Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Building a Pochade Box, Part 4

Now it’s time to bring this project to a close and add all the hardware.

First, we need to attach the tee nut. The tee nut is what we'll be using to attach the pochade box to any standard camera tripod. I took a spare piece of wood I cut out, and after finding the center of it, drilled a hole that was just a bit bigger than a 1/4" in diameter. I then took my rubber mallet, and started to bang the tee nut down into the hole (For some reason, the nut was extremely difficult to get in there. But a tight fit will ensure it stays.)

Once you find the center of the bottom box, attach your tee nut piece with some wood glue and once it's dry you can continue assembling the rest of the box.

The next thing to do is to reinforce the boxes – you’ll put an L-bracket in each corner of both boxes, to reinforce the sides, as well as attach a few to the bottom and sides of the bottom box. Since the plywood can splinter easily and the screws I used were made some of ludicrously soft metal, I’d advise to pre-drill the holes a bit.

From there, I attached the hinges. My hinges are placed oddly because I thought two would suffice, when in fact I need a third to steady the open/close action. Again, pre-drill your holes.

(It should be noted that it’s quite likely that the screws may poke out on the other end by just a smidgen. If this happens, take a flat file and file them down so you don’t get snagged by them.)

Now it’s time to install the turnbuckles. Without these, the box would just flop open, and I wouldn’t be able to adjust the angle of the top half.

The construction is fairly simple. We’re going to drill ¼” holes about 2 ¼” in from the edge of the box on either side of both halves. Refer to the pictures to get a general idea of where this is going.

Once we’ve done that, it’s time to install the bolts, which the turnbuckles will hang off of. Since space is at a premium on the side, the bolts will face outwards. It’ll be a tight fit, so some elbow grease will be required, but you’ll soon have them in.

If you notice in the picture, the turnbuckles can be removed by simply unscrewing the nut off the bolt and slipping the turnbuckle off. To adjust the box, you don’t even need to do that – twisting the middle part of the turnbuckle left or right will lengthen or shorten it, affecting the angle of your box.

And with that, the construction is complete! I still haven’t found a suitable clasp to hold the two halves together while traveling, so at the moment I’m using an old woven belt.

For the trays, I’m using an old breathmint tin with a binder clip to hold it to the side. It won’t hold my brushes at the moment, but it’s the perfect size to hold my water cups.

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