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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 30 May 2013 (Thursday) 11:40
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DYI Apple Boxes

 
Pearlallica
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May 30, 2013 11:40 |  #1

(I apologize about this topic not relating specifically to lighting. Apple boxes are great for seating subjects in lit studios, and I know what I am presenting can be of use to many studio beginners here. Heck, I've "junstin-clamped" a small flash to an apple box before via the box handles, so in a sense it can make a sturdy, low-to-the-ground "light stand"!)

I'm presenting a little tutorial I put together for those interested in creating their own apple boxes at a fraction of the price available via market. These boxes are not available to me locally, and I had no interest in shipping 4 boxes to me at $200. (as quoted by B&H)

I love being outdoors and working with wood. Experience in woodworking is an asset to doing this as it will save you from making mistakes or from potentially getting hurt.

I really don't care for most photography DYI photography concepts. Making my own apple boxes, however, seemed like a rewarding and enjoyable experience. It has been. I've made 12 of these so far and they look great and work great. I'm even selling them on our classifieds and making a little pocket change out of it too. :)

Here is the link (external link) to the printable tutorial I made. (PDF ~0.5 MB)

Alternate Link: Tutorial (external link) (Google DOCs - Google account required)

Besides the necessary tools, nails and glue, you only need to spend $20 on an un-finished 4' x 8' plywood board. I went the next step and spent $43 on the "one-side-finished" board for a more professional look.

Here is a sample photo of how the box will be pieced together. Of course, the final version will have rounded/sanded corners.

IMAGE: http://www.tlcphoto.ca/potn/dyi_applebox_1.JPG
IMAGE: http://www.tlcphoto.ca/potn/dyi_applebox_2.JPG
I surrounded the box with padded (micro fibre cloth) bricks to keep the box firmly in place while jigsawing.
IMAGE: http://www.tlcphoto.ca/potn/dyi_applebox_3.JPG

jonathan @ tlcphoto.com (external link) - pro wedding and portrait photog
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hawk911
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May 30, 2013 11:59 |  #2

I wish I still had all the tools for this, but huge thanks for putting this together


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Pearlallica
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May 30, 2013 12:18 |  #3

hawk911 wrote in post #15982764 (external link)
I wish I still had all the tools for this, but huge thanks for putting this together

You're very welcome. Even for a one-time try for four boxes you can just borrow the tools from someone you know. It's worth it. I had to borrow my brother's jigsaw as it isn't a saw I've needed in the past.


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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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May 30, 2013 12:42 as a reply to  @ Pearlallica's post |  #4

i've actually just put this project on my list.

i was going to make them more like cubes though.

maybe even do a cheap upholster job on them too.

thoughts?


PSA: The above post may contain sarcasm, reply at your own risk | Not in gear database: Auto Sears 50mm 2.0 / 3x CL-360, Nikon SB-28, SunPak auto 322 D, Minolta 20

  
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Harleypugs
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May 30, 2013 12:45 |  #5

Still building mine.....fun project.


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hawk911
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May 30, 2013 12:49 |  #6

I need a large white cube.


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Pearlallica
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May 30, 2013 15:26 |  #7

hes gone wrote in post #15982920 (external link)
=he's gone;15982920]i've actually just put this project on my list.

i was going to make them more like cubes though.

maybe even do a cheap upholster job on them too.

thoughts?

I did a near-cube already.

Instead of 20" tops and sides, I made 10" tops and sides. Other other dimensions apply. I'd imagine you'd have to make 7 3/8" tops and sides for a perfect cube.

Upholstering (external link) would be fairly straight forward once the box is pieced together. I'm sure once it's done your subject would return your efforts with an even greater smile!


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drvnbysound
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May 30, 2013 15:54 |  #8

I thought about building some of my own a few months ago. I'm waiting to have my workshop built... the foundation was poured Friday of last week. :)

I've got quite a tool collection of my own, but the main addition will be the ShopSmith (Mark V) that my grandfather is giving to me. For those unfamiliar:
http://www.shopsmith.c​om/markvsite/index.htm (external link)


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tonebag
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May 30, 2013 18:00 |  #9

Thanks for the link. Easy enough to follow and if you have a table saw it should take you no time at all.

I have all the tools I need but for those of you that don't have access to a table or circular saw, you might want to try your local HD on weekday during the day and ask the guy at the panel saw to make the cuts for you. They may charge you a couple extra bucks but sure beats buying them retail.




  
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May 30, 2013 18:08 |  #10

tonebag wrote in post #15983966 (external link)
Thanks for the link. Easy enough to follow and if you have a table saw it should take you no time at all.

I have all the tools I need but for those of you that don't have access to a table or circular saw, you might want to try your local HD on weekday during the day and ask the guy at the panel saw to make the cuts for you. They may charge you a couple extra bucks but sure beats buying them retail.

true.

i thought about suggesting this earlier, but the cut's i've gotten from them before are not very accurate.


and well, i know how we are about measurebations.


PSA: The above post may contain sarcasm, reply at your own risk | Not in gear database: Auto Sears 50mm 2.0 / 3x CL-360, Nikon SB-28, SunPak auto 322 D, Minolta 20

  
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Whortleberry
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May 30, 2013 18:15 |  #11

If you plan carefully, you could just as easily make a nesting set of boxes. Much easier for storage between uses and the varying heights will give you choice depending on need - potentially useful for groups too.


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Pearlallica
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May 30, 2013 18:38 |  #12

hes gone wrote in post #15983992 (external link)
=he's gone;15983992]true.

i thought about suggesting this earlier, but the cut's i've gotten from them before are not very accurate.


and well, i know how we are about measurebations.

the cuts need to be extremely accurate for the boards to line up properly. No way I'd leave it to the guys at the store. I just dropped open the tailgate on my truck and ended up using a $35 skill saw. I already learned the hard way that sloppy measuring and fast cutting yields poor results.

Whortleberry wrote in post #15984016 (external link)
If you plan carefully, you could just as easily make a nesting set of boxes. Much easier for storage between uses and the varying heights will give you choice depending on need - potentially useful for groups too.

Correct - as per this tutorial (external link). I wasn't a big fan of the tutorial as the gaps it left caused me to make several errors. It's the reason why I made my own tutorial for those just starting out with a wood project like this. I'll probably make a few short boxes eventually with the dimensions they've supplied.

BTW, this was my first wood project since woodworking gr. 10 (19 years ago) - if I can do this anyone can!


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May 30, 2013 19:23 |  #13

Whortleberry wrote in post #15984016 (external link)
If you plan carefully, you could just as easily make a nesting set of boxes. .

oh yeah!

pearlallica you won't get upset if my boxes are better than your, will you?

also, metallica and its fandom aren't happy with you associating them with pearl jam.

:cool:


PSA: The above post may contain sarcasm, reply at your own risk | Not in gear database: Auto Sears 50mm 2.0 / 3x CL-360, Nikon SB-28, SunPak auto 322 D, Minolta 20

  
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Pearlallica
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May 30, 2013 19:57 |  #14

hes gone wrote in post #15984174 (external link)
=he's gone;15984174]oh yeah!

pearlallica you won't get upset if my boxes are better than your, will you?

also, metallica and its fandom aren't happy with you associating them with pearl jam.

:cool:

Bring on the competition, I'm up for it! ;)

I have been using the handle, Pearlallica since about 1996 when I was in high-school. In all of these years, you are the first to (successfully) make the link between metallica and pearl jam. My hats off to you, good sir.


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mjww
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Jun 01, 2013 15:06 |  #15

Very nice. Thanks for the tutorial. Looks like I will be making a couple of them tomorrow in the workshop!


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