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DIY Mini Studio

                           Here’s another Project for you D.I.Y’ers

                           Of especial interest to those who like me

                        use eBay a lot.  This is not a technical Project

                                 Just a simple construction job

                          using readily available odds and ends


                                  Materials Required

                    ¼ inch Plywood or MDF for the base,1 in x 1 in PAR (planed all round) or can be just sawn timber  Cut to Size,   4 x 24in.,  4 x 18in., and  4 x 15 in. Total length required approx. 24 feet for safety. These measurements are not critical and may be varied to suit what you have available

Talk nicely to ‘she who must be obeyed’ for a part of an old white bed sheet or blind for the sides and top. (may be cheaper in the long run to buy the sheet yourself!). Using  those on the bed is not recommended!

                             Paint - matt white Emulsion

                                           Tools Needed

Hand saw, Screwdriver, screws, 4 pieces of ¼ in dowel or       metal rod. Drill and bits.  Glue. Stapler.


                    This is almost self explanatory.


       MDF/plywood base and the 1in x 1in timber to size, drill the 4 holes in the base, repeat for the top to accept the dowel or rod pegs and the sockets for the pegs in the ends of the upright side members. Paint the posts before   stapling/glueing

     Assemble the pieces as shown in the pictures.  Wrap the wall material round the 4 posts and fix either with staples or glue.

For stowage you simply dismantle the walls roll up each side and place in the upturned base of the unit, place the top over this and tie to secure.

 Job  complete and ready for your next eBay photos.

For illumination I use an old Halogen external light unit, this can be HOT so take reasonable care. It can be sited either over the top, to the side or behind  use the inbuilt or exrernal flash if the item is not likely to reflect badly.

Good Luck

3 people like this.

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Date Sun, 11/10/2009 - 11:06

This sounds like a great project will be having a go at building it? Will let you know how i get on later.

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Date Sun, 11/10/2009 - 15:14

Hi. Mike. This  really is an easy one so long as you can hold a screwdriver. Cut to your size , drill a few holes, fit the pegs glue and paint. Look forward to your progress. Why not have a  peek at my other photo feature a DIY Macro light.


Good Luck Ted

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Date Mon, 12/10/2009 - 09:20

oh come on you can buy a proper folding light tent for next to nothing these days with online shops or via ebay and they fold totally flat and weigh near to nothing plus they most come with a few coloured backgrounds as part of the deal.

i have to say this would just be a heavy lump to drag about and would not work as well as a proper light tent with light reflective material for peanuts on ebay.

i am not going to argue the point that this clearly works for you but anyone else looking for something like this just get on ebay and buy a proper tent it will be less hassle, less splinters, cuts and bruises and far lighter to move and easy to store plus i suspect a proper light tent will have far superior end results and less time with editing out shadows and the wooden posts

if you have the stuff knocking about the house and dont have storage problems etc and dont want to spend £20 or much less on ebay go for it.

Don’t be offended if I have not taken the time to write more comments about your picture this is because I would rather take time looking at the pictures than writing about them, If I have taken the time to have a look at your shot I will acknowledge it.

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Date Mon, 12/10/2009 - 15:29

Hi Jason. Thanks for your comments, to which I feel entitled to reply.

As you say, you can buy these  on eBay for just a few pounds, you also say that they weigh practically nothing,

These cheapies are also quite small and very flimsy in contruction and materials and almost certainly will not last too long.

Well I have always believed in the old (like me) adage You get what you pay for. The decent quality ones range from £40 to £70.

My Feature title says for you DIYers. Of course if one doesn't or can't handle a few basic tools, then buy whatever one  can afford if that's the way one feels.

As regards your comment about 'dragging the lump around' I really do not see the need for this activity, after all you will not be taking them on vaction or a shoot. It will be indoors, tucked away somewhere and used only occasionally.

I am a keen DIYer, even though over the magic 80. It helps to pass the time and keeps me out of the wife's hair.

Fortunately I suffered no lacerations, bruises or splinters, as I say, I am a DIYer.

In the words of Harry Lauder (ever heard of him)? You'll tak the high road and I'll tak the low road or vice-versa

Cheers and Regards Ted



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Date Tue, 13/10/2009 - 17:53

Good on you Ted. Thanks for taking the time to share your DIY skills. I am with you on that score and much prefer to DI Myself instead of propping up up the economy of China by buying cheap and nasty junk that will end up in landfill.

Keep up the good work.

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Date Thu, 15/10/2009 - 10:03

Good on you Kidder.

Restored my faith in humanity.

Keep the chisels sharp, blunt  ones do the damage!  

http:\\ ( don't hurry I've got to replace the pictures now as I deleted them accidentally).

Many thanks and Regards.


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Date Thu, 15/10/2009 - 21:58

What make things!! what are you talking about? people don't make things anymore they just buy 'em off ebay..tut tut Ted, what ever next, crikey you'll be asking them to insert film into a spiral next.... ;-)

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Date Fri, 16/10/2009 - 11:07

Robbie - those that can DO those who can't DON'T.

What's a 'spiral' ?my camera uses 'glass plates'  Too much to take in all these modern contraptions, it'll be television next. HAND


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Date Sat, 17/10/2009 - 06:32

Good for you Ted, like i said i will not argue that this contraption obviously fully works well for you which i am really happy for you about and maybe it will work great for others too.

i have the ability to construct this in no time at all probally less than an hour all as my family are builders by trade for over 20 years and i worked on sites every year for years during school holidays building home extensions etc, but the fact is i simply would not want to build this as i know as a practicle man it would be a waste of time. 

but i am sure a light tent off ebay will produce very very good images too even the cheap ones, i have had a 1 mtr sq cube tent about 3 years that i won for £30 on ebay(they are much less now) and it works great and is good as new and i use it regular, it folds easy and hangs flat on the back of my door about 50cm diameter flat, with a couple of standard flood lights pointed at the tent i get very little shadows if any and the white is very bright so i have extremely little post processing if any to remove shadows and imperfections, i am sure the same cant be said for your contraption which is made out of chunky wood  off white material wood posts and sharp corners so i suspect shadows everywhere and lots and lots of post processing.


Don’t be offended if I have not taken the time to write more comments about your picture this is because I would rather take time looking at the pictures than writing about them, If I have taken the time to have a look at your shot I will acknowledge it.

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Date Sat, 17/10/2009 - 15:14

Thanks to All for the comments both for and against.

The thing I don't really get is - if you aren't interested in the article or making it -  then why waste your time on commenting and condemning it. I don't mind criticism about the articles content e.g. it wouldn't work for some reason.

Ignore it, and find something that interests you to  get your teeth into.

Jason, I worked in the building industry in the late 40's after demob from the RAF. I was a composition mounter (bet you don't know what that is) restoring war damaged architechtural properties, including St. James's Palace, The Old Vic's ceiling embellishments, Osterley Manor, the Dorchester Hote'sl Penthouse Suite in Park Lane under Oliver Messel,  The Royal Bath Hotel in Bournemouth and others like Justerini & Brooks Wine Importers Regent Street.  My employers were prominent in those days for making reproduction Georgian and Adam mantles, cornices, friezes, cartouches and plaques etc. In the 'compo' section there were over 5000 different hand carved moulds in boxwood, housed in an underground vault. The old carvers in their time really were great craftsmen carving them in reverse! Those were the days.

Regards Ted

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Date Sat, 17/10/2009 - 20:35

Hi Ted, I feel compelled to add a bit more to my original comment, Although I am a mere boy of 63 years of age, I do realize that times change and there is good and bad in this. The truth is as I see it, is anyone with reasonalble eyesight can take a pin sharp photo of most things thats how good modern cameras are. But if you can combine the lessons learnt from the past and blend them with the advantages of the now, then you have the best of all things. No matter how many shots I see of pin sharp photos of insects/flowers etc for true class I will alway base my judgements on some of the old black and white photos where the subject matter and the craftsmanship of the darkroom technicians produced photographs that I believe will never be surpassed. But! you cannot pass this feeling to the young generation, you have to live it to know it. Anyway, thanks for your inspiration, I have built a mini studio and thourghaly enjoyed doing it. I also appreciate the time you have given to passing on your experience to us all...Keep it up, it's not wasted

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Date Sun, 18/10/2009 - 14:15

Hi Robbie, many thanks for the post. If what follows is boring then switch me off.

I built my first enlarger in 1950. I was just married, demobbed and living in one room one bedroom I fixed 2 parallel wooden rails stretched between two walls on which I mounted a converted 1/2 plate camera with a rectilineal lens. I still have the 10" x 8" print of my 1st daughter born Feb. 1950. I later made another, a  vertical enlarger with extension and wood base with light-proof drawer which  housed the paper. I made a caliper type focussing unit from aluminium with a  built-in filter drawer and Nikkor enlarger lens (still got the old 'photoflood lamp somewhere). After that it was a Durst 605 colour job.  I have 16" x 12" b/w prints  of Wells Cathedral  with verticals straightened out , and the huge winding  gears  of London Bridge housed underground.  As Brucie would say "keep on DIYing".

Cheers Ted

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Date Tue, 17/11/2009 - 17:50

Anyone want a changing bag if i put it on e-bay thay wont know what it is and will get questions about babys..

I do a bit of diy to and done my own d & p in the past

good luck to you all

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Date Tue, 01/12/2009 - 14:51

Hi Robbie. Many thanks for those kind words, very touched.


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Date Mon, 25/01/2010 - 18:43


please would it be possible for you to put the pictures back in this thread? I would love to get hubby to make this for me and if he sees the pictures of yours, it might encourage him to do it for me

pretty please?

Laura *

 Beautiful memories kept safe in my heart

my entry for Black & White competition

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