Building the Big Block Easels

The museum received many packing crates full of big printing blocks from Enquirer Printing in Cincinnati, Ohio. They can be up to 54" x 40" in size. The Enquirer Printing Company printed posters for circuses, carnivals and other customers. I saw a few big blocks leaning against the wall on a visit. It occurred to me these should be up on a display rack of some kind. I thought about easels used in meetings, where people can write on the paper and the whole room can see what they write. Maybe that would work.

Image

Image

So I asked Stephanie if she would like a sample easel to try out with some of the big blocks, and she said “Yes.” I have been welding steel angle iron for about three years and I know where to buy industrial size steel in all kinds of shapes. I bought some steel and welded a two shelf front frame. Then I tried leaning it back to see what angle would work for making a standalone frame. I added back legs set at the correct angle and some cross bracing to keep the whole thing rigid. It looked pretty good.

Image

I took the new easel up to the Wayzgoose last year and left it. In the summer Stephanie sent me a note saying they tried putting some big blocks on the prototype easel and it looked good. So we worked out some size questions and I built another set of prototypes. Stephanie and Jim played around with the standard sizes of big blocks and came up with two sizes. I made prototypes of those sizes and we tested everything.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Now I had a clear goal to make 15 of each size and take them up to Hamilton. With the samples that will give them 17 of each size. I built a large assembly table in my garage, got some more 90 degree clamps to hold the steel in place and welded thirty more easels. I’ll probably make more than that.

Image

Image

Image

Image

I especially like doing this design and build because I came up with the initial idea of getting some of the big blocks up where they can be seen by visitors to the museum. And I get a lot of pleasure seeing the museum grow. Sometimes I walk around and meet people looking at a press or paper cutter and I’ll tell them what I know about the museum. That’s really fun.

The end.

Photos for this post are from Lester Public Library and Tipocracia