DIY Light Table
Not the most elegant of designs, but in view of how much it cost to put together, I can live with that :)
I'm sure most will be able to work things out from the photo, but a brief description.
At the heart of this is a simple cardboard box. This one was chosen as it already had a white interior, which is pretty much essential unless you want to spend time lining it.
It also has a removeable top and a cutout in one end, which also help matters.
A hole or window if you like is cut in the top, leaving a narrow piece around the edge to support the sheet of glass that sits on top.
The glass for this is the shelf from an old refridgerator which has nicely polished edges so no danger of cutting myself. The glass from a cheap picture frame works equally as well, just be careful of the edges and its a good idea to edge them with sticky tape to prevent accidents.
For the opaque top, I have used here, a sheet of 0.5mm/0.020" white polystyrene used in model making, placed on top of the glass and it is the best thing I have found so far. I have slid the sheet back a bit to show how the glass alone looks.
There are plenty of other options though, ranging from sheets of paper, white or coloured, polythene bags, I have even used a tuppaware container on top which worked surprisingly well.
The lights here are a pair of 20watt stick type CFL's but almost any light source will work.
I have used Flash, a halogen spotlight, an LED video light and good old incandescents with this setup. Just be careful of the ones that get hot.