This is a followup post, providing an overview of how I went about constructing an artist taboret for myself for under $200. See the original post here.
When I began, I had a number of ‘must have’ features in mind:
- Needs to have casters and move easily around the studio
- A large glass mixing area
- A comfortable working height (32-34 inches)
- Storage for tubes of paint, mediums, solvents, etc
- Small removable palette tray
- Storage for an air tight palette box
- Cost less than $200
I cheated and started with an old, battered, mouse infested dresser that my parents had stored away for decades in a shed. There was a lot of mildew and water damage, the veneer was peeling off and the mice had chewed the edges of the drawers. I formally evicted the freeloading mice and hauled the musty old dresser back to the studio to study it for potential. After giving it a thorough cleaning, I took measurements and starting planning the rest of the project.
Moisture damage had pretty much ruined the lower half of the dresser. So I dismantled it and cut it down from five drawers to two. Additionally I cut the overall depth of the cabinet by two inches. At this point, it had become clear that I was really just using the dresser for its materials. Reusing what parts I could, I turned the top drawer into two half drawers and built all new interior shelves and rails. I then carefully removed some of the walnut veneer from the discarded pieces to use to repair damaged areas.
I had some old ¾” oak flooring on hand that I ripped and planed down to use for the stand. After I’d sized and glued up the wood I’d need, I used a hand saw to cut the tenons and chisels to make the mortises. I could easily have constructed the stand with screws alone, but I wanted a stronger piece of furniture that might take years of abuse.
After I’d assembled the stand, I screwed the casters on, cleaned up excess glue and fine sanded.
I applied stain to the cabinet, followed by a satin finish polyurethane for the cabinet and stand. With the finish complete, I attached the cabinet to the stand with screws from the inside pointing out, so that no screws would be visible.
New, easier to grip oak pulls were attached. I cut and fit thin cabinet grade plywood for the lower tray and the back of the cabinet.
Now I’m getting somewhere! I just need to make the pieces for the work surface. I used veneer salvaged from the discarded portions to cover the poplar strips. I drilled and inserted dowels to attach the pieces to the surface.
I had the glass cut at a local glass shop. Pieces of canvas were cut to fit under the glass. Eventually, I may paint this a neutral gray, but for now I’ve left it white. The removable palette tray is simply a thin piece of aluminum, bent at the edges to fit into the wood handles. The canvas and glass are attached to this with light adhesives.
The handles and brush holders were made from walnut.
The remaining details such as drawer dividers and paint tube rests were pretty straightforward. They are made out of thin plywood and inserted with tension fit so they can be removed and changed as needed.
Because I was able to use the old cabinet and wood that I already had, I only needed to purchase the casters, the glass, some thin plywood, stain and polyurethane. The total was approximately $150.
It’s not the most attractive piece of studio furniture, but it performs quite well. Further, it’s a huge improvement over the cheap plastic cart I’d been using.
Beautifully done. Great job.
Thank you Gladys!
Okay…another beauty…Can one purchase this from you as well as your great wall mounted easel?….Would it be available flat packed and one can assembly at home?
Really excellent. Not only are you a talented artist…but an excellent craftsman and purveyor of great artist studio furniture…Which is long overdue for some new designs. Thanks
Thanks James. I am humbled and honored by your praise!
I don’t have plans to sell taborets at this time. I have received a few inquiries about making taborets for purchase, so I am at least considering it. I’d be curious to learn what folks think a fair price would be.
It could be designed to ship as a flat pack. The mortise and tenon construction would lend itself to one time assembly with wood glue and screws. I feel that studio taborets should be really sturdy pieces of furniture, so I’d avoid knock down construction.
Again, thank you for the kind words and for taking the time to leave a comment.
I agree! I would love to have you sell these flat packed. I am totally hands on and would love to make this myself but I don’t think I have the necessary tools 🙁
Have you decided to make them to sell yet?
Hi Charlotte. While we do have some new products in development, I’m sorry to say that we are not making taborets yet.
Jason, I’m totally going to copy you. Your taboret is 100% sick! 2nd only to your craftsmanship!
I’ve already started on the build. It’s going to be for my mom. Can’t afford to buy her an over priced new one so thank you for sharing your vision!
Thank you Javier. You are absolutely welcome.
I’m very pleased to hear that you’ve found some design inspiration from my taboret. When you complete the taboret for your mother, please consider sending me some photos! I always enjoy seeing the work of other do-it-yourselfers.
Have a great day,
Hey Jason, I just finished my mothers Taboret. She loved it. I told her that she would cry once she saw my surprise birthday gift and she did.
I would love to show you, bit I don’t see a way to post pictures here. Any help would be nice.
Excellent! I’m very pleased to hear that you built the taboret for your mother. That she loves it so much as to cry tears of joy, is all the more wonderful.
I definitely look forward to seeing the photos! You can upload them here.
Thank you for getting back in touch with me and for sharing the results of your hard work.
You have done a most Wonderful job designing this! Excellent!
Thanks for the compliment Lilli!
Awesome project. Great workmanship. Would you share your dimensions. I want to build one as well. Not for mom though ;). For my self. Thank you.
This is so beautiful. I can’t afford to buy one but, this has inspired me to try to build something similar, won’t be anywhere near your gorgeous taboret but maybe good enough for me to work from. Thank you for sharing.