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Where can I find white translucent plastic? Answered

I'm trying to find white translucent plastic to use for a light table and other photo related projects. I found some at Lowe's, but it's pretty pricey and the sheet is much larger than I need. Thickness is not critical, at least an eight of an inch thick and at least 8x10 inches to start. Any ideas?



Best Answer 8 years ago

Most plastic milk bottles over a pint could be cut and "unrolled" to make a sheet that size.

I tried your idea and have had very good results. I built a simple slide copier using a piece of a milk bottle placed about an inch behind the slide. I was pleased to find out that it distributed the light evenly without showing any texture from the plastic. Thanks for your excellent suggestion.

 I used a piece of acrylic and left the white film on the back of it. Works great, so my sister borrowed it and I can't get it back. I'll just have to make another one. You do want to make sure the plastic or acrylic is strong enough to with stand pressure when in use.

Make your own.  Start with a piece of clear (easy to find and cheaper than translucent) the right size and scuff the back side with very fine sandpaper in a swirling motion.  If you go slow and keep changing positions you can get a nice even "frosted" look that will diffuse the light.

I did this same thing back in the '70s when I needed to trace some very old building plans that were drawn on linen. So I built a light table that was 30" x 42".  Worked great.

You could maybe even back the plastic with thin white paper or fabric or a piece of white kitchen trash bag, and skip the sanding altogether.

Good luck, and thanks for the idea. I may have to build one myself....

I despise sanding with every fiber of my being, so I'm always looking for a lazier approach. Makes it challenging to be a glassworker sometimes....

Thanks for your suggestion. I'm sure that would work for the light table idea. Another application I had in mind was a slide copier. Any imperfection in the "ground glass" would be evident in the photograph. I guess I should have mentioned that in my question.  Thanks.  JEFF

Why do you need 1/8" thick?  The translucent fluorescent light covers (also at Lowe's) ought to do the trick pretty well.  They're 2' x 4', and you should be able to get smooth translucent instead of the pebbly finish.

If it's not thick enough for whatever reason, back it with a piece of clear acrylic (available dirt cheap from your local craft shop as a poster frame, or for much more from Lowe's).