Tattooists / Artists Tracing Lightbox




About: Tattooist, artist,

This instructable will show you how to make a very inexpensive professional looking tattooists / artists lightbox used for tracing images and designs onto paper from recycled things and out of things you may be able to find around the home or in the back of the garage.
This is my first ever instructable so i hope it can be understood ok and be of some use to someone :)

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Step 1: Equipment and Tools.....

For this instructable i used an old scanner that i had lying about in the garage, an old bedside lamp fitment, complete with wire and plug.
Flat headed screwdriver, 
Cross headed/phillips screwdriver,
A pair of pliers,
Large tie wraps,
Energy saving 40w bulb,
Clear sticky tape/Sellotape,
Piece of tracing paper,

Step 2:

First of all i used the cross headed screwdriver to unscrew the two screws holding the two halves of the scanner together (top and bottom) and carefully removed the top half taking care not to damage the casing or the glass surface.
 Once the top was removed i again used the cross headed screwdriver to remove the inner workings, the rail, the motor and the circuitry.
 I then removed the connectors and power unit using the pliers, from the metal panel that made up the side of the casing and put it aside for later use, leaving me with a totally empty scanner case.

Step 3:

I got some tie wraps and used two holes that were already made in the bottom of the casing, you could make your own, and threaded a tie wrap through that could be used to secure the light fitting in place.
Then i just mounted the light fitting and fastened the tie wraps.....the original holes are in an ok place as to give a good light coverage but you can make your own and place the bulb in a central position.
I trimmed the excess tie wrap off with the scissors.

Step 4:

I removed the plug from the lights wire with the flat headed screwdriver, and threaded it through the metal side casing......and re-fitted the plug.

Step 5:

The whole thing was put together for a works!!!!!

Step 6:

To even the light surface i taped a piece of tracing paper to the underside of the glass.....perfect! then stuck a guitar tattoo sticker on for good measure and thats it, job done! now i can make my tattoo stencils quickly and easily without the added hassle of trying to find a decent enough light spot so i can see the design i want to trace :) 

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    10 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I did this same idea with an old scanner, instead for the light source, ..... rope light.
    It doesn't burn hot, and is very cheap, if you purchase it on "After Christmas" sale tables.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    What an amazing Idea, Im a tattoo artist too and my hubby was going to make me one and then we seen this on here. We were just looking up for sizes and wow what an amazing idea. We had all the equipment here and didnt cost a penny and it took my hubby about 1/2 hour. Starting from finding the stuff and completing it. Im off to try it out right now and then to tattoo. Very very cool idea.


    8 years ago on Step 6

    Thanks for the amazing idea I can finally work on a easy project this summer :D


    8 years ago on Introduction

    this is perfect! i draw manga, and i've been looking for a cheap compromise for a light table.
    were can i get a plug thingy with the hole for a light bulb?


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Great instructable! I didn't have an old scanner laying around but I was able to pick one up at Goodwill for a few bucks.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I found one of those x-ray viewer boxes at a goodwill store, and am using it as a traceing light box.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    you r smart!it is a big good idea for me ,i have a scanner out of control


    8 years ago on Step 6

    That's pretty cool! Nice re-use of something that normally gets thrown away!