DIY UV Light box

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by nsurit, Oct 11, 2007.

  1. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    Can someone head me in the right direction for instructions and parts resources on building a UV light box. Thanks in advance. Bill Barber
     
  2. tac

    tac Member

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  3. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Go get four or more (depending on your maximum print size) blacklight fixtures at Home Depot (they're made by GE, and you can find them in the lighting department). They cost about $18-20 each. If you've got an IKEA near you, go get yourself a set of IVAR shelves, the deep variety, and screw the fixtures to the underside of one shelf. Use the next shelf below to hold your contact printing frame. If you don't have an IKEA near you, just build yourself a box to fit the fixtures (they're about 24" long), and make the height enough that you've got about 2-3" of clearance between the top of your contact frame and the bulbs.
     
  4. bwphoto

    bwphoto Member

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    Bill,
    If you send me your email I will send you my complete plans in building a 12 bulb unit (2'x2' in size). I just sent it out in my October 'Grain' newsletter, Adobe PDF, so have drawings, photos and written description. I have used the unit now for about a year and works well, will cost in the neigborhood of $300 to build.
    Bob
     
  5. eric

    eric Member

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  6. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    Bill -

    I didn't have formal plans for mine. It's basically a box with a footprint larger than my contact frame with blacklight bulbs inside. The sides were made from 1/2" MDF, with a top made from a piece of plywood I had left over from an earlier project. I used six spiral CFL blacklights with ordinary "edison" screw bases in plastic lampholders from Home Depot. After reading a lot of stuff on the web, I spaced the bulbs on 6" centers, and set the height of the unit such that the bottom of the bulbs was 6" above the top of my contact frame. I also mounted a sheet of bare aluminum flashing material under the lampholders to act as a reflector.

    I opted for the "pizza oven" design in which the sides of the box extend all the way to the bottom of the box, and with a door (hinged on the top) in the front through which the contact frame can be inserted. With that design, there is no spillage of UV light into the workspace. I think that is important because UV light is a known cause of cataracts (just had the first one removed, so I'm more aware of that problem right now), and also by eliminating UV spillage, I minimize the risk of fogging materials that I am preparing while using the UV box.

    I mounted an exhaust fan in one corner of my unit, with a louver in the opposite corner to provide ventilation for the bulbs. Heat buildup will reduce the life expectancy of CLF bulbs, and since they aren't cheap or easy to find, I decided that was a wise investment.

    The major expense is the bulbs. I bought mine here
     
  7. Marv

    Marv Member

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    Here is a link to a unit I put together with the tubes mentioned by The Flying Camera. It was a prototype that has served well enough I haven't refined it much from the original.
     
  8. barrylg

    barrylg Member

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    Hi, I AM INTERESTED IN BUILDING A UV LIGHT BOX AND WOULD APPRECIATE A COPY OF YOUR PLANS. I AM MORE THAN HAPPY TO PAY FOR THE PLANS. THANK YOU

    BARRY G.

    barryg@unm.edu
     
  9. R Shaffer

    R Shaffer Member

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    Ciao Barry,

    I can send you the CAD files ( as a .pdf ) I used to build my UV box. Mine does 11x14 prints and uses the T8 bulbs which are considerably cheaper than T12. No need to pay, but they are not step by step instructions.

    Shoot me a PM if your interested.