Light Box/dryer

Introduction: Light Box/dryer

I put together this little device back when I was working with papier mache, and needed to dry my works out completely and more quickly.   Later on I discovered it was also good for drying other things like fresh-made sheets of  tissue foil, or the sand sheets I made for my budgie cage, which had a round floor....One night when i returned home late  after getting caught in a downpour, and the laundromat was closed, I found out I could also dry out my shoes and sox on it/in it...It's also cool for drying out dish towels when the air is too humid for drying out dish towels at their natural pace....

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Step 1: What You Need...

All you will need for this instructable are a few things you may already have on hand:

1.  2 clean milk crates, or something along that line...basically cubes with holes in them to emit light and air.  I have one that I use that is a metal mesh cube that I bought at BedBath&Beyond.

2.  1 work light with a metal "cage" surrounding the light socket, with or without a clip...they're inexpensive and can take the higher wattages...the cage keeps the bulb from hitting whatever kind of "cube" you're fire or melting plastic that way.  

3.  Light bulbs.  duh.   I find a 150 watt GE standard incandescent bulb is pretty efficient for drying things..  Then between dryings, to be "green" &/or frugal, you can use a cooler burning cfl or something like a 60 watt incandescent, if you're using it to help keep the air dry in the closet.  Even these last longer than the 150's, and are much cheaper.

4.  a piece of wood or something heat and moisture resistant to sandwich between the two cubes...I found a nice slat of wood in an alley, and painted it with acryllic paints, and then went over it with floor make it more water proof.  The size of the wood is up to you and the space you have to fill... i try to keep any moisture from coming into contact with the things I store around the light box. 

5.  something to drape over the open face of the cube to diffract the light---this moves the light box into the genre of aesthetical indirect lighting...for awhile i used a sheet of mylar for the box, and used it  to display  some small sculptures inside...lately, i've been using a swatch of red vinyl cut-to-fit, which looks sort of like my crummy drawing...a hand towel also casts a nice subdued light , and you can also dry the towel out that way...obviously you need to take care not to let any fabric touch the bulb...

DRYING TIP:  It is always a good idea to make sure whatever it is you are drying is not too sodden, and dripping ...if you're drying fabrics, what you can do to speed up the process is to roll whatever it is you are drying in a dry towel, and squeeze out the excess moisture beforehand...You really don't want any water dripping into your light source. 

Step 2: Voila!

That's you have your light box/dryer...

Please excuse my crude camera is in hock.

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    2 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    i have used a technique like this several times while staying in hotels to dry clothes. works pretty well even on thick fabrics!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    this lamp could be out of vogue, soon, if the incandescent light bulb gets banned, as planned...If you stop to consider that the wealthy might use more costly means to keep their abodes "dry"...electronic dehumidifiers would probably become a necessity, or just over-use of heating systems...then i don't see how we'd be saving that much energy, by going 100% cfl...tho i've heard they're working on an incandescent "heater" which also emits light but will be marketed as a heater and not as a light....goofy, don't you think?