I was doing some business with the owner of a local paper arts store. (She was buying the samples I’d brought over.) A man walked in, looking for a source of non-plastic artists pallets, but also not in true wood (didn’t want the wood grain holding paint).
The owner looked at me, I smiled, and she said to the man, “What sizes do you need? I’ll have some in stock w/in a week.”
So now I have questions for the painter community: if you had a custom-made pallet, what features would you want? I plan on making them from draftboard (the man’s sample was 1/8" plywood). However, I’ve never used one, and the photos don’t give me the understanding of the needs to be met.
When someone specifies an 8" pallet, is that the length or the width? The man wants a cove to accomodate the arm, but I don’t see how that works based on the photos I’ve seen. Here’s my version, modeled on a photo:
I know some large guy’s thumb won’t fit like mine does; what are typical dimensions?
Thank all y’all for your input.
What a great idea! (Small hands as well here, so no idea on the manly dimensions.)
I feel like a person who has made socks all her life; now I’m asked to make gloves. Sure, I can do that! psst, what are gloves?
I would guess you need to seal the draftboard better. In school we I used paper palettes in store them in air-tight containers between sessions.
Not all palettes have a cove. Personal preference.
I’ll ask the owner to find out if the man wants them sealed. He wants as little “plastic” as possible.
Thanks for the reference photo–that looks pretty comfortable tool to use
Draftboard soaks up paint and doesn’t play well with water. I don’t imagine it holding up well over time, especially unsealed. I’d pick a different material unless they are meant to be disposable. They do make marine quality mdf (and hdf), which might be better, but perhaps less safe to laser.
I appreciate the feedback. I should probably make my first one a true test of durability.
Maybe customer uses oil paints? Some oil artists diy their own MDF or hardboard palettes - semi disposable.
Maybe. But that’s a good question to ask! I have some marine HDF that would be great for it either way, but draftboard is less sturdy in my experience.
Mine too. Hardboard/Masonite is more popular than MDF for palettes in a scene shop; it’s lighter, stronger and easier on the hands.
The guys usually make them something like this shape
proofgrade plywoods come sealed with shellac (aka juicy bug poop, au natural). Just cut and go - skip the final finishing work.
Anything made of wood, paper, pulp or fiber of any kind is going to need some sort of sealer and shellac is the least plastic of them all.
If nothing else, maybe finish with wax or teak oil, tung oil or linseed oil but be weary of interactions with the paints.
(actually, that was my first thought, too…but, not what they want)
I’m with you on the materials. The way the man made his request, he wanted to be a ‘green’ as possible. I gave my sample 2 coats of spray acrylic satin finish, and the fibers raised like a cat’s tail. Hmm, not a good sign.
I just looked up ‘masonite’, and I think that would be a good material to try. Has anyone used it in the GF? [or is that a question I should post…nevr mind; I’ll post a new topic in Beyond…]
Thank you so much for the suggestion!
You have to sand between coats. You can get a “glass hard and smooth” finish on soft wood by applying light coats and sanding between. Even with regular spray paint.
I’ll give it a sanding and then one more coat. Since this is a trial, and not a guaranteed order, i’ll use what I have before I buy something more substantial. Blick Art has high density hardboard available if the quality or moisture resistance becomes an issue.
The last painted piece I did for my daughter I gave something like 8 coats to get the finish I was looking for.
Of course - that was for display, not a tool to be used like this.
There have been a few threads about cutting Masonite - use the search at the top right. Sounds like the source matters due to the type of glue binder used. Some brands are inherently moisture resistant on the surface.
Perfect! Masonite is just a brand name of HDF, like Kleenex, and commonly used for commercial palettes.