So I started with what I believe I want in a Plein air kit:
- be light weight (maybe less then 5 lbs)
- be portable (fold up - fit in a bag with carrying straps)
- be expandable (who knows what I will want)
- be able to support a 10 x 12 pad or canvas
- be able to transport and support an essential set of watercolor items:
- travel pallet
- 10 to 12 tubes of paint
- 3 to 6 brushes
- water cup
- pencil, eraser, ruler
- other miscellaneous items: razor blade, sponge, paper towels
made to fit this size box. When closed, they fit nicely into the box above all the other items in the lower half. They do not interfere with storing my 9" x 12" watercolor block in the top of the box, but they do make the box close snuggly. I thought about adding something to keep the block in place, but as it turned out the wood screws used to add the hinges and hooks (see below photos) stick out just enough to secure the block in the lid.
Judsons Art Outfitters sells supplies for building and repairing Plein Air boxes. Which is where I purchased a Tripod Mounting kits. We attached the Universal tripod mount and four rubber feet to the bottom of the box. The feet keep the box flat when it is set on a table.
obtuse angle. Unfortunately the sliding angle brackets Judsons sells did not fit this box. After looking at several descriptions of how other people had made hinges we went to the hardware store and purchased some 3" and 4" mending plates, bolts, split washers and wing nuts. I also picked up a very small wrench that can be carried in the box that can be used to hold the bolts while I tighten the wing nuts.
shoulder strap could be added for carrying the box. We used lock nuts to secure the bolts. I'm not sure I will be using the shoulder strap as often as I originally thought, since I have an unused laptop shoulder bag that the box fit into, which would allow me to carry additional items like water bottles, extra pads of paper, roll of paper towels, etc.