I am making DIY 2.40:1 masking for my 16:9 Elite fixed frame screen - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 53 Old 01-11-2009, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
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I had made masks for my original DIY screen documented in this thread:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1008446

In my new HT I bought an Elite fixed frame screen which features a much slimmer profile (.5") than my previous DIY screen (1"). As a result my original design was not going to work on the new screen. I spent the last few days trying to devise a way to create flush fitting masks that would work for my new Eiite screen.

I think I have the new masks figured out. I went to Home Depot today to find some foam suitable for the masks, all they had was very flimsy white foam. I went to Lowes and found the same stuff I used last time. The problem is that foam is 1" thick and my screen frame has only about .5" of depth to accommodate a mask. I then noticed another type of foam I have not seen before, it was covered in what looked like aluminum foil. I pulled a piece down and it felt very rigid, in fact on the sheet it was described as a rigid foam. The best part is that it is only .5" thick. It comes in 4'x8' sheets, so I bought a piece and cut it into two 2'x8' sections to get it in my car.

Since my masks need to be at least 104" long and possibly longer, the 8 foot length would not be sufficient. I am going to need to combine 2 pieces together to get the necessary length. So I searched Lowes for a way to securely attach 2 pieces of foam together. I came across some metal that looked very promising, it was in a U sort of a shape and very lightweight. Amazingly it was .5" and slipped over the foam perfectly like a custom fit. Another bonus is that this metal has a very flat edge which will give the masks a very sharp and clean edge once covered in velvet. I bought enough of this metal to cover all the edges of each mask, it was only about $1.50 a piece. The metal comes in 8 and 10 foot lengths, I got 10 foot because the masks need to be about 9 feet long, this will give me 6 inches approximately of metal on each end of the mask that I can use to devise some sort of mounting system. These are probably not going be friction fit masks due to the additional weight of the metal, the metal though is extememly lightweight anyway. Now when I join the 2 pieces of foam together to achieve the length I need there is going to be a strong metal joint created by this metal I purchased.

Here are some photos of all the stuff so you can get a better idea of what I am talking about:

The metal pieces:



The metal pieces viewed on end to see the U shape and how they will fit perfectly over the edge of the foam:



The 2 pieces of foam:



Profile of the foam to see the thickness:


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post #2 of 53 Old 01-12-2009, 09:57 AM
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Looking forward to your new project...I applied you old mask system to my Elite 100" dia fixed screen, and it worked fine. Keep up the good work.

Joe V.
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post #3 of 53 Old 01-12-2009, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwv651 View Post

Looking forward to your new project...I applied you old mask system to my Elite 100" dia fixed screen, and it worked fine. Keep up the good work.

Thanks I have a few questions for you:

1-Did my old masks sit well within the frame even though it is only .5" thick?

2-Did you use the same 1" thick foam I did?

Thanks!

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post #4 of 53 Old 01-12-2009, 11:50 AM
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Yes 1" blue board from lowes...there isn't much holding it up for sure, the top mask has fallen down once. I was thinking a little velcro on the top of mask to the lnside lip of the top of screen might work...but am I afraid it may permantly screw up the black velvet flok they use.

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post #5 of 53 Old 01-12-2009, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwv651 View Post

Yes 1" blue board from lowes...there isn't much holding it up for sure, the top mask has fallen down once. I was thinking a little velcro on the top of mask to the lnside lip of the top of screen might work...but am I afraid it may permantly screw up the black velvet flok they use.

Velcro is definitely a great option but like you I am concerned about damaging the velvet frame. I nicked mine while hanging it and I was being super careful.

My new masks are going to have to hang somehow. With the metal friction fit is probably not going to be sufficient to support the upper mask. The lower is not an issue because it rests on the frame.

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post #6 of 53 Old 01-13-2009, 08:58 PM - Thread Starter
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The first mask is done, what a job that was! Unlike my last masks I decided to glue the velvet to the mask instead of stapling it. That was a gooey mess! The velvet mixes with the spray adhesive and creates a blackish gunk that does not come off your hands easily (that is being generous, it was super difficult to remove.)

The mask came out great, I'll post pics later. It fits perfectly into the lower frame and stays in place on friction alone. I used 1/2 inch thick foam this time so the mask is just about flush with the screen frame.

I am more concerned about the upper mask, I don't think friction fit is going to do the trick. I bought some industrial strength Velcro but there is no way I am putting it directly on my Elite screen frame. Instead I think I am going to staple pieces into my wall right above and next to the mask, maybe 2-3 pieces above and 1 piece each on the left and right. Then the mask could have the Velcro attached to it and I could attach that to the pieces in the wall outside the screen frame. Basically the Velcro will run from the mask, over the screen frame and to the wall. Since the Velcro is black I am hoping it will blend in from viewing distances with the velvet on the mask and frame.

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post #7 of 53 Old 01-14-2009, 12:43 AM - Thread Starter
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I spent my entire afternoon and evening working on the masks.

The 2 completed but uncovered masks:



A single mask getting ready to be covered in velvet. Note the electrical tape on the metal and foam. I put this there to ensure that the metal would not separate from the foam. It was entirely unnecessary as the metal is such a perfect fit I could barely pull it off anyway when I needed to make an adjustment.



A single completed and covered mask:



You can't really see it in this photo (which is great) but the lower mask is installed.



A test fit I did to see if the masks would stay suspended by friction alone. Have a look to see the result:



A close up of the construction of the mask. The metal is a custom fit over the foam. Once assembled these masks are extremely rigid and relatively lightweight. Several of my complaints about version 1 of my masks are addressed by these new masks. Specifically they have a nice sharp edge due to the metal, my last masks relied on my foam cutting skills for a sharp edge. Also they are much more rigid once assembled then the blue foam ones I made were. This allows them to sit flush against the screen with no bowing or sagging.

The second mask is drying now, I will have them both installed tomorrow. I am going to project a 2.40:1 movie right away and I'll take before and after photos. I am expecting a dramatic improvement.


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post #8 of 53 Old 01-14-2009, 02:52 PM
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Looking good Mike...looking forward to those pictures. So your saying you won't be needing velcro or some kind of straps to hold them in place?

Joe V.
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post #9 of 53 Old 01-14-2009, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwv651 View Post

Looking good Mike...looking forward to those pictures. So your saying you won't be needing velcro or some kind of straps to hold them in place?

Thanks. Happily no Velcro was needed. I made the upper mask extra snug and it stays in place beautifully. I took a ton of pictures and will be writing up a detailed post after dinner tonight.

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post #10 of 53 Old 01-14-2009, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
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V2 of the masks are finished and a complete success! They work exactly like the first version did, completely friction fit. I made the upper mask fit tight enough that no Velcro or any other supports were necessary, it stays in place perfectly on friction alone. These masks are an improvement over my originals because of the metal reinforcement I used. It made the masks super rigid which allows them to lie totally flat against the screen, no bowing or sagging at all. The metal also gives the edges of the mask above and below the picture a very sharp edge.

I am 100% satisfied with these. Sitting in my HT with these installed and a 2.35:1 movie playing on my 120" screen, it just doesn't get any better than that.

Here is the screen with both masks installed:



Here are a couple of photos showing the masks uninstalled and standing up against the wall:





Here is a screenshot, lights out with the masks installed:



Here is the same shot lights out with the masks uninstalled:



And the same shot with the lights on, masks uninstalled:



And some more screen shots, all lights out with the masks installed:
















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post #11 of 53 Old 01-14-2009, 10:54 PM
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Looks great!
Here is some pics of materials involved in masking panels I made for masking the black bars on my 16:9 screen (when watching 2.35:1 content)and also how they look on the screen itself. I got 4 lengths of polystyrene cut to size (2 for use, 2 for backup/testing), and some black velour, which matches the finish on the screen frame. I simply used PVA glue to attach the material to the foam. As the length of the masks is a couple of mm longer than the inside of the frame itself, I am expecting gravity to hold the top one in place. Time will tell! The finished product looks very good but I will make up the other two and see which ones look best. Will take some actual screenshots tomorrow.

Here in Western Australia I struggled to find rigid foam , and what I did foud was ridiculously overpriced. I will now keep an eye out in my hardware stores for the metal frames you used, as the finish would be better again!

Materials



Preparing to Measure



Preparing to Glue



Leave to dry



Finished and in place (Flash ON)


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post #12 of 53 Old 01-14-2009, 11:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MarkH View Post

Looks great!
Here is some pics of materials involved in masking panels I made for masking the black bars on my 16:9 screen (when watching 2.35:1 content)and also how they look on the screen itself. I got 4 lengths of polystyrene cut to size (2 for use, 2 for backup/testing), and some black velour, which matches the finish on the screen frame. I simply used PVA glue to attach the material to the foam. As the length of the masks is a couple of mm longer than the inside of the frame itself, I am expecting gravity to hold the top one in place. Time will tell! The finished product looks very good but I will make up the other two and see which ones look best. Will take some actual screenshots tomorrow.

Here in Western Australia I struggled to find rigid foam , and what I did foud was ridiculously overpriced. I will now keep an eye out in my hardware stores for the metal frames you used, as the finish would be better again!

Excellent job! I have no idea what the metal pieces are actually for. I have to assume they are intended to be placed on some material that is .5" thick, luckily my foam is just that-.5 " thick. Let us know how you like the panels once you project a film.

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post #13 of 53 Old 01-15-2009, 10:21 AM
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Great thread...I was planning on doing the same thing with "ridged styro" and velvet, but beat me to it.

But now I'm waiting on delivery of a HTB Anamorphic lens...so it looks like I'm switching to side masking (if all works out well).

I'll show my progress if/whenever my WilsonArt DW Laminate ever shows up. Been waiting two and a half weeks for it now...
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post #14 of 53 Old 01-15-2009, 03:05 PM
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It is amazing how much better PQ looks when masked...My projector puts out some nice dark blacks bars (HC6500)...but still the black velvet bars rule. No more annoying bars. Thanks all. Good job Mike you too Mark.

Joe V.
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post #15 of 53 Old 01-15-2009, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonely Raven View Post

Great thread...I was planning on doing the same thing with "ridged styro" and velvet, but beat me to it.

But now I'm waiting on delivery of a HTB Anamorphic lens...so it looks like I'm switching to side masking (if all works out well).

I'll show my progress if/whenever my WilsonArt DW Laminate ever shows up. Been waiting two and a half weeks for it now...

What is ridged styrofoam?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwv651 View Post

It is amazing how much better PQ looks when masked...My projector puts out some nice dark blacks bars (HC6500)...but still the black velvet bars rule. No more annoying bars. Thanks all. Good job Mike you too Mark.

Thanks, I have to agree velvet is the material of choice for masking. Especially if your screen frame is covered in it then it is perfect.

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post #16 of 53 Old 01-18-2009, 02:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Posted a bunch of new shots of the masking in action in my HT build thread:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...2#post15584812

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post #17 of 53 Old 01-18-2009, 06:25 AM
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great idea....do you not worry that laying the masking bars flush against the sccreen will eventually mark up or mar the screen surface?
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post #18 of 53 Old 01-18-2009, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
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great idea....do you not worry that laying the masking bars flush against the sccreen will eventually mark up or mar the screen surface?

Yes, this is a concern. To alleviate this concern I completely covered the back of the masks in the same velvet as the front and sides. This is my 2nd set of masks and it has not been an issue doing it this way.

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post #19 of 53 Old 01-18-2009, 12:23 PM
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Doc - I was one of the ones that made masks for my 16:9 screen using your previous version. While I was initially happy with just finishing the project and getting them up, I have found over time that my cuts on the foam boards were not the straightest. There are the tiniest little ridges that while from far away, aren't noticeable, but to me, they are not good enough. I'm glad to see that using the metal edges works well for rectifying this issue. Also, the foam spray glue that I used wasn't the best and I guess I got too much of it in certain areas and it sort of seeped through the velvet. Again, far away, not noticeable but up close, you can see it.
I don't know if I missed it but how did you attach the metal to the foam? Did you use the same adhesive that you used to attach the fabric?
Also, is the metal easy to cut? Also, since I had issues with the adhesive I used, I'm thinking of going with the stapling method to attach the fabric.
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post #20 of 53 Old 01-18-2009, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro J View Post

Doc - I was one of the ones that made masks for my 16:9 screen using your previous version. While I was initially happy with just finishing the project and getting them up, I have found over time that my cuts on the foam boards were not the straightest. There are the tiniest little ridges that while from far away, aren't noticeable, but to me, they are not good enough. I'm glad to see that using the metal edges works well for rectifying this issue. Also, the foam spray glue that I used wasn't the best and I guess I got too much of it in certain areas and it sort of seeped through the velvet. Again, far away, not noticeable but up close, you can see it.
I don't know if I missed it but how did you attach the metal to the foam? Did you use the same adhesive that you used to attach the fabric?
Also, is the metal easy to cut? Also, since I had issues with the adhesive I used, I'm thinking of going with the stapling method to attach the fabric.

I know what you mean about the ridges, I wanted perfection and cutting foam into strips is never going to achieve that. I was just wandering Lowe's trying to think of a way I could put some material on the edges of my masks in order to give them sharp edges. I stumbled on the metal and thought it might be close fit. I grabbed a piece and brought it over to the foam area and placed it on the foam. i was stunned when it slipped over the edge perfectly and I couldn't get it off without a LOT of force. So the answer to your question is that you slip the metal over the foam, no other attachment methods are necessary. I did use electrical tape over the metal edges and on to the foam anyway, I like to do things in an overboard fashion.

The only problem with the stapling method is that the material tends to pull really hard on the 2 legs of the staple since that is all that is really keeping it in the foam. As a result the staple loosens and therefore the velvet does too. I used adhesive this time and it was a major pain to use but the results were good. Not perfect but good, there are a few small spots I am going to add a few reinforcement staples to. With the stapling method you are going to have a lot of exposed metal which will then come into contact with your screen surface, I am not comfortable with that. My solution on my first masks was to cover the staples in masking tape (no pun intended!)but it does not stick well to velvet.

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post #21 of 53 Old 01-19-2009, 05:33 AM
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So the metal forms that snug of a fit over the foam, huh? Okay, I'll try to find those pieces at my local HD as I don't have a Lowe's in the area.
I'm still not sure how I want to adhere the fabric to the foam. The spray adhesive just didn't work very well the first time, like I said. But stapling won't seem to work either. Maybe I will still use the adhesive but just use less of it. Perhaps that was my problem.
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hey hey hey, u doing the research again to help me further improve my mask...hehe... My current mask is made the same way as your previous one, but extended to fit a 118 screen. I combine 2 foam to make it long enough using 2 tiny wood sticks (whatever they are called) and it has worked perfectly. The problem I have notice lately or for a while now is just like you and others, the cuts are not very straight. I might wander around Lowes and HD to see if I can find anything similar but at the 3/4" thicknes.

BTW, you curtains are giving me more thinking ideas too... thx.
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post #23 of 53 Old 01-19-2009, 09:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro J View Post

So the metal forms that snug of a fit over the foam, huh? Okay, I'll try to find those pieces at my local HD as I don't have a Lowe's in the area.
I'm still not sure how I want to adhere the fabric to the foam. The spray adhesive just didn't work very well the first time, like I said. But stapling won't seem to work either. Maybe I will still use the adhesive but just use less of it. Perhaps that was my problem.

Yes so snug that getting off and then back on to do adjustments was a pain! It is truly a perfect fit because the metal was intended for .5" material, probably just not foam.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xmenxmenxmen View Post

hey hey hey, u doing the research again to help me further improve my mask...hehe... My current mask is made the same way as your previous one, but extended to fit a 118 screen. I combine 2 foam to make it long enough using 2 tiny wood sticks (whatever they are called) and it has worked perfectly. The problem I have notice lately or for a while now is just like you and others, the cuts are not very straight. I might wander around Lowes and HD to see if I can find anything similar but at the 3/4" thicknes.

BTW, you curtains are giving me more thinking ideas too... thx.

I believe I saw the metal in 3/4" too so you may be in luck. Saw this stuff at HD and Lowes.

Go for it on the curtains, easy job and they add so much atmosphere.

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post #24 of 53 Old 01-19-2009, 01:23 PM
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Yes so snug that getting off and then back on to do adjustments was a pain! It is truly a perfect fit because the metal was intended for .5" material, probably just not foam.



I believe I saw the metal in 3/4" too so you may be in luck. Saw this stuff at HD and Lowes.

Go for it on the curtains, easy job and they add so much atmosphere.

thx. Might have to check it out tonight. If I can find the curtains at the price you mention, I might really have to look into that.
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post #25 of 53 Old 01-19-2009, 02:48 PM
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Wow doc, this is a great setup! What area of Lowes did you find the metal slots you used on the edges? And where is the foam area? Also, when you say the masks attached to the screen by friction, what does this mean? What screen do you have?

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post #26 of 53 Old 01-19-2009, 07:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xmenxmenxmen View Post

thx. Might have to check it out tonight. If I can find the curtains at the price you mention, I might really have to look into that.

They are clearing them out at all BBB, but they are out of stock online of the burgundy. Also I only see 84" panels online, I bought and used 84" and 108" but there was also 95" available in store. Another member on here called his local store and had them hold the curtains for him, I think he got the last of the burgundy at that store. These curtains are worth tracking down, I would have paid triple without any complaint.

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Originally Posted by justlnluck View Post

Wow doc, this is a great setup! What area of Lowes did you find the metal slots you used on the edges? And where is the foam area? Also, when you say the masks attached to the screen by friction, what does this mean? What screen do you have?

Thanks!

The metal edges which I now know are called "J bead" (because it says that on my receipt) were located towards the lumber. I can't remember exactly but I know it was within 1-2 aisles of the lumber. The foam area is also near the lumber, I think it might even be in an aisle with some lumber.

Friction means that the only thing supporting the masks in the frame of the screen is a tight fit.

I have an Elite 120" EZ Frame fixed frame screen. I have done this before on a DIY screen too.

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post #27 of 53 Old 01-19-2009, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
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I just did a bit of research and found out what j bead is for. Here is a quote from the first site I clicked on:

"This J Bead forms a distinctive shadow line along the finished edge of the drywall and helps you achieve a bold, modern look. Simply slip over the rough edge of the drywall and you're done"

So obviously this was intended to slip over drywall and create a nice sharp edge. Since the foam I used (.5") is the exact same thickness this material is perfect for us!

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post #28 of 53 Old 01-19-2009, 09:10 PM
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Thank you so much for all the information. I will check out Lowe's tomorrow. I am still deciding on a screen type and have been considering an EZ-Frame Elite. Do you use cinewhite? So, the velvet covered foam slips into the edges of the frame?

Justin
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post #29 of 53 Old 01-19-2009, 09:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justlnluck View Post

Thank you so much for all the information. I will check out Lowe's tomorrow. I am still deciding on a screen type and have been considering an EZ-Frame Elite. Do you use cinewhite? So, the velvet covered foam slips into the edges of the frame?

You're welcome. I do have the cinewhite and I like it very much. Yes the velvet covered foam fits between the left and right sides of the screen frame.

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post #30 of 53 Old 01-21-2009, 01:32 PM
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docprego...If you were using it vertical to mask a 2.35 screen to 16:9 do you think it (the .5" rigid covered in felt) would work on a 3/8 width frame if cut to hold by friction?
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