Make an LED Light Box

Welcome to Get HandsDirty.

Today Iʼll make anawesome light box that canbe used to photograph, draw and make othercreative stuff.

This is the structure of the frame.

Weʼll be cutting miters, inserting splines, making grooves and covering everything.

Letʼs get started! First, I cut the plywood to more manageable pieces.

Then the rabbets arerouted to accept the back panel of the frame.

I make a rabbet test to check the thickness of the plexiglass.

And I like it a bit loose.

Here comes the new 45 degree cross cut sled! Letʼs cut the angles at one sideof each piece.

The lengths are traced in the opposite sides and all the cuts aresimplified by the sled.

We just need to align the pencil line with the blade kerf and weʼre good to go.

Iʼm having a little bit of tear out so masking tape to therescue.

As you can see this plywood is pretty thin so I thought it was a good idea toreinforce the joints with splines.

A test cut is always the best way to begin andplus I never did this before.

It turned out nice but unfortunately the ice creamsticks are too thin for this purpose.

Letʼs make all the cuts.

I like to try assemble things whenever possible and it seems quite perfect thistime.

The edging and splines were cut from a piece of Agba wood and yes yes yes, Ineed a zero clearance insert with splitters at the table saw.

myself a zero clearance for theband saw really quickly to minimize blade wobbling.

I make adjustments to get a closer fit for the splines and cut them to size.

The final tuning is made with the block plane upside down and iʼm very careful tonot destroy my fingers.

I glue everything and clamp the frame with a picture frame clamp.

And I think Inever made such a square frame in my life.

Oh, I realized I forgot that one side should be smaller so the plexiglass can slide inand out if someday it needs to get replaced.

So to fix this problem Iʼm removinga bit of the height and obviously I canʼt go all the way through.

I need to stopbefore the miters.

Iʼm begining and ending the cut where the frame aligns withthe edges on the fence.

Now I remove the rest of the miters.

I slide the plexiglass to be sure I can move on to the next step And obviously now the edging needs to bethicker then the other ones.

Itʼs time to work out! Alright, letʼs miter the edging strips and make a rabbet in the thicker piece.

Iʼm afraid that the glue can make it harder for the plexiglass to run out after, so Iʼm applying some plastic wrap to prevent glue squeezing out.

Strips are glued one at a time so I donʼt stress out and have enough time toconcentrate in each alignment.

Well It's a bit hard to pull off because the plastic wrap got stuck in some parts inside the rabbets but with patience and time I get it out nicely.

Clean up the left glueresidue.

It's ready to sand and I do it by hand.

I unpeel the sticky paper from the plexiglass and you can see how I love toalways check how it fits nicely in the grooves.

Time to finish! Two coats of wood sealant and two coats of matt spray lacquer.

I sand lightly between all the coats with a fine grit pad and wipe of the dust witha paper towel.

The inside of the box is all covered with aluminium stick tape.

It is crucial tocover the entire inside with a highly reflective material .

The lightning system is very simple.

Iʼm using an inexpensive LED strip and atransformer.

The LED strip has a sticky back which is very convenient and easyto use.

When you finish your application be sure to cut the extra length whereyou see the small scissors icon and DO not cut it elsewhere or you will breakthe circuit.

Pluging that in and it works! Now, we need to cross the wire through the frame by making two notches withthe router.

To fix the backer board, I made 8 thin wood holders.

You will want to grind thetips of the screws if you see that they may cross out the frame.

Screweverything carefully.

And the last thing to do before the final assembely is to pilot the holes for 3small screws that will secure the removable edge.

Actually I made this light box for a friend who works with photography and hereare some cool examples of her work.

Thereʼs really a lot of creative stuff that you can make with a light box.

You cancopy drawings, blacklight images, photograph small items or even use it as aset light.

I photographed this woods shavings just for you.

Thanks so much for watching.

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