Build a light table

What you’ll need to make the light table
  • Light fixture:  Two 20-watt double fluorescent light tube fixtures measuring 24" long with cords and plugs. (If you don’t want to re-wire the fixtures yourself, ask if the store will re-wire up them for you).
  • Bulbs:  All of the following tubes will work, but the exposure times vary.

    Fluorescent Light Table Exposure Times
    using two 20-watt bulbs approximately 1.5"-2" from MakeScreensTM
    Full Spectrum  tubes Transparency 4 minutes
    20-lb white paper 14 minutes
    Daylight tubes Transparency 6 minutes
    20-lb white paper 24 minutes
    Cool White  tubes Transparency 14 minutes
    20-lb white paper 40 minutes

  • Clear Top:  Plexiglass (1/4" thick) for top measuring 14” x 28”
  • PVC pipe framework:
    • Two 12.5" lengths 3/4" pipe for short sides of table
    • Two 25” lengths 3/4" pipe for long sides sides of table
    • Four 3/4" x 3/4" x 1/2" side outlet elbows with a 1/2" threaded opening for corners
    • Four 4" lengths of 1/2" threaded nipples for legs
    PVC piping comes in various lengths and will probably require cutting. If your hardware store won’t cut it for you, you can purchase a ratchet action PVC pipe cutter that cuts up to 1” diameter pipe for under $10.

Total cost of materials to construct the frame is approximately $21.
Light fixtures and bulbs are additional.

Assemble the light table
  • Insert 2 long pipes in outlet elbows.
  • Insert 2 short pipes in remaining openings of outlet elbows.
  • Insert threaded nipples into threaded holes in outlet elbows.
  • Place over top of PVC frame.
  • Place the clear plexiglas sheet on top of the PVC frame.
  • There should be approximatly 2" between the plexiglass and the bulbs.

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