As related in an earlier post on my tumblr blog, this year I built a light box, to trace drawings for watercolours. It was made out of a cardboard box my scanner came in, a couple of dollar store LED light bars, and a square of frosted glass I’d found in an alley.
It was adequate, but not ideal. Happily, at the art store I had a chance to look inside a commercial light box (costing $100 and upwards: my thing cost me about $4.00 for the two light bars). That gave me a better idea of how these things actually work. So, here is light box Mark II:
The battery-powered bars are now attached to one side of the box inside, and aim slightly downwards at a white reflector. Ideally, this should be highly polished white metal, as found on the sides of supersonic jets, and tested in secret labs.
I went for a sheet of craft cardboard. Fifty cents and tax at the good old dollar store. It seems to work fine, though I’m looking for a more powerful light. Maybe a lamp scavenged from a street sale or flea market. The nice thing about this device is that it’s light, cheap, and fits on my lap.
Note this heavy steel straight edge I used to cut the high-precision parts for this creation. Engraved on it are the letters “RCAF” and some strange code. This could only have been used to draft plans for jet-powered Spitfires to win the Battle of Britain!