I have wanted a lightbox for years, I live in a small flat and don't have the space to store a large lightbox. I decided to build a photo/tracing lightbox into my Ikea coffee table. I picked up all of the equipment on ebay and put the whole lot together in a couple of hours. The table is an Ikea 'Lack' and cost about £5, they come in many different colours.
Step 1: Choosing Correct Acrylic
-Ideally I would have made the top from one single thick sheet of acrylic with a routed out step around it's edge. However to do this I would need a router and a acrylic cutting router head... which I don't have. Instead I ordered two sheets of Acrylic. One 8mm thick transparent sheet and one 3mm thick Opal coloured sheet. I had the clear sheet cut slightly smaller (which the acrylic company did free of charge).
-Lack table top measures 550x550mm
-Clear Acrylic 8mm 480x480mm
-Opal 3mm Acrylic 500x500mm
-I purchased these materials on Ebay from trentplastics.co.uk, they gave me cheap combined postage and next day delivery.
Step 2: Measure and Cut
-Carefully Measure out the aperture on the top of the table. Check your measurements and offer up the thickest sheet of Acrylic, make sure it will fit correctly as the chance are it probably wont be perfectly square.
-Use a brand new stanley blade and a non slip metal ruler to carefully cut through the table top. Be patient because it takes quite a few cuts to break through.
-Peel off the cut away section and remove the cardboard reinforcement.
-Check the acrylic fits and cut/sand away more if it doesn't.
(tip. Mark one side of the table and acrylic sheet with small strips of masking tape, this will make sure you relocate it the same way when you put it back)