My Mylar Lightbox

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by David Broome, Oct 20, 2003.

  1. David Broome

    David Broome Stunt Coordinator

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    After seeing what was being charged on the net for Mylar Lightboxes, I built one for my mini-mylars (and one for my medium/large as well, but I don't have pictures of it). Access is from a hinged door on the side (the large one has access from the top) and lighting is with 6 ft of rope light. If anyone is interested in me writing up how I did it, let me know (or for you non-DIY types, if you are interested in me making one for you for a reasonable price), just let me know!

    http://www.davidbroome.com/images/1.jpg

    http://www.davidbroome.com/images/2.jpg

    http://www.davidbroome.com/images/3.jpg

    Sorry for the bad pcis. My wife is the photogtapher in the family...
     
  2. Ed O'Neill

    Ed O'Neill Second Unit

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    Nice Job!

    I have been thinking about making a border for the medium sized mylars the problem with it is all the lighting fixtures. Linking them together plus I think the light fixtures would make the depth too much.

    I have a couple of questions for you David...

    How deep are your boxes?
    Do you know how many feet of light rope can be linked together.I was originally thinking of chritmas lights but your only supposed to hook three strandstogether.

    I think you gave me hope.

    Thanks in advance
    Ed
     
  3. Glenise

    Glenise Supporting Actor

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    David,

    I'm interested in how you made the lightbox!
     
  4. David Broome

    David Broome Stunt Coordinator

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    It actually turned out to be pretty simple. I figured I could get 3 mini-mylars (2.5 x 11.5) length-wise above the door to the theater (I like having several side-by-side as opposed to just one), so I went to Lowes to see what kind of wood and parts they had.

    Wood:
    1 .5 x 4 x 36
    2 .5 x 3 x 36
    2 small pieces of scrap I had laying around.
    (this was in the craft section)

    Hinges:
    1 pair of .75 inch hinges
    (over by the cabinet hardware)

    Plexiglass:
    1 18 x 24 piece of "Duraplex"
    (next to the glass cutting station)

    Rope Light:
    6' of white rope light (Sunbeam brand)

    First I mitered the corners (cut them to a 45 deg angle) of the 2 3" pieces to be the top and bottom of the box using a miter box and saw. Then I took my scrap and did the same for both of those to be the end pieces (the scraps were .5 x 3 x 4).

    Then, I took my bench saw (table saw) and lowered the blade depth to be 1/4", and cut a grove along the top and bottom pieces to hold the Mylars. And I cut another slot in one of the end pieces to be the hole the cord comes out of.

    Using wood glue and clamps, I glued the top and bottom pieces to the back, and one of the end pieces (without the slot) as well.

    Then, I took 6 ft of rope light and ran it double along the length of the box, leaving the cord to come out of the end.

    After letting that set up, I screwed the end piece with the slot into the back board using the hinge, letting the cord stuck out of the slot.

    It is quite easy to open the end piece with the hinge, slide in (and out) the mylars. Originally I had just the mylars, but they weren't sturdy enough. I tried adding some of that flourescent light fixture plastic lens stuff (I'm sure that is the technical term for it) to go in the slot with the mylars, but it was too hard to cut without shattering. So I decided on using the plexiglass instead, which holds the mylar firmly in place, and keeps it from bowing (I cut the plexiglass with a box cutter).

    The mini-mylar box is 3.5" deep and the medium/large box is 4" (though 3.5 would have been fine there as well, and I bet you could do it at 2.5 or 3 inches as well). I'm not sure how many rope lights you can stick together, but they sell it in strips 18' and longer, so I would imagine you could quite easily get enough length for your border.

    I am planning on spray painting it flat black, and mounting the little one under the big one above the door frame into my theater/bonus room. I also have some of those printable overhead sheets that I plan on printing times on to slide in the mini-box as well.

    If I end up making anymore for anyone who wants a cheap alternative to what is on the net, I will take some step-by-step pictures to better describe what I typed out above.

    If you have any specific questions, just shoot me off a PM or email!
     
  5. Ed O'Neill

    Ed O'Neill Second Unit

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    David,

    Can you give any info on the sunbeam rope lights.

    Like bulb spacing and power cord length, and diameter.
    Also,Wy white and not clear?

    Well speaking of rope light... look what I found on ebay
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...category=46717

    I got a project for the weekend I think !

    Thanks in advance
    Ed
     
  6. David Broome

    David Broome Stunt Coordinator

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    The power cord is 6', and the spacing appears to be right on 1". It says it is expandable up to 106 feet, and I DID get clear and not white, which is a mistype above.
     
  7. Ed O'Neill

    Ed O'Neill Second Unit

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    David,

    Sorry I forgot to ask these as well...

    Where did you buy these rope lights?
    How much were the rope lights?
    Clear or white plexiglass?
    What thickness plexiglass?

    Thanks again
    Ed

    BTW- When cutting plastic on a table saw the best way to stop it from breaking is to reverse the blade.
     
  8. David Broome

    David Broome Stunt Coordinator

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    It was at Loewes, and if I remember correctly it cost 6-7 bucks...
     
  9. Ed O'Neill

    Ed O'Neill Second Unit

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    wow you posted while I edited my last post

    Clear or white plexiglass?
    What thickness plexiglass?
    Is it safe to assume you bought the plexyglasss at lowes as well.

    Thanks
    Ed
     
  10. David Broome

    David Broome Stunt Coordinator

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    oops :). I'm watching MNF, and sitting at the computer. The plexiglass was clear, as they didn't have white at Loewes (that is what I was looking for). I seem to have misplaced the label, but I believe it was .093 x 18 x 24.

    I've been playing around with the big box tonight, and I would NOT recommend doing the top loader (hinging the top board as opposed to the side). It is too hard to line back up when you try to close the top...
     

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