Folding Light Table




Introduction: Folding Light Table

Light Tables are perfect for seeing through and tracing from one piece of paper onto another.

This was made by the teachers of the Rapid Prototyping class for the James Dyson Foundation Design & Engineering Lab at GCE Lab School in Chicago.

Step 1: Materials

To complete this project, the materials you will need are:

  1. folding table
  2. small lamp socket
  3. sheet of plexiglass
  4. wire hanger
  5. wood glue
  6. four 1/4 inch sturdy wooden sticks

Step 2: Tools

The tools you will need are:

  1. box cutter
  2. screwdriver
  3. wire cutters/pliers
  4. ruler
  5. pencil or sharpie
  6. cutting mat
  7. jigsaw
  8. power drill

Step 3: Prepare the Table

  1. Unscrew the tabletop from the supports/frame (if possible)
  2. Use your ruler and the edges of the table to measure and mark a square in the middle of your tabletop. The size is up to you, but I would recommend drawing lines that are 6 inches away from each edge. This is where your plexiglass will go.
  3. Use a power drill to cut holes on each of the four corners of your square
  4. Use a jigsaw to cut the lines of the square

Step 4: Attach the Supports

  1. Flip the table over
  2. Lie your wooden pieces evenly over all four corners of the empty space you just cut, creating triangles with sides that are 6 inches from each corner
  3. Trace over the edges of all four wooden pieces
  4. Take away the wood, and apply wood glue to the areas that you just traced
  5. Clamp the wooden pieces onto the wood glue so it sticks, or put heavy objects on the wood for 24 hours until it dries

Step 5: Prepare the Plexiglass

  1. Based on your measurements of the table, use your ruler to mark off the size of the plexiglass you will want to cut.
  2. Use a box cutter to repeatedly cut over the lines of your plexiglass square
  3. After several cuts, put the plexiglass cut line over the edge of a table, and carefully but forcefully bend it until it pops off
  4. Do this for all four (or three or two if you were able to use the flat edges of the plexiglass) until you have a square that will fit on your tabletop

Step 6: Attach the Hanging Lamp

  1. Unbend the wire hanger
  2. Wrap the middle of it around your hanging lamp so it's stable
  3. Attach and bend the ends of the unbent wire hanger to your table, so that the hanging lamp is about a foot below the hole where the plexiglass will go
  4. Cut off any excess wire

Step 7: Assemble!

  1. Once the supports are dry, place the plexiglass square into the hole on the tabletop
  2. Use caulk to fill up any gaps

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    Just4Fun Media
    Just4Fun Media

    7 years ago

    Great design. How much does it weigh?

    Have a great day! :-)


    Reply 7 years ago

    CohenLeadholm and I are desk neighbors at work. The table is considerably lighter than it was beforehand as a regular folding table due to the missing part. I would guess about 6 or 7 pounds total, and it packs really flat (about 4 inches when broken down).