Laminate Screen Material and Testing! - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: What are your screen requirements? (Pick as many as apply)
I want something that is easy to install. 422 18.49%
I want something as inexpensive as possible. 370 16.21%
I want something less than $100. 269 11.79%
I am willing to spend whatever amount is needed as long as it's the best. 66 2.89%
I want a simple one can painted screen option. 68 2.98%
I want an advanced paint mix screen option. 51 2.23%
I want a single material screen option. 289 12.66%
I want something durable. 270 11.83%
I want an ambient light screen. 244 10.69%
I have light control and want a white screen. 233 10.21%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 2282. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 2849 Old 08-07-2006, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
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This first post will be updated with any new information and as a summary for what was discussed so far.

An Index as added to the bottom of this post with various highlights throughout the thread. Also there is a new thread that was created just for the purose of showcasing people's laminate screens.

This thread started out as a quest for a material over the 4x8 size that is common and readily available. If you want a larger screen though, finding a substrate larger than that can start to become tricky, but we have found some solutions

As the thread progressed, laminates were suggested by some members and the thread became more about laminates at that point than about finding a plastic substrate. Laminates come in sizes up to 5x12 and are readily available at any Home Depot or Lowes.

The laminate posts really start around post #36 for anyone that wants to skip over the substrate talk.

There are numerous laminate manufacturers, currently Wilsonart is the primary manufacturer that is being tested and having color analysis done. Other companies will be tested and color data collected as well, but the goal is to identify a suitable white, and ideally three shades of gray. These colors and manufacturers must be something that is readily available in any part of the country. Other sources will be investigated as well, such as Pionite.

The plan is to come up with a clearly defined set of options for a white and gray one step screen solution that are both easy to get and put up, as well as provide a better than average screen. The number of options are intentionally being kept low as to avoid people from becoming over whelmed with a situation where there are 40 different manufacturers and people recommending 300 different laminate colors that would put us right back where we are now with too many options and not enough data on any of them.

Currently Designer White has passed all tests and is being used as screens by several members.

Here is a summary of the main details discussed in this thread.

Availability
To order Designer White, go to any Lowes or Home Depot and tell them you want Designer White D354-60, then the size sheet you want. It comes in 4x8, 5x8, 5x10, and 5x12 sheets. (The grays are also available in the same sizes)

Performance and Data
Ericglo recommended Designer White and Clarence ordered a sheet and did initial testing.

Below are some of Clarence's screen tests, to see other screen shots and to read his entire comments click here.






Clarence explains in his post what he is pointing too. Plus there are other screenshots and he has detailed comments about Designer White and Wilsonart as a screen material.

He has numerous posts in this thread along with other screen shots showing a digital projector image instead of the CRT projector he normally uses.

Ericglo did some comparison tests with other Wilsonart samples and provided that information in posts #69 and #77.
Here is one of his test shots, to see the rest and his comments, click on the post numbers above:
HD NET zero degrees

Both Ericglo and Clarence have provided a wealth of valuable information. If it wasn't for those two laminates may have remained in the archives, and I for one am grateful they shared this information and brought it back to everyone's attention.

It was decided more detailed color information was needed so a dialog was opened with Wilsonart, who put me in contact with their color lab. They provided color analysis, which has now been checked and tested for accuracy.

Here is the data of the Wilsonart samples. This is the official data.

Next is a graph of the data. We can see the characteristics of each sample.

More data and graphs are in post #220.

It can be seen that the preliminary data is indicating these are pretty close to neutral. Once the final data is completed this graph will be updated, and the screen performance testing of the grays will begin.


Color Codes
Wilsonart Colors (<--Click to see samples)
Designer White D354-60 - Already in use as screens
Fashion Grey D381-60 - Data and testing still in progress
Platinum D315-60 - Data and testing still in progress
Dove Grey D92-60 - Data and testing still in progress

Formica
(still being researched)

Pionite
(still being researched)

Durability
As a screen material laminate may be the most durable material that can be used.

One member inquired about its suitability as an outdoor screen, so the Wilsonart samples were put through a series of torture' tests. First it was soaked in warm water for 24 hours to see if it would peel, bow, or show any signs of damage when exposed to water, and there were none.

Next the wet samples were placed in the freezer to see if after getting wet and then frozen they would crack or become brittle, again no damage whatsoever.

The only thing I know for certain that will damage it is heat. I know this because my wife ruined a table that had a wood laminate top when she placed a hot pan directly on the laminate. So you can make a screen out of laminate, go throw it in a lake if you want, and if a blizzard or ice age happens to hit, all you have to do is wipe it off and start watching movies again! Just don't do your ironing on it or use it for a hotplate!

If you have kids and they decide to touch your screen and get gooky little hand prints all over it, just grab some Windex or your favorite spray cleaner and wipe it off this is probably the most durable material anyone could use as a screen.

Weight

General Purpose grade is .322 pounds per square foot = 10.3 pounds for a 4x8 sheet.

Postforming grade is .260 pounds per square foot = 8.32 pounds for a 4x8 sheet.

Vertical grade is .186 pounds per square foot = 5.95 pounds for a 4x8 sheet.

For larger sizes just do the math...


Paintable
We were also hoping laminates could be used as a paintable substrate for those that want a painted screen solution. I know laminate can be painted from my reading through home remodeling sites, but they made it sound like a long involved process requiring sanding and special primers.

Rfisher demonstrated that is not the case. To change the color of it as a countertop yes, but as a screen it will not get the abuse a counter top or table top gets so no special primers were required. This of course decreases the durability, but it is doubtful a person is going to actually hose down and then freeze their screen anyway. Further paint testing is being followed up on in the RGB Paint Mix Experiments & Discussion thread.

This was a good discovery because it opens up laminates as a viable large substrate for those that want a paint solution but can't find a substrate over 4x8 in size. It also means that the grays may be an excellent material for advanced top coat paint methods which will utilize the gray as a pre-made durable base color. That will be explored in a separate thread as well. We are trying to keep this thread strictly to laminates as a single solution.


In conclusion laminates were used in the past but were never widely explored or accepted until now. It is a readily available material in larger sizes that is also able to be painted. This makes laminates an extremely good choice for a stand alone one step screen or something that can be used as a screen immediately while it is decided if a paint option is the desired route, and if so what mix.


Cutting and mounting Laminate

You can cut laminate material with a circular saw, saber saw, backsaw or utility knife. The saw blade should be a fine-tooth blade. Put a strip of masking tape where the cut line is to be made. This helps prevent chipping and makes the line easier to see.

When using a power circular saw or saber saw, cut from the back side of the laminate. These saws cut on the upstroke. Cutting from the back will help prevent chipping. On hand saws, cut from the front side at a low angle.

Important: Always cut the sheets of laminated plastic slightly oversized to allow for trimming and if you are going to drill any mounting holes. You can cover the extra with the trim border for a nice professional finish.

There are also special laminate cutting blades available to use with utility knives. Use a straightedge or a steel square to guide the knife for a smooth and even cut. Be extra careful to make one straight line. Sometimes the straightedge can slip and cause the blade to slip and go off the line. Just be careful and make a single score first. Don't try to go too deep with the first scoring, during the second pass you can apply more pressure and the blade will stay in the first scored groove better than if there was no score line at all.

Once you have the laminate scored, snap it on the scored line by lifting the shorter end and applying slight pressure. It should snap cleanly. As stated before, make the score a little bigger than what you want for your screen incase of chipping.

You can also cut laminated plastic sheets with a fine-tooth hand saw. If you own a router that will also work. Use an edge guide and you can get a very precise line cut. HG57 brings up a good point to file the edge down to remove any sharp spots. Even though it will be covered with trim, you don't want to get cut from a sharp edge while hanging it.


Here is one possible mounting solution, there are many options, go with whatever is the easiest and suits your needs.

Here is the easy way! Mirror Clips...
And the price is right too... $2.46 for a pack of 4.

This is a littler slicker, but is $8.46 for 4. Spring loaded Mirror Clips
Spring-loaded top clips allow mirror to easily be removed for painting or wall-papering

Here is a slick mount:
Hang-man has a metal cleat, Clarence came through again!


It even has a built in level...



If anyone wants to mount their laminate on pegboard, that can be done too, but it is a little bit of overkill. Still there may be some situations where someone may want/need to do this, but I would use one of the above methods first.


Clarence and HG57 also have a very good idea for a manual masking technique where they use magnets on the back side of the laminate to hold the mask in place on the front. This is an excellent idea and very easy solution that anyone can implement.

Below is the original post, to skip this you can go directly to post 36 where the laminate discussions really start.
____________________________________________________________ _
I posted this information in the Polywall thread too, but that thread is so big it may be hard to find in there.

I spoke to Parkland Plastics, and they stopped making their sheets in anything over 48" widths. That really puts a bind on screens larger than that size. My projected image is 54x96, 52x92 would be okay too but I didn't want to go smaller than that.

I have a temporary screen up on my wall, but it is lathe and plaster and not what I want for my permanent screen. For those that have larger screens, what are you using? I would prefer a light weight plastic if that is possible rather than fabric.

What are others out there using?
____________________________________________________________ __

Index and Highlights

Laminate Manufactures and Color Tests
Unless otherwise stated, here is the equipment used for the tests and color analysis
Equipment used for data testing
Matchrite CF58 spectrophotometer
Photo Research 1505D ½° spotmeter
Photo Research 504 photometer
Rube Goldberg goniophotometer
Weston 756 photometer


Wilsonart data
This is the post with the color and gain test data that was done for Wilsonart.

Wilsonart Glossometer data
This was added when people were asking about the various finish types and why the -60 matte finish was chosen.

Color Swatch Comparison
This is a color swatch comparison of the Wilsonart laminates being talked about in this thread. These are strictly for a visual comparison to get a mental idea of what the data values in the previous post actually look like.

Formica Data
This is the data available for Formica laminates. There are no gain tests that have been done yet.
Additional data.

Formica color data

Color Charts and comparisons
This is a set of charts and graphs showing first some common paint colors as compared to commercial screens. There is a brief discussion of commercial screen colors and characteristics.

Laminates from the past
Clarence posted some good links about laminate screens that people have used in the past. Laminates have been around for quite awhile and were not discovered' in this thread. He also has a list of the screens he has used over the years and his rating of their performance.
Clarence's links for other laminate threads and a rating of various screens.

Additional Testing
Here are some links to some of the testing others have done.
Ericglo's tests
Ericglo ran a couple of rounds of testing comparing samples of various laminates to his screen.
Round One
Round Two

Mech's Fashion Grey tests
Mech is using a Fashion Grey D381-60 screen and has some really nice images and tests that he conducted.

Durability test
This was covered above, but I figured it should be added to the index as well.

Price
Here is one site that can give a general idea of typical prices. Everyplace I have checked it was $1.60 a square foot. Home Depot adds a $15 handling fee for laminate sheets. Some Wilsonart distributors do not have this extra fee so it is worth shopping around. The cheapest anyone has found it was in Maryland. Delivery time seems to very from one Home Depot to another, but typically it is two weeks tops. Most get their delivery every Thursday, so as long as you have your order placed Monday morning it should be in the following Thursday. Again this could vary from store to store.

Wilsonart is also carried in all Lowes home centers, and there is a store finder on the Wilsonart website.

Constructing: Building the screen and what to buy
Quote:
Originally Posted by davedeal View Post

Also check into vertical grade "VG" as it is much thinner and cost less but still has the same characteristics for our application. Only difference is VG is not rated as high for impact strength.

The first thing to discuss is there are a couple different types of laminates. There is Vertical postforming standard grade laminate which is denoted by the number 335. This is a thinner laminate and used for cabinet sides and not typically used for counter tops. The surface is identical in every way to the thicker countertop laminate. It is lighter and less expensive.
Vertical postforming laminate would be designated like this:
Example will be for Designer White- D354 -60 335
For the regular countertop laminate it would be D354 -60 107. Most of the time if you do not specify which grade you want, you will get the slightly thicker countertop grade general purpose laminate. Both will work just fine.

Update: Verical grade laminate is .7mm thick (0.028) and as such it would work best with a backing or mounted to the wall. If a frame is intended with the laminate attached to the frame then the general purpose grade is stiffer at 1.22mm (0.048) and would not require a backing.

Cutting laminates
Since this is a sheet material there are usually a lot of questions about how to cut it to the desired size.
Posts 376 and 383 show some of the ways it can easily be cut to size.

Mounting and Borders

Border tape and options
There are various options for constructing a black border ranging from velvet wrapped wood, to some interesting border tapes'.

Clarence's found a nice looking velvet ribbon and here are a links to that post.
Here is a direct link to the company he talks about.

Craftech's Border Trim Method

French Cleats
This is one method to mount the screen to the wall and will work for any screen and not just laminates. This was also covered above in the main section.

Professional grade framing
This is a link to some professional grade framing options. These are more expensive, but still cheaper than going to Michael's or any other place that makes custom size frames. These are a little thinner than the 2 ½-3 inch frames most people use, but some people may like this ready made option.

Adhesives
Bud provided some very good information and links in post 701 that deal with different adhesives.

Masking
There are various masking methods throughout the forum, all of which will work with this type of screen. HG57 and Clarence came up with an idea for using Rare Earth Magnets. This could be used for other screens, but they work especially well with the laminates (both the vertical grade and general purpose thicknesses will work) Magnets can be attached to the back of the laminate and then masking panels can be made with additional magnets or metal strips. Since the surface of the laminate is virtually indestructible this works without any damage to the screen. It would still be recommended to wrap any metal strips with a thin cloth to prevent any potential scratching.

Metal Frame
Below are some links to a couple of very nice light weight metal frame options.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&&#post8413918
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&&#post8528306


Peg Board option
This is an overkill method, but will work.

Clarence's Frame option (posts 412-420)
Clarence has some very nice posts on frame and border construction.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=8534224&&#post8534224
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&&#post8536701
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=8537251&&#post8537251


Issues and Hot Spotting Concerns
Mech did some testing for hot spot issues and has some nice posts on that topic.

There was some discussion about the differences between Designer White and Fashion Grey. Below is a post discussing reflective coatings and how the color can change the overall specularity of a screen even though the surface coating remained the same.

Here is a quick primer on screens, hot spotting and other common items. These even pertain to commercial screens.

Screen Shots
Below are links to various posts throughout the thread with screen shots of the various laminates in action.

Clarence's shots with a JVC D-ILA G15

HG57's Pionite 813 Ice in the suede finish
...additional screen shots

MidLife's Formica screen

Puck's HT room

kevphol's Dove Grey screen

Windycitystyle's Dwsigner White screen (Posts starting at 954)

Mech's Fashion Grey screen
Round Two
Round Three

Skyjunkie's DW screen

Roll Call
A Roll Call' was done for people to answer up with what laminate they are using and what their opinion and impressions are.

Laminate Screen Showcase
This thread was created specifically for people to show their screens and Home Theater setups while the testting and tech talk remains in here. It is definitely worth checking out.

Accessories
Remote blinds and curtain systems

"Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein
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post #2 of 2849 Old 08-07-2006, 03:56 PM
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I have the same problem - I'll be soon constructing a 54"x96" screen, and I haven't been able to find places that carry substrate materials bigger than this... I'm considering going with a BFLF type screen design on an acrylic substrate, and I haven't found anywhere that offers a substrate of that size.

Just a little bump for the cause.
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post #3 of 2849 Old 08-07-2006, 07:58 PM
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This comes up all the time. I painted 1/2" MDF for my screen. I ordered a 5'X8' sheet from my local lumberyard, and they cut it for me also. Before you say it's too heavy, it's also available in 1/4" thickness.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McC View Post

This comes up all the time. I painted 1/2" MDF for my screen. I ordered a 5'X8' sheet from my local lumberyard, and they cut it for me also. Before you say it's too heavy, it's also available in 1/4" thickness.


I already checked with the main lumber store in my area (Curtis Lumber) and they didn't carry it and said it wasn't something they would order. I guess it's worth seeing if there are any other lumber stores/yards in my area.

"Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein
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post #5 of 2849 Old 08-08-2006, 12:38 AM
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Another source is a specialty plywood/paneling store. Check the Yellow Pages under Plywood or Paneling.
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If you properly brace the back of it you can butt together 4' x 8' sheet material provided it is over 1/4" in thickness. Then if you plan to paint it, ordinary wood filler and some sandpaper will hide the seam.

John
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiddler View Post

craftech,

I was thinking about this the other day and wondered if the idea in the scetch would work?

I've used polyfiller to fill joints in MDF before. So far it has not cracked. The other technique that might be better would be a saw dust and wood glue mix to make filler. Of course you would need a large flat area to work on this. What do you think?

Elmer's Carpenter's Wood Filler works just fine. I use it a lot. It holds up very well and is easy to work with and cheap. You probably don't need to make a V- shaped fillet. Fill the seam and slightly feather the edges. Once you prime and paint it it will disappear. You can also screw through the material into the brace provided you recess the screws slightly and fill them with the same stuff.

The problem is, as you say, the large surface area to work on. For most people that would be a floor, and even then it will probably be in the way of something as you work on it not to mention the mess.

John
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go to your local plastics distributor and ask them for Sintra, Komatex, Komacel, or Celtec.
they are all different names/brands that refer to rigid, expanded pvc.

rigid, flexible, light weight and easy to work with. it will not warp or curl like gatorboard can do.
you can hang it freely or attach it to a frame.

it comes in sizes up to 144" x 100".

i recently purchased a 5' x 8' sheet of white sintra for a measly $27.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pb_maxxx View Post

go to your local plastics distributor and ask them for Sintra, Komatex, Komacel, or Celtec.
they are all different names/brands that refer to rigid, expanded pvc.

rigid, flexible, light weight and easy to work with. it will not warp or curl like gatorboard can do.
you can hang it freely or attach it to a frame.

it comes in sizes up to 144" x 100".

i recently purchased a 5' x 8' sheet of white sintra for a measly $27.

I'm still looking but so far it doesn't look like anyone around the Albany, NY area handles any of it...

"Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein
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post #10 of 2849 Old 08-08-2006, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
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I am batting a negative 1000... you'd figure with the GE headquarters located right in my local area there would be a way to buy something from GE Plastics.

I called GE Plastics, and they sent me to Polymershapes, a subdivision of GE Plastics. The guy there was less than helpful, although I admit was unprepared for his questions. I explained what I needed and what it would be used for, and he said without a product name or SKU # there was no way he could look up any information. Even if he could, he said it was unlikely I would be able to order just one sheet, and there was nobody local to me, so shipping for an 8x10 sheet would be at least $150. He pretty much ended the call at that point. I got the feeling since I wasn't a company placing an order he felt I was wasting his time.

It's a shame, because this is the route I wanted to go for my next screen (interim until I can get proficient enough to attempt a Light Fusion screen) It looks like to get either a plain white 8x10 plastic sheet or acrylic mirror in my area will be in the $300-400 range minimum. Shipping is the killer, but also any prices I found for just one sheet were up there too.

I haven't had any luck on finding a lumber yard that would order 1/4 inch MDF in the size I want either. I've called every company I can think of, and then a few just to see... nothing.

I have two ideas that are borderline crazy, one I know will work but won't let me build a masking system that retracts behind the screen, so essentially for what I want it really won't work. The other mentally looks like it might work, but there will be a lot of prepwork involved... Sometimes I really hate NY!

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Doesn't everyone hate New York?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McC View Post

Doesn't everyone hate New York?

Not being a native of NY, I know I don't like it. Everything costs more here and I see no reason it should. The other thing is when you say New York everyone automatically thinks the city. We live in a small country town 3-4 hours from the city.

As far as something to use, I'll keep looking around. If I still find nothing I'll resort to trying my nutball idea, at worse all I will be out will be around $40 if it doesn't work.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pb_maxxx View Post

go to your local plastics distributor and ask them for Sintra, Komatex, Komacel, or Celtec.
they are all different names/brands that refer to rigid, expanded pvc.

rigid, flexible, light weight and easy to work with. it will not warp or curl like gatorboard can do.
you can hang it freely or attach it to a frame.

it comes in sizes up to 144" x 100".

i recently purchased a 5' x 8' sheet of white sintra for a measly $27.

Damn, I was going to say Wilsonart for a $1 a sq/ft but you win.

Ericglo

My new favorite game is Save The Titanic

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pb_maxxx View Post

go to your local plastics distributor and ask them for Sintra, Komatex, Komacel, or Celtec.
they are all different names/brands that refer to rigid, expanded pvc.

rigid, flexible, light weight and easy to work with. it will not warp or curl like gatorboard can do.
you can hang it freely or attach it to a frame.

it comes in sizes up to 144" x 100".

i recently purchased a 5' x 8' sheet of white sintra for a measly $27.

After several calls around Kansas City this afternoon, I found a place that had it in stock. I didn't catch the brand name but 3mm expanded PVC, white, 5x10'. They also have two sheets of the 6mm.

The price is much higher - $47.23 for the 3mm and $93 for the 6mm, but still reasonable I guess.

Now, how to get it home!
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post #15 of 2849 Old 08-09-2006, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l8apex32 View Post

After several calls around Kansas City this afternoon, I found a place that had it in stock. I didn't catch the brand name but 3mm expanded PVC, white, 5x10'. They also have two sheets of the 6mm.

The price is much higher - $47.23 for the 3mm and $93 for the 6mm, but still reasonable I guess.

Now, how to get it home!

As far as the price... it's a GREAT price if that's the only one around, I mean think about how much it would if you had to pay for shipping!

"Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein
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post #16 of 2849 Old 08-14-2006, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Well I found a place that sells Celtec, not as cheap as what other's on here are getting it for, a 4x8 sheet will run me $85 for a 3mm thickness, a 6mm thickness will be $165. They possibly can get me a 5x10 sheet as well but they aren't sure, but if they can the price will be significantly higher.

They also have acrylic mirrors for $97 for a 4x8 sheet 8mm thick, 6mm jumps to almost $200. They will ship too for $60, but I would probably just go pick it up.

Still though... no 5x10 material. This is getting discouraging. I really want to go this route and would love to see a LF screen in person, but I also don't want to reduce my screen size if I don't have to. God I hate saying this, but that electric tab tensioned high contrast gray screen with dual remotes for $575 is starting to look better and better.

If I could get substrate in the size I need so I don't have to make my screen smaller I am all for DIY, but I don't want to sacrifice the size. Granted, LF may more than make up for giving up a slightly bigger screen. I'd be dropping from a 110" diagonal screen to a 98" diagonal screen. Sounds kinda trivial I know, but dropping from a 54x96 screen to a 48x85 screen is a 1,104 square inch viewing difference... Just to put that in perspective, that's bigger than the viewing area on my Toshiba 36inch TV.

That's a hard sale now isn't it?

Below is all done tongue in cheek and meant for fun...
____________________________________________________________ ____

Imagine this pitch
Salesperson "Sir I'm sorry we don't have a screen in the size you want you'll have to settle for this one, it's smaller but much better... however I can't let you see it in person."

Reply "Why is it better?"

Salesperson "Because... I told you it was better just now."

Reply "Well what about those screens over there that are the right size?"

Salesperson "You don't want THOSE... that's a remote tab tensioned screen and not worth the money. Besides you can't see those in person either. Nyyaah..."

Reply "But I really like my 110" image and don't even know what the other one would look like or if I could even make it... $100 for the sheet, paint, sprayer, trim, velvet... gee that's starting to add up... how much was that screen again?"

Salesperson "$575 for the tab tension screen, and $245 for the fixed frame screen, but you really don't want those. Besides, I won't let you see those either unless you buy them, but I suggest you stay away from them."

Reply "Why?"

Saleperson "Well... it's a mfg screen that's why. Just settle for the smaller screen and you'll be happy... trust me... you'll like paint much better anyway"

Reply "Because it's cheaper or because it's better?"

Salesperson "Maybe"

Reply "Maybe what? Better or cheaper?"

Salesperson "Well you won't know now will you?! Nyyahh..."

Reply "I already have a DIY screen made with Behr Silver Screen, I just want to make a permanant screen that's better."

Salesperson "You used Silver Screen?"

Reply "Yeah, is there something wrong with it?"

Salesperson "It sucks."

Reply "No it doesn't."

Salesperson "Yes it does."

Reply "Okay WHY?"

Salesperson "Because I said so. You should have used a different mix. Don't you read?"

Reply "But lots of people have used Silver Screen and love it."

Salesperson "Yeah and 'lots of people' suck too! Like you for not using the right one."

Reply "Okay, so what mix should I use?"

Salesperson "Depends."

Reply "Depends on what?"

Salesperson "Depends on if you want your screen to suck or not."

Reply "Okay now you're just talking in circles... what is the best mix?"

Salesperson "I can't tell you that."

Reply "And why not?"

Salesperson "Because you have to decide that on your own. Besides, mixes change every week, so whatever you use now will suck next week anyway."

Reply "Now you're just making things up."

Salesperson "No I'm not. May I suggest crayons for your screen? I hear they are very popular with preschoolers."

Reply "Why does this have to be so frustrating?"

Salesperson "I don't know, you tell me. You're the one that wants your stupid silly 110" screen... now be off."

Reply "But I just want a piece of 5x10 plastic to make a screen."

Salesperson "I said you can't have one. Take the 4x8 and be gone!"

Reply "Okay I want the tab tension screen over there."

Salesperson "Can't have it."

Reply "Okay okay... I want the 4x8 acrylic mirror, a sprayer, some molding, velvet, paint, miscellaneous hardware to put the frame together and mount everything, how much will that be?"

Salesperson "Um... hmmm... mirror $97, decent sprayer, say, oh $80-90, wood for a frame $15 or so, paint, $30-40 if you don't screw it up little man and need more... or god forbid you have to practice, you stupid annoying person... now where was I... okay... that will be $237. Oh, I forgot the velvet and sales tax... wait for me to readjust that... Sir that will be $5,387,932.41... just kidding... That comes to $275 give or take a little."

Reply "WHAT?! Okay give me the fixed frame screen for $245."

Salesperson "NO"

News Headline: Breaking news... DIYer stuffs projector screen up salesman's behind... details at eleven!"

"Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein
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post #17 of 2849 Old 08-14-2006, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l8apex32 View Post

After several calls around Kansas City this afternoon, I found a place that had it in stock. I didn't catch the brand name but 3mm expanded PVC, white, 5x10'. They also have two sheets of the 6mm.

The price is much higher - $47.23 for the 3mm and $93 for the 6mm, but still reasonable I guess.

Now, how to get it home!

l8apex32

Please let me know where it was that you found this in KC, and let us know how you like it as a screen when you hang it.
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post #18 of 2849 Old 08-14-2006, 07:24 PM
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wbassett,
If you are in Albany, then why don't you drive down to NY city. I am sure you can get anything there. If not, then look up Wilsonart laminate. Just going to their webpage, I found a distributor in Albany.

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post #19 of 2849 Old 08-14-2006, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ericglo View Post

wbassett,
If you are in Albany, then why don't you drive down to NY city. I am sure you can get anything there. If not, then look up Wilsonart laminate. Just going to their webpage, I found a distributor in Albany.

Ericglo

Thanks for directing me to Wilsonart laminate, I'm checking them out now. All hope isn't lost!

As far as NYC goes... that's over 3 1/2 hours one way for me, takes $45 or more to fill my truck, so there's $90 in gas right there... plus I've been to NYC and would NEVER drive down there! Those people are crazy!

"Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein
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post #20 of 2849 Old 08-14-2006, 08:27 PM
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In case anyone is wondering, I bought mine from the local Wilsonart store in Miami. It was I think $1 sq/ft. I went to the store and picked out the pattern I wanted (green marble) for my flexy rack. They sent me to the dock where they had rolled it up into about a foot wide by four foot long tube. I have a van, but it could have easily been thrown in the trunk or backseat of a car. It weighs about two pounds. I used my computer last year to measure some of their samples. The results can be found somewhere around here. One nice thing is that you can curve it horizontaly.

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post #21 of 2849 Old 08-15-2006, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Well the local Wilsonart laminate dealer said they don't have anything in the 5x10 size and couldn't help me, so they refered me to a company called Terminal Millwork. I called them and they said they don't carry anything that size and the owner won't order anything for a single purchase. I also called the Wilsonart distributor for the Albany area and the guy said right off the bat they don't sell to anyone but companies and hung up. This is getting to be insane!

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post #22 of 2849 Old 08-15-2006, 02:35 PM
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You might try Home Depot. They sell it, but don't always have it in stock. This is how I found out about the Wilsonart store. I ordered my laminate from HD and they told me it would be in about a week. Two weeks and I never received it. They said it was still on order. So, I called Wilsonart to ask how long it takes to get the stuff. They laughed after I told them the story and said it is in stock. An hour later and I had my laminate and at a cheaper price.

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post #23 of 2849 Old 08-15-2006, 02:42 PM - Thread Starter
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I can try them again, but trust me, I have been to every HD, Lowes and Curtis Lumber in my area... multiple times.

I haven't given up yet. I did find that one company that is an hour away so that will probably be the route I go.

"Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein
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post #24 of 2849 Old 08-15-2006, 02:43 PM
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Did you ask Home Depot for special order? IIRC, it costs $15 extra but they can get the larger sizes with no minimum.

Wilsonart has sheets up to 5'x12' (60"x144")
http://www.wilsonart.com/productlib/...e/Basiclam.pdf
http://www.wilsonart.com/design/technical/techdata.asp

We played with laminates a few years ago. From the archives...
http://archive.avsforum.com/avs-vb/s...17#post3659217
http://archive.avsforum.com/avs-vb/s...18#post3576018
http://archive.avsforum.com/avs-vb/s...02#post2979302
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post #25 of 2849 Old 08-15-2006, 03:54 PM
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Here was my test of samples.

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post #26 of 2849 Old 08-15-2006, 08:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarence View Post

Did you ask Home Depot for special order? IIRC, it costs $15 extra but they can get the larger sizes with no minimum.

Wilsonart has sheets up to 5'x12' (60"x144")
http://www.wilsonart.com/productlib/...e/Basiclam.pdf
http://www.wilsonart.com/design/technical/techdata.asp

We played with laminates a few years ago. From the archives...
http://archive.avsforum.com/avs-vb/s...17#post3659217
http://archive.avsforum.com/avs-vb/s...18#post3576018
http://archive.avsforum.com/avs-vb/s...02#post2979302

Yeah I asked them. They all say the same thing up here, they don't special order something that size for just one sheet. Personally I think they just don't want to do the extra work because nobody has really checked their computers or called and asked a manager or anything.

I'll go with laminate if that is all I can get, I really wanted something 1/8inch... 1/4 inch would be better but that would be impossible to find up here.

The temp screen is working just fine but I want something more permanant that I can frame and build a masking system for.

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post #27 of 2849 Old 08-15-2006, 08:49 PM - Thread Starter
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I think I will give it one last try at Lowes in Saratoga. It's an hour away but it's the newest and biggest in the area. I'll find a manager and tell them people have gotten special orders from Lowes and Homedepot in other states.

One thing I found when I moved to NY is this is not like other states. Everything is more expensive, sometimes double... if they will even bother to try and get it for you. It's all about money, and selling a single sheet special ordered seems to be too much work for people up here for too little profit so they don't even make an attempt. Like I said in other posts, I've had people literally hang up on me as soon as I said I wasn't placing a business order. Others just say all they have is something in 4x8 and tell me that's all I'll find (hence my poor attempt at finding humor about rude sales people and all the ever changing mixes)

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post #28 of 2849 Old 08-16-2006, 07:46 AM
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OK, this is my last post on this. First, a casual google search brought up this company. Yes, it is $100. Second, why don't you call or email Wilsonart corporate? I am sure they would be able to help.

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post #29 of 2849 Old 08-16-2006, 08:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ericglo View Post

a casual google search brought up this company.

Great link, Eric.

No minimum order qty. They even have a shipping calculator. (Shipping for 5x10 from Miami to VA (1000 miles) is $30.)

15% discount for 2+, so if you find a local friend, the 15% discount effectively makes shipping free.

They also stock the 5x12 for only a few bucks more, but to get 16:9 aspect ratio, you only need 106.7" wide, so the 5'x10' sheet is sufficient (120").

I might try it for giggles. Especially since kineto_hound was so enthusiastic...
http://archive2.avsforum.com/avs-vb/...&&#post5419869

Kineto isn't around any more, but I'll ask MP if he recalls any hotspotting or reflective glare.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kineto_hound View Post

I have a 108x61 inch Bright White Wilsonart Formica screen and it's simply fantastic.

...I tried Parkland, but just didn't like it.

Then, I got some Formica, and LOVED IT.

In fact, Mike Parker, the Guru who did the mods on my Marquee 8500, when he was visiting saw the screen and went "WOW!".

There's really no hotspotting to speak of, it's totally flat, it's easy to mount, you can cut it with a pair of sheers, and it's about 1/16th of an inch thick, so mounting black casement trim around the oustide is pretty freaking simple.

Since I went this route, I've tried some mixes, but in terms of sharpness, this one beats all.

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post #30 of 2849 Old 08-16-2006, 10:25 AM
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OK, maybe one more post.

I just called the local Wilsonart store. They have White (after looking at it some more I think it may be the best) in both a thin and heavy laminate. The price for each is $1.13 and a $1.40 respectively. They only have the thin in 4x8 and 5x12. I bought the thin for my flexy rack and she said the thin would probably be good for a pj screen. If you have samples, she said the samples are of the heavy laminate. I did not ask if they ship, but you can call them at 305-477-8121. If not, then I may be able to go out and pick some up and ship it. I assumed that there were Wilsonart stores across the U.S., I guess not.

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