I worked in a sign shop area for a large exhibit company once that had three huge rolling/locking easels. Each were 4 ft. x 40 ft. and they all were built on a 30° angle (did that come out as a degree symbol?).
We had a roller on the ends of them that could hold 36" transferRite tape. Talk about massive amounts of speedy work .....wow! We kicked major butt at that place. There would be as many as 10 people doing nothing but weeding and applying vinyl to all kinds of display substrates for up to 16 hours or more a day just before a show would come to town.
We worked these easels in "stagecoach" fashion in this massive warehouse and because there was so much paper and tape trash that would accumulate so fast .....we just threw the stuff over the easels onto the big triangle area of the floor behind them. The piles of tape and paper on some days would stack up twenty feet!!! The forklift guys would come in and scoop up copious piles of sticky transfer tape and paper like these cool automotive pitchforks...and roll on out to 30 foot trash bins....while we detailed the floors clean every night.
We have a 4' by 24' easel in our back work room for doing banners on. Its great.. Im not sure at the angle it is set at.. but works great.. Its covered with this hard pressed cardboard stuff they use on movie sets to make walls with (Im not sure what its called) That we can stick the metal push pins in to keep the banners tight. Donno how we would do the long banners without.. If you have the space in your shop.. they are a great addition...
okay.. i took a couple pictures today.. so you can see it..
We will be redoing the storage area under the easels as soon as we get a some free time (the past owner was not as neat as i like to be).. but.. Here it is now.. ..
Really...folks it's super easy. it's just one of those things you do by looking at it and then you add or take away details that fits your particular construction skills. It's all based on 4x8 sections, "tied" together to whatever length you want. Or, just use the one section, for you teensy garage space shops.
Here's a materials list of one of the many ways to build the basic frameworks:
1.) Sheets of plywood
2.) Angle iron
4.) Nails, screws, hinges, wall anchors
Okay.....basically a section is comprised of two sheets of 4x8 material....a backer sheet and a top covering(discussed later)
The backer sheet can be made of regualar old 1/2" A/C plywood (you can get by with 3/8") then, attach 2" angle iron to the bottom for a "lip" to hold things (EVERYTHING!!!....yes, including finished signs Jen..hehe ) On the back of the top edge attach three strong hinges that you'll be, in turn, attaching to 2x4 material on the wall.
Snap a line at about "tippy toe" height on your wall. (Oh, remember you'll be standing about 2 feet back from the wall because of the slant of the easel.) This is where you'll attach those 2x4 pieces.....OR.....if you'd like, run the whole length with 2x4 material.....incorporating the wall anchors and existing wall studs (if possible) for this.
Hang your 4x8 section(s) on the the 2x4 material that is attached securely to the wall. Note * You'll need at least one extra pair of hands for this.
So, now.....you have a hanging section (or sections) on the wall just staring at you. Now what do you do? Well, first grab the bottom of your newly hung easel frame and get a feel for where you want to secure the angle.
Now, I have built these with and without storage racks. The storage racks are the preferred way....obviously. However, I have built easels that could "swing" at different angles....incorporating notched 1x6s attached to the floor. To do this you have to build an additional hinged-and-framed structure that "clicks" into the notches on the floor.
Either way, you guys get the basic picture.....figure it out from there. The way this works is..... you'll even figure out a better easel than I ever did. Have fun learning how to doing rest of it yourself. That's all I'm going to give you.
Here's a adjustable height easel I made years ago when I use to hand letter everything and liked to work at chest height. The sign holders can quickly slide in and out of any slot. It was a good size for the short side of the room and sections can be added relatively easy.
this is as simple as it gets.....4 2x4's, couple 2x2 cut and screwed to the back of the 2x4......4 big nails all at the same higth from the floor.....to hold up a sheet of 5/8 4x8 ft plywood. once you got the plywood where you want it...couple short screws to hold it to the 2x4......
I build mine with a 2" X 2" wooden frame with 2 upright supports (each one 32" in from either side), a straight piece of #2 pine 1" X 4" X 96" for the bottom ledge. I make 4 - 6" triangles out of scrap MDO and screw onto the back of the frame to keep it square. I've always used Homasote for the backboard (it's 1/2" thick and accepts push pins really good). Two 3" hinges mounted to a 2X4 mounted on the wall.
They are fairly tall and at $199 they are really cheap for how well they are made. However; I had never seen the eisel setup. I really like your arrangement Mystysue. My back gets pretty sore when I work on some larger projects. I'm doing 50 vinyl real estate signs and my back has been feeling it.
On one of our walls at the top, we ran several 2” x 6” stringers for 50’. At 4’ intervals, we attached a hinged 2” x 4” x 14’ at the top to the stringer. Each 2” x 4” had 1” holes drilled at a slightly angled up position 12” apart. We had many dowels that fit through the holes, against the back wall and that created whatever angle we wanted to work at for a particular project with a clamp. It could hold a 12’ x 52’ sign [billboard size], so we could hand paint them in-house. We needed a stage type set up to get to the top, but we were used to it. We tend to do a lot of things for sport complexes in out area and many of those signs are 8’ or 12’ by 48’.
Now that more and more of that type of production is less and less hand-painted, we don’t need to have an entire sign on an easel at one time. We’re putting these things on now, one board at a time. In fact we removed most of the easel about two years ago. We still have two small painters easels for hand painting a 4’ x 8’ or sandblasted work.