I just finished making this diffusor panel and stand so I can learn some lighting techniques.
The stand and frame for the panel are made of pvc tubing and fittings. I battled with the idea of making it collapsible and trying to make it break down. Which pieces to glue was going to be an issue and the problem with not gluing something like this it that is will twist, warp its shape and pieces can come loose. I did not like that at all and in the interest of strength and the fact that at this time I don't need anything that is portable I decided to glue all pieces except for 2 joints. The entire top section lifts off the base and can be taken with me or put into a closet, etc..
In total I spent under $20 for all the pvc tube and fittings. I didn't like making the cuts using a hacksaw so I got myself a small tube cutter and it produces smooth, clean cuts that are more precise than using a saw. The tube cutter was about $10 and the glue was $3.
The 'hinge' works very well and in making it I thought ahead and got some 'O' rings to slip inside to apply some pressure and it made it nice and snug. This way the panel can rotate but will not move unless I re-position it.
The diffusor itself is a nylon fabric I got at a local fabric store for $2 per yard and I got 3 yards, adding $6 to the cost. I tried the lights behind the fabric and found that a double layer softened the light very nicely. So based on that I decided to take the fabric and make what is essentially a large pillow case to slide down over the panel frame.
All in all it works great and from initial tests I can see that the light is bright, yet soft and really allows me stop down and/or use shorter shutter speeds.
I hope to be using this very soon to start doing some portrait photography.
If anyone is interested I can give you Home Depot SKU #'s for all parts and the breakdown of parts and dimensions.