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Topic: $3 Portable Light Table  (Read 6888 times)
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terror of the highseas

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« on: May 03, 2008 08:30:07 PM »

I have a big light table my dad built for me that I use pretty often to transfer sketches onto other paper and stuff. Since I am going to be away from home all summer, I needed to think of something that I could use instead to work with. This is what I came up with! I'm posting the probably not so stellar instructions on how I did it in case anyone wants to attempt to make one of their own.

(Also I have no idea if this actually qualifies as a light fixture or not, but I figured it was worth post it up and giving it a shot)

Materials used:

Wood shadow box
2 LED night light things like these ones http://www.goodmart.com/products/830447.htm
some tin foil
large bulldog clip
piece of grooved plastic
small screwdriver

I got the box and LED lights at the dollar store for a buck each, everything else was stuff I had laying around, and the plastic was salvaged from the trash. Bringing the cost of this project to a grand total of $3

The Shadow box came with a piece of glass that slid into it, but I didn't want that so just took it out. I cut a piece of tin foil to fit inside the box and glued it into place. The LED things came with a shield over them so you sort of press down on the top of it for the lights to come on and it has a sticky plate on he back that the whole thing clicks into so you can open it to change the batteries. I took the shields off using a screw driver so the light would be less focused and then used the sticky plate thing on the back to affix it to the bottom of the tin foil covered inside of the box.

I measured the box and then scored the plastic with a knife to size. Then I snapped the plastic and sent some shards flying, but pretty much got a nice rectangle sized piece. Then I sanded the edges around so it wouldn't be sharp and annoying. Then I just turned on the LEDs by pressing the button in the middle of the three lights, placed the piece of plastic onto of the box, and held it in place with a big bulldog clip.

And there you go! It actually works really well and shines through stuff like thick watercolour paper. It's a bit hard to take a picture of it in action though.

Thanks for looking!

« Last Edit: May 04, 2008 06:09:03 PM by rosered » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2008 09:06:18 PM »

that is a really good idea. also, way to be thrifty

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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2008 09:11:58 PM »

Very clever. I'll remember this next time I need a light box. There is a post on craftster of someone thinking of spending $20+ for one.

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« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2008 09:23:37 PM »

Oh, groovy!! I want one!

Manley Stanley
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« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2008 11:38:55 PM »

A big thumbs up for you is in order here! I've been wondering how to make one of those. I've reduced myself to using my computer screen (it can only lad to disaster in the long run) and even thought about buying an "Overhead" like we use in school. Lol, and you just saved me loads of money. Go you!
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« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2008 12:48:39 AM »

wow, very crafty of you. Great job! I need one Smiley

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« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2008 07:00:21 AM »

WOW , very smart i dea..i need one!

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« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2008 03:13:19 PM »

Wow I am loving this! The inventive/useful/upcycle-ishnes of this really impresses me!

« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2008 12:15:00 AM »

That is cool. I'll have to remember this in case I need a more portable light box.
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« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2008 05:16:31 AM »

That's clever! I always tape it up on the window, but then that's not so good for late night work  Roll Eyes and I hate waiting when inspiration strikes...

Thanks for the idea, I'm think I'm going to have to make one of those too!!
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