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post #1 of 75 Old 09-26-2017, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
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200" Spandex Screen Help

Finally finishing the basement and this will be my second DIY screen. I have a new HT2050, with total light control, two levels of seating at 14 and 18ft from the screen. Speakers are mounted in the front wall ready to be covered with an AT spandex screen. I just love a huge screen so i'm going as big as i can even if the seating/distance is not what is appropriate.

My questions:
What spandex do you recommend i buy for this set up? black with white on top? white on white?
what brand and where can i buy it? ( spandex world? carls off of amazon? other?)
Will it stretch vertically to 8ft? what is the largest width spandex comes in, or will the standard 5 feet stretch out to 8ft?
lastly, which main DIY spandex screen post do you recommend i review for building the frame?

Thanks for everyones help!
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post #2 of 75 Old 09-26-2017, 08:00 PM
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I'm thinking that maybe you will have an issue with that projector and that screen size. Assuming full 2200 lumens in the brightest mode, I get 2200*0.7/116 = 13.2 ft/lumens. If you believe that White over Black spandex is 0.6 then 2200*0.6/116 = 11.3 ft/lumens. Both can be adequate but once you figure in a 20% loss of lumens due to lamp aging things will be fairly marginal.

The above assumes a full 2200 lumens. It seems according to a few reviews that the projector has 1200 calibrated lumens. Doing the calculations even with unity gain gives a very marginal output.

So you are left using a non-calibrated/video mode which sacrifices picture quality, increasing screen gain, or decreasing the size.

Hopefully, some experienced members can offer some suggestions. In any case this is not a slam dunk installation.

Good luck
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post #3 of 75 Old 09-26-2017, 09:10 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks for the reply

i am OK with this not being perfect. ive had it on the wall and thought it was pretty awesome so i dont have high expectations.

i keep reading white over black, milliskin might be best? would that stretch 8 feet vertically?

based on what i have, what would be the best solution?
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post #4 of 75 Old 09-26-2017, 09:26 PM
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GIL393 makes an excellent point about your image's brightness.
There is a chance you'll be totally fine with a darker overall image, but it's definitely something to keep in mind unless you have the budget for a brighter but much more expensive screen material.
Otherwise you may want to go with a slightly smaller screen or perhaps a different material.

I don't believe you can get regular 4way stretch spandex large enough to stretch to 96inches tall, but you can get 2way stretch spandex up to 120inches tall which I'm pretty sure has been used successfully before by another member who was basically building a whole wall.

Matte milliskin spandex (often from spandexworld) is what's recommended most often for the top layer, but before buying large pieces, you may want to compare a few different versions at home...namely the thicker moleskin spandex which is a little brighter but you should check to see if you notice it hurting your sound.
You'll also want to check how you feel about using a white back layer instead of black...The white will help brightness but gives the image a less crisp appearance which you may not really notice or might be too bothered by it.

Do you have a budget you're trying to stick to that you're able to mention?
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post #5 of 75 Old 09-27-2017, 05:14 AM
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I am using the 120" white over black spandexworld milliskin matte material. My screen is a little over 200" diagonal. I had no issues with stretching it onto a 2x4 frame, there is just enough stretch in the non stretchy axis to make it fairly easy. For the first layer I used two pieces of the 4-way stretchable material material in the smaller width. Were i to do it over I would probably use the 120" for both layers.

My projector is 2800 lumens in film mode, which after 200 hours becomes 2240 in film mode. This produced 12FL on the screen indicating a gain of about 0.62 (assuming the lumens above are exact which they are not). I think you will not be satisfied with this arrangement as the bulbs dim.

You will need more lumens and I can't say what white over silver or white over white will do. My only experience is with white over black and one of the manufactured shade material screens. You might look for Shearweave 4500 chalk shade material. It is 98" tall which will allow almost a 200" screen. I found it being sold online cut to size for about $220 (8'x15'). You will still need a backing layer of black spandex or at least you will need everything behind the screen to be black. The advantage of the Shearweave 4500 is that it is closer to a 0.95 gain which will help with brightness.

Were it me, I would go the Shearweave route. It is an older solution than the spandex and has fallen out of favor a bit due to how smooth and easy the spandex is. At longer seating distances >=12' the pattern is not visible and the extra lumens will be worth the trade off, imho.
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post #6 of 75 Old 09-27-2017, 06:21 AM - Thread Starter
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So to clarify, there is a two way at a four way stretch spandex? And the two-way would stretch roughly the vertical length I need, not the 4 way?

Budget, I would say $300. Based off of that, which material do you think would work best with my projector? It looks like spandex is pretty cheap, with the other stuff that was recommended be that much better? Where can I get that other stuff you mentioned?
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post #7 of 75 Old 09-27-2017, 06:26 AM - Thread Starter
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OK I found the sheer weave, looks interesting. I think I like the idea of working with spandex better. And spandex world I can only see vertical links of 60 inches. Is this not the correct link?

https://www.spandexworld.com/c3/catalog/product/795

Where do I get the 120 inch vertical spandex? Get Matte white correct? What about the black what type should that be? Matte as well?
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post #8 of 75 Old 09-27-2017, 06:30 AM - Thread Starter
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https://www.spandexworld.com/c3/catalog/product/15949

Is this the correct 120 inch? Is this still Milliskin?
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post #9 of 75 Old 09-27-2017, 06:42 AM
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I just ordered black & white 4 way matte milliskin from spandex world. Use SUMMER17 promo code for an extra 20% off.
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post #10 of 75 Old 09-27-2017, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christianhall65 View Post
https://www.spandexworld.com/c3/catalog/product/15949

Is this the correct 120 inch? Is this still Milliskin?
That is what I used for my screen. You will need a 2nd layer. Typically black is used but I think it will not be bright enough. Perhaps, MM or another member can make a suggestion about a silver or white 2nd layer to help with gain. I do not have direct experience with those combinations.

The shearweave is harder to tension. One system uses grommets and bands, some have suggested screen channel. A grommet machine and 500 grommets is pretty cheap on ebay but it is time consuming. I still think it is worth it unless you plan on a more powerful projector in the future. The difference at full output, not film or calibrated mode, on used bulbs will be around 15 lumens with the shearweave vs 10ish with white over black spandex. White over silver or white over white is rumored (this is hearsay I have no direct experience with this) to be closer to 0.8 gain which would give you closer to 12 ft/lumens. This is acceptable but with tradeoffs. Again I would wait on choosing the background to see if others can help with the tradeoffs/benefits.
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post #11 of 75 Old 09-27-2017, 07:15 AM - Thread Starter
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The sheer weave sounds like a little too much work for me. I like the idea of spandex I'm curious to hear what others think on the background color.

Would this Carl's material from Amazon work better than spandex? Looks like the game is 1.0? Would this require black behind it as well?

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00JD...JGL&ref=plSrch
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post #12 of 75 Old 09-27-2017, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gil393 View Post
I'm thinking that maybe you will have an issue with that projector and that screen size. Assuming full 2200 lumens in the brightest mode, I get 2200*0.7/116 = 13.2 ft/lumens. If you believe that White over Black spandex is 0.6 then 2200*0.6/116 = 11.3 ft/lumens. Both can be adequate but once you figure in a 20% loss of lumens due to lamp aging things will be fairly marginal.

The above assumes a full 2200 lumens. It seems according to a few reviews that the projector has 1200 calibrated lumens. Doing the calculations even with unity gain gives a very marginal output.

So you are left using a non-calibrated/video mode which sacrifices picture quality, increasing screen gain, or decreasing the size.

Hopefully, some experienced members can offer some suggestions. In any case this is not a slam dunk installation.

Good luck
Maybe it's just me, but the whole point of a home theater is to have a theater in your home...but with a picture that dim, one would have practically no choice but have to go out to a commercial cinema to be able to get a true theatrical experience.
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post #13 of 75 Old 09-27-2017, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christianhall65 View Post
The sheer weave sounds like a little too much work for me. I like the idea of spandex I'm curious to hear what others think on the background color.

Would this Carl's material from Amazon work better than spandex? Looks like the game is 1.0? Would this require black behind it as well?

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00JD...JGL&ref=plSrch
It is my belief, but I have not seen either material in person, that it is identical to ShearWeave 4500 chalk. It will either need a black back layer or for everything behind it to be non reflective (ie painted black).

I understand the mounting difficulties with the material above. I used spandex, it was easy (hint harbor freight air stapler). You seem more comfortable with the spandex. I'd suggest, I've not seen it however, white over white milliskin. This is reputed to give a screen closer to unity gain. Black levels and contrast are going to be an issue but the projector will be at one of it's brighter settings anyway.
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post #14 of 75 Old 09-27-2017, 09:21 AM
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Not to throw a wrench in the works here, but I was researching spandex screens a while ago. I still plan to go this route eventually, but I couldn't decide what to use for the back layer: white, silver, or black. I had read suggestions that white/white gives a brighter image, but that it reduces sharpness, or maybe permits more bleed from the 2nd layer to reflect back into the 1st, creating a blurry or double or halo'ed type image. Is this a factor at all with a black back layer? Silver was supposed to be a compromise, but still show some of that effect, IIRC.
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post #15 of 75 Old 09-28-2017, 01:58 PM - Thread Starter
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When laying the black back in the white on top of that, do you literally put it directly on top or is there a space in between? I'm assuming it is right on top.

Also any threads on here that are recommended to construct the framework big enough for 200 inches diagonal?
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post #16 of 75 Old 09-29-2017, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christianhall65 View Post
When laying the black back in the white on top of that, do you literally put it directly on top or is there a space in between? I'm assuming it is right on top.

Also any threads on here that are recommended to construct the framework big enough for 200 inches diagonal?
The two spandex layers will be right on top of each other, touching.

I was digging through gil393's screen thread..it mentioned hand-picked 2x4's for the frame, 2x3's for the supports along with both a kreg jig and internal metal L braces, but I'm not sure what was used in the end.
Gil, would you mind posting a detailed build of your frame?

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post #17 of 75 Old 09-29-2017, 09:21 AM
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The two spandex layers will be right on top of each other, touching.

I was digging through gil393's screen thread..it mentioned hand-picked 2x4's for the frame, 2x3's for the supports along with both a kreg jig and internal metal L braces, but I'm not sure what was used in the end.
Gil, would you mind posting a detailed build of your frame?
2 - 2x4x16, 2-2x4x8, 2-2x3x8, 1-4'x8'x3/4"

The 2x4x16's are the key. If you can't find perfectly straight ones at the box score go to a lumber yard and pick some good ones.

My screen is 99" tall. 96" + 2x1.5" top rails. All 2x4 on edge. My width is 176".

Construction was basically butt air nail the top and bottom rails to the stiles while laying on a flat surface, turn over so that the 2x3' short side is facing down (this will be the front of the screen). Square up by taking diagonal measurements. Cut 8 triangular pieces of 3/4" plywood to brace all joints, using air nailer. Hang via 3/4 pine french cleat.

After a year or so I have a very slight warp on the diagonal which is easily controlled via hook and eye bolts on the bottom edge pulling it flush to the wall.

I installed the spandex from the top, starting in the top center and working across and outward as per the various instructions in this forum. I simply air stapled to the flat side/edge of the 2x4. Not as neat and clean as working from the back side and stapling into the back of the rail. My thought was that at 4.25" thick the screen was not really invisible and the low end workmanship didn't matter much. It can always be covered with a black velvet or such if desired.

Voila, one big, cheap screen.
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post #18 of 75 Old 10-01-2017, 03:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gil393 View Post
2 - 2x4x16, 2-2x4x8, 2-2x3x8, 1-4'x8'x3/4"


Voila, one big, cheap screen.
Actually, it sounds expensive to me, and maybe heavier than it needs to be for stiffness. I would build it out of a single sheet of 3/4" plywood or OSB, ripped into strips, rabbited and glued. Four 6" strips, two 4" strips, and and seven 2" strips. The 2" strips with a 3/4" rabbit down the middle and mitered ends. Of course, I have a table saw and compound miter saw and router to make it easy. I would even have scraps of 6" and 4" to gusset the splices and make the french cleat.

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post #19 of 75 Old 10-01-2017, 02:14 PM
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Actually, it sounds expensive to me, and maybe heavier than it needs to be for stiffness. I would build it out of a single sheet of 3/4" plywood or OSB, ripped into strips, rabbited and glued. Four 6" strips, two 4" strips, and and seven 2" strips. The 2" strips with a 3/4" rabbit down the middle and mitered ends. Of course, I have a table saw and compound miter saw and router to make it easy. I would even have scraps of 6" and 4" to gusset the splices and make the french cleat.
I have a panel saw and I wouldn't rip a 4x8 into strips to somehow build a frame. Heavy, meh; I can move it by myself. Crude, meh; its covered by spandex. Expensive, meh; if $30 worth of lumber makes that much difference then maybe there are other issues.

Can you make it stiffer, more elegant, cheaper, lighter. Sure have at it. Easier, likely not.
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post #20 of 75 Old 10-04-2017, 03:19 PM - Thread Starter
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for a 180 inch wide screen, how many yards will i need of spandex? 5 yards would obviously cover (15 feet), but with it being spandex, is only 3 or 4 yards needed once stretched? i dont want to buy significantly more than i will need.
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post #21 of 75 Old 10-04-2017, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christianhall65 View Post
for a 180 inch wide screen, how many yards will i need of spandex? 5 yards would obviously cover (15 feet), but with it being spandex, is only 3 or 4 yards needed once stretched? i dont want to buy significantly more than i will need.
4-Way Stretch Spandex (Milliskin) can be stretched as much a 15% of it's given length / height dimensions without distorting the thread pattern or opening up the weave.

But that means 4 yards being 12' would leave 3' to stretch IF you were using the 4-Way Stretch material, and that would be too much to make up.

Of course your actually needing to use the 120" height 2-Way variety, and that same 15% horizontal stretch limitation applies. That being the case, the absolute maximum stretch "sideways" would be 27", and you would need a minimum of 36" just to make it reach 180" width.

Soooooooo.................you need 5 yards.

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post #22 of 75 Old 10-04-2017, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
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excellent thanks for the quick reply!
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post #23 of 75 Old 10-04-2017, 05:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Two other questions:
I am going to build the frames out of 2 x 4?s and L and T brackets. At 175 inches wide and 98inches tall, how many support beams will I need in the middle, just two?

As far as the cleat goes, I have seen some metal ones on Amazon. Anything in particular that works well for this application? Maybe one on each end? If you could direct me to something for this with that would be great.
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post #24 of 75 Old 10-04-2017, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christianhall65 View Post
Two other questions:
I am going to build the frames out of 2 x 4?s and L and T brackets. At 175 inches wide and 98inches tall, how many support beams will I need in the middle, just two?

As far as the cleat goes, I have seen some metal ones on Amazon. Anything in particular that works well for this application? Maybe one on each end? If you could direct me to something for this with that would be great.
I just used two vertical supports (2x3s). I would reconsider the L and T brackets. They usually have only 2 or 3 screw holes per side and they will likely not be very strong. I'd suggest 1/2 plywood, osb, etc. cut into about 12" triangles with about 6 screws per side. For real strength a little wood glue will make it very strong.

For cleats I simply used two 6" 1x2s cut at a 45 degree angle lengthwise on a table saw. I then mounted each 1/2 of the 1x2 to the wall. The other halves I cut to 1.5" and mounted to the end 2x4s. The extra width on the wall gives a couple of inches either ways so you don't have to be too precise in your initial lifting it onto the wall.

Depending on the type of gussets used you may need to add a few 1x2 blocks to the back of the bottom rails so that the screen sits flat.

Good Luck
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post #25 of 75 Old 10-04-2017, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Unfortunately I don?t have all of the saws required for that. Do you by chance have pictures of what your frame looks like without the material? Are their cleats I could buy online that would work?
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post #26 of 75 Old 10-04-2017, 10:15 PM
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Here is a example of a 200"er.




You will note I build the Frame more robust than has been discussed so far. certainly I did not use 2x2s.

The French Cleat for example was made from 1- 2x6 ripped diagonally in half on a Table Saw. But I also used some Aircraft Cable to support the Frame from the Ceiling. Yes, the Screen shown was for a Commercial setting, but in comparison still very close to what your aspiring to. In your case, two such robust French Cleats "MUST" be considered essential. Two 2 x 4"es, each at least 8' long, glued and screwed to the Frame. with the Frame-mounted sections mounted so that their angled cut ends overlap "all" the Vertical supports will assure that the Screen will always hang plump and level, and the Ends will not bow downward from either the Tension of the stretched material nor the weight of the assembly.



You really must think hard about what is really needed to assure you can hang such a large, heavy screen securely...just as you must take pains to build a non-twisting extremely straight and square (diagonally) frame.

  • Carefully hand-picked, Kiln-Dried "CLEAR-Prime Pine Lumber
  • Precise Measuring and Cuts. Errors are magnified across longer lengths, so you cannot just be "close". Be prepared to scrap poorly cut lumber.
  • Beg, borrow, or steal the needed Cutting Tools. A frame the size you want cannot be done using a Skill Saw alone. You also need a large Carperter's Framing Square.
Do that and you'll get this......


That is not me, BTW.....just a person use to put the screen size in perspective

Here is the finished project set up in place.....



I'd be glad to help further, if the advice and instructions given can be followed to a "T". Otherwise, you results won't just "vary"...they almost assuredly will not be the same. (ie: acceptable)
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post #27 of 75 Old 10-04-2017, 10:26 PM
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I cannot in good conscious recommend the use of even the largest 16" "Store-Bought" French Cleats. First off, you'd really need a minimum of 4 sets, one each for each end, top & bottom. And the placement of each "Wall Mounted" part would have to be extremely exact....all 4 of 'em, lest your screen hang crooked...or not at all.

Nope, find a Table Saw...or Rent one, and get the help you need to make your Frame (...and hang it...) correctly and safely.

No not scrimp on Hardware or the quality of the Lumber. And furgudness sake...be meticulous.

The more care you take in the making of this biggin', the more satisfaction you'll have (...and pride...) once it's up...in place...and looking good.


BTW...the images on the linked-to thread and my post above are Photobucket ones. I cannot fathom how they escape the "cut" but there they are.

For now.

"They said it couldn't be done. Well, we sure showed 'em otherwise!"
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post #28 of 75 Old 10-05-2017, 08:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post
I cannot in good conscious recommend the use of even the largest 16" "Store-Bought" French Cleats. First off, you'd really need a minimum of 4 sets, one each for each end, top & bottom. And the placement of each "Wall Mounted" part would have to be extremely exact....all 4 of 'em, lest your screen hang crooked...or not at all.

Nope, find a Table Saw...or Rent one, and get the help you need to make your Frame (...and hang it...) correctly and safely.

No not scrimp on Hardware or the quality of the Lumber. And furgudness sake...be meticulous.

The more care you take in the making of this biggin', the more satisfaction you'll have (...and pride...) once it's up...in place...and looking good.


BTW...the images on the linked-to thread and my post above are Photobucket ones. I cannot fathom how they escape the "cut" but there they are.

For now.
cant see any images above? any other way to see them?
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post #29 of 75 Old 10-05-2017, 09:48 AM
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cant see any images above? any other way to see them?
Look again.....there is magic in the air.

"They said it couldn't be done. Well, we sure showed 'em otherwise!"
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post #30 of 75 Old 10-05-2017, 10:16 AM
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If you don't have an air nailer and a compressor I would not go this route. I am one of the 3 or 4 worst carpenters in the world. I can butt air nail 2 2x4s on a flat surface and have them be flush within about 1/16 of an inch. Doing it by hand not even close. You might get away with drilling and screwing but even that usually produces sub-par results for me.

A framing square helps (just for sanity if nothing else) although you can and should square a large piece like this my measuring the diagonals and making sure they are even.

I would make your screen 99" tall (if possible). This way you do not need to cut your stiles. You will need to cut each of the 2x4x16s @176". You will also need a way to get these home from the lumber yard. They must be perfectly straight in both directions (hint: in a stack of 50 you might find 4 that are decent depending on the quality of your lumber yard). The triangular gussets are not precision cuts. You can even use square gussets if you want. This can be done for you at home depot (square cuts) or at home using a hand held circular saw.

I'm not familiar with commercial french cleats. I can tell you that my unit hangs just fine on two 1.5" wide 1x2 cleats each held on by a single screw. This is way under engineered and not recommended but it seems to work just fine. To be safe I do have eye bolts and some cabling as a backup. I would suggest making sure the french cleat and the fasteners can each support double the weight of the entire project (say 300 pounds each).

The fence on my table saw broke. A "new" used one was about $75. For $100 I got a used craftsman belt drive table saw with cast iron extensions and of course a fence to go with it. This is not a great table saw but it is serviceable and relatively cheap. For the limited amount of woodworking i do it is perfect. It might not be a bad time to invest in a table saw. There will no doubt be more projects as time goes by.

There are some non-wood (ie no saws required) methods of building a frame involving 8020 aluminum extrusions, or diy steel/aluminum channel frames. Many different ways to go. These are more of an erector set approach. You might want to investigate these if the wood working is an issue.
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