Gorilla's 130" 16:9 AT screen (and false wall) build - XD fabric, custom frame, grommet/o-ring tensioning - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 93 Old 04-22-2013, 05:41 AM - Thread Starter
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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. smile.gif 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. tongue.gif 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. smile.gif

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. smile.gif

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. smile.gif





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. smile.gif 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. smile.gif 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.

Tada!








Impressions
- 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:





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post #2 of 93 Old 04-22-2013, 05:50 AM
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post #3 of 93 Old 04-22-2013, 06:10 AM
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looks great dude.

hows that Sent sound as a center with the Yorks?
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post #4 of 93 Old 04-22-2013, 07:51 AM - Thread Starter
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looks great dude.

hows that Sent sound as a center with the Yorks?

Thanks! After Audyssey the center blends seamlessly with the Yorks. I will try at some point running all 3 Sentinels up front to compare though. cool.gif It also sounds great in phantom mode as well with no center. Surprisingly there wasn't a huge difference between the two. wink.gif
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post #5 of 93 Old 04-22-2013, 08:08 AM
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Nice dude! I love the grommet setup. How did you start off putting the O-rings on? four corners and then work your way around or 4 center lines and work your out?

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post #6 of 93 Old 04-22-2013, 08:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Nice dude! I love the grommet setup. How did you start off putting the O-rings on? four corners and then work your way around or 4 center lines and work your out?

When I started off I did the center two o-rings on the top, bottom, and sides. Then I worked my way outward from the center on the top, then bottom, then sides. With this method it's so simple I don't think you really need to follow a specific order. cool.gif You could probably get an even stretch with far less grommets than I used. Pounding out all those grommets and posts was a PITA, but well worth the easy setup later on.
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post #7 of 93 Old 04-22-2013, 08:33 AM
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Awesome man, well it still turned out excellent smile.gif I'm next up for sure now! biggrin.gifbiggrin.gif

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post #8 of 93 Old 04-22-2013, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by beastaudio View Post

Awesome man, well it still turned out excellent smile.gif I'm next up for sure now! biggrin.gifbiggrin.gif

Thanks B! Looking forward to your build and the measurement comparisons. biggrin.gif

Also forgot to mention - I got REALLY lucky with my projector location. With the zoom maxed out it perfectly fills the screen as is. Very glad I didn't have to mess with moving that stuff around in the ceiling. biggrin.gif Brightness seemed to have gotten better even with the bigger screen since the projector is about as close it can be for a 130" image. tongue.gif
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post #9 of 93 Old 04-22-2013, 08:52 AM
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Amazing DIY work! I hope when I do mine it turns out as great as yours.

David Budo
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post #10 of 93 Old 04-22-2013, 09:05 AM
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Love it!!! Thanks so much for putting in so much detail in how you went about it, that will come in handy for a lot of people, like myself, that are thinking about doing this.
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post #11 of 93 Old 04-22-2013, 10:32 AM
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+1.
What are you going to do with the bottom part below your screen? Also what is the price for that screen roughly?
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post #12 of 93 Old 04-22-2013, 10:46 AM
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Cowboys: Just give Seymour a call and have them quote you a price for your dimensions for the XD material. It is pretty good value at around $250 so for around 120" daigonal screen 16:9.

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post #13 of 93 Old 04-22-2013, 10:49 AM
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^^ thanks.
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post #14 of 93 Old 04-22-2013, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dbuudo07 View Post

Amazing DIY work! I hope when I do mine it turns out as great as yours.

Thank you! Take your time in the planning phase and I'm sure it will come out great.

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Originally Posted by carp View Post

Love it!!! Thanks so much for putting in so much detail in how you went about it, that will come in handy for a lot of people, like myself, that are thinking about doing this.

You're welcome Carp. I know you and many others were looking for some detail which was the reason this thread went up. Feel free to hit me up with whatever questions you come up with when your time comes.
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+1.
What are you going to do with the bottom part below your screen? Also what is the price for that screen roughly?

The bottom and sides will be covered with custom panels as mentioned in step 3 in the first post. smile.gif I should have the frames all done by the end of the week and they will be wrapped in black speaker cloth. A nice alternative that many use here is the GOM black 703 AT fabric. I really like the look of the black speaker cloth and it will match all of my treatments and speaker grills as well.

The XD fabric is 21.95 a foot and it's 98" wide so you can get pretty wild with screen sizes if you chose to do so. If I recall it's currently 35.00 for a custom cut to have them do it for you and another 30 or so for shipping as well. The costs add up but a bargain indeed considering a comparable pre-built AT screen would be well over a thousand dollars. biggrin.gif
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post #15 of 93 Old 04-23-2013, 06:58 AM
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Has anyone ever retrofitted this XD material into an existing retractable electric projector screen, I wonder. I wanted an AT material one but the Elite cheaper 1080p2 material was full of moire and not under tension, your image looks awesome!!!

For now I'm happy with my normal screen, but I like to tinker so maybe eventually I'll upgrade my kit to use this new material (if possible)
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post #16 of 93 Old 04-23-2013, 08:13 AM
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They mention on their site that it is electric screen friendly, so one would assume it could retrofitted pretty easily

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post #17 of 93 Old 04-23-2013, 12:11 PM
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Love it Andrew. Might have to copy and have something similar done in my room too.
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post #18 of 93 Old 04-23-2013, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Has anyone ever retrofitted this XD material into an existing retractable electric projector screen, I wonder. I wanted an AT material one but the Elite cheaper 1080p2 material was full of moire and not under tension, your image looks awesome!!!

For now I'm happy with my normal screen, but I like to tinker so maybe eventually I'll upgrade my kit to use this new material (if possible)

I agree with Beast here - no reason that I can see it can't be fitted to your existing frame.
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Love it Andrew. Might have to copy and have something similar done in my room too.

Thanks John - you will have to come by and check it out when I get it buttoned up, hopefully in a few days time. cool.gif
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post #19 of 93 Old 04-23-2013, 02:55 PM
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Look like I also have to move my two air vents on the ceiling forward if I want to do false wall with AT screen, sigh. Not that it is hard to do but I don't feel like patching sheetrock. Dang!
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post #20 of 93 Old 04-23-2013, 03:50 PM
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Great screen build G.

Now if I ever get to start my LCR build, I could see an XD screen in my set up too. lol
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post #21 of 93 Old 04-23-2013, 04:07 PM
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thought of this after you posted the pic to google+

do you have enough room to get the speakers & Subs out without having to take down the screen?
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post #22 of 93 Old 04-23-2013, 07:04 PM - Thread Starter
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thought of this after you posted the pic to google+

do you have enough room to get the speakers & Subs out without having to take down the screen?

The speakers are over 4' tall so there is no way they are fitting through that tiny opening, heh. This is the case for most if not all of these walls/screens. The screen is on French cleats and comes down in a matter of seconds.
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Look like I also have to move my two air vents on the ceiling forward if I want to do false wall with AT screen, sigh. Not that it is hard to do but I don't feel like patching sheetrock. Dang!

So the vents would be behind the screen? I imagine the air would pass through the screen and wall just fine. smile.gif
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post #23 of 93 Old 04-24-2013, 04:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Great screen build G.

Now if I ever get to start my LCR build, I could see an XD screen in my set up too. lol

Thanks Smokarz. Do you have a build thread started in the DIY section? I'm very happy with the material selection here. I did buy a few samples of spandex as well to compare and overall I liked the XD better - brightness seemed a bit improved.
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post #24 of 93 Old 04-24-2013, 06:01 AM
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Look like I also have to move my two air vents on the ceiling forward if I want to do false wall with AT screen, sigh. Not that it is hard to do but I don't feel like patching sheetrock. Dang!

Yeah my big problem is like this too. I have a window that is only 18 inches from the front wall on one side and my equipment rack closet that is also 18 inches from the front wall on the left side.

Could I build a false wall that didn't go all the way to each side wall? I think that might look bad though...
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post #25 of 93 Old 04-24-2013, 06:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Yeah my big problem is like this too. I have a window that is only 18 inches from the front wall on one side and my equipment rack closet that is also 18 inches from the front wall on the left side.

Could I build a false wall that didn't go all the way to each side wall? I think that might look bad though...

Carp - Why not extend the wall as far as you need to and just use removable panels on each side for when you need to get to the rack or window?
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post #26 of 93 Old 04-24-2013, 06:53 AM
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Yeah I could do that. Problem now is that I like being able to see my receiver. I constantly tweak the sub level depending on the song that is playing and I like being able to see the changes on the receiver. Also a lot of days I have the window open.... hmmm it's all about compromises any time a change is made I guess.
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post #27 of 93 Old 04-24-2013, 06:58 AM
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why does it have to be a wall of panels?
My screen simply "floats" now but I am planning to add side drapes, mostly to hide wires and acoustic treatments. Leaving esthetics aside, is there any reason to think that panels would be better ?
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post #28 of 93 Old 04-24-2013, 07:27 AM - Thread Starter
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You could also just build a stand for the screen and put just the center or both mains behind it as well. Similar to the "floating screen" as described above, but you could support it from the floor to keep it from moving back and forth. I tossed this idea around as well, but ultimately decided I wanted the look of everything closed off. smile.gif
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post #29 of 93 Old 04-24-2013, 08:29 AM
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Yeah that may be what I have to end up going with.
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post #30 of 93 Old 04-24-2013, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
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Yeah I could do that. Problem now is that I like being able to see my receiver.
RF remote option with on screen display?
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