Is this a good way to build a screen frame? - AVS Forum
DIY Screen Section > Is this a good way to build a screen frame?
nickbuol's Avatar nickbuol 01:33 PM 04-20-2012
I have Seymour XD screen material on order, but I need to build the frame for the screen. I am not currently concerned about a black border. That will be easy enough.

Anyway, I just am looking for a good, solid, and reasonably easy frame for a larger 135" diag screen.

I don't have easy access to metal that is the size required (pretty much 10' long for the top and bottom of the frame).

I've seen the use of primed FJ (finger jointed) pine for a minimalistic front false wall set this way, and I thought that maybe the design would work as a way to create a sturdy and square frame (using different wood)

Forgive my basic MS Paint drawing skills.

The screen material would wrap around to the back to be stapled. I will also have 2 additional vertical supports to keep the top/bottom rigid with each other.

So will this work OK? I have been searching for a couple of days here and it seems that people are making smaller screens that don't need the extra strength, or they are working with metal materials that I don't think I can get working the way I would like. I saw a design using corner and 'T' pieces and square tubing (20/80 Quick Frame), but I can't find a source near me that doesn't want to charge an arm and a leg.

Other ideas?

nickbuol's Avatar nickbuol 07:55 PM 04-21-2012
I am sure everyone is out enjoying their weekend , but I see that a little more than 110 people have now viewed this thread with no response.

Any thoughts? Even from those of you that maybe haven't done something like this? Thanks.
pb_maxxx's Avatar pb_maxxx 09:47 PM 04-21-2012
i don't think folks are comprehending what you are trying to accomplish.
nickbuol's Avatar nickbuol 10:33 PM 04-21-2012
Fair enough. Let me take a stab at it again.

Most DIY frames that people use for stretching fabric over are made with 4 pieces of 1x3 or 1x4 material to make something similar to a picture frame but with the screen material stretched over it. Think something like the following:

Or JelloSlugs:

Anyway, when looking for 1x4 material for my frame, I was looking at stuff that is about 10' long for the top and bottom, but nothing seemed like it would be sturdy enough (or stay straight enough) for a larger screen.

So my thought was to take the 1x4 frame similar to the ideas above in the pictures, and then put a perpendicular 1x3 along the outside edge (what I tried to show in my original little diagram). That would help to keep the 1x4 from getting wavy, and the perpendicular build should yield a stronger and straighter frame than just using something like 2x4s instead of 1x4s.

Does that make any more sense? I hope...
Jim McC's Avatar Jim McC 01:39 AM 04-22-2012
I don't think adding a 1X3 perpendicular would do any good. If you used good quality 1X4 poplar or clear pine, I don't think you would have a problem. BUT if you are still worried, build it with 2X4's. It will be heavier, but the thicker wood will have much less chance of warping. With 2X4's you would only need 1 cross brace at 5'. Whichever way you go, I would prime all sides of the wood before applying fabric.
nickbuol's Avatar nickbuol 09:57 AM 04-22-2012
I am sure that it would make it considerably more solid just by the pure nature of the forces of each board trying to bend and warp and twist (as all natural wood does) actually helping to hold the perpendicular boards straight. Hard to explain.

Anyway, it just seems like it adds a lot of depth and since this is going on a false wall, all of the surrounding panels would have to be that same thickness.

Also, since it is AT, I would put 2 braces in the "middle" but spaced so that the center channel isn't compromised.

Maybe I am worrying about something that with enough metal corner braces would be just fine.

Just looking for knowledge from others.

MississippiMan's Avatar MississippiMan 02:40 PM 04-22-2012
Actually, 2x 4 construction would be more inclined toward eventually warping.
Thicker lumber has more drying and curing to do, so when it does dry and cure more it will tend to twist because it does not have all the support needed to maintain it straightnes.

Using both vertical and diagonal bracing is the key, and it done in that manner, a good kiln dried 1x4 lumber will be all that's necessary
nickbuol's Avatar nickbuol 03:19 PM 04-22-2012
My thoughts exactly on the 2x material. After finishing my entire basement (7 rooms, 1650 sqft = a lot of 2x4s) I have a lot of experience with drying 2x material warping.

My original thought was 1x4 poplar, but what about finger jointed pine 1x4s? It is "engineered" from odd cuts of pine, jointed together, and milled. These usually come pre-primed (in white). I only thought about FJ Pine from other big builds here where they used that for their minimal screen wall construction (think BigMouthInDC, and others)

StockMonkey used this for his minimal wall too

Maybe if I just make sure that my minimal wall is solid and straight, and since the screen sides attach it it, I will be OK with just the 1x4.

Now to decide poplar or FJ pine...
SCHNEEDOO's Avatar SCHNEEDOO 04:17 PM 04-22-2012
I used regular pine 1x material for my frame. It's been working well so far.
MississippiMan's Avatar MississippiMan 09:38 AM 04-23-2012
Originally Posted by SCHNEEDOO View Post

I used regular pine 1x material for my frame. It's been working well so far.

Yes indeed. Kiln Dried "Clear Pine" is pretty safe to use if the ends are securely any twisting always starts at the ends and is gradually spread to the center.

Clear Poplar is all the more better a choice, and often not much if any more than the "Select Clear Pine".
edfowler's Avatar edfowler 09:05 PM 02-03-2013
any pics of your Seymour XD screen finished?
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