Jeremy Sams Art Blog

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Pochade Box Updates

I've done some reconfiguring on my homemade pochade box. If you're interested in making your own, the design comes from Jim Serrett.

Below are some pics of my improvements. I took off the friction lid supports from the sides and installed friction hinges to keep the lid at whatever angle desired. The friction lid support brackets worked great but could get in the way sometimes, especially in transport. For a better design using friction lid supports, visit Josef Sy's design.

As you can see, the lid brackets are gone, resulting in a little less weight, less parts, and an overall sleeker look. The friction hinges seem to work perfectly. You can also see some of my plein air essentials: portable brush washer, adjustable view-finder, sealable pallet (craft-bead jars and box from Walmart) and brushes.

Here's a detail of the friction hinges. They're some form of hard plastic material...very lightweight yet strong. After running all around town trying, with no avail, to find these things...I finally ordered them online. I got the idea from Bryan Mark Taylor.

Here you can see my homemade brush holder. It's basically a strip of 1/2"-3/4" square dowel (left over from the pochade project) glued and nailed to a 3"x9" strip of 1/4" birch plywood (also left over from the pochade project). I drilled various sized holes in the plywood to accommodate my brushes. On the underside of the brush holder are 2, 1/4 round dowel rods attached to the strip of square dowel. The side of the pochade box has 2 holes drilled to match these round dowel pins so that it will slide into the holes and become stable. I mounted it on the left side because I'm right handed and didn't want the brushes to interfere with me working.

Here's a detail of the underside of the brush holder with the dowel pins. When not attached, it lays perfectly inside the box when it's closed. Notice the sealable clear jars from the craft section at Walmart...this is a must if using acrylics outdoors. I wasted so much unused paint before these little contraptions. Maybe when I get a little more experienced and quicker with the brush, I can go to a more limited pallet of 4 colors...but I haven't got that far yet.

Also, the tripod is a Sunpak 7575 that I bought on sale from for $25 and free shipping! It's a little bulky though, but I wanted something that could hold some weight.

Go here to see the pochade box process.


  1. Wow Jeremy... I think you missed your calling. Your handiwork is better than your artwork! LOL Just kidding. Seriously, though, that is an awesome little doo-hickey! Don't know how much money/time went into building that, but you should consider selling those.

  2. Thanks Leah...since you like it so much, I'll go ahead and order you for each of the family. Luckily, I'm running a special on them...$200 per piece and today only, you can get 4 for $800!!! Don't delay this deal won't last long!

  3. Jeremy, it is an interesting journey from the Jim Serrett site to the Josefsy blog to your rendition of the pochade boxes. I am with the help from you three, planning my box as I write. I am a watercolor painter who usually paints on 1/4 sheets (11 X 15") paper. I have thought lately painted on 1/8 sheet (7.5 X 11"). Think I will make the box for the larger size. I like your find of friction hinges. I think I found them on line. I also like your tripod. It is no longer available.
    I do need to know how you attach the box to the tripod. Do you have to screw it on or does the tripod come with a quick release device?
    I love your Ministry. Keep on doing God's work with the Gifts from the Holy Spirit. God Bless

  4. Thanks Jim! the tripod mounts to the bottom of the pochade box with something like a t-nut (it's not a t-nut, but similar)...I have a 4x4x1 piece of oak mounted to the bottom with this threaded nut mounted in the wood. I do have a quick release that screws into that, so I don't have to screw and unscrew the box. The whole thing just snaps in place.

  5. I come a bit late to the game on this one but can you tell me where did you find short bungee cords? What length bungee cord are you using?

    Thank you