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Tips & Techniques > Don't throw out that old scanner!!!

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Posted by: cherylwashere
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About cherylwashere star
United States
Member since: 4/10/04
Reviews: 4 (tips: 3)
Skill level:Intermediate
Favored by: 1 people
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Posted on: 3/27/13 11:09 AM
Review Rating: Helpful by 2 people   Very Helpful by 14 people   
I took an old scanner from a prehistortic computer system we had laying around and converted it into a LIGHT BOX. I removed the glass top portion of the scanner from the base... It required a not so gentle hand...but I was determined to get it opened. Once opened I removed all the inner was messy but had to be done. A few snips to remove some excess plastic to have the space needed for the lighting source...and what to use for the lighting source??? After trying several things...even a string of Christmas tree lights...thumbs down on that one. The winner is a 13" portable under the cabinet lamp... It took 3 to lightup the glass area. I am searching for another lighting source...the cords on 3 lamps are cumbersome hanging from the light for now this does work for me. I taped a 9"x12" sheet of tracing paper to the underside of the glass and new light box works perfectly. I can trace a design on to my fabric skipping the freezer paper pattern...

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cherylwashere said... (9/28/14 4:12 AM) Reply
I recently updated my light box using the bright white LED lighting strip...strip has a sticky backing...just peel off paper. I cut white foam board to fit inside the bottom of the scanner and attached the strip lighting to it. The light strip came with a plugin attachment. I also purchased a battery pack and an electric power source to attach to the light strip plugin... Now I can be portable or stationery... I cut a piece of white foam board...peeled the paper off on both sides and taped it to the underside of the glass as a diffuser... Works great!!!
Demetria said... (8/1/13 1:06 AM) Reply
LED or CFL lights would probably the best options. LED bulbs are really small, bright, last a very long time while CFL are very bright, project very little heat, are low wattage thus use very little power, also last a very long time. is a really good website to try for ideas. I just found & there is also All of those sites also have sewing stuff as well!
cherylwashere said... (3/29/13 0:19 AM) Reply
Hi Goodworks1, The manufacturer is Lights Of America, Linkable Fluorescent Undercabinet Portable Light, 8 Watts and 13 inch length. I purchased the lights at Walmart @ 9.97 each and the replacement blub is 7.97
goodworks1 said... (3/28/13 1:49 PM) Reply
I'd like more info on the type of lights you are using. Wattage? Are they LED or fluorescent? Maybe a link to an example. This is a great idea!
cjsews said... (3/28/13 9:24 AM) Reply
Great idea! I have purchased a box of lights that are all battery operated, about 5 inches across, about 1/1/2" high. They are meant to be for emergency lighting--like a flashlight in a round disk! They could be used easily for a light source for your needs. I am using a shadowbox frame that I bought at a craft store and works fine for my purposes but recycling a scanner is a wonderful idea!
cherylwashere said... (3/27/13 5:08 PM) Reply
Hi ksgentry, I did place a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil on the floor of the scanner and thought 2 lights would be enough...but it wasn't. 3 lights, lights it up perfectly. Let me know if your technique works for you... Thank you, Cheryl
ksgentry said... (3/27/13 1:43 PM) Reply
Love your idea for the light box. I have an old scanner that I just knew would come in handy for something. Now you have given it new life. I was thinking that perhaps using three light fixtures I would try and experiment with aluminum foil inside to get the light to reflect better and possible decrease the light fixtures needed.
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