The past few days have been pretty productive ones.
I pre-drilled some holes around the 3 outside perimeter edges of the panel using a countersink bit. After it was covered in fabric I cut a little slot in the GOM so it wouldnt bunch up when putting a screw through the hole. I'll run drywall screws through these into 2x2 strips attached to the ceiling. After the screws are in, it looks something like this. I expect them to virtually disappear in a dark room.
The edge that will be in the middle of the room, will have no visible screws. Instead I attached some 2x3s to the panel before covering it with fabric. These will be screwed to the joists. You can see them in the finished panel pic further down this post.
Then it was time to cover the first panel with fabric. I wasnt about to toss a $300 roll of fabric on the dusty floor of my basement, even if i swept it, it would still collect all sorts of dust. So, keeping with the most redneck solution I could come up with I have this:
A couple spare 2x3s screwed to the floor joists above, some shelf brackets turned upside down to hold a rod... thats actually an extension handle for a paint roller
and.. it works great!
I didnt really know how much of the spray adhesive to use, but it seems to have worked ok. I used 3M super 77. I did a test piece too, and I could still pull the fabric off if i really wanted to, but it seems to stick well enough.
I ordered a pneumatic upholstery stapler , but its not here yet. Since I was impatient and wanted to get this thing done, I used my Ryobi electric stapler. It was a real pain. That thing jams up way too much. If your doing a job that requires this many staples. Do yourself a favor and get a pneumatic stapler.
I somehow talked my 8 year old daughter into helping me run the fibers. She was pretty proud to be such a big help on this project. I hope she doesnt change her mind on the next few panels. They will have around twice as many stars as this one! After a couple hours, we had this:
The rectangles in the middle of the panel line up with strips I screwed to the joists. I'll shoot some finishing nails through these to give the middle of the panel some support.
I experimented with hot gluing the first few fibers in place using a 'low temp' hot glue gun. But it proved to be time consuming and difficult to not damage the fibers. For the rest I just put a dot of wood glue on the base of the fiber once they were in place. It was faster, easier, and made it really easy to see with holes had fibers run to them and which didn't. After the fibers were run i taped them in place so they wouldn't move around or get pinched on the mounting strips during installation. Once this was done, the glue seemed to be pointless. I'll probably use the wood glue on the next panels anyway simply to keep track of which holes have fiber easier.
Here were testing it out. The glow of the fiber bundle looked really cool, but it was hard to capture in a picture.
And....... Finally.... the first panel is in place!
Its every bit as awesome as I hoped it would be. But the best part is that my kids actually think that I finally made something cool. When we did the first test of lighting it up, my daughter told me, "Hey dad, that's actually pretty neat." As if she didn't believe me. Ha!