Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Light Box Tops

I recommend your top should be 6.4 laminated or 4mm toughened glass for anything up to 610 by 1000mm. If it is larger, you should go to 6mm toughened, as 8.6mm laminated glass is pretty expensive. I suggest glass because it is strong, rigid, scratch resistant and easy to clean.

You can use a router to form a ledge for the glass to sit on. You can use a less machine intensive method, by nailing thin battens or quarter rounds around the glass. But the structure which confines the glass should be no higher than the glass surface. If it is higher than the glass, you can simply plane or sand it down. Insure there is no part of the fixings of the glass higher than the glass surface This is especially important when cutting glass on the light box. If the surround is higher, you run the risk of breaking glass that is for one reason or another overhanging the edge. It also makes it easier to get the glass on and off the light box.

To get the appropriate diffusion you need to do more than sandblast the under side of the glass. While this will provide some diffusion, it is not enough. You can put another sheet of glass, sandblasted on both sides, underneath the top sandblasted sheet to provide good dispersion of the light. However, I have found a 3 or 4 mm sheet of white acrylic that is 70% -80% opaque provides the best diffusion of the light elements, even tough it is more expensive than glass.

You also need to have a method to be able to get at the lights. This can be by having a removable section of the boundary. You can also make use of the ventilation holes, if appropriately placed, to lift the glass. A portion of the box sides can hinge to allow access to the lights through the side, although this is more awkward than fitting from above.

Additional information: