Wednesday, July 20, 2011

How to Build a Pochade Box

A year ago we purchased an Open Box M for my wife. Amazing craftsmanship and a great product, it came in at around 300 dollars, so I decided to build my own version for myself. Most of the ideas for this design came from my friend Matthew Mancini, but since he doesn't have blog, I am going to pretend I thought of everything myself. Below are the details.


The tools needed are a drill, a sponge brush, a metal file, a table saw (not pictured), and a power sander (not pictured). Ok, so you don't really need a chainsaw but I wanted to show off the fact that I have one. I really just use it for hunting bears and juggling.


I started by picking up two cradled birch panels from the art store. The dimensions are up to the individual, though 12 x 16 inches seems to be a nice medium size. These were stained with 2 coats of Minwax and sealed with 3 layers of Varathane. Don't forget to sand the panels before beginning.


The first thing I did was to create two slots in the upper part of one of the panels. These will be for the locking mechanisms that hold the panel in place later. I left just a little under 5 inches in the space between them. This was all done on a circular saw, though it could also be achieved with a router.


The first thing that I attached were the two brass hinges on the back. Make sure that each panel is facing the correct direction before assembly.




The next thing I assembled was the hinge system on the sides. The curved metal brass piece and the piece on the upper right corner of the above pic is part of a box lid support. Sometimes they come with an extra unnecessary piece of metal that has to be filed off. Other than that, everything can be found at Rona or Home Depot. Make sure that everything is properly spaced and the box opens and closes smoothly before sinking in all the screws. The wing-nuts and bolts will allow you to lock the box in place to keep it open during painting. The brass handle is simply mounted on the front with 2 screws.


The last thing I attached was the T-nut, which will act as the connection point for a tripod. Make sure to drill a pilot hole before hammering it in.



I fabricated two sliding/locking mechanisms for the canvas panel using two one inch by one inch pieces of wood. I used a power sander to give them a 45 degree angle on one side and drilled a hole for the bolt to go through. I used the same sized wing-nuts, washers, and bolts that I used on the hinges.


Behold my Pochade box in all its glory. The only thing that I didn't get around to attaching are the two catches that go on the front to hold the box shut in transit.


Some of our readers have expressed concerns about what to do in case of a bear attack while painting. With a few easy modifications to your Pochade box, you will be good to go. For close bear combat, the box can now be used in a stabbing motion to ward off bears or thrown like a short-range spear. For long range bear combat; use the attached hunting bow. Painting can be fun, but studio safety is no laughing matter.

There is another version of how to build your own Pochade Box on Mark Reeders blog (http://markreeder.blogspot.com/)

33 comments:

  1. That's a good simple design that I may use in the future. I literally this week took delivery of a lovely Pochade box that my father made for me and it's based on the Jullian design. I needed to hold a bigger size painting (12"x24") than commercially available boxes cater for.

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  2. To kill the Bear -You can use two tipe of gun...The master-type and the butcher tipe...First has single bullet,You let the bear aproach less than hundried meters,than you aim in the spot of hitle lower than left- center clavicula,than you shoot... Single combat...If you are master- the bullet will explode half meter into the bear's chest and disitegrate his lungs,heart ...The death of a great animal will be momentarely...If You are charged with the Bear,play death-that is your best chance...Some blood thirsty bastards kill the bear for pleasure,for paws or skin or trophy...I hope You never get that low...

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  3. Ok, so apparently some people don't get my sense of humor. I obviously don't hunt bears with a chain-saw. If you thought I did, what is wrong with you.

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    1. I love your sense of humor! Instructions usually bore me to death, but I read every line on this page, just looking for the next funny. And learned a bit in the process. Thanks!

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  4. I did not even think that You do...I am not stupid.And I do understand Your humor-but the truth is -I do not like it...I like though Your less humorous paintings...Fact is that You are in Bears domain...So teaser on your belt and compas in your hand made box at all time are good idea...Not the food with strong smell on you...The bear cover huge domain,and it will know that You are comind cilometers away,beefore you even dream he knows...Grizly climb the treas much better than You, from the Brown bear You can eventually hide on the trea...If You step on theit "teritorie" to clos to youngser or if the bear is blind hungry-You will be in trouble,trust me...

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  5. Ok, no more postings from bear enthusiasts with poor grammar skills. Also, my mom says I'm funny.

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  6. I know the "Your grammar" much better than You know mine...and second every Mom liks her Son-it is in mom' nature...

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  7. It is natural for your mom to like your humor...And when you know the grammar of my lenguage as I knou of yours ,You could complain,otherwise you are just little too self centered boy,my dear...Dream about bear while huging your teady bear,or better yet see the "Bear " movie...

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  8. Ok, so I am still not following this guy, but I think he may have explosives strapped to his chest.

    I also looked up the movie "The Bear" on IMDB, and below is the movie's description.

    "When a little girl loses her teddy bear in the polar bear enclosure at the zoo, she is surprised but very happy when the polar bear turns up at her home to return it."

    Sounds like a good wholesome film to me. Thank you for the recommendation.

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  9. Poor David with his fears of some Afganistan bad teroristic guy who would be from some reason after him!!!Too much TV and politics!!!
    From "Chain saw humor" to Disney alike movieabout polar bear and Girl...Something like that I saw in "Closer"but for the big girl of coars...Well I mentioned "The Bear" with Anthony Hopkins-For big girls and guys beefore sleaping time-much better that politics...Do not wory No one is after you...You just ripe of one humor and it will work better than Skunk...

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  10. Isn't the movie with Anthony Hopkins and a grizzly bear called "The Edge"? I saw that one too, but I think "The Bear" is much more fun for the whole family. The reunion of the girl with her Teddy bear is heartwarming and timeless.

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  11. You are quite right...The Edge...But The Bear And Hopkins ring the bell ,isn't it? The Bear though was the Genuine caracter(although trained)next to him (the Bear (was the old man) But the most interesting by far was the surviving young friend...And regarding the reunion and timelessness...the world lies in the younger hands so we will see them and their reunions(girls ,guys and the rest...) Since You are too smart for your pants I belive you could chat for hours,well I can't...Cheries are promising...Sorry for bad grammar,if you like

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  12. awesome!!!! I wanna make one for my small studies!

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  13. Dear Brian,
    I think You did not get it..The"famous box"is made for the trips in Rockies and for the new ,hardwood studio with new windows wide open in the garden with strawberry and cherry tree ,while the traveling cage for animal gives us hint of the stile of life...The preaty woman photograf gives us hint of coustomer and friends,i did not notice the pipe and the raiflles but I know that must be there along with Rolex watch...Mister smarty pants saw it all,he's been everiwhere,know it all and found the large space for his fitting personality, from which he is going to give us lessons about everithing till the rest of life... Not that I do not like some of his lessons ,although I hate his humor and I diagree with his well known arogance...And that would be all from my bad grammar today...

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  14. I have modified the blog posting to address your concerns. Thank you.

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  15. Dear Anonymous.
    I to think I did not get it. The Bear is a story of an orphaned bear cub who is adopted by an old male bear and must avoid hunters. I remember a "skunk", but no "cheries". I think he ate black berrys.
    I don not think theres bears in Afghanistan. But maybe soon:
    http://www.military.com/news/article/could-airborne-bears-catch-bin-laden.html
    From Anonymous #2

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  16. And Bart the bear (the Edge) was shot in the Great Outdoors by John Candy but didn't die. So I kinda think David might need a chainsaw.
    Anonymous #2

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  17. Dave I love the blog and the posts. Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing. talk to ya later!

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  18. Thanks Brian. Wish I was at HRF this year with you guys. It looks like you are having a blast. Next year for sure.

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  19. AND i think grammar of anonimus 2.is realy great,much better yhan mine...Thanks for explanation about Bart the bear...I feel better now...huh ,he is still alive!

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  20. Also, Bart the Bear is no longer with us. He died in a tragic chainsaw accident.

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  21. You crack me up David, thanks for the info on how to build the pochade box. Hope you come to another Fellowship at some point.

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  22. Ok, this is the best artists' blog I have seen to date. Most bloggers are, in my humble, humble opinion, very boring. Congratulations - you can paint and write!

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  23. Quote: "Ok, so apparently some people don't get my sense of humor. I obviously don't hunt bears with a chain-saw. If you thought I did, what is wrong with you."

    Rats! NOW what do I do with my chainsaw???

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  24. They can still be used for juggling...obviously.

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  25. David- After reading the course of this "conversation" between you and "Anonymous," I've come to the logical conclusion that no human could have such bad spelling and grammar. Therefore, Annoy....er Anonymous must be.....A BEAR! Who else would watch so many bear movies and be so obviously pro-bear? You've been infiltrated, man! I'd watch out for that pic-a-nic basket if I were you.

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    1. Holy crap your comment just made my day.

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  26. David,

    I am very excited about building my own version of your fabulous pochade box. I live in South Florida so I was wondering if you could offer any suggestions on how to mount my AR-15 to the box so that it is both useful and attractive.

    Best Regards,
    Garry

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    1. You'll want to double check with Dave on this, because he's the expert, but when it comes to installing weapons on your plein air box I think it's important to consider that you will need both long range and short range defense. There will be times when you can see a bear coming from a mile away, but other times they might sneak up on you and get within the reach of your AR-15. At these times a serrated hunting knife will be a better tool of defense.

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  27. I love your sense of humor. Great post.

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  28. After the bear rips off your first arm, it's time to spring into aggressive action and deploy plan B. This consists of jamming your remaining fist down the bear's throat (the fist with the grenade in it) and laughing in his face, taunting him. Since you have nothing left to live for with only one arm, it's time to take down this shaggy critic in the only way left to you. One problem. Did you pull the pin? How could you have, unless you still had 2 hands at the time? Having 2 arms, why would you pull the pin? You wouldn't. This tactic is full of holes, unlike the bear. Don Coyer

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    1. I think this might be my favorite comment ever made on the blog.

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    2. ..fantastic blog! ...oh, and I once threw my pochade box at a bear

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