Create a Light Box for Screen Printing

What You'll Need
Marker pen
Measuring tape
Extension lead

A light box can be used to make a screen printing pattern by using light sensitive inks. The light box is a very important part of the process and without it screen printing simply won't work.

commercial light boxes are available but these can be quite expensive. That's why you might want to consider making your own. Making your own light box for screen printing is actually very simple as long as all the right tools and materials are available.

Step 1 - Cutting Wood

First you need to cut wood into the right size panels. This will depend on the size of the light box that you are making. In this case you will need to make 2 - 24x18" panels, one 24x28" panel and 2 28x18" panels. Make sure that these are all accurate because they will fit together to make a simple box.

Step 2 - Assembly

Now make the basic light box by assembling all of the pieces, you should now have a wooden box with a large opening at the top. Alternatively you could always try to find a wooden box which is already made to become your light box. The light box can either be nailed together or screwed together depending on your preferences.

Step 3 - Drilling

You will need to drill a hole inside the box so that all of the wires can easily pass inside the box. Once you have done this you can set to work mounting the lights inside. The best types of lights to use are florescent lights with a white back, you will need to choose carefully because not all lights are suitable. If you're in doubt then ask for help on the Internet or at a screen printers.

Step 4 - Connecting Power

Wire up the lights using the electrical screwdriver and connect a plug on the other side of the box. Remember to connect this to a surge protected outlet which will ensure that you are fully protected. This will also give you a switch which can be used to control the lights with.

Step 5 - Finishing Touches

The glass now needs to be placed on the top of the box. As soon as you've done this you will be able to start using it. You will then need to do some testing to find out how long the box needs to be left on for in order to transfer the image, this will take a bit of trial and error but shouldn't take too long.

The lights can be turned off by unplugging the cord, for a better design a switch would be added to get even better control. When you first start using the light box make sure that the lights don't get too hot and risk burning the box. Stay with the box at all times to make sure that the box doesn't risk going up in flames.