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Strobist DIY Project: DIY Grid from Honeycomb Paper
Posted By: Noisychip, 03-23-2012, 08:56 AM

I have been looking for a softbox grid for quite some time. Of course, there are industrial ones to buy around the net, but I wanted to build one myself.

Since nobody seems to have tried it the way I did it, I decided to share it.

This is my first result, a proof of concept basically (see below for the light it produces). It was the first try and does not look very nice yet, but it works nicely


DIY honeycomb grid von Noisychip auf Flickr

But first things first.

I know there are several how-tos which use cardboard strips, but I wanted the grid to be narrower to achieve a smaller angle and a more spot-like effect. And I wanted it to be cheap. And next to no work.

It should have a honeycomb structure by itself, and I wanted to define the depth of the grid depending on my needs.

Finally, I found a material that suits just perfectly. Everyone knows it - or at least every child does: honeycomb paper.

honeycomb paper - Google-Suche

Obviously, we need it in black:


DIY honeycomb grid von Noisychip auf Flickr

It can be found in many paper stores or online. I bough mine here:

Wabenpapier 24x34 cm, Schwarz - Creativ-Discount.de

It cost less that two EUR for one sheet of 24 x 34 cm. And no - you do NOT need 10 sheets. 1 to 3 of them will suffice for ANY softbox.

The point is, these sheets consist of about 30 layers of paper each. They can be expanded vertically, resulting in a honeycomb block of about 25 x 25 x 30 cm.

---------------

Ok, here's how I did it:

Important:
You are doing this at your own risk. It did work for me, but won't necessarily work for your. Pay attention to safety issues - especially the combination of thin paper and hot flash guns may cause fire. Don't put any paper directly in front of a strobe.


What we need
- Honeycomb paper
- Gaffer taper
- two-side adhesive tape
- adhesive velcro strips

Costs for me: less that 5 EUR for sure.

OK, let's start...

Take one sheet of honeycomb paper and check the direction in which the layers are glued together. Cut off one strip PERPENDICULAR to the direction of the glue strips.

As each honeycomb mesh would be about 3 x 3 cm when extracted, I chose a width (depth of the grid, when extracted) of about 4-5 cm or about 2 inches.


DIY honeycomb grid von Noisychip auf Flickr


DIY honeycomb grid von Noisychip auf Flickr

Now expand the strip to see the size of the grid it gives:


DIY honeycomb grid von Noisychip auf Flickr

It should be around 25 x 25 cm in size. It you want a grid for a snoot or a real tiny softbox, you now basically done.

Here is the strip expanded on the softbox:


DIY honeycomb grid von Noisychip auf Flickr

If your grid needs to cover a larger area, cut off some more strips. You can cut about 5 to 7 strips from one sheet.

I wanted a grid for my 50 x 50 cm (20 in.) foldable softbox, so I cut 4 strips of honeycomb paper. These 4 stips would have been big enough for about 60 x 60 cm. So, if your softbox is 90 x 90 cm, cut off 9 strips (3 x 3).


Now, all we need to do is stick it all together. I used some Gaffer taper to improve stability.

Stick a piece of gaffer taper to each side of each honeycomb strip, so you have gaffer tape reinforcement on the top and bottom of your grid later on.

If your grid has multiple cells (or strips ...), do that with each strip.

Now, stick two strips together, one on top of the other. I used glue for this, which was not the best idea. Better use double-side tape.

If your grid needs more than one column like mine, stick two or more strips next to each other before adding the next 'line' on top of them.

Repeat the above step depending on your required grid size.

At last, stick some velcro tape to the top and the bottom to attach the grid to your softbox. (In this first version, I missed to put on one strip of gaffer tape over the whole top of the paper, which was a mistake.)

I attached the velcro on the back side of some gaffer tape strips:


DIY honeycomb grid von Noisychip auf Flickr

It may be a good idea to add a few strips of velcro to the sides as well, especially if your grid is larger or will be used in downward positions, so in might hang down.

The best place for some velcro strips is where the gaffer tape is, between two strips of honeycomb paper. As my grid uses 2 x 2 strips of honeycomb paper, I just added one strip of velcro on either side, where the gaffer tape is.

That's it, we're done. If you worked thoroughly, yours will most likely look better than my first try...

Still, I'm pretty satisfied with the ligh it gives.

Here is the result with my 50 x 50 cm softbox and a 5 cm deep grid, about 1m from the wall:


DIY honeycomb grid von Noisychip auf Flickr

And the whole thing can still be collapsed to the size of the paper
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