Gunstock and Pistol Grip Carving Made Easy with Light Table


Thanks for the intro Chip……

Why does a Gunstock carver need a light table? Oftentimes a pistol grip requires a mirror image drawing. It is a especially useful for custom design patterns; as well as for accuracy, time saving and copying from existing photos or patterns.

While a light table is certainly available in most Art and Craft  stores, it is more fun to build one. In addition, one is able to build it to their own need and size. For instance, a sign maker and/or graphic artist may require a bigger size opposed to a gunstock and pistol grip carver who may  require a smaller size.

I decided to build my light table to accommodate for a standard 24″ flourescent light. This will not be weightly making it easier to carry from one station to another.

Following is a sketch and list of materials. (This worked for me. I kept it simple and practical. Someone else may chose to build a box with fancy joinery or miders).

As a reminder, before going out to purchase the material, don’t hesitate to see what may be available to you in your garage or amongst leftovers. Don’t be afraid to improvise if necessary.

According to Plan Details:

1. build a box with a 1×6 (may be pine or poplar); use glue in the joinery and screws or finish nails to fasten it (a finish nail gun can make life easier).

2. insert 1×1 wood strip flush with the  bottom of the box (with glue and finish nails).

3. cut 1/2″ plywood, glue and nail over 1×1 wood strip.

4. install 3/4″ x 3/8″ moulding – 1/4″ below top rim all around to accommodate for 1/4″ frosted glass.

5. drill (4) 2″ holes to accommodate for 4 vents for air circulation and cooling.

6. install (4) 1×1 corner moulding in all 4 corners to cover joinery and screws/nails.

7. cut opening for switch and 1/2″ hole in center 1/2″ below top to enable you to pop up the glass for maintance (a pencil with an eraser is ideal for this task).

At this stage paint interior and exterior of box (preferable with semi-gloss enamel finish).

8. after paint dries, install (2) 24″ flourescent units (includes switch, cord and plug).

9. install trim: 4 bumpers, 2 handles, glue (4) 2″ vents (with construction adhesive).

10. insert self-adhesive foam on 3/4″ top moulding to accommodate for cushioning glass.

11. install 4 small brackets to secure glass flush with top rim.

I will be glad to field any questions and receive notes and pictures of success.


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