Instructables
My fiancée is very keen on arts and crafts. A light box was just what she needed to be able to trace patterns onto paper and cloth.
This light box is cheap, safe and easy to build - I put it together in two hours.

A key part of this design is maximum insulation between the internal components and the outside. This is essential with any design that involves mains electricity.
As a consequence, all solder joints are located within the box, there are no metallic parts that protrude from the inside to the outside of the box, and the electrical cord was held in place with a cord grommet to prevent the cord being cut by back and forward motion.
 
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Step 1: Materials and equipment.

Picture of Materials and equipment.
The light box was built from the following materials:
A cheap student lamp ($10 AUD).
A strong, thick-walled plastic container with a transparent flat lid that clips in place. ($12).
An electronic cord grommet. (You can buy a pack of 10 for $4).
An energy-efficient light bulb. ($4 or $5, depending on where you brought it.)
Two-part araldite glue. (A bit under $2 for one pack)
A piece of waste polypropylene (Aka. part of a cheap cutting board I bought years ago in a dollar shop.)
Hot glue.
Shrink wrap.

Extra equipment included:
A drill.
A nibbler.
A wire stripper.
A hot glue gun.
A solder gun.
A hot air gun

jennc571 year ago
I have put one of these together but bought a battery operated tent light so no need to drill holes in the plastic for an electric cord. The light isn't great, I'm thinking a fluorescent might be best, they come battery operated as well.
michrichb2 years ago
Your Fiance is a lucky woman - hope it goes both ways :-))
Thank you so much for your time and patience in providing this tutorial. I do have a proper light box but at least now I know what to do with it should it fail.
Have a happy Holiday Season.
yoyology2 years ago
Great simple idea, put together well. I'd suggest putting some diffusing material on the underside of the lid to spread the light more evenly and save your wife's eyes from too much direct bright light.
ancienthart (author)  yoyology2 years ago
My wife uses this to trace a pattern from paper (on the bottom) to cloth on the top. So a diffuser might be a good idea, but I'm worried about decreasing the penetrating ability of the light.
agis683 years ago
nice work done.....what is the ideal size of a box for this job....for example to fit also something small and something big like to make a full image on T-shirts
ancienthart (author)  agis682 years ago
Sorry for the slow reply.

I wanted something that my wife could hold on her lap comfortably and safely - the big issue for me was that it have thick plastic walls and a nice, rigid lid.

We have an A4 (similar size to foolscap) printer, so there wasn't much point in going much larger than that. (An A4 page has about 1-2 cm clearance on both sides).

For a full T-shirt image, you'd probably want a light desk, rather than a light box. I've seen ones at my place of work (a high school), where someone cut a hole in a cheap ikea-type cupboard, fitted a piece of glass or Perspex over the hole, and fitted some lights into the top drawer.
thanx....
ddsouza3 years ago
Nice Instructable. I made my kids one from and old scanner. All I had to do was add two small fluorescent tubes on the sides. The scanner glass is strong enough and the unit is slim and sturdy...

DD