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  1. #1
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    Homemade Lightbox

    Let's face it...commercial lightboxes are expensive. But as an artist, it's hard to do without one. I was able to construct a good sized one on a shoestring budget. I obtained a large glass cutting board (it is tempered glass so it will hold up if you are a little heavy handed with your pencil), three small fluorescent lights (13 inch i think) that you can link together, masonite board, furring boards, stick on velcro, wood glue, and some nails.

    Cut the furring boards into 4 pieces to make a square the same size of the glass cutting board. Drill a hole in one side for the plug. Nail them together (carefully...I cracked a board. Might be better just to glue them instead). Cut the masonite board to fit, and glue & nail it to the back with tiny nails. The lights and the glass board are held together by velcro, so if there is any problem you can take the glass off to replace the lights. All this cost less than $50, and it's a honking big lightbox!

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  4. #2
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    That's a really good idea. I think I may try constructing my own.

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  5. #3
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    Hahaha...I use a glass-topped table with an artist desklamp on the floor underneathe.

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    Thats a great idea. It looks nice and clean to. If you find yourself wanting more reflected light out of it hitting the base with some mirrors or just painting it white inside may give you a little more brightness. That also may be a horrible idea, Ive never worked with a light box before so grain of salt and all.

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  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sturgeon View Post
    Thats a great idea. It looks nice and clean to. If you find yourself wanting more reflected light out of it hitting the base with some mirrors or just painting it white inside may give you a little more brightness. That also may be a horrible idea, Ive never worked with a light box before so grain of salt and all.
    No, that's a good idea...I actually thought about painting the inside white to better reflect the light, but I was in a hurry to get it finished. I get plenty of illumination from the three lights, so it's no big deal.

    I like using it to transfer my sketches to clean paper for final inking or coloring, because my sketches get all messy and smeared after being reworked so many times.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MCross View Post
    No, that's a good idea...I actually thought about painting the inside white to better reflect the light
    Tin foil, mate, tin foil.

    Also white acrylic board is better for this than glass. I don't imagine it would cost much more than glass.

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  9. #7
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    nice stuff, ive been putting my tv on a staticy channel and using that LOL

    or during the day ill use my window + the sun

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  10. #8
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    My neighbor just installed new patio doors and gave me the old ones. They're wood framed doors with a double pane glass roughly 3' x 6'. I'm going to turn one into a pallet after I strip off the wood, and the other into a light box with a 300-count white bed sheet as a diffuser. It's definitely not going to be portable, since each glass panel weighs roughly a 100 pounds. If I can pul it off, I'll post pics...

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    Quote Originally Posted by HunterKiller_ View Post
    Tin foil, mate, tin foil.

    Also white acrylic board is better for this than glass. I don't imagine it would cost much more than glass.
    white acrylic or the semi translucent white acrylic or the clear acrylic?? Can light pass through the opaque white acrylic?

    I'm thinking of building an inclined lightbox cum drafting board.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FLenG View Post
    white acrylic or the semi translucent white acrylic or the clear acrylic??
    Semi translucent, like the stuff on animation discs. I just find that it distributes the light more evenly.
    Plain glass or anything else totally transparent doesn't do that and you get a really bright spot where the light is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HunterKiller_ View Post
    Semi translucent, like the stuff on animation discs. I just find that it distributes the light more evenly.
    Plain glass or anything else totally transparent doesn't do that and you get a really bright spot where the light is.
    Thanks mate! I'll find that.

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    I think they do sell glass frosting spray that you can spray glass with so the light will diffuse more. I am going to take a trip to the store to see if I can find some. I haven't seen any acrylic panels in the stores I've been to, except for the clear and flexible kind from hardware store. Might work, if you can find one that is thick enough...just don't use incandescent light bulbs with it or it will burn and melt.

    Another idea, is that you can convert your drawing/drafting table into a light box. If you find glass or acrylic big enough to cover the whole table, you could cut a hole in the table and glue the panel to the table, and put some lights underneath. That way you get a lightbox/drawing table in one.


    Ilaekae, please do post pics...I would like to see it when you are done.

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  16. #13
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    Michael's sold the frosting stuff (I haven't been there in a while, though). Home Depot carries the 1/2" plexi, but they won't cut it for you when it's that thick.

    Quote Originally Posted by MCross View Post
    Another idea, is that you can convert your drawing/drafting table into a light box.
    I have one of these glass-topped "L" shaped computer desks and I always figured that if I really wanted a desk-top light box I could just put lights in the built-in drawer.

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