Desert Sunset Theater Build - Page 25 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:12 AM
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I don't have any first hand experience with this, but I know a lot of people just use regular carbide router bits since aluminum is so soft. I think if you're just cutting out the openings with the router, then I'd try to cut out most of it with a jig saw leaving maybe 1/16". Then come back with the router to clean it up. Seems like I've read using a larger bit is a good idea as well to help keep the bit cooler and limit clogging. Unfortunately, that means more cleanup to do at the corners.

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Old 03-13-2012, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stockmonkey2000 View Post

What router bit would be the best for cutting aluminum?

If you use a router for this, please wear eye protection. You might want to wear long sleeves, too. There will be lots and lots of little sharp aluminum chips flying around at high speed. If your router has variable speed, dial it back to the slowest speed. Even so, your router will be running 10X faster than the mill that a machine shop would use to do this work.

My first choice for a router bit for this work would be a solid carbide down-cut spiral bit. They are rather expensive and can be hard to find (easily available on the internet, though). If you want more info about this kind of bit, let me know. You would need to use a guide bushing and a template, as petew suggested.

If you don't use a spiral bit, I would probably suggest a bearing-guided flush trim bit like this:



Link: http://www.amazon.com/Freud-50-102-2...1660562&sr=8-1

This kind of bit with the bearing on top lets you put the template on top of the workpiece -- the router actually rides on top of the template -- which is how I prefer to work with this kind of thing. You would make a template as described by petew, except that you would not need to calculate an offset. Use the template to mark the cutline and, as J_P_A suggests, cut out the bulk of the material using a jig saw.

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Old 03-13-2012, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwightp View Post

If you use a router for this, please wear eye protection. You might want to wear long sleeves, too. There will be lots and lots of little sharp aluminum chips flying around at high speed.

Will definitely wear eye protection. When I cut out the rough plates on the table saw I had short sleeves on and one arm ended up taking the brunt of the shavings. It still looks like I have a rash.
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:45 PM
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I use a solid carbide spiral up cut bit sized the same as your collet. I usually use a 1/4" bit with good results.


With a guide bushing mounted to the router.


Eye protection
Hearing protection
Tight fitting long sleeve tee shirt
Helper with the same safety gear
Have the helper flood the cut with WD-40 (with the straw) to flush and cool.
Fresh air - the WD-40 will smoke.

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Old 03-13-2012, 12:52 PM
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I can't keep the two straight, but does an upcut bit throw the shavings out the bottom? Seems like that would be desired in this situation, right?

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Old 03-13-2012, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post

I can't keep the two straight, but does an upcut bit throw the shavings out the bottom? Seems like that would be desired in this situation, right?

Up-cut throws the chips up, toward the router. Down-cut pushes the chips down, away from the router.

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Old 03-13-2012, 02:21 PM
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Since he's cutting through the metal, would a down-cut help keep the shavings off of him?

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Old 03-13-2012, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post

Since he's cutting through the metal, would a down-cut help keep the shavings off of him?

Yep. Chips will still go everywhere, of course, but a down-cut bit will throw more of them away from the user.

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Old 03-13-2012, 07:54 PM - Thread Starter
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I extended the doorknob so it would fit the thicker door. To extend the knob I cut off an inch or so of the hollow center post. I ground down a steel square rod so that it would fit inside the hollow post. Then I put the hollow post that was cut off on the end.





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Old 03-13-2012, 07:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Since the two halves do not connect together I created a wood plug that would keep the two halves from spinning independently from each other.



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Old 03-14-2012, 05:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stockmonkey2000 View Post

Since the two halves do not connect together I created a wood plug that would keep the two halves from spinning independently from each other.




Holy crap...is that 2 doors sandwhiched together
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Its a solid core door with 2 layers of 1/2 inch MDF. Green Glue between layers.

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Old 03-14-2012, 11:43 AM
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That is a serious door!
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Old 03-14-2012, 01:36 PM
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That is a serious VAULT door!

Sweet, keep it coming.

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Old 03-14-2012, 05:32 PM
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I want to see a pic of you actually picking up that beast of a door and setting it on hinges...or did the drywall lift come in handy again?!

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Old 03-15-2012, 03:48 AM
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Lifting that door and putting on the hinges is going to be fun.

Bud
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Old 03-15-2012, 06:41 AM - Thread Starter
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That's an old picture. The door was installed a long time ago. Hanging the door itself was not that difficult. It was reinforcing the door jamb that was the hardest part. I could not use double drywall near the jamb because the screws would go into the drywall. I replaced the drywall on the hinge side with an inch of wood with a thin 1/4" layer of drywall over it.
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Old 03-15-2012, 07:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stockmonkey2000 View Post

I put the rest of the lights in the columns. I was able to do a little cleaner job this time with the parts I received today. I used the rope light channels to keep things nice and straight and even out the light output.


Stockmonkey, how are your columns wired? It looks like the rope lights are plugged into an outlet. Are they all wired to a switch? Are they dimable?

Thanks!
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Old 03-15-2012, 07:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob2229 View Post

Stockmonkey, how are your columns wired? It looks like the rope lights are plugged into an outlet. Are they all wired to a switch? Are they dimable?

Thanks!

Yes the outlets in the columns are wired to a Grafik eye light controller. The rope lights are dimmable. The rope lights in the columns are incandescent.
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Old 03-15-2012, 08:13 AM
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Hi SM2K,


Your theater is really nice looking and ALL DIY!! That is the impressive part IMO. Maybe change your sig hyperlink to reference "Desert Sunset Theater Build"? I clicked to check out your IB build and found your build thread by pleasant mistake. Might help others find ya, if that matters, IDK.

Off to finish going through it......

Nicholas
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stockmonkey2000 View Post

Yes the outlets in the columns are wired to a Grafik eye light controller. The rope lights are dimmable. The rope lights in the columns are incandescent.

Are "Incandescent" Rope Lights different than regular rope lights and LED rope lights? What defines a rope light as being "Incandescent"?
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Old 03-15-2012, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
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They are the rope lights with a traditional incandescent bulb instead of an LED bulb. Incandescent lights are always dimmable. Some LED's can be dimmed and some cannot. LED's are more efficient. Incandescent rope lights are cheaper than the LED rope lights and generally have a warmer color.
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Old 03-15-2012, 12:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick****achi View Post

Hi SM2K,


Your theater is really nice looking and ALL DIY!! That is the impressive part IMO. Maybe change your sig hyperlink to reference "Desert Sunset Theater Build"? I clicked to check out your IB build and found your build thread by pleasant mistake. Might help others find ya, if that matters, IDK.

Off to finish going through it......

Nicholas

Thanks - It has been pretty much DIY and by DIY I mean for the most part it has been just me. The other help I've had - other than my wife painting the soffit woodwork, probably totals less than 1/2 hour of work. The only thing I really will be paying someone else to do is the carpet installation.

I've remodeled 4 homes now with significant help from others, but it has been really fun to do a sort of no compromise type of build. I think I have learned more on this room than all my other projects put together. I learned a lot from just trying to overcome various challenges on my own whether it be hanging a 12' sheet of drywall by myself or devising some sort of bracket to hold something above my head. In the past I would have waited for help for various things, but on this project I really wanted to see if I could do it on my own.
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:30 AM
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It seems like updating a build thread is a full time job in itself, so thanks for the ideas and hard work. However, it does look like we're slacking on said updates. Whatcha got for us?
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Unfortunately not much in the way of progress the last few weeks. Haven't had much time to put in to the theater lately. Big delay right now is waiting for the screen. I did start working on my acoustic panels - might be able to get a bit more done tonight.
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Old 03-21-2012, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
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I also started work on the door. Started by hanging the door first.



Then removed the door from the hinges and cut 2 layers of 1/2" MDF. This was a dry fit. I used 2 layers of 1/2" so it would come close to matching the width of the automatic door bottom. I'll have to shim the door bottom out 1/8"




What is the width of your door?

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Old 03-21-2012, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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what is the width of your door?

2.75"
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Old 03-21-2012, 01:36 PM
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2.75"

Width, not depth,

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Old 03-21-2012, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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width, not depth,

32"
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Old 03-23-2012, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Finished up a few of the panels today. Ended up running out of staples so called it a day.



Fiberglass insulation



Fabric stretched on frame

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