DIY Curved Screen with structural extruded aluminum metal framing - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 123 Old 05-15-2008, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Update as of 12-15-08.
This screen is "done", here are 4 complete pictures:

Updated 3-22-09:
Finally made manual masking panels to view 16:9 material, link here, pict added below
Manual masking panel for 2.35:1 screen for 16:9 viewing

This link should take you to the
Lessons Learned/Things Done Right/Things Done Wrong/What to do next time post.
Includes:
-Itemized BOM and budget summary
-Alternate ways to build this, what I'd do
-Calculations used so anyone could do this easily



"I am the Kung Fu Panda, Ska-doosh!"


One of my favorite shots from Cars:


Manual masks in place for 16:9 viewing:






Below text is from original 1st post, un-edited.

I mentioned in “Talontsi96” build thread Birth of a DIY Curved Screen (AT Grey) that I was going to use his (and others) curved DIY screen framing methods as a basis for my “R&D project” of making one with structural extruded aluminum metal framing.
Well, a few weeks have gone by and here is status:

My work uses this structural extruded aluminum metal framing for many testing fixtures; I’ve always thought it would also make a good screen frame material.
Sorta like a tinker-toy approach, std fasteners can be used, should make it easy for others who want alternative to a wood frame for whatever their reason. You can cut this stuff with carbide saw blade, easy workability.
No welding.
Now, with my HT project is the time to actually do something.

After speaking to the test technicians and the guy who designs their test jigs, he pointed me to their website,http://www13.boschrexroth-us.com/framing_shop/ .

You've might have seen this stuff in manufacturing workcells or test labs, etc:


Neat stuff, easy to order, lots of choices - too many if just looking at the catalog.
http://www13.boschrexroth-us.com/Fra...category=10101

Our work uses the larger sizes for jigs and test fixtures, 40mmx40mm and larger, however I felt 20mmx20mm should suffice for a static loaded DIY 2.37:1 curved screen frame.
This was also based on a meeting I had with their sales rep, nice guy, he informed me many of the large commercial screens use their stuff.

Here is x-section image from website:


Basic image is the frame itself will be solid/rigid foundation, then I will attach 1 x 4 pine board and put the correct curve per AussieBob’s calc sheet.

Sounds simple - I expect roadblocks but that's part of the journey.

My goal is DIY 128" diag curved 2.37:1 screen, with DW laminate as the screen material, due to young kids. When the kids are older, I'll use the frame as base for AT screen with speakers behind.

I calculated the metal framing portion weight to be just under 11lbs., that's about what the pieces/fasteners I have weigh.
Additional weight from using 1 x 4 pine boards and the DW laminate will be added.

I have the material at home, next weekend (Memorial weekend) this is my DIY project.
Stay tuned.
I'll post picts as this project matures.

I've seen other people here using sq alum tubing, but never this extruded structural alum stuff, if others have done this before post that link, I could not find any.
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post #2 of 123 Old 05-15-2008, 10:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Here is basic layout from CAD system:
(not showing the 1 x 4 wood for curve portion)


The framing is secured with these 20 x 40 corner gussets:
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post #3 of 123 Old 05-15-2008, 11:08 AM
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Subscribed...

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post #4 of 123 Old 05-15-2008, 12:43 PM
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Very nice... Good luck with the project and take lots of photos....
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post #5 of 123 Old 05-15-2008, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talontsi96 View Post

Very nice... Good luck with the project and take lots of photos....

Thx, you know how it is, once you "go public" you better deliver or you will get LOGANED!! Ha.

Seriously, this should be fun, and soon it will hang here:
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post #6 of 123 Old 05-15-2008, 01:29 PM
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Another company that supplies aluminum extrusions is 80/20 www.8020.net; I've used their extrusions for woodworking jigs/fences. They also have a clearance store on ebay too.
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post #7 of 123 Old 05-21-2008, 06:56 AM
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Mike, I am using this bosch extruded aluminum for my 2.35 diy frame. I like your plan to make it curved. also, i found it easy to tuck the screen material into the grooves.

Itai

Did I mention we are flat to 11?
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post #8 of 123 Old 05-22-2008, 06:16 PM
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Do you have the ability to curve these at your job? If so, can you say or describe what it is and how it's done. Thanks.
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post #9 of 123 Old 05-23-2008, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
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My original post stated (I know tmi):
Quote:


Basic image is the frame itself will be solid/rigid foundation, then I will attach 1 x 4 pine board and put the correct curve per AussieBob's calc sheet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oman321 View Post

Do you have the ability to curve these at your job? If so, can you say or describe what it is and how it's done. Thanks.


Well, that could be done with the right equipment, modified tube bender, and some R&D/trial and error, I've been to some of our OE supplier's and am amazed what those tube bendes can do, trial and error than you program the routine in, very repeatable.

But honestly I'm gonna make a big/rigid "picture frame", then attach some easily/flexible wood for the actual curve. Wood being easy to screw the DW laminate to and curve. The wood will touch at midpoint and be the correct chord depth at the end, and naturally curve in-between. Should be close enough to the correct radius, I'll do some trig and confirm.

One goal is to keep this as DIY as possible for "average Joe" who does not have access to equipment that I do. The structural framing/corners/fasteners can be ordered online, rest of stuff HD/Lowes is my goal.

I expect the rigidity of the 20mm x 20mm frame to be magnitude stronger than the wood, so it will basically stay flat, but honestly until I try it I can't be 100% sure, unless I want to do some Engineering 501 with FEA/etc, and that's too much for me. If the 20mm x 20mm is not enough, then I'll try some countermeasure first before giving up on 20mm x 20mm and moving up to 30mm x 30mm. We have 30mm x 30mm at work, a 12 foot piece, and let me tell you that stuff is rigid! (and 40mm x 40mm, and bigger).
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post #10 of 123 Old 05-23-2008, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cubesys View Post

Mike, I am using this bosch extruded aluminum for my 2.35 diy frame. I like your plan to make it curved. also, i found it easy to tuck the screen material into the grooves.

Itai - honestly at my visit to your home in January I totally missed that - was looking at other aspects of your HT room in my 1 1/2 hour visit, cool, is there some thread(s) I can read in your build thread?

Mine is not AT material like yours (you know that already), but possible will be in 4-5 years.

The online price was not bad at all - around $100 for the materials I have, thru my work account I get extra 15% discount, I'll post the online shopping basket here later for all to see.
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post #11 of 123 Old 05-23-2008, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
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I "lied", sorry:
Quote:


I have the material at home, next weekend (Memorial weekend) this is my DIY project.

This Memorial weekend I'm putting drop ceiling in 16 x 32 rec/play room that is next to the HT room, so Lowes can then install carpeting/vinyl and the major portion of the basement finally done except the HT room.
Then next weekend (5/31) I'm hopefully finishing my IB sub project, so this is delayed 2 weeks until 6/7-ish, as long as no other distractions happen.

Excuses, excuses.....The LOGANIATOR would be proud of my progress though.

Happy Memorial weekend guys.
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post #12 of 123 Old 05-24-2008, 07:29 AM
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I don't have a thread with explanations, but I do have pictures online. If you need an explanation or if you want to stop by again, let me know. I learned a few tricks to get the screen material fixed to the tubular frame.

the price is a joke if you get the bosch stuff, other brands are insanely expensive.

look toward the bottom and you will see the frame getting wrapped and installed.

http://picasaweb.google.com/itaibengal/BasementBuild

Itai

Did I mention we are flat to 11?
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post #13 of 123 Old 05-25-2008, 02:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cubesys View Post

I don't have a thread with explanations, but I do have pictures online. If you need an explanation or if you want to stop by again, let me know. I learned a few tricks to get the screen material fixed to the tubular frame.

the price is a joke if you get the bosch stuff, other brands are insanely expensive.

look toward the bottom and you will see the frame getting wrapped and installed.

http://picasaweb.google.com/itaibengal/BasementBuild

I also expected the Bosch stuff to be really more expensive than it is, that's the effect of getting it from the people who make it, no 2nd/3rd person mark-ups.

Did you use 20mm x 20mm or 30mm x 30mm?
I'd guess 20mm x 20mm, hard to judge from this pict.
Visually comparing your frame to the wood 2 x 4's in your below pict (1 1/2 thick), appears you did use 20mm x 20mm?
My main reason with using 20mm x 20mm is trying to be as light and least expensive as baseline.
Then, if need be upgrade to the 30mm x 30mm.



Others, check out Itai's picasa link, he did a really neat AT screen that flips open for access to speakers.
Itai, you did explain your screen "flipping up garage door method" to me, I remember that now. Very ingenious, sweet!
Below picts from Itai's build.


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post #14 of 123 Old 05-25-2008, 07:45 PM
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Itai - I would love to see more info on your flip up method. Materials? Lessons learned?

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post #15 of 123 Old 05-25-2008, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cubesys View Post

I don't have a thread with explanations, but I do have pictures online. If you need an explanation or if you want to stop by again, let me know. I learned a few tricks to get the screen material fixed to the tubular frame.

the price is a joke if you get the bosch stuff, other brands are insanely expensive.

look toward the bottom and you will see the frame getting wrapped and installed.

http://picasaweb.google.com/itaibeng...entBuild<br />

How did you attach the fabric to your AL frame ?
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post #16 of 123 Old 05-26-2008, 02:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDGTX View Post

How did you attach the fabric to your AL frame ?

I believe Itai used a wood dowel rod "press fitted" into the grove of the extruded x-section.

You can see from his picts below.






Regarding Pivoting method:
Appears the smaller piece(s) of AL on each side attached provide pivot mounting locations for securing into main wood surround frame.
Itai will have to provide specific details.
Without seeing it though I can imagine say 3/8 x3" bolt going thru both and acting as pivot point. Remember, the Alum is so lightweight, probably under 16lbs total for the screen, not an issue.
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post #17 of 123 Old 05-29-2008, 07:55 AM
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a few words about the pivot. first let me explain that my access to the back is narrow, about 1.5 feet wide. for me its a non issuem, but this space does not allow easy access to replace speakers. Also, my subs would never fit through this opening.

1. I connected an additional piece of aluminum tubing to the back of the frame about 6 inches long.
2. I drilled a hole in the metal and into the wood screen wall and inserted a smooth metal sleeve with a nice tight fit into the holes. this creates a smooth surface for the threaded rod and will not wear the wood.
3. cut metal threaded rod to size and inserted between frame and screen wall using lock nuts on both sides as well as washers for spacing.
4. there are 8 brackets connecting the screen frame to the wood opening. these must be undone first to open the screen. this allows for the screen to return in the the exact position.

If you need pics I can take a few as well. Lessons learned, this is an often overlooked part of the build, easy access to remove or replace parts. I am very happy with how it turned out and was cheap and simple. all materials except for the aluminum tubing came from HD.

Screen frame - in the pics you can see I used a dowel that created a nice snug fit (with the help of a rubber mallet) to secure the smx to the frame. I also folded the corners and used metal screws (with pilot holes of course) to secure the corners.

Itai

Did I mention we are flat to 11?
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post #18 of 123 Old 05-29-2008, 08:34 AM
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Thanks Mike! Thanks Itai! I'd love to see some pics of the 8 brackets that connect the frame to the opening. I'm doing a "floating" screen in my living room. At first I was thinking about using drawer slides to pull out the screen. But your flip up method is a much better solution.

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post #19 of 123 Old 05-29-2008, 09:43 AM
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the eight brackets are simple L brackets. I assume they are made of either steel or aluminum found at any hardware store. In my case I used 1"x1" brackets with two holes on both sides of the bracket to eliminate any rotation.

my entire screen wall is covered in black GOM. I put this up after the screen was in place. it made it easy to make sure there were no clearance issues.

If you need pics let me know.

Itai

Did I mention we are flat to 11?
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post #20 of 123 Old 06-02-2008, 10:47 AM - Thread Starter
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I went to Itai's home last week to check out his DIY AT screen project.
He used 30mm x 30mm, not 20mm x 20mm, so it will be interesting to see if my 20mm x 20mm I have at home already is stiff enough.

Took some picts of his screen pivot method, this one below is looking from the rear of the screen, it is the RH side (viewed from front side) pivot bolt.


Here is crude sketch of Itai's DIY screen.
Remember, he has a "fake wall", and this DIY screen is surrounded by that wall and attached to it both at the pivot point and the 4 "L" brackets, which I show as red box in my sketch.
(Itai, I thought I saw 4 L brackets used as securing, plus with the two pivot points, I don't remember seeing 8 L brackets securing your screen to the wood surrounding it, you can clarify if need be)
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post #21 of 123 Old 06-02-2008, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Budget info for the Bosch Rexroth framing material posted:

Here are picts of 2 shopping carts, first one is what I have in my basement, 20mm x 20mm profile, 3000mm (118") is max length for that, I am making my screen a 2.37:1 on the inside edge of the frame, so I ordered (5) pieces of 1245mm long (49"), this will give me approx 126" diag screen, plenty big enough for me.
With tax (6% in Mich), $173.42 pick-up at their Madison Heights location



This second cart is same screen geometry as 1st, profile is 30mm x 30mm, this is what Itai used. His screen is slightly bigger than mine....
With tax, $231.43 pick-up at their Madison Heights location.


You only save a few$'s if you order longer material and cut yourself, so I figured for the convience why not have them cut to size?

So, the 30mm x 30mm is $60 more than the 20mm x 20mm, I went with 3 inside supports, that may be over-engineered and most likely you could get by with just 2 inside supports, which if you have AT screen and center speaker obviously you don't want a frame member in front of the center speaker, i.e. Itai's design.

I also went with the "big" corner gussetts at all 10 locations, 2 bolts/side, to make the frame very rigid in-plane.

Itai used the "big" 2 bolt gusset at the (4) outside corners, while using a single bolt gusset for the (2) inside frame members of his design.


That works fine for his situation, because I will be warping wood for the curve I wanted a little more margin for the frame rigidity.

Bosch originally shipped my order with (10) single bolt gussette, and when I put that together the did not hold so well for the in-plane rigidity/torsion flex.
Swapped with them for the double bolt gussetts.


Updated timeline:
Looks like June 21 weekend is when this DIY screen project will be done, based on work travel and family weekend obligations ....
(you know, the married with children thing)

So, I have the frame material, the DW laminate, I've been exploring wood options @ HD/Lowes for the curved piece and will post my thoughts here prior to 6/21 to pick others brains.

So far, I've spent $170 frame + $120 DW laminate, round that to $300.
I figure another $50-60 total for wood/screws, and black border material.
Plus, I'll be using 3/8 "super magnetics" for my manual 16:9 masks, I'll have to add that cost as well. So looking around $375 for the total project, we'll see how close that is when done.
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post #22 of 123 Old 06-03-2008, 06:00 AM
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Thanks for the info Mike. You're doing a great job of documenting your build.

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post #23 of 123 Old 06-30-2008, 06:07 PM - Thread Starter
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It's been a while since progress/posting.
As noted elsewhere in this forum, here in SE Michigan area we had bad storms weekend of 6/8 and we lost power for 7+ days, 6/8-6/15. That put me a few weeks behind schedule.

Below is quick run-through of frame assembly, so far I've not tackled the curve portion, that is 2 weeks away still.

Materials:




Sub assemble the corner gussets:
(4 fasteners/gusset, here only 3 shown)


I drilled (5) holes in the top and bottom member for Allen wrench tightening of end screws in the 5 vertical members.


Slid each member to it's position, just slightly tightened the end screw, attach corner gusset, slowly tighten "T", mostly it self-aligns and locks in place.


Once or twice I was not sure it locked correctly, so I used a finish nail to "hold" it while initially tightening it, that worked and ensured 100% correct alignment:


Here is a 126" diag 2.37:1 very rigid/strong lightweight frame.
This will become the backbone for the curved wood portion.
Next time I post I'll have the curve method worked out, I might post some ideas before I tackle it.


By the way, here is my temp "ghetto mount" of my Panamorph U380, seeing scope for 1st time was real neat:
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post #24 of 123 Old 07-02-2008, 01:45 PM
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Hey nice work I used the same material accept the 1.5" stuff or my frame some time ago and plan to build a new 10' screen here shortly as the whole room is getting a makeover. I have a supplier local just go down and pickup what I need.

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post #25 of 123 Old 08-11-2008, 08:35 AM
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Lat to this party, but... FYI, if you use the 30x30 profile (much more rigid), they make some groove covers for it that double as a panel slide. Those are strong enough to "snap" into the grooves and bind a piece of blackout material. I have a test 2.35 screen I made with it for evaluating pincushion on anamorphics. It is free standing. I'll try to take a photo of it.

Scott
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post #26 of 123 Old 08-13-2008, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbdudex View Post

My original post stated (I know tmi):

I expect the rigidity of the 20mm x 20mm frame to be magnitude stronger than the wood, so it will basically stay flat, but honestly until I try it I can't be 100% sure, unless I want to do some Engineering 501 with FEA/etc, and that's too much for me. If the 20mm x 20mm is not enough, then I'll try some countermeasure first before giving up on 20mm x 20mm and moving up to 30mm x 30mm.


Mike... did you find the 20x20mm strong enough? With a smaller screen (101" diag, 93" width) could I go with the 30x30mm and not use the vertical bracing?

Ron
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post #27 of 123 Old 08-13-2008, 03:26 PM
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Great thread guys !

From what I have read both "mtbdudex" & "Iitai" used Bosch T-slot rails, 20mm & 30mm respectively.

Questions for; "cubesys", Nasty N8" & "GetGray";
What brand of T-slot rails did you use in your builds ? What size frames did you go with & did you use vertical supports ?
How did you attach your screen materials to the rails ?
"Nasty N8" what was your screen fabric ?
You guys have any photos of your builds ?

Did you find it necessary / or good to paint your frames black, before adding screen fabric ?

These questions may have been answered already, but since so many posts were lost, I thought I would ask.

Thanks,
John
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post #28 of 123 Old 08-13-2008, 07:04 PM
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HDGTX/John: Here is the 2.35 screen I tossed together with the Bosch 30x30 for anamorphic lens testing. The strings you see in the photos were special markers I was using, just ignore them. I threw this together in a couple of hours from spare 30x30 stock and a piece of blackout cloth. The material is held firmly in place by the Bosch channel covers (not the skinny/flat ones, but the ones that double as a panel holder). You can see I have it stretched tight. What you can't see is there is a middle vertical member. Also, I just used spare small gussets I had on hand. Using the larger ones give some flexibility to stretch the fabric more if needed. It's no Stewart, but for a screen I could literally draw or write on if I wanted (didn't), it serverd it
purpose fine. This one is free standing on 2 30x30 "legs". I took acloser shot of the corner, too so you can see the covers holding the material.

It would be trivial to add a velvet,etc. covered border using the same small gussets, or leave spaces in the black covers to insert a T-nut along the frame.

You are close enough I might sell it if you wanted to come after it. But I might need it for another test soon first.

Rough picture, In an unfinished area, excuse the mess:





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post #29 of 123 Old 08-13-2008, 10:22 PM
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Hi "GetGray",

Thanks for the great info & the pics, kind of you to take time to post the info & pics. Great looking screen
& frame, what size is it ? When you get ready to sell, PM me. I may not be ready yet, no projector yet. The BOC screen surface looks very tight & straight. Does your center vertical support show thru at all on the screen surface ? I wondered if one should use the smaller size of vertical T-rails (20x20mm in this case) in the center of the frame to avoid them showing thru the fabric (in case the fabric rests against them) ?

Still in planning stage. Looked at a bunch of stuff on Bosh's web site today -- lots of cool stuff. That top T-slot rail would make a great place to hang & slide a mask assembly from. Thanks again.

John
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post #30 of 123 Old 08-14-2008, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDGTX View Post

Hi "GetGray",

Thanks for the great info & the pics, kind of you to take time to post the info & pics. Great looking screen
& frame, what size is it ? When you get ready to sell, PM me. I may not be ready yet, no projector yet. The BOC screen surface looks very tight & straight. Does your center vertical support show thru at all on the screen surface ? I wondered if one should use the smaller size of vertical T-rails (20x20mm in this case) in the center of the frame to avoid them showing thru the fabric (in case the fabric rests against them) ?

Still in planning stage. Looked at a bunch of stuff on Bosh's web site today -- lots of cool stuff. That top T-slot rail would make a great place to hang & slide a mask assembly from. Thanks again.

John

re size, it's whatever the blackout cloth width is, I forget, 54" I think about 10' wide 2.35. Center post does not touch or show. No need to use smaller posts. That span is too long for a 20mm post anyway IMO. yes, the structural profiles are like an adult erector set. Chop saw and a hex key set and you can build a lot of cool stuff. I use it to make my CineSlide mounts (see "options" link at www.cineslide.com). But mine are reanodized black.
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