Introduction: Make a Cordless Lightbox

Recently designed and constructed this light-box which requires no 'mains' power supply. Just insert a 9V DC battery.

Have just finished my upload file and wanted to share.

Now everyone can make their on light-boxes. Wanted to get it out there before someone tried making everyone pay for it.

Cheapest A4 powered box is between $40 & $50. The material here would not reach $15.
The real bonus is you can now sit where ever you want to do your tracing.

Step 1: ​Gather Your Components

What you are going to need :

LED light strip

ON/OFF switch

9V DC battery - standard off the shelf

A4 size sheet of acrylic sheet (can be any size you like really)

Carpet tape (1/2")

20mm Sq wood to construct frame

and of course whatever tools (powered/non-powered) to best get the job done, eg. Table saw, router, drill & bits.

Step 2: Build Your Box

The box needs to be built to suit whatever size piece of acrylic/perspex you got your hands on or want to build to.

So, build your box first to fit that sheet. You can size the sheet exactly later.

The box frame will first need to be routed to contain the acrylic/perspex sheet.
Next, rout out the recess to hold the LED light strip (7mm wide strips).
Clean, smooth, round edges - whatever you need to do before cutting up the strip for the box.
Cut the box frame into the lengths required to surround your section of acrylic/perspex

Step 3: Assemble the Box Frame

Assemble box frame around acrylic/perspex sheet.

Lift the edges of the protective cover from the sheet to allow fitting of the sheet to the box frame but do not remove it completely at this stage. We still need to protect the sheet as much as possible throughout the rest of the project.

Step 4: Build the 'control' End of the Light Box

Now we need to build the section that holds our battery compartment, ON/OFF switch and wiring connecting it all to the LED strip yet to be installed in the box frame.

Our battery is approximately 50mm X 27mm X 13mm. Choose where you wish to locate it and create the recess for it from the back of this piece of wood.
The channels for the wiring then need to be cut to connect our wiring between the battery, Micro switch and LED strip light to be installed into the box frame.

Once this channel is cut out, match mark, then drill the opening hole into the box frame to connect the wires of the LED strip light.

Once completed, this channeling will be covered with a backing cover, possibly plywood.

Step 5: Install the LED Light Strip

Now that we know the entry point on the box frame for our wiring, we can go ahead and install the LED Light strip.
Insert the connecting wires into their entry hole and position the strip for placement of the first light.
Start stripping off the protective covering from the adhesive backing (small sections at time) and stick to the recess.
To terminate the end of the light strip, check for the allocated 'cut' point immediately before where the strip overlaps where it started and cut. That end is now finished.

Step 6: Connect the Pieces

It is now time to connect the 'control' section to the box frame. You can glue or screw them together.

Connect the wiring to both the battery and micro switch. This is where you will need to test your light strip, to ensure it all works prior to closing things up.

If things are good, remove the inside protective cover from the acrylic/perspex sheet.

Step 7: Install the Back Cover

It is now time to install the back cover to the assembled light box.

If not already done, establish the area on the inside of the back cover to which you will apply the piece of aluminium foil. Apply the carpet tape to this area. A length along each side of the foil should be sufficient as it will be protected inside the box.

Install this cover to the back of your box. This can be fixed together with screws, glue (not recommended - you might want to get into it again), or carpet tape again. The carpet tape has rather good adhesion ability.

Step 8: Finish It Off

Finish off the box however you wish.
Oiling it is quick and can really bring the good qualities found in some woods.
There is something to be said for holding on to a piece of wood compared to a piece of plastic.

If you give this project a go I think you will be very pleased with the results. I think they will also make great gift.

I've only made the one and already had people putting in requests for one.

Step 9: 24Hr Test of a 9V 900mAh Battery

Wood Contest

Participated in the
Wood Contest