Build A Beauty Dish From An IKEA Lamp
It is a simple build, the smarts here are in the bracket that takes the load of the strobe head and allows for easy mounting on a lightstand or a boom.
- An IKEA FOTO lamp
- HomeDepot's Mulberry Blank Cover
- 1 foot aluminum Flat bar
- Two 4 inch 1/4-20 bolts and 4 nuts
- Five 3/4 inch 1/4-20 bolts and nuts
Step 1 - Prepare a Mounting Bracket
The mounting bracket is how the beauty dish attached to the strobe. It provides support for the dish to rest on and take the load away from the strobe's head.
It is easiest if you follow the a certain order:
- Mark the holes and the bends with a sharpie
- Drill the holes
- Make the bends as marked in step (1). After making each of the bends, place the bar on the template and make sure it fits.
Step 2 - Preparing The Strobehole
Using a dremel, cut a 2x3 inch hole in the back of the lamp. It will pretty much nuke it as an IKEA lamp, but will create a a hole just big enough for most strobes.
Trim out the hole with some rubber or gaffers tape to keep from scratching my flashes.
Step 3 - Add the Mulberry Blank Cover
The Home Depot Mulberry Blank Cover Plate is held in place with two 4 inch 1/4-20 bolts. Screw holes on the plate were re-tapped wider to accept the 1/4-20 bolts. If you don't own a tap, you can drill a larger hole and use bolts to lock it in place. There is a nut on the back side tightened to keep the bolt from backing out.
The back side of the plate can be sprayed silver for better reflection
Step 4 - Testing
Mount your strobe and make sure everything fits well, this is your final chance to make adjustments before doing the paint job
Step 5 - Paint Job
Paint the dish with matte black (or sharp metallic green :)
About The Author
Dave Casius is a photographer and a DIYer based in the US, you can watch his Flickr stream here.