Now that my screen is complete, I figured I would start a new thread detailing some of the steps I took to build out my screen and false wall. I received quite a few messages and PM's around the details so I figured I would share here.
The wall is still in progress and this thread will be updated as I make all the supporting panels and coverings.Details of my room
- The area where the screen sits in my room is approximately 154" wide and 95" tall. As you will see in the coming pictures, I have "speaker stands" built into the corners of my room that are approximately 37" deep and 38" wide. These "stands" were built to hide the sump pump in my basement on the right hand side, and the left side was built to match. If you've seen my "basement hangout" thread you will see that these stands were originally shelves in the room that were much taller.
I started with a 120" fixed frame 16:9 Jamestown screen that I was very happy with. I was and still am using an Epson 8700UB projector which has not yet been fully calibrated properly.
Over the past few months, I'd had that nagging itch (thanks to all you guys) to build out something acoustically transparent. I figured at the same time I would bump the screen size up just a bit to add to the immersion factor. After debating for multiple days about what distance from the wall to place the screen, I finally decided to just put it out in front of the corner 'stands' which gives me a bit over 3 feet to work with. The overall main listening area is about 22' deep, and the whole room is about 46' deep so it wasn't a huge deal to give up those first few feet. With this new wall position, I'm currently sitting about 15-16' back in the primary seating area.False wall:
My wall is for sure a minimalist type design. A simple man's approach.
1) I've simply built two rectangles to place on the left and right of the screen. I took the total width of the room and subtracted out the width of my screen (120.5") and built two 16.75" wide x 95" tall stands out of 2x4s. The frames are held together by basic 2.5" coarse drywall screws. I did have to accommodate a 3/8" height difference on the right side frame due to the sloping floor. I actually made both frames just slightly wider than needed so that the screen could rest on the frames rather than slip between them. This keeps the bottom of the frame from swinging back and forth. These stands were snug in place, leveled left/right and top/bottom and then bolted into the side wall both in the middle and at the tops of the frames. Since there were no studs directly to the sides of my frames, I built braces that connected the stud that was 5" back toward the wall to connect to the rectangular frames. At this point the frames were/are very rigid. These frames were painted with flat black latex to avoid being shown in direct lighting.
2) Next a screen brace was cut and installed to accommodate a means to hang the screen. This was simply a 120" wide 2x4 that horizontally connects the two braces referenced in step 1. I decided to place this about 3.5" from the top of the ceiling. This brace will also be painted flat black latex.
3) I have constructed "panels" to cover the exposed areas to the right, left, top, and bottom of the screen. For this I will use appropriately sized strips of 1x2" MDF miter cut, and wrapped with black speaker cloth from Joann fabric. I've used 1/2 x 0.2" deep neo magnets to hold the panels in place.
Here's a mockup of what the wall will look like with all panels in place:
Panels - painted black:AT screen build
1) Once I FINALLY decided on the size, I first called Chris at Seymour to order the XD fabric. I concluded 130" diagonal 16:9 screen fit the bill for the use and room size nicely. I ordered the material with a tilted cut with a 2" overlap on all edges. The material can be ordered precision cut for you which is an option I chose.
2) It took me very long to decide on a tensioning method, but after reading many success stories I decided to use the grommet/o-ring combination. I placed the grommets every 6". I used 1/2" grommets and purchased that kit from home depot. I ordered 64 o-rings from Chris as Seymour as well. In the end this is quite a bit more work (and cost!) than stapling but it makes for very easy setup and removal/re installation of the material if needed. It can also be installed with one person in a matter of minutes. It's worth noting that Seymour can install these grommets for you for a fee if you don't feel like messing with that yourself.
3) Next I decided on the frame material. I wound up using 1x4" primed MDF. These were available in 12' lengths from home depot. I chose these because they are nearly almost always straight. They are also fairly inexpensive compared with poplar, another common choice. I took them home and cut all the pieces using 45 degree miters. To avoid any shadowing, I also ran the pieces through my router table and put a 45 degree beveled edge on the inside edge of all 4 frame pieces. This beveling effect was very subtle after wrapping the panels though. I mocked up the frame on my porch a this time and measured everything to check it out. Turned out ok!
4) To fasten the corners of the frame, I used a Kreg pocket hole jig to drill the screw holes - 2 in each corner.
5) Next with the help of my wife, I wrapped each frame piece in Fidello Triple black velvet - also available from Chris at Seymour. There are many types of velvet out there and after my research this seemed the best. I used simple 1/2" staples to secure the material every few inches. My wife stretched each side while I stapled.
6) Next i had to install the grommets in the screen material. I started at the center and marked off every 6", and then in the corners which wound up being a bit closer. I used 1/2" grommets from home depot including the install kit. This was a tedious task but paid off in the end. I placed the grommets 5/8" (measured from top of the grommet hole, not center) from the edge of the screen.
7) Next the frame was assembled. I used the Kreg screws to get everything together and square and then further supported the corners using 6" braces available in the hardware section of HD. I used #10 x 3/4" wood screws to secure the brackets.
8) Now that the screen and frame were ready, I began placing the posts to mount the o-rings. I simply used 1" #10 wood screws as posts. These were placed approximately 3/8" from the edge of the frame. These serve as a means to connect the grommets to the frame and provide a tensioning base. Be careful when inserting the posts that you do not go too far in to the frame.
9) Next I connected each grommet to the posts using the o-rings from seymour. I couldn't believe how easy this part was. I started in the center of the long sides and worked my way to the edges. About halfway through there were already no wrinkles in the screen.
10) Next I built supports for the screen placed 1/3 of the way through using again 1x2" MDF Strips. Here is where I initially screwed up.
I should have done this prior to stretching all the o-rings out to keep the frame from being pulled in. I did this after all the o-rings were installed and the top of the frame was already pulled in due to all the tension. Doing it again I would install the supports first before installing all the o-rings.
I had the help of 2 buddys remove the supports and pull the frame up while re-installing the supports. This worked out great. note - make sure these supports are painted black or wrapped in something dark to avoid being shown behind the screen.
I tested the screen without wrapping them first and the posts are visible in bright scenes. I used leftover velvet to wrap the supports which did the job quite well.
11) Mounting the screen to the wall - I picked up 2 x 12" french cleats from home depot to mount the screen to the wall. The middle hole of each was placed 18" from either side of the screen.
- First thought - wow!! I can't believe I had put this off for so long. The dialog seems so much more natural with the center right behind the screen. It's also cool not looking at your gear while watching the content - that's always been distracting for me. I found that I could no longer determine when the center was on or off without walking directly up to the front of the screen. I haven't played with extensive placement setup or run any omnimic sweeps just yet. I'm hoping moving my mains out of the corners cleared up big humps I had previously at 100hz and 1000hz.
More pictures and details coming...I have to pull them off my camera.
Finished pictures of wall: