Introduction: Build a Photo Studio - Collapsible Light Diffuser Frames
Ever want to make a light-box studio but not want to store it? These collapsible frames will give you the effect of a light-box but can be rolled up for storage with your tripod and other tubular gear. This project costs around $20, and you may already have all the parts you need.
The parts list:
8x 10-32 x 3/8" pan head screw - 5/8" long
8x 10-32 wingnuts
6x #4 brass wood screw - 1" long
Small drill with 1/16" and 3/16" bits
Countersink tool (or a bigger drill bit)
For the wooden bits, I used 3/16" x 1 1/8" slats, cut into the following lengths:
This will make a 14"x20" frame and a 20"x26" frame. You may use any lengths you want as long as the shorter slats are at least 2" shorter than the longer slats.
The parts picture (second picture below) shows all the parts for the smaller of the two frames.
Step 1: Drill the Frame Components
Drill holes for the frame corners using the 3/16" drill bit. Drill a pilot hole with the 1/16" drill bit. With 1 1/18" wide wooden slats, the holes should be 9/16" from the end, centered in the slat.
In one long and one short slat from each frame, drill one or two small holes into the edge of the slat. On the small frame, I used one hole and on the larger frame I used two. This will be where the feet are attached with the brass screws. If you are using one foot per edge, drill the hole in the center of the slat. If you are adding two feet per edge, drill the holes a quarter of the way in from each end.
Drill a 1/16" hole in the center of the 4" foot pieces. Countersink the holes for the small brass screws using a countersinking bit or a larger drill bit.
Step 2: Attach the Feet, Assemble Frame
Use the brass screw to attach the feet to the frame.
Bolt the frame together using the 10-32 bolts. Make sure you insert the bolts through the longer slats first. The 10-32 bolts should be a snug fit in the 3/16" holes.
Step 3: Add Filter Material
Stretch the cloth over the frame and staple it in place with the staple gun. The cloth should be on the same side of the frame as the heads of the bolts. Fold the edge of the cloth under itself and staple through both layers.
IMPORTANT: Only staple the fabric along the long edges.
Add one staple to the each end of the long slats to hold the edge of the fabric.
Trim off excess fabric.
If your staples go through to the other side of the wood, bend them over to secure them and to hide the sharp ends.
Step 4: Colapse for Storage
The frames are complete. To collapse for storage:
- Rotate the feet into the collapsed position.
- Remove the wingnut from two opposing corners.
- Remove the short slat from the two corners with the nut removed.
- Fold the short slats onto the long slats
- Screw the wingnuts back onto the studs that they were removed from
- Roll the cloth around the frame components for storage.
Reverse the process to reassemble the frames.
If the cloth gets wrinkled, it can be ironed while the frame is collapsed and the cloth is unrolled.
Please let me know in the comments if you liked this instructable, or if you have any improvements. This is my first instructable, so I am happy to take comments.