Bulding an Aluminum Framed AT Screen - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 73 Old 05-28-2010, 03:06 AM - Thread Starter
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I am planning on building a AT screen. I am going to use the Semour AV Center Stage XD material, http://www.seymourav.com/screens.asp and make a frame using http://www.8020.net/ T-slot aluminum framing.

Here are the plans that I made on Google Sketchup for the frame.



Initially, I will just try to attach the screen material to the aluminum frame. Eventually, I will add the border as shown.

I plan on using the 1.5 inch material for the frame.

The railings come in 12 foot lengths that the distributer cuts to your specifications. They have a wealth of connectors that can be used for corners or to string the railing to gether end to end.

I am going to try this connector: http://www.amazon.com/80-20-4-HOLE-I.../dp/B001IA12YE

I may add this connector: http://www.amazon.com/80-20-5-HOLE-J...943418&sr=1-44

or this connector: http://www.amazon.com/80-20-5-HOLE-D...943418&sr=1-45

for added rigidity. There is a distributer 20 minutes from me so I can get the stuff without worrying about shipping times and costs.

Bosch Rexroth sells a similar system: http://www.boschrexroth-us.com/count.../mge/index.jsp

My hope is that the frame will be rigid enough to avoid the need for a center support, as I understand that the center support may show through on bright scenes. I would also like to attach the screen to the back rather than the front of the frame so that I will have an easier time attaching a border to the front later, so I would need to avoid using a center brace. I wonder, however, if a border would be less effective if there is a gap of 1.5" from the screen to the frame.

If more rigidity is required they sell 1x2" rails and 1.5 x3" rails.

The screen material does not weigh that much but I wonder if the tension will be too much.

I am planning on making a 114" diagonal 16x9 screen. That is about as large as my projector is capable of based on the calculator at http://www.projectorcentral.com/proj...ulator-pro.cfm

It is also just wide enough to fit my Triple 8's behind at their current width, and about as big as I can fit in my tiny room.

It may be that 114" is too much for my room, so I may not use the whole screen, but I will have a pretty big screen for later use in a better room.

I am thinking about going this route to attach the screen, although it looks pretty involved: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...1#post17212501

That would make it pretty easy for me to take this apart and put it up again somewhere else.

The project will probably cost me around $500 for the initial screen without the border. I have not looked into the cost of a border at this point.

The Aluminum framing and hardware should cost around $200 and I think the screen material will be somewhere around $250, the hardware to attach the screen to the frame will probably cost me $50.

Here is a picture of the current front stage.



The current screen is an 8 foot by 6 foot diy screen using rubberized canvas on a 1x2" wood frame. It is a little warped, which is why I am going with Aluminum rather than wood for this project. I am currently projecting a 16x9 94" inch picture on the screen.

I plan on hanging the new screen from the ceiling and moving the speakers up to place them behind it. I will also probably rearrange the acoustic panels, placing them between the speakers and hanging the top panels on the wall to get the screen as close to the front wall as possible so I don't have to move my seating position too far back. Eventually I would like to use this screen as part of a false wall in a dedicated room, rather than in my garage, but that is at least a year away.

Any comments or critiques of the plans are welcome.

Is there anyone who has made a similar frame who can comment on whether they think that I will be ok without a center support?
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post #2 of 73 Old 05-28-2010, 06:13 AM
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Interesting stuff that 80/20 material. If you are trying to avoid a center support brace, it looks like you might be better off with the 80/20 HT material, which has external flanges that would stiffen the top, bottom and sides of the frame to eliminate or greatly reduce the chance of bowing or sagging. But the flanges may rule out stretching the XD material across the back of the frame. Conversely, your border would have to be on the face of the frame, where I think it should be anyway to eliminate any shadowing. Of course, the flanges could be on the frame's face instead of back, which would make mounting a border easier.
It could be that if the support brace is painted flat black or wrapped with flat black material (Fidelio or whatever) you would not have a problem with shine-thru. Suggest you order a 2x2 sample of XD and experiment.
(All that said, I'll admit to not having done a DIY screen, so the above is offered as FWIW.)
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post #3 of 73 Old 05-28-2010, 11:06 AM
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Hi "Jedirun"

It's great you live so near a 8020 dealer & can save the freight charges. Regarding mounting the screen surface, you could mount it into the outside edge T-slots s & leave the rear T-slot for attaching you frame border. T-slot extrusions come with one to four T-slots surfaces, going with a three sided version doesn't save much on total cost, but would give one smooth face to wrap the cloth around.
There are some AVS members who have used plastic tubing or wooden dowel rods to secure the screen cloth into the T-slots. I can look that up for you, if you like. Just some thoughts. See post # 16 of mtbdudex's Bosch T-slot build thread for photos of "Cubesys" build & use of wooden dowles to secure the AT fabric;

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...aluminum+frame

&

http://picasaweb.google.com/itaibengal/BasementBuild#


A little off your topic, AVS member "20fan" used the 8020"Quick Frame" type AL tubing (with push-in connectors @ $2.60 ea) to build a low cost frame & mounted WA laminate suface using velcro. 8020 has a "Garge Sale" store on eBay. Here a build thread for those interested:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...1#post18697075



John
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post #4 of 73 Old 05-28-2010, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveHorn View Post

Interesting stuff that 80/20 material. If you are trying to avoid a center support brace, it looks like you might be better off with the 80/20 HT material, which has external flanges that would stiffen the top, bottom and sides of the frame to eliminate or greatly reduce the chance of bowing or sagging. But the flanges may rule out stretching the XD material across the back of the frame. Conversely, your border would have to be on the face of the frame, where I think it should be anyway to eliminate any shadowing. Of course, the flanges could be on the frame's face instead of back, which would make mounting a border easier.
It could be that if the support brace is painted flat black or wrapped with flat black material (Fidelio or whatever) you would not have a problem with shine-thru. Suggest you order a 2x2 sample of XD and experiment.
(All that said, I'll admit to not having done a DIY screen, so the above is offered as FWIW.)

Thanks,

Since I live so close to the distributer, I will go check the stuff out in person and talk to them about the load it can take. They have a deflection calculator that I downloaded. My problem is that I do not know how to estimate the load caused by stretching the frame. It might be easier to just put in the support, and cover it with black fabric like you mentioned. I will also check out the XD stuff.
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post #5 of 73 Old 05-28-2010, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDGTX View Post

Hi "Jedirun"

It's great you live so near a 8020 dealer & can save the freight charges. Regarding mounting the screen surface, you could mount it into the outside edge T-slots s & leave the rear T-slot for attaching you frame border. T-slot extrusions come with one to four T-slots surfaces, going with a three sided version doesn't save much on total cost, but would give one smooth face to wrap the cloth around.
There are some AVS members who have used plastic tubing or wooden dowel rods to secure the screen cloth into the T-slots. I can look that up for you, if you like. Just some thoughts. See post # 16 of mtbdudex's Bosch T-slot build thread for photos of "Cubesys" build & use of wooden dowles to secure the AT fabric;

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...aluminum+frame

&

http://picasaweb.google.com/itaibengal/BasementBuild#


A little off your topic, AVS member "20fan" used the 8020"Quick Frame" type AL tubing (with push-in connectors @ $2.60 ea) to build a low cost frame & mounted WA laminate suface using velcro. 8020 has a "Garge Sale" store on eBay. Here a build thread for those interested:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...1#post18697075



John

Thanks,

I have not yet seen the fabric, but I am favoring going with the grommets or Velcro because I would like to have a screen that is easy to take apart without risking deforming or tearing it by pushing it into a groove. That may not be an issue, I will see what the edges of the grooves look like.

I had a thought about how to attach the frame if the screen is attached to the front. I could attach some spacers and then screw the borders onto the spacers. I guess the wood could even help keep the frame from deforming.

I am planning on using poplar 1x4s wrapped in velvet as a border.
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post #6 of 73 Old 05-28-2010, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
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I just purchased the screen material. It sounds like it will get here pretty fast. Once it is here and I have a chance to look at it. I will figure out how I am going to mount it. I decided that I will get the fabric and mounting figured out first and then have the Aluminum cut to match the fabric. I think that is a safer way of going about it, because I am less likely to be precise with the fabric than they will be with the metal.

Any other mounting ideas are welcome.

By the way, I thought of another way to support the frame if needed.

I could build a second level on top with a center support like the pull-up bars here:



But maybe it will be easier to just use the 3"x1.5" on top.
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post #7 of 73 Old 05-28-2010, 06:00 PM
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Remember to consider the possibility of moire, depending upon your projector. Chris Seymour biases the material on his Center Stage screens by 15-20 degrees, IIRC.
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post #8 of 73 Old 05-28-2010, 06:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveHorn View Post

Remember to consider the possibility of moire, depending upon your projector. Chris Seymour biases the material on his Center Stage screens by 15-20 degrees, IIRC.

Thanks,

I am not taking any chances. I am having them cut it for me at a 20 degree angle. It was only a little bit more, and as far as I am concerned it was a cheap insurance policy. If I didn't ask for the angled cut and ended up with Moire, I would be out the whole cost of the the material. If I got the material and tried to cut it myself there is a pretty good chance I would mess it up.
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post #9 of 73 Old 05-29-2010, 11:30 PM - Thread Starter
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I have changed my mind on the size of aluminum. I think I will be going with the 1"x2" material http://www.amazon.com/80-20-1020-T-S.../dp/B001F0F0YK and making the corner connections with this http://www.amazon.com/80-20-12-HOLE-...5200342&sr=1-4 connector. Possibly with the addition of this gusset http://www.amazon.com/80-20-4-HOLE-I...5200774&sr=1-1.

If I keep the stress along the longer aspect of the framing material, it is stronger than the 1.5" square extrusion and it is a little cheaper.

This will also allow me to use the inner T slot on the front to attach the screen and will leave the outer frame free for me to attach the border when I get around to it.
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post #10 of 73 Old 05-30-2010, 07:43 AM
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Are you still planning on using grommets and O-rings for the screen material stretch? If so, how to connect into the front-inner T-slot? (I assume at some point the border will cover all that hardware.) I do like the look of the beefier alum extrusion.
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post #11 of 73 Old 05-30-2010, 08:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveHorn View Post

Are you still planning on using grommets and O-rings for the screen material stretch? If so, how to connect into the front-inner T-slot? (I assume at some point the border will cover all that hardware.) I do like the look of the beefier alum extrusion.

The plan at this point is to use something like this http://www.fastenal.com/web/products...0951441&ucst=t to allow multiple attachment points for screws. The hope is that If I tighten the screws they that will hold them in place and keep them from sliding. I hope that I do not have to get something like this http://www.fastenal.com/web/products...0951447&ucst=t with a separate set screw because it would be much more expensive. If that is the case I will go with something like Velcro.

I would also like to try slding in regular nuts to see if they will stay in place when tightening with a screw.

However I get the screw in there, I would attach the O-rings to the screw heads that are sticking up.

I am still figuring out the border, but my thoughts at this point are to glue a 1/4" or 3/8" strip of wood onto the back of a poplar 1x4" and then use 3 or 4 of these http://www.fastenal.com/web/products...0951447&ucst=t per side in the outer rail to provide attachment points. I would screw right through the border with a black screw into the t-nuts to hold them in place. This will leave black screw heads showing through the velvet border, but I think I can live with that.

I just had another thought, it would reqire a slightly wider border, but I could attach a piece of wood to the back of the border as an L and then use the side T slot rather than the front to attach the border.

However, I am not sure that it would be worth it just to avoid a few screws showing through the front, especially if they are black. I could probably avoid seeing the screw heads by sinking them into the wood and then making a small slit in the velvet for acess.
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post #12 of 73 Old 05-31-2010, 06:26 AM
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What concerns me about the grommet&O-ring concept in general - not just your application, but the Center Stage version as well - is that the positioning of the grommets has to be consistent (as straight as possible), so that once the screen material is in place, the O-rings take up all the slack in the material - they stretch the material uniformly across the entire length and width of the screen. I'm sure Chris Seymour has the grommet placement down to a science, based on the dims of the screen he's building. But if I was building a "one shot deal" screen where trial and error is out of the question, I'm not sure how I'd decide where to position the grommets. And then there's the question of whether the material stretches over time... And how to remedy that.
Sorry for the ramble - thinking aloud.
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post #13 of 73 Old 05-31-2010, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveHorn View Post

What concerns me about the grommet&O-ring concept in general - not just your application, but the Center Stage version as well - is that the positioning of the grommets has to be consistent (as straight as possible), so that once the screen material is in place, the O-rings take up all the slack in the material - they stretch the material uniformly across the entire length and width of the screen. I'm sure Chris Seymour has the grommet placement down to a science, based on the dims of the screen he's building. But if I was building a "one shot deal" screen where trial and error is out of the question, I'm not sure how I'd decide where to position the grommets. And then there's the question of whether the material stretches over time... And how to remedy that.
Sorry for the ramble - thinking aloud.

The more I think about it, the more I think you are probably right. In addition to what you said above, the cost of just putting the grommets in will be around $50, and will take me forever. I am leaning towards using Velcro, it will be much faster and may be easier to adjust the tension. However, I am worried about how to attach it to both the fabric and the frame. I wonder if there is a good product out there that will reliably attach to each side with adhesive alone, or if I will need to buy a cheesy, "as seen on tv" sewing machine to attach it. I also wonder if there the same adhesive will attach, the otherside directly to the aluminum.

Supposedly, the material does not stretch over time.
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post #14 of 73 Old 05-31-2010, 05:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Maybe something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Velcro-Industr...5353194&sr=1-1 for the frame and this: http://www.amazon.com/Velcro-90881-2...5353334&sr=1-1 for the screen material. The material is woven vinyl so I guess it should hold. I could always sew over it to make sure.

I could attach the border using the side t-slots, which may be easier anyway.
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post #15 of 73 Old 05-31-2010, 10:17 PM - Thread Starter
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It looks like the industrial strength Velcro has been used effectively in the past for DIY screens. It also looks like it works on vinyl so I may just use it for both sides. Enough for the screen would cost $40. My guess is in addition to the $55 plus shipping it would cost me for the grommets and O-rings, it would cost another $30 or $40 in hardware to create the attachment points.
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post #16 of 73 Old 06-09-2010, 11:08 PM - Thread Starter
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My Center Stage XD material got here today. It shipped in a roll up tube.

They have the industrial strength Velcro at the local Lowes. I may try to pick some up tomorrow.

I read that the adhesive may not do well in the heat, but then I read somewhere else that as long as it is not put on in the heat and has time to cure, it will do fine. I hope that is right. Does anyone have any eperience with this? It gets really hot in my garage in July and August.

I guess I will measure the screen material and then have the 80/20 cut to fit it exactly.

Seymour AV custom cut it for a 115 diagonal plus a 2.5" border at a 20 degree angle.

It may be a week from Saturday before I get this put together, get my speakers on stands behind in and get everything calibrated.
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post #17 of 73 Old 06-10-2010, 07:54 PM
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I've been following your thread because I'm going to be going down a very similar route. I'm curious as to why you are using velcro to hold the screen and not just splining it in to the slots using T-Slot covers or a dowel.

EDIT: Ok I missed your post above...just wonder if you are still worried about deforming the material now that you have it?
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post #18 of 73 Old 06-15-2010, 04:10 AM
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I've been thinking about using this material a la Stormtrooper1015's framing. The lashing bars would add rigidity. (My frame needs to be hinged, for front AT space access.)
LL
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post #19 of 73 Old 06-19-2010, 06:59 AM
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Have you considered the Hercules Stretcher bars from Testrite?


testrite-hercules-stretcher-bars


I used these for my screen frame and they worked out well. There is the option stapling the screen directly to the frame with the poplar wood track in the bars. I did not use this method, but instead bought some screen frame channel from Home Depot. I attached the channel to the poplar insert and then attached the screen material to the channel with standard rubber gasket. This allows me to remove and retension the screen if needed(have not needed to in the year I have been using it). I ordered direct from the manufacturer and it was cheaper than the link posted, but I don't remember the exact cost.

GL

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post #20 of 73 Old 06-20-2010, 06:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the ideas.

I am trying out the industrial strength Velcro first. We will see if it holds up.

Here are the parts:



Here is the screen material:



Here are the rails with the Velcro attached:



It should definitely work on the aluminum side. I hope it holds up on the screen side. If not, I will try one of the methods that you guys have recommended. If the Velcro works the way I hope, then I should be able to completely dissassemble the screen when I move.
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post #21 of 73 Old 06-20-2010, 06:55 AM - Thread Starter
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The 1"x2" 80/20 seems to be pretty rigid. I am doubling up on the corner connectors to be safe.

80/20's Deflection Calculator says that the cross pieces should bend less than a 10th of an inch over my expected load. Hopefully I will know if it worked today or tomorrow.
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post #22 of 73 Old 06-20-2010, 07:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obie_fl View Post

I've been following your thread because I'm going to be going down a very similar route. I'm curious as to why you are using velcro to hold the screen and not just splining it in to the slots using T-Slot covers or a dowel.

EDIT: Ok I missed your post above...just wonder if you are still worried about deforming the material now that you have it?

Once I get it put together, I will comment about whether I think it will deform. Seymour AV mentioned the possibility of deforming the screen at some point on their website or in the instructions somewhere. I can't find it right now. I really want to be able to take the whole thing apart for easy transportation, so that is why I am trying the Velcro.
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post #23 of 73 Old 06-30-2010, 12:02 PM
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How's you screen & frame project going ?
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post #24 of 73 Old 07-01-2010, 04:18 AM - Thread Starter
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The frame worked out well. The velcro is ok.

A couple of lessons learned.

1. Use a second person to help stretch the screen material while attaching the velcro.

2. Do not attach the velcro to the screen material while on a rug. The adhesive from the velcro will pick up fibers from the carpet.

3. Do not attempt to reroll the screen material while waiting for the adhesive on the velcro to fix. I ended up with several creases. Luckily they came out easily with a heat gun set on low.

The first picture shows how much bigger the screen will be compared to my old screen.

The second picture is before I really cranked on the material to stretch it. It looks a lot better now. However, I will try to talk my wife into helping me restretch it to see if I can get a few more of the wrinkles out of it that are near the edges.

I decided to build a stand for it instead of hanging it from the ceiling. So that is my next project before being able to use it.
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post #25 of 73 Old 07-01-2010, 10:05 PM
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That screen looks like it has lots of wrinkles! I have the XD material but have not made a screen yet. I was just planning on following the instructions seymourav website has. I got 1x4 Poplar wood for frame. I got the syfabrics black velvet for border. I just have not had time to make it. I am using the wall for now for projection.
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post #26 of 73 Old 07-02-2010, 04:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bommai View Post

That screen looks like it has lots of wrinkles! I have the XD material but have not made a screen yet. I was just planning on following the instructions seymourav website has. I got 1x4 Poplar wood for frame. I got the syfabrics black velvet for border. I just have not had time to make it. I am using the wall for now for projection.

The vast majority of the wrinkles are gone now. That was when I had just attached it. Since then I have stretched it much tighter. I am going to try to stretch it some more with the help of my wife this weekend to get the last few wrinkles out.
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post #27 of 73 Old 07-02-2010, 05:43 AM
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My screen material arrived earlier this week and my 80/20 order is supposed to be here today. I'm going to try splining the screen but I'm also considering your velcro method as I need access behind the screen. Hopefully I'll get to it this weekend and will let you know how it works out.
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post #28 of 73 Old 07-02-2010, 07:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obie_fl View Post

My screen material arrived earlier this week and my 80/20 order is supposed to be here today. I'm going to try splining the screen but I'm also considering your velcro method as I need access behind the screen. Hopefully I'll get to it this weekend and will let you know how it works out.

I am not sure that the Velcro is the best method if you want to get behind the screen. I am not sure how long the adhesive attaching it to the screen material would hold up if you have to attach and detach it multiple times. I am hoping that with my wife's help I can get it stretched a little better.
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post #29 of 73 Old 07-02-2010, 09:13 AM
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I recently built a 2.35:1 curved screen using the XD material. I payed to have grommets placed on the material. I bought my o-rings from HD to save $. It was worth the extra money for the grommets and it stretched the screen perfectly. I would say that its the best way to go. You can see pics in the DIY Constant Image section.

-Sean
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post #30 of 73 Old 07-02-2010, 09:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 230-SEAN View Post

I recently built a 2.35:1 curved screen using the XD material. I payed to have grommets placed on the material. I bought my o-rings from HD to save $. It was worth the extra money for the grommets and it stretched the screen perfectly. I would say that its the best way to go. You can see pics in the DIY Constant Image section.

-Sean

If I knew the getting the grommets added was an option I would have had that done.

I am hopeful that with a little more tweaking I can get the last few wrinkles out and the screen will be fine so I will get away with the Velcro.

It is pretty close now, but I still need to build the stand to put it on. We will see if there is enough time on Sunday or Monday.
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