Macro Photography Light Tent, Mk.2

I've upgraded my light tent for macro photography yet again. I reused most of the PVC components from the Mk.1 design but replaced some of the pipes to make the tent wider; I had sometimes been limited that way with the original design. I'm keeping this one at the office instead of at home and wanted to be able to accommodate one of the 23-inch wide patch panels I've designed, which requires a significantly wider light tent.

Upgraded frame on IKEA table

I designed the Mk.2 around some left-over IKEA GALANT parts we had in the office, which yielded a table 47.5 inches wide and 31.5 inches deep. I bought some M10-threaded caster wheels and screwed them into the bottom of the GALANT legs to make the table mobile for ease of re-configuring my office area.

Epoxy-filled and drilled. Concentricity strictly optional.

TERTIAL lamp base in modified PVC plug

Four IKEA TERTIAL lamps with 5000 K, 100 W incandescent-equivalent CFL bulbs provide the light. I clamped one of these to each side of the table-top but wanted the other two above the tent to shine light on its top surface. One way to attach these lamps to something is to discard the TERTIAL clamp and instead insert the tubular base-end into an appropriately-sized hole. To give the pipe assembly enough “meat” to support the lamp in this fashion I modified a 3/4-inch PVC plumbing plug by filling it with epoxy and drilling a 1/2-inch hole through the now-solid plug once it had cured. I placed two of these modified plugs into tee-fittings included in the top-rear member of the frame to support the lamps.

Assembled frame with tee-fitting and lamp

For the fabric cover I went to IKEA yet again, this time for a cheap-and-cheerful GĂ„SPA king-size sheet in white. I cut two holes in the appropriate spots to enable the lamp bases to stick through cleanly without having to wrestle the fabric too badly.

Completed and lit tent

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