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Make a Portable Table Top Photography Stand For Your Collectibles

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Assemble the Materials to Make a Portable Photography Table
Parts of an easily made portable photography table for studio shots of miniatures.

The two side frames, main cross pieces, support cross members, shelf supports and clear plexiglass for a portable table top photo table.

Photo ©2007 Lesley Shepherd, Licensed to About.com Inc.

Materials For a Portable Tabletop Photography Table

  • Plywood - for two sides and 3 to 5 cross pieces. The sample shown here is made of 1/4 inch Baltic Birch Plywood. Designed for lightweight miniatures, this example measures roughly 12 in. (30cm) deep by 15 in. (38 cm) wide. A larger table for heavier miniatures might need thicker plywood.
  • Metal shelf supports - the type used in adjustable book cases.
  • Shelf - plywood, tempered glass, or plexiglass. The sample shown is clear plexiglass with its protective covering. If you don't plan on lighting your objects from below, use plywood for your shelf. Make sure you cut the shelf after you have assembled your table, in order to have the correct measurements.
  • Drill- A drill with a bit sized to create holes for the shelf supports
  • Table Saw or jig saw to cut out the plywood pieces.

Assembly

Cut two main side supports for the shelf. The side supports shown have one inch wide and 15 inch high arms on either side, drilled every inch for shelf supports. Drill all the holes for the shelf supports exactly even on all four arms to ensure the shelf is held level. The base of each side support is two inches (5cm) deep against the base of the arms and V's to a 3/4 inch (2 cm) depth in the center to allow light from the sides. Cut a notch the width of your plywood and half the depth of your cross members in the base of the side support centered below each arm to slot the pieces together.

Cut two base cross members to brace your table. The ones shown are 16 inches (40.5 cm) wide and 2 inches (5 cm) high. The slots for assembly are cut 1/2 inch in from the ends of the brace on the same edge. Ignore the extra slots on either end. Cut extra, cross members for bracing or to hold paper sweeps or fabric for a lightbox. The one shown here is 16 inches (40.5 cm) by 1 1/4 inches (3 cm) (by ¼ inch).

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