Building my first screen: Sheerweave 4500 - AVS Forum
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Old 05-12-2008, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey there DIY screen builders!

I am getting ready to build my first projection screen to use with a Panasonic AX200U. I have never owned a front projector before but am knowledged. Have been doing plenty of browsing for something specific; I need something cheap and acoustically transparent. When I first started looking, I came across the Dazian material. Reviews seemed underwelmed with the picture quality though it was cheap and AT as I need. Then found the Sheerweave 4500 thread and all the talk about it. Seems like a good material for a first try at a projection screen.

I am pretty sure I know all the materials I will need from much researching. What I don't know too well is the full build process. Don't want to make any mistakes and have to start again. I plan to make the screen a full 100" with a 16:9 aspect ratio and have the screen to be freestanding in the room. The speakers will go behind it. Also was going to build a simple, velvet black border around the picture and may possibly do a 2.35:1 black velvet (held by magnet) masking system.

Right now I am not too sure exactly what questions to ask...(work mode) so maybe Im just going to start this thread to get the ball rolling. Pretty sure I know all the materials to get so thats easy. Just looking for an easy process. Want to make this a fun weekend project.

Will follow up with pics of the front part of my room (or just click on my sig) and a few links to some other screens that I got some ideas on.

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Old 05-14-2008, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay, I think I know what to ask now regarding putting this thing together.

First of all, I will buying this screen material from SeymourAV. Haven't quite decided on where I will buy the dark black velvet from. Its been said in a few places I have looked that 'Fidelio Velvet' is the blackest you can get and will be really good for a black border/masking system.

(screen/mask ideas and black fidelio velvet referenced: link)

(link to fidelio velvet: link)

(link to black velvet recommended on the SeymourAV website: plush velvet)

That's the main materials, the wood for the frame is a no-brainer. I can not think of anything else I need. Any suggestions?

Now the questions...

The frame for the screen seems like it will be easy to build but I'm not too sure if I know how to mount the black border over the screen's frame. Do I simply nail them together? I was thinking I may have to use some sort of 90 degree bracket to mount the border to the screen's frame. I guess what I was picturing was two frames stacked over one another. The screen being the bottom layer and the black border being the top layer. I may not be wording all this right so I will try and answer any questions if you have any for me.

I'm confused as to if that's how you do these screens or not. I have a link to a frame build on SeymourAV (DIYFixedFrame pdf file) but it doesn't show the entire build process. Just pictures of the black border and no screen. Its mentioned that they just stretched the screen material over the back of the border and stapled it. I'm not sure if that sounds right. Many times in DIY screen builds I see users have their screen wrapped around a wooden frame of its own. So I could use some advice. (EDIT: Just realized that the 4500 screen material is not the kind of material that is to be "stretched". Other builds that I have seen with their material wrapped around a wooden frame have been using "blackout" white screens and not 4500. This is where I am a bit confused. Any help?)

For a frame of reference (non pun intended) this is how I picture my finished screen to look like... (picture of screen from first link posted above)



Although, mine would look a bit different as I want to have mine freestanding in the room and not attached to the wall.

Once I figure out how the screen frame to border frame thing goes I need to figure out where to put the legs and how long they have to be. I may not have any answers to how high up this thing needs to be yet. I will find out soon how high up my projector will be off the floor and then with some help from you guys, we will get the math together.

As mentioned previously, I would like to end up with a 100" 16:9 image in the end. I guess, with the border attached, the final width will be around 90" wide and just over 50" tall. If I have my math right, anyhow. This screen will be used with a Panasonic AX200U watching mostly Hi-def movies, dvds and playing games with a Xbox 360. Possibly HTPC in the future too.

Wow, I need to work on my structure. Hehehe.

Basically what I need to know is how do I build the screen with the border attached. Is it two frames over one another? Also, whichever way I do it, will I be able to have legs at the end of the width of the screen so I can have it freestanding in room? After all that is figured out I will worry then about how to do the 2.35:1 masking system. Its not a necessity though maybe an optional thing I would like to do.

Other than that, I see nothing else that's holding me back. Maybe just some more math.

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Old 05-14-2008, 01:07 PM
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Old 05-15-2008, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the links! Those all look great, maybe even a little more complex than mine will be. Though those will be great references to use. I just ordered the "cheaper" velvet that I linked. Not sure how good it will be so I will take a look at it before construction. Hope to be ordering my screen material next week or the week after that.

UPDATE: Have had some correspondence with Chris from SeymourAV and I should be ordering my screen material next week. Will more than likely have this project done and installed after the holiday weekend. Yay!

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Old 05-18-2008, 06:56 PM
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I sent my wife a link to your sub "tower" and said I wanted to put that in our living room!

Doubtful to happen, but at least when I upgrade my speakers I can always say, "well, it's not like I'm trying to put a seven foot speaker in our living room like 'that guy' online".

It totally reminds me of the Memorex guy sitting in his chair - speakers all but blowing him on his a**!


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Old 05-19-2008, 03:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Hehehe...

It was pretty intimidating when they were stacked like that. No longer are they sitting that way and soon, once this screen is finished, no one will ever know they are there. Well, that is, until I pop a movie in.

Just ordered my screen from SeymourAV today. They will do a precision cut for a 100" 16:9 screen with an extra 2.5 inches on each end for attaching to the frame. Also had them do the 15 degree angle for me. Sourced my lumber this weekend. Will be using 1x4 poplar for the most part.

Can't wait to get the velvet and the screen material so I can get started.

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Old 05-21-2008, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Would it be a good idea to put a black backing behind the screen? I ordered some black speaker cloth from Parts Express just in case. I figured since the screen will be freestanding in the room there is a chance that the light from the backside will reflect off the wall behind the screen and affect the picture.

Should I use the cloth for such a thing?

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Old 05-21-2008, 11:20 AM
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Scott,

DO NOT forget to paint your frame black first. I forgot to paint mine and I can see the supports inside the screen area during bright scenes but my back wall does not affect the picture at all and it is yellow fiberglass. Though the black backer can't hurt.
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Old 05-21-2008, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
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I think that is a good idea. Will do. Although, Im not sure if my frame will have supports on it yet. The pdf document from the SeymourAV website does not list any supports inside the frame as a requirement. That screen in the pdf is even bigger than what mine will be too. Noticed that many DIY screen users do have some supports though. Hmmm. I guess I will know for sure once it is all put together.

Definitely dont want to see any reflections or artifacts from other materials. The black backing I hope will help.

Thanks!

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Old 05-22-2008, 02:55 AM
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Hi scott ,

your links helped out a lot as im making a sheerweave AT screen with oak frame 120 inch 16-9. Im trying a few samples of flocking and like valintino dbl velvet black , it is my choice expensive but worth it. Mississippi man had posted a thread on wrapping the
frame with velvet and was very informative with many pictures. Hope you post pics of your screen when finnished .
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Old 05-22-2008, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ausi700 View Post

Hi scott ,

your links helped out a lot as im making a sheerweave AT screen with oak frame 120 inch 16-9. Im trying a few samples of flocking and like valintino dbl velvet black , it is my choice expensive but worth it. Mississippi man had posted a thread on wrapping the
frame with velvet and was very informative with many pictures. Hope you post pics of your screen when finnished .

Oh good! Im glad to hear that. If the thread turned out to not have much discussion, I would still want it to be helpful for future builders. I will try my best to document the build. If not with full detailed text then with some pictures. My screen material should arrive tomorrow. Hope to build this sucker next week or the week after that. Will keep you all updated with the build. Can't wait to see pictures of it in room. Gah! Can't wait to watch movies on it!

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Old 05-22-2008, 11:35 AM
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Scott,

I am also looking forward to your build process as I have the exact same questions you have. As well, my screen is going to be 100".

So, either post the construction pics or get ready for the PM's!
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Old 05-28-2008, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
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No pictures yet but I did some work yesterday. Have the frame all cut and routed with a chamfer bit. Nothing much to see so far so no pics. Today will hopefully get that wood wrapped with velvet and possibly assembled. If I get that far today I will snap some pics. Also hope to get to work on this "false wall" I am hanging the screen from. Still waiting on the black backing I ordered from Parts Express. Actually, I shouldn't have to wait too much longer as it is scheduled to be delivered today. Best case scenario...I finish the whole screen today. A bit unlikely though... Will keep everyone posted.

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Old 06-13-2008, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello everyone who is still watching this thread.

Have been on and off with this project lately. Low funds, hot weather, new car and some plain ol' laziness has kept me from finishing anything. I have finished the black velvet frame for the screen but it looked ugly at the time and didnt take any pictures. Working on the support system for the past week or two. Not a lot of work, just odd weather and other things kept me from finishing any work.

Anyway, good news... completely assembled the screens support system last night. Took a little more than an hour to fully assemble. Looks decent. Not the Mona Lisa but it looks like how I imagined it and it looks sturdy. Might touch it up a bit as the paint got a few scrapes. Although you will never see them when watching stuff so I may not.

At work at the moment so I will try and get a picture or two of it by tomorrow for those interested. Should have the screen finished sometime in the next few days and will hopefully have the projector by this time next week. Cant wait.

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Old 06-14-2008, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay. Got some pictures of the screen support. For those just joining the thread, the object of this is to allow a freefloating screen in room that is also acoustically transparent. With this you can easily place bookshelf or floorstanding speakers behind the screen and placement will be flexible.

Here it is...





This is a closeup of the feet that support this frame. I wanted the center of gravity very low and stability very high.



The entire frame seen here is made from 1x4 inch Poplar from Lowes. The four triangles making up the bottom are made from dense particle board. Very heavy stuff. Cheap too though. Hopefully it works out real well when the screen is installed. Should have that finished by tomorrow. Will keep you all updated with progress....

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Old 06-15-2008, 03:22 PM
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That's cool - I must have missed that you were building a freestanding frame to hold the aluminum one. Thanks for the pics!

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Old 06-15-2008, 08:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audixium View Post

That's cool - I must have missed that you were building a freestanding frame to hold the aluminum one. Thanks for the pics!

Nah, I am just horrible about writing down what I am thinking. Couldn't structure out what I was imagining. This is what I had thought it would look like, thank goodness it came out.

For clarification, the whole thing is constructed from wood. Included the upcoming border for the screen which will hang from this thing I just built. Hopefully by this wednesday it will be all finished. Put on another coat of paint to cover up some scrapes, hide the screw heads and make it look smoother all around.

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Old 06-18-2008, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Finished the screen last night. Looks pretty good. Not perfect but I expected that it may not be perfect, which it isn't. One side or at least one corner is a little loose so I have a minimal amount of ripples. I was hoping for ZERO ripples and tried my best to not have any at all but it looks like I may have to deal with them for now (its my first screen ). Didn't take any pictures of the process as there were no free hands during the build. I followed the instructions from SeymourAV so if you follow them you will have a finished screen like this.

One thing I did different, which could also have been a problem too...is that we used a compressed air nailgun for the staples in the screen. Now, you can use a regular one but the Poplar wood is very hard and would have been a painful process to not use a powered one. (I also used black speaker grill cloth from Parts Express as a "black backing" for the screen. This wont completely prevent light leaks from the backside of the screen but it should, hopefully, severely reduce light bounce from the back of the screen.)

The caveat that I wanted to point out to everyone is that with a powered nailgun it makes it damn near impossible to remove the staples (if you made a mistake, like I...) and restaple. So, just to give anyone doing this a heads up. Powered nailgun for staples = easy installation versus regular staplegun = slower, tougher to install screen but easier if you make a mistake. So go ahead and use the nailgun with staples, just be sure the screen looks good and has no ripples.

Anyway, today I will dismantle the theater and install this screen. My AX200U is scheduled to arrive tomorrow. Today, if I have time, I will snag some finished pictures of the screen (INROOM, WOOOHOOOO!!!) as I am sure many are curious to see a finished project.

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Old 07-06-2008, 09:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone! Hope you all have had a nice holiday weekend.

I promised some pictures of the finished/installed screen and I guess I just got caught up with other things. Been busy.

Here is a picture of it installed inroom...(btw, that little blob on the screen is from the camera. Got dust on the lens last year making my subs. The screen is incredibly uniform in tone.)



And here is a picture without the screen (just the support) so you can see the speakers behind.



So far I am loving the finished product. Unfortunatly, not everything went as planned. As mentioned in an earlier post, there are some small ripples in the screen. So it is not completely flat. The good thing is that in almost all situations and almost all content viewed so far, the ripples are invisible. Bascially I only see them when there is a hard, straight horizontal line onscreen. When you think about it, you dont see that kind of stuff too much so its okay and I can live with it for the time being.

The picture quality is REALLY good though. I mean, I was really surprised how good this screen looks. Yeah, sure, at just about 10 feet or more I can see the thread pattern but just as with the ripples, you barely see it. Maybe when something is full white you can see the pattern. The resolution and colors on this screen are fantastic. Nothing but good things about this material. If I were to build another screen, I would absolutely, without question, use this material again. I love it.

When I have more time, I will take some more pics. These here are from when I first had it installed. I have now added two equipment racks under the screen (about time I did) and it sits just a little differently than what is seen in the pictures. Maybe try an attempt to get some movie screencaps too.

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Old 07-07-2008, 06:22 AM
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Scott-

It looks great. On your screen stand, is it basically two vertical supports tied together by two horizontal supports at 90 degrees, or did you add two more horizontal supports? Can you take a shot of the rear of the support? How are you hanging the screen to the stand?
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Old 07-07-2008, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tweakophyte View Post

Scott-

It looks great. On your screen stand, is it basically two vertical supports tied together by two horizontal supports at 90 degrees, or did you add two more horizontal supports? Can you take a shot of the rear of the support? How are you hanging the screen to the stand?

Yeah, nothing much more to it. It was a really simple design. All the material used for the stand is 1x4 inch Poplar. Except, for those triangles. Those are heavy particleboard. You can get a pretty good look at the pics I posted a month ago. You can even see where the screws go into those longer horizontal pieces.

For now, I don't think I can get a picture of the back of that stand. (i would have to take everything apart. ) Though, you aren't missing much. It looks the same as the front just without the part that holds the screen to it.

As for how the screen holds on...lemme try and describe it. It was a 1x1 piece of Poplar and I had it cut at an angle. Each half fits together to make the original square piece. They are mounted backwards so that the strip that is on the screen kinda hooks onto the one on the mount. I guess I will have to get a picture of that. It works great though...

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Old 07-12-2008, 08:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Tweakophyte - Here, I took some pictures of the wood pieces that hold the screen to the floorstanding support system.

This is a shot of what is on the support setup.



See how it is cut diagonally?

Now here is the piece thats attached to the screen...



It just rests over the opposite cut. Seems simple and well, it is and it works great.

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Old 07-15-2008, 06:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry....not spamming. Just wanted to keep this updated.

Here's a much cleaner, slicker looking setup and how it looks now after some work.

First view as you walk in...



...and then sitting down.



(note: these were overexposed for detail)

Also, a close up of the "stuff"





And not to forget...the projector.


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Old 07-16-2008, 06:14 AM
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Very nice... simple French cleat...

I'm still wondering what the back part of the frame looks like (i.e. is it just one horizontal piece on the top and bottom or two, 90 degrees to each other.

Thanks for the note, too.
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Old 07-16-2008, 09:17 AM
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Scott, I have to warn you about playing with the zoom lens on the AX200. Once you see how big a picture it can throw, you'll soon be wanting to build another BIGGER screen! My screen is 110" diagonal but if I had the time/money I'd bump it up to somewhere in the 130 to 150" range.

How much do you have into the screen now in time & materials? Maybe one of these days I *will* ditch the Vutec and build my own absurdly large projection screen.

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Old 07-16-2008, 10:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, fellas!

Tweak - It's really pretty simple. Just the two pieces together held by 2 screws each per side. Here, this is the best picture and shows the screws too.



I will try and snag a better pic for you but this picture shows it pretty well. There is nothing else on the back that you cannot see in the picture. Originally, we were going to put an extra block of wood at the corners where the vertical strip of wood meets the two horizontal pieces. Once we had them screwed in (four per side, eight in total) we saw no need for those blocks or even glue. Good thing I didn't use glue either because we had to dismantle the sides to get the support through the door of the theater. The screws we used were about 2-3 inches long and hold the whole thing together very well. The whole support feels very sturdy for how little reinforcement there is. I wonder if its because I successfully got the center of gravity very low to the ground as I intended.

I really hope that if anyone clones this that they get as good of results that I got. I will be around for any advice. Although, it is a very very simple design. Gotta love it.

Later on, Tweakophyte, I will post some better pics of the back so you can see that there is really nothing to it.

Bradley - I really would have liked to go for 110" or more but I knew that 100" would be pretty damn big already. Plus, I sit pretty close. Within 10-12 feet. Now if that changes I just may have to upgrade....again. Xbox 360 and all my movies look great on the big screen. So far it has "wow'd" everyone that has seen it in person. Now I have a picture that is as big as the sound.

As for time and money put into the screen... Well... I would say that the screen setup in total was about a $500 investment. The screen itself (from SeymourAV) was $350. Each piece of Poplar wood was a little over $10 each. I think we ended up buying nine in total (four for the screen, four or five for the support) With the Poplar wood do yourself a HUGE favor and check it for straightness. You definitely do not want a warped piece.

Other than that, it was just one piece of 2' x 4' heavy particle board (for those four triangles) which cost about $10. Add some primer and paint, a little bit of wood glue (glue was ONLY used for securing the vertical legs to the triangles) and about 2 dozens screws to hold it all together.

For the screen, add in velvet for the border at about $20-30. Some black speaker grill cloth for the back (about $20) and the metal corner brackets and staples. The materials for the screen alone are listed in full in the .pdf file linked up towards the beginning of the thread.

The time to build the whole thing is something I can't really answer. It took me a while because some home, business and personal things got in the way and slowed down the build. Someone who has everything set to go and ready to build could definitely knock this whole thing (screen and support) out in one weekend. Seriously.

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Old 07-16-2008, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Simonian View Post

Bradley - I really would have liked to go for 110" or more but I knew that 100" would be pretty damn big already. Plus, I sit pretty close. Within 10-12 feet. Now if that changes I just may have to upgrade....again. Xbox 360 and all my movies look great on the big screen. So far it has "wow'd" everyone that has seen it in person. Now I have a picture that is as big as the sound.

Think IMAX.

Just kidding. You were wise to hide your subs behind the screen. In my case, once I moved the subs in, people began commenting, "The screen looks kinda small." Doh!!

$500 sounds about right to me. I shelled out some $1600 for the Vutec (Silverstar) and I'm not even totally happy with it. Too "sparkly".

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Old 07-16-2008, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Oooh! The immersion from an IMAX sized screen would be pretty wicked to have at home.

Yup, with this screen, you cant even tell I have ANY speakers up front.

Certainly a great price for such performance. The screen looks great. No sparkles at all and the gain isn't too high so there are no hot spots. The tone of the screen is super consistent. The only thing you see from the screen is the texture of it and thats only on bright white scenes in movies. And even then, its not much of an issue. If you can sell your screen, Bradley, that would give you money to build a screen just like this with money to spare. Maybe enough for a second pair of RLps. Oh yeah!

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Old 07-16-2008, 11:23 PM
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Looking good. You and I are on the same sort of path in terms of screen placement. Not in a false wall...but still sorta just "out there" in order to be AT. When I get two more posts I will post a little teaser as for what I am working on. Between work, having just moved into a new house (finishing basement, doing the yard/fence etc...) and having a few too many drinks a few too many time...progress is slow and will probably continue to be. Like I said, though...couple more posts and I will share my vision. Did I mention I love my wife
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Old 07-23-2008, 01:33 PM
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If you are still having problems with the ripples on your screen I have a suggestion. Upon building my first screen I had ripples that were driving me nuts so after some trial and error I found a great solution. I placed square wood dowels along the entire length of all 4 sides. The dowels were placed between the material and frame down far enough so they are not visible when viewing the picture. I experimented with round dowels but they tend to slide under the pressure. This technique stretched the material extremely tight so all ripples and waves are removed. (Be carefull to round off the ends of the dowles with sandpaper so you do not tear a hole). Try this and I think you will happy with the result.
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