Your most prized studio equipment/material find at yard sales, thrift stores, classifieds, etc.?

edited March 4 in Studio & Supplies
My three top dogs would be:
  • A like new 40" C+H Advantage Pro mat cutter at a thrift shop for $40
  • A  34" x 26" Seal Masterpiece heated dry mount press for about $100 off Craig's List, that will mount stuff 50" tall by literally as wide as you have room to go. 
  • 4  flat files in 43" to 48" width from a free dumpster dive, to about $50 each.
I know I shouldn't brag about thrift shop and dumpster dive finds, but I just can't stop! (Buying, bragging about or diving for studio gear!)



  • edited March 5
    I tend to make a lot of my own things.   
    * My palette is a picture frame with waterproof tape over the join of the glass and the wooden frame.

    *A recent purchase is a $4 plaster trowel from a second hand store to help me paint straight lines since my eye operation has left me unable to see straight lines without distorted lumps and hollows. This way, I know it is straight even if it does not look that way to my eye!  It is a pleasure to hold now i have sanded and oiled the wooden handle and polished metal the blade. 

    *I have been pleased with a $40 table easel I bought at a junk shop.  Not only is it useful as an easel, but I was able to hinge a table top on it which turned it into a collapsible table for me to use at the local market where I sold some of my calendars.  Now it is dual purpose which is even better.

    *2 great old wooden microscope boxes I use for transporting my paint tubes if going outdoors or to a different venue to paint.

    *I made an adjustable shelf which sits under the painting on the easel at home.    I have the handles from a broken cast iron fire waffle iron which stick in the holes on the easel and the shelf sits on that.   It holds brushes and the palette,  I can adjust it up and down as required.

    *My easel sits on the wooden cap from an old shearing shed wooden wool press.  I added casters to the cap years ago for shifting heavy furniture.  Now the easel sits on it so I can move it around.  It is better than adding casters directly to the easel, since it gives the easel a solid base on which to store paint.

    *I love my collection of wooden frames collected from junk shops over the years.  Not only are they useful, but they make a pretty display in my sitting room.

    *Many of my easels I made myself from wooden fence droppers and other sundry wood I had around.

    *Rather than taking an old wooden cot to the charity shop, I painted it in blackboard paint and now store my old paintings and new canvasses in it.

    *Recently I was given 2 wheeled metal bread trolleys from a supermarket.  They are useful for all my art folders and paper works.

    I have always found satisfaction on fixing, or repurposing unwanted items and doing so for art equipment comes naturally to me!

  • I think it's a great idea to reuse stuff like this. Beats sending it all to landfill. And if such items are useful and can save you money then what's not to like?  :)
  • I was given a large studio easel many years ago when I purchased other things from an artist that was going strictly to watercolor.  I use it almost everyday.  It really is one of my prized possessions and it was free!  Nothing better than that.
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