Originally Posted by wootanga
Looking forward to the "lessons learned" as I'm about to start this, this weekend.
Here's my quick short list of lessons learned -
1. I should have laid out all my masonite panels to make sure they fit together snug before installation. I had most of them cut at Home Depot, and while they were very close to square, I still ended up with some gaps between panels once I got them installed on ceiling. In a couple of spots gaps were 1/2". To fix this I found some black felt tape on Amazon normally used for DIY screen frames. I applied the tape on all the panel seams. While this looks good and fixes my gap problem, I would rather have had the panels fit snug and not use the tape.
2. Following Sandman theater build instructions, I used 3M adhesive spray to tack the GOM fabric to the panels and then stretched the fabric and secured with a ton of staples. If I had it to do over, not sure I would use the adhesive. I think the adhesive made it difficult to stretch the fabric tight. I used at least a 100 staples on each frame, so think that stretching tight with that many staples would work. After having the ceiling installed for a few months, I have noticed a couple of spots where the fabric is sagging a little due to the adhesive not tacking. It's easy enough to press on these sagging spots with my hands and get them to stick back but really think that if I would have been able to stretch the fabric tighter without the adhesive then would have worked better.
3. I used three different sizes of fiber optics to represent small, medium and large stars. Large stars use a 1.5 mm fiber optic strand which makes a bright star ...a little too bright compared to the small and medium stars. When looking straight up at the ceiling, these large stars are overly bright. I have all fiber optics feeding into two lighting units, but need to add a third unit and feed only large stars strands into it so that I can control large star brightness individually.
4. In addition to finish nails, I used Liquid nails to help secure panels to furring strips on ceiling. Some of the Liquid Nails ended up on the edges of the GOM frabric during installation. Don't try and clean it off while wet ...will clean off easily with Goof Off after it dries.
Anyway, there's my shortlist. I'll add to it if I think of more. I have a bunch of in-progress photos as well that I will try and get posted. Honestly, installing the fiber optic ceiling was not a fun part of the theater build. I think I've used the phrase "would not wish it on my worst enemy" to describe the process. However, room looks (and sounds) so much better now that it's done. Good luck!!