made it. Recently while wandering through the local office supply store I spied a large dry erase board and the wheels started turning. I promptly bought the dry erase board and took it home to start modifying it to suit my needs. The first thing I did was mount it on the easel, simple enough. Next I decided that instead of constantly having to use a ruler to size and proportion my drawing I would line the top, bottom, and sides of the dry erase board with "inch" markings. With these two simple modifications my new design helper was ready to use, and use it I have. Now when I feel the need to sketch an idea or lay out a carving, I simply do it on the dry erase board and position the easel so that I can easily see it from where I'm carving. I didn't make up any plans for my easel, but hopefully with the pictures below you will get enough of an idea of how it is made to make one for yourself. I also have pictures of a 32" cigar store Indian design I am working on using my design helper. Hope you enjoy the pictures and get inspired to make your own.

Easel Side View

Easel Back View

Easel Legs

Board Platform

Front of Board
Figure Marked in
Head Lengths

Left Side of Board
Figure Marked in
Head Lengths

Right Side of Board
Figure Marked in
Head Lengths

This picture shows how I sometimes use the marker board when I teach a carving class

Marks On Easel