How to make a Box Pinhole Projector

Using a Box Projector

This type of pinhole projector works on the same principle as a basic pinhole projector. However, the box makes this projector much sturdier and easier to set on a surface. And it only requires a few extra items to construct.

This is a simple and safe way to watch a solar eclipse with a box pinhole projector. It is easy to make from a cardboard box and ordinary household items.

You Need:

  • a cardboard box or long tube
  • scissors
  • duct tape
  • aluminum foil
  • a pin or a thumbtack
  • a sharp knife or paper cutter
  • a sheet of white paper

What to Do:

  1. Cut a rectangular hole at the end of the box. You can tape 2 boxes together to make a long box. The longer the box, the larger the projected image.
  2. Using the scissors, cut out a piece of the aluminum foil slightly larger than the rectangular hole. Make sure the foil is completely flat and not crinkled.
  3. Tape the foil over the rectangular hole in the box.
  4. Use the pin to poke a tiny hole in the center of the foil.
  5. Tape the sheet of paper on the inside of the other end of the box.
  6. Stand with your back toward the Sun. Open one side of the box in order to see a small projection, a negative image of the eclipsed Sun on the paper side of the box. (You may place the box over your head with the pinhole towards the Sun. Adjust your position until you see a small projection, a negative image, of the eclipsed Sun on the paper inside the box).

Box pinhole projector



Using a Tube?

If you are using a long tube or taping 2 tubes together, cut the end of the tubes and tape the foil with a pinhole on 1 end. On the other end, tape a piece of white paper over the end of the tube. This will act as the screen. Close to this end, cut a rectangular hole using the knife. This will be your viewing window.

With your back toward the Sun, point the end with the foil toward the Sun, angling the tube along the Sun’s rays. Look into the tube through the viewing window until you see a negative image of the eclipsed Sun on the screen.

Keep Safe!

  • Never look at the Sun directly without protective eye gear. Even sunglasses cannot protect your eyes from the damage the Sun’s rays can do to them.
  • Always keep your back toward the Sun while looking at a pinhole projection.
  • Do not look at the Sun through the pinhole.

No Good for Planet Transits

Unfortunately, for planet may transits like the Mercury Transit on November 11–12, 2019, Mercury is too small and too far away to be projected in this manner. However, a projector made from binoculars or a telescope can work.


One response to “How to make a Box Pinhole Projector

  1. Pingback: Solar Eclipse 2017-eyes are worth saving use Protection | The Green Wiccan·

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