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Thread: Light box

  1. #1
    Senior Member laparshall's Avatar
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    I am looking for directions/ideas on how to make a light box for tracing a pattern. I would like to make my own so I can have the size I want without having to spend a lot of money. My husband does woodworking and I am sure he could make something in his woodshop from his stash of wood scraps. It doesn't necessarily have to be wood either. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

    (*Maybe this topic has been discussed already, but I couldn't find it in my search.)

    Thanks
    Linda

  2. #2
    Carla P's Avatar
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    I'll try to describe a homemade one I saw. It was a simple wooden frame, about 4 inches tall, 12 inches wide, maybe 12 inches long with a hole in one of the boards to insert a "light bulb holder" (because I have no idea what they are called) like the kind found on lamps. She had a piece of thick plexi-glass laying on it for the clear surface.

    Clear as mud?

  3. #3
    live2teach's Avatar
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    That was a clear description! Also, if you had a glass top coffee table..that would work too. If not, Carla's suggestion is best. LOL

  4. #4
    Carla P's Avatar
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    I read in Fons & Porter (I think) about turning a clear plastic box over a lamp. Just another suggestion. :D

  5. #5
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    My husband made me one like the one Carla described. He made the frame out of 1x4's then used plexiglass on top. I bought a small flourescent light ( like the kind that goes under a cabinet) at WM for about $8.00 to go inside. If you don't have any plexiglass I have heard of using the glass out of a picture frame

  6. #6
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Konstantin had this in a newletter a while back


    A quick and easy light box

    Items you'll need to make the quick and easy light box. Some of these items you'll already have around the house.

    A child's plastic step stool -- you know the kind that has four legs and sort of reminds you of a very small table -- these are available at discount and even "dollar" stores.

    A florescent "light stick" -- 18" long -- available at hardware and discount stores.

    A 12" x 18" piece of 1/8" thick Plexiglas -- available at hardware and discount stores -- they'll usually cut it for you.

    A 12" x 18" piece of clear but frosty self-adhesive shelf paper -- this is optional -- place it on the Plexiglas to diffuse the light when tracing.

    I bought everything for about $10.

    Now turn the step stool upside down -- with the legs sticking up -- place the "light stick" lengthwise between the legs. Place the Plexiglas on top.

    That's all you need! An instant light box! And it's light weight! You can put the pieces in a tote bag or plastic bin and take it to workshops or classes.




  7. #7
    Senior Member laparshall's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your replies. I passed all of your ideas on to my husband. He is thrilled to have an excuse to go to Lowes or Menards to pick up what he needs to build it for me. I am guessing that by the time I get home from work this evening, I will have a working lightbox waiting for me. Once it is finished, I will attempt to post a picture.

    Linda

  8. #8
    Senior Member foxxigrani's Avatar
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    An even quicker and easier light box, an old scanner from your computer. I just took the insides out, bought one of those lights not real expensive, just a small strip light and walla light box. I have it and have used it for many things. Works real good. If you can get h ubby to make you one then you are ahead of the game, but if not, this works slick.

    Rita

  9. #9
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    Well aren't you the clever one. That is a really good idea. I would have never thought of that. Kudos to you!

  10. #10
    Senior Member laparshall's Avatar
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    Rita, that is such a great idea. "One man's trash us another man's treasure."
    Well my wonderful guy came through. He loves building things from wood and showing off his talents. He made the lightbox like Kathy D's with a 1 x 4 frame and plexiglass top. He wanted to use plexiglass, because it is stonger but he couldn't find the frosted type to cut down on the glare. So he used some frosted plastic sheets (like window clings) that he had left over from when he covered a bathroom window. He had it finished by the time I got home yesterday, however, I still can't use it just yet, because he needs to do "some finishing touches". I know it will be worth the wait. I am so lucky to have him.

    Thanks again to all who replied.

    Linda

  11. #11
    Senior Member foxxigrani's Avatar
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    ooo you are lucky. He has to be a keeper. Good luck with your light box. I am excited for you.

    Rita

  12. #12
    Super Member mjsylvstr's Avatar
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    I was checking out my threads on our ANGELEES and noticed the one from you....and yes, I have it on my calendar to reminder me each month to remind us all of a monthly hello to our angelees..

    when I noticed your name...I have a daughter with the same name, although her's is Lynda.......such a pretty name..

    I then thought I would check you out.....your likes (that is) on your profile and noticed one of your topics about your light box and mentioning that your hubby is a wood-man.......

    a friend's husband also does woodworking and he built her a sewing table......and it had a drop leaf on the front just left of where she sits to sew. This leaf comes up and has two legs that fold down to hold it in place. The leaf is maybe three (approx) inches in depth and is hollow with a glass (or other material) on top and lights within.....he connected the electric but that is beyond me !!!!! but it is wonderful. Perhaps your hubby can make something like that and it would always be right there and when not in use, folded down.

    WOW...I am sure by this time that you have you light box..I just took a turn back to see when you sent this topic in.......and low and behold.......it's been over two years...but perhaps this might be of help to someone else looking to make a light box.

    Have a good day...MaryJane

  13. #13
    Senior Member laparshall's Avatar
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    Hi Mary Jane: Thanks for responding. Such a pretty spelling of your daughter's name. (Means beautiful in Spanish.) DH did make me a great light box, and I have done a couple of applique projects with it. But your friend's table sounds very cool. Would you be able to get a picture of it. I would love to put something like that on my wish list. I love to challenge him too.

    I'll be watching for your reminders for the Angelees.

    Linda

  14. #14
    Super Member mjsylvstr's Avatar
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    Tell hubby he can have the winter off as I won't be going to see this friend until then..

    but at that time, I will surely take a picture and send it out to you.

    We are leaving for Vero Beach, Fl on Christmas day....and won't be heading back north until the fist of May...........

    mj

  15. #15
    Super Member LindaR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carla P
    I'll try to describe a homemade one I saw. It was a simple wooden frame, about 4 inches tall, 12 inches wide, maybe 12 inches long with a hole in one of the boards to insert a "light bulb holder" (because I have no idea what they are called) like the kind found on lamps. She had a piece of thick plexi-glass laying on it for the clear surface.

    Clear as mud?
    this the way my DH made mine...don't go too small, make sure at least 12x12 Mine is 8x12 and hard to find the middle of the block....he used a floresant tube bulb...works good

  16. #16
    Senior Member laparshall's Avatar
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    MJ
    He will be happy to be let off the hook for awhile.
    Funny coincidences, my father lived in Vero Beach with his second family for many years and DH's birthday is on May 1st.

    Enjoy that warm weather. I will look forward to seeing a picture of that table when you get the chance.

    Linda

  17. #17
    Super Member mjsylvstr's Avatar
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    Linda........I arrived home from Florida last Friday.......and, boy oh boy, did I ever need my hairdresser.!!!!!!.
    and it is she who has this wonderful sewing table with the light box.

    The first picture shows it with light off and possibly you can notice a little difference in the second. The light is turned on....hope you see it.

    Her sewing table is quite large (and wonderful) with her machine set in.....
    this light box is just to the left of where her machine is and raises up to make an L-shaped desk.

    She had the table so full of WIPs, that we couldn't get a good picture of the entire work surface.

    Happy to be back home and in my own sewing room......
    nice to be away but always nicer to return home.

    MaryJane
    Attached Images Attached Images


  18. #18
    Senior Member laparshall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjsylvstr
    Linda........I arrived home from Florida last Friday.......and, boy oh boy, did I ever need my hairdresser.!!!!!!.
    and it is she who has this wonderful sewing table with the light box.

    The first picture shows it with light off and possibly you can notice a little difference in the second. The light is turned on....hope you see it.

    Her sewing table is quite large (and wonderful) with her machine set in.....
    this light box is just to the left of where her machine is and raises up to make an L-shaped desk.

    She had the table so full of WIPs, that we couldn't get a good picture of the entire work surface.

    Happy to be back home and in my own sewing room......
    nice to be away but always nicer to return home.

    MaryJane
    MaryJane: Thank you for sharing. That is really a nice light box. I love how it is attached, it is so handy. I must take a picture of mine and post it. I actually pulled it out on the weekend and haven't tucked it back under my table yet. I will add this to my to do list. I will also show DH this picture and see if he thinks he could come up with something similar to this. It's always fun to challenge him.
    Linda

  19. #19
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    I have the world's biggest light table.. well ok.. maybe not THE biggest.. My old kitchen table has a wooden frame and a HEAVY glass top.. I just set a light with the shade off under the table.. and VOILA!! a huge light box. I also have a small plastic one that I got for half price on sale at a quilt shop many years ago. it's about 18" square and has a bulb holder under it.

  20. #20
    Senior Member laparshall's Avatar
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    That sounds like it would be the perfect height for working at too. And it would be great for those larger projects.

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