Introduction: Pocket Charcoal Drawing Set

About: Hobbyist and electronics enthusiast.

Drawing with charcoal, can sometimes be messy. One needs quite a few tools to draw. Drawing paper, pencils, carbon, sharpeners, kneaded eraser, blending stump ...

Sometimes it's not practical to carry it all with you - that's why I created a simple and minimalist set that fits in any pocket.

So whenever you feel like it, just pull the set out of your pocket and start drawing.

Step 1: Tools You Need

For woodworking:

  • hobby wood saw
  • thick packaging foam pad (can be found in any packing box)
  • marker
  • screwdriver
  • caliper
  • snap off blade
  • scalpel (optional)
  • mini drill (optional)
  • sanding paper or needle file
  • spring clip

For painting and surface treatment:

  • paint brushes
  • watercolor paints or wood stain
  • wood wax
  • a piece of cloth

Tools for the kit itself:

  • small wooden box
  • charcoal stick
  • sharpener
  • eraser
  • kneaded eraser
  • pencils

Step 2: Choosing a Wooden Box

For this project, you can choose any small wooden box. You can find it online under terms such as treasure chest, jewelry box or wooden pirate chest. It would be ideal if the box had hinges and also a latch. If it doesn't, you can buy them separately, or use one with a magnetic fastener.

Step 3: Measuring and Marking the Box

The box was too big to fit comfortably in a pocket. It had to be reduced in height. I measured the height of the upper part and marked it on the lower part so that after cutting, both parts have roughly the same height.

Step 4: Removing Hinges and Latch

Before cutting the box, I removed the hinges and latch so that I could attach it to the vice and cut it.

Step 5: Cutting the Box

You can cut the box with a hobby saw, or even just using a snap off cutter. If the wood is soft, using a cutter will be quite easy. It is better to make the first cut along the ruler to make sure that it will be straight, and for the next ones just follow the cut line.

Step 6: Marking the Screw Holes

After cutting, I put the top and bottom part together and secured them with a woodworking clamp so that I could mark new holes for the hinges and latch. If the wood is soft, it is not even necessary to drill holes for the screws, just screw them in with a screwdriver.

Step 7: Sanding

During this step, I decided that instead of one, I would make two charcoal sets. So I bought a second box with a rounded top (treasure chest). I replicated the same steps it as I did with first box and cut off about half of the lower part.

Then I sanded both boxes smooth. You can use sandpaper or a needle file, or a sanding attachment on a drill.

Step 8: Cutting Foam Sheets

We need to cut smaller pieces from a larger foam sheet. These will later serve as a filling inside the box, where we will insert the tools. As the foam is soft and pliable, I cut pieces slightly larger than the inside dimensions of the box, so that it would not be necessary to glue them later with glue, but to keep them inside with their expansiveness.

Step 9: Box Coloring

Before making a final color decision, I decided to paint the few samples on the cuttings. I liked the different color patterns, but in the end I decided to paint the first box on brown-green watercolor. First I painted a fine brown background, which I then covered with green. In some places I added a pinch of orange to the green.

The second box, I stained with light oak stain. I applied 2 to 3 coats, depending on the side of the box and the natural shade of the wood.

The boxes should be allowed to dry completely for a few hours and, if necessary, apply more coats.

Step 10: Wax Polishing

After drying, I applied wax to both boxes with a brush. I applied two coats and let the wax rest for a few hours. Then I spread it on the wood with a soft cloth and reached a softly shiny surface. If I was not satisfied with the gloss somewhere, I applied more wax and later polished it again.

Step 11: Sharpening the Pencils

First I measured the internal dimensions of the boxes, I cut the pencils and sharpened them, so that they fit into the boxes. You can use a pencil sharpener or snap off cutter to trim them.

Step 12: Tool Placement and Foam Cutting

I put the foam inside the boxes and placed the pencils, sharpeners, erasers and charcoal sticks as I liked. Then, with the help of a scalpel, I indicated sections for the holes where the tools will be placed and then cut the holes. You can also use a snap off cutter, but it tends to have a wider blade, so a scalpel is more suitable.

Step 13: Installation of Brass Hinges and Latch

Finally, we install brass hinges and latches. I attached one pair, which is more golden, to the oak-stained box, and the other, which is darker, to the brown-green box.

Step 14: Project Completed

The project is completed. Now you can draw anytime, anywhere with this charcoal kit in your pocket. It is also suitable as a gift for those you want to bring joy to.

Stay healthy and safe. Happy drawing.

Pocket-Sized Speed Challenge

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Pocket-Sized Speed Challenge