FAST BUILD "ETCHED GLASS" Portable Design and Stencil Cutting Table

Introduction: FAST BUILD "ETCHED GLASS" Portable Design and Stencil Cutting Table

About: Called a renaissance man more times than I can count, I am the type of person who believes you can do anything you put your mind to. As a veteran I've seen some awful acts committed, and I guess my wanting t...

After searching around for a design, drafting, stencil cutting, and light table with a portable design, I found there really were none. Most of the plans are big and bulky, I lack a lot of space in my home office and wanted something that could easily be moved from my desktop and still employ all of the functional aspects of the 4 tables I wanted.

"Portable 4-in-one Designers Station"

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Step 1: Materials and Tools


A large board (any type of plywood or study craft board larger than the glass used)
A piece of glass (I used one from an old screen door)
Smaller pieces of board (or off all from the plywood for the legs)
Armor Etch glass etching cream (found at any craft store
Masking tape
Hobby knife
L brackets
Heat shrink tubing
12 volt power source

Tools used:
Like my other instructables any comparable hand tools can be used

Table saw
Miter saw
Drill and bits
Drill press
Soldering Iron
Heat gun
Tape measure

Step 2: Cut You Base and Legs

In this case I already had a rough cut table I had been using, decided to reuse this table. Just made some minor modifications but the design is simple: a board that is large enough to fit the size glass you've selected, then cut two 45 degree (or an angle you are most comfortable with) triangles as legs large enough to support the table. Cut a small strip of board to place at the bottom of the board to hold glass in place

Place the triangles at each edge of your board and either drill, counter sink, and drive screws through the board into the legs or attach the legs using L brackets

Step 3: Glass Etching

Glass etching is one of the simplest professional looking tricks you can pull off.

Steps are simple:
1. Mask off what you don't want etched
2. Apply etching cream to exposed areas using a brush
3. After several minutes wash off etching cream with regular water
4. Peel masking off
5. Feel thrilled how cool this looks

As for the design it's completely up to you imagination, I used an 9X11 area to light up and my standard logo's. I used masking tape reversed images on my printed and traced them to the tape, then used a exacto knife to cut the designs

Step 4: LED Light Bar

The light bar is just a basic channel cut into a strip of wood and attached to a screw in base for mounting to the board.

Next measure and drill holes for LED's, In my case I used 8 - 3v Super bright LED's measured out at 0.190" and I used a 0.200 drill bit and spaced the LED's evenly.

Next Epoxy glue the LED's into each of the holes (TIP:LED's have a long leg which is positive and a short leg which is negative) 

Once it's dry it's time to solder! I hooked up four of the leds in strings positive to negative till I was left with two strings with each end of the two having both one positive and one negative leg each aloowing me to use a 12v power source (Transformer or hacked PC power supply)

Decide on your power source and run the wiring 12v positive source to the two remaining longer legs and the black ground to the two remaining shorter legs. Making sure to use heat shrink or electrical tape to insulate the wires.

Step 5: At Last the End...

Attach the light bar using screws centering the LED's on the edge of the glass, This will illuminated the etched areas of your glass lighting up your work as well.

Total time invested: 2 hours (Would have taken less time, but I added my logo's so it took some time to cut those out)

Viola! your done! Now you can start designing your personalized hand drawn Pro member Instructable's badges, Cut airbrush stencils, design logo's, and anything else you can put down on paper.

Step 6: Future Plans...

While I had hoped that the light bar would have been sufficient enough to light up bright enough to push through any paper taped to the etch surface I found it has to be really dark to get this effect so I am planning on routing out the etch 9x11 space behind the glass and adding a couple of small florescent bulbs to fully light up the area making tracing a little easier. Though the L:ED's do the job right now I will update this instructable when I add the additional lighting.

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