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Where can I find white translucent plastic? Answered

I'm trying to find white translucent plastic to use for a light table and other photo related projects. I found some at Lowe's, but it's pretty pricey and the sheet is much larger than I need. Thickness is not critical, at least an eight of an inch thick and at least 8x10 inches to start. Any ideas?

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KitemanBest Answer (author)2010-03-23

Most plastic milk bottles over a pint could be cut and "unrolled" to make a sheet that size.

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photodude (author)Kiteman2010-03-25

I tried your idea and have had very good results. I built a simple slide copier using a piece of a milk bottle placed about an inch behind the slide. I was pleased to find out that it distributed the light evenly without showing any texture from the plastic. Thanks for your excellent suggestion.

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bluefly1215 (author)2010-04-15

 I used a piece of acrylic and left the white film on the back of it. Works great, so my sister borrowed it and I can't get it back. I'll just have to make another one. You do want to make sure the plastic or acrylic is strong enough to with stand pressure when in use.

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photodude (author)bluefly12152010-04-16

Thank you for another excellent idea.

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Re-design (author)2010-03-23

Make your own.  Start with a piece of clear (easy to find and cheaper than translucent) the right size and scuff the back side with very fine sandpaper in a swirling motion.  If you go slow and keep changing positions you can get a nice even "frosted" look that will diffuse the light.

I did this same thing back in the '70s when I needed to trace some very old building plans that were drawn on linen. So I built a light table that was 30" x 42".  Worked great.

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user

You could maybe even back the plastic with thin white paper or fabric or a piece of white kitchen trash bag, and skip the sanding altogether.

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Very interesting idea. Thank you. JEFF

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Good luck, and thanks for the idea. I may have to build one myself....

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That would certainly work.

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I despise sanding with every fiber of my being, so I'm always looking for a lazier approach. Makes it challenging to be a glassworker sometimes....

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photodude (author)Re-design2010-03-23

Thanks for your suggestion. I'm sure that would work for the light table idea. Another application I had in mind was a slide copier. Any imperfection in the "ground glass" would be evident in the photograph. I guess I should have mentioned that in my question.  Thanks.  JEFF

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kelseymh (author)2010-03-22

Why do you need 1/8" thick?  The translucent fluorescent light covers (also at Lowe's) ought to do the trick pretty well.  They're 2' x 4', and you should be able to get smooth translucent instead of the pebbly finish.

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photodude (author)kelseymh2010-03-23

Another great idea. Thanks. JEFF

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+1
If it's not thick enough for whatever reason, back it with a piece of clear acrylic (available dirt cheap from your local craft shop as a poster frame, or for much more from Lowe's).

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