Introduction: A2 Overhead Corner-LEDs Lightbox - Platform Extension

This is a pull-apart platform for the Instructable here and here.

The criteria for this make are:

  1. Raise the lightbox to a height where you can
    1. Hover over the camera viewfinder in its highest position.
    2. Position the objects on the stage whilst standing.
  2. Use the platform in the basic configuration and with the softbox extension.
  3. Wheel the platform around in its compact form.
  4. Lock onto the lightbox with minimum effort.
  5. Position the lights around the lightbox at a more comfortable height.
  6. Run the leads to the lights in concealed "tunnels" for better safety.
  7. Re-position the lights to change intensity.

Step 1: The Materials

  1. 12mm MDF [buy]
    1. 6 off 400mm x 525mm
    2. 6 off 102mm x 525
    3. 1 off 306mm x 525mm
  2. 12 off 42mm x 18mm pine 525mm long [buy]
  3. 30mm x 2.4m Clear Pine External Corner Round Edge Moulding [buy]
    1. 2 off 540mm long
    2. 2 off 320mm long
  4. 4 off castors [buy]
  5. ~80 off 25mm countersunk screws [buy]
  6. ~16 of 3G x 10mm countersunk screw [buy]
  7. ~14 off 4G x 15mm countersunk screw [buy]
  8. PVA Wood Glue [buy]
  9. 4 off ABS 30mm corrner support [print] [buy]
  10. 6 off ABS Halogen lamp guide leg [print] [buy]
  11. 3 off halogen light hooks [print] [buy]

Step 2: The Tools

  1. Mitre saw
  2. Drill
  3. Phillips head screw driver
  4. 4.5mm Countersink Bit

Step 3: Assembling the 3 Units

Ensure the 306mm x 525mm piece fits in between the T-Connectors on the base of the lightbox (with a a few mm of clearance) - if it doesn't adjust the measurements as needed.

  1. For each of the vertical sides (MDF 525 x 400mm):
    1. Lay the MDF flat in the work area.
    2. Pre-drill 3 4.5mm holes 20mm in on all corners and 1 in between them (20mm in) on the 525mm edges.
    3. These are to be countersunk with combined countersunk bits or a separate Countersink Bit.
    4. Apply some wood glue to one of the bigger sides on the 42 x 18 x 525 pine.
    5. Line-up glued side to MDF 525mm edge opposite to countersunk sides.
    6. Fasten glued timber to MDF with 3 off 25mm countersunk screws.
    7. Repeat for other edge then do the same for all vertical sides.
  2. You should now have 6 panels glued and screwed with 2 timbers each - let these dry overnight (or the prescribed amount).
  3. For each of the horizontal sides (MDF 525 x 102mm) - Pre-drill 6 off 4.5mm holes as per image #4 countersunk as above.
  4. Stand 2 off vertical panels, timbers inside and at top and bottom, 102mm from outside to outside.
  5. Support them with blocks (or the like).
  6. Apply glue on (top) lines where MDF meets timber.
  7. Position MDF 102mm x 525mm on top of glue, countersunk side up.
  8. Screw 25mm countersunk screws into the 6 holes.
  9. Turn the unit over.Repeat #6 - #8.Repeat #3 - #9 for the 3 units.
  10. You should now have 3 units glued and screwed completely - let these dry overnight (or the prescribed amount).
  11. If using the halogen hooks, assemble as per the instructions at thingiverse.

Step 4: Assembling the Base

  1. Cut 45 degree miters on the 2 long L pieces at 539mm overall.
  2. Cut 45 degree miters on the 2 short L pieces at 320mm overall.
  3. Layout the corners, and place the 306 x 525mm MDF base inside them.
  4. Place the 3 units on the base. This is to ensure the base will fit the units once fastened.
  5. Put the ABS corners on the L piece corners.
  6. Fasten these with 4 off 3G x 10mm countersunk screws on each corner.
  7. Remove the units.
  8. Pre-drill 14 off 4.5mm holes as per image #5 countersunk as above.
  9. Fasten the MDF to the L pieces with 4G x 15mm countersunk screws.
  10. Turn the base over.
  11. Place a castor in each corner hard up against the inside of the L pieces.
  12. Fasten the castors in place with 3G x 10mm countersunk screws.
  13. Turn the base over.

Step 5: Usage

Without the softbox extension (standard lightbox)

  1. Place the units in the base.
  2. Place the lightbox on the platform (units & base), between the bottom PVC supports.
  3. Wheel to light stable area (no strong external influences or dark).
  4. Attach power to 12V bulkhead connector.
  5. Turn on lights.
  6. Position subject.
  7. Position camera - square, level, height, frame.
  8. Modify illumination.
  9. Modify camera settings.
  10. Take shots.

With the softbox extension.

  1. Find a light stable area ~1.2m x 1.8m.
  2. Position two side units ~500mm apart.
  3. Position rear unit center and offset ~ 200mm.
  4. Place lightbox/softbox on internal horizontal surfaces of units.
  5. Make minor adjustments.
  6. Install Halogen lamp guide legs as per Thingverse instructions.
  7. Place lights on outer edge of units.
  8. Run power leads through units to central power board.
  9. Attach to 240V.
  10. Turn on .
  11. Position subject.
  12. Position camera - square, level, height, frame.
  13. Modify illumination.
  14. Modify camera settings.
  15. Take shots.