I was trying out my French Easel the other day and realized there was no where to hold my wet brushes...not good since I usually have 3 or 4 brushes going at a time since I hate to stop to clean them while working. So, I found a scrap piece of wood in the garage and made a holder to mount on the side of the easel when set up and painting. When I'm all finished and the brushes are clean I can take it off and it will store in the lower drawers of the easel.
To mount the piece of wood I sketched this out. I couldn't remember the name of these types of screws so I took this to the hardware store to show the guy there. They are called Hanger Bolts and were in the Furniture Hardware section at Ace Hardware. You just drill your pilot hole slightly smaller in diameter than your screw threads. All you do then is use a pair of pliers to screw them into the hole gripping at the section with no threads on them.
This is what it looks like once your screw is mounted to the scrap wood piece...one on each end which simply slide into the holes you drilled into the side of your easel.
Here you can see the brush holder mounted to the side of the easel and held in place with the wingnuts.
This holder has to be removable because when the lid of your easel is closed all of the wooden lid pieces and legs fold where the holder would be. You can see the mounting hole drilled into the side of the easel here.
Before closing your lid you unscrew the wing nuts and store the holder in one of the lower drawers of your French Easel.
You can use any thickness or width of wood for the holder you want. Just measure down the side of your easel to check your length and make sure your holder will fit in the space with the drawer closed. Get some of your brushes to make sure you drill random holes of various diameter to fit the brushes. It's a fun project that will make painting a lot easier in the field. This is not like reinventing the wheel because there are some pretty fancy brush holders out there but at .30 cents per part,and there were 4 and a scrap piece of wood, the price can't be beat!