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post #1591 of 1618 Old 07-08-2014, 09:28 AM
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Who would inspect it for being "code" ? Is that really important ?

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post #1592 of 1618 Old 07-08-2014, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
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I pulled a permit for my room. I'll need to have a final inspection once I get the columns in and the receptacles wired up.

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post #1593 of 1618 Old 07-08-2014, 09:41 AM
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Same here. Fully permitted. Otherwise it's too much of an insurance risk should something ever happen.
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post #1594 of 1618 Old 07-08-2014, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post
. I don't see myself ever needing to remove the things. It's not like I'll need to relocate them, because that would require redoing fabric panels, trim, etc. I suppose the question now is whether it's easier to build the three-sided box and then attach it to the wall or is it easier to just frame it up in place.
Never say never! Make it removable! My sub project required me to remove back right rear column. Sure glad we decided to make columns removable!

Just saying.....
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post #1595 of 1618 Old 07-08-2014, 11:10 AM
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Same here. Fully permitted. Otherwise it's too much of an insurance risk should something ever happen.
But we are talking about running a speaker wire right ? Or am I missing something ?

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post #1596 of 1618 Old 07-08-2014, 11:27 AM
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But we are talking about running a speaker wire right ? Or am I missing something ?
We were talking about running the high voltage in / through the columns in addition to the low voltage. Inspectors could care less about low voltage, except that the wall penetrations are fire sealed.
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post #1597 of 1618 Old 07-08-2014, 11:30 AM
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NEC usually requires lots of electrical outlets (every 8' plus near corners and doors, I think), so they're putting the outlets in the columns to avoid putting holes in the walls.
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post #1598 of 1618 Old 07-08-2014, 11:36 AM
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NEC usually requires lots of electrical outlets (every 8' plus near corners and doors, I think), so they're putting the outlets in the columns to avoid putting holes in the walls.
Within 3 feet of the door on each wall and every 12' maximum thereafter....
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post #1599 of 1618 Old Yesterday, 09:30 PM - Thread Starter
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I mentioned a few posts back that I have my lights in. Still missing the screen wash lights, the step lights, and the LED top lights. It just doesn't make sense to put them in yet. I do have three of the zones in, though. The soffit lights on both sides in one zone, the back soffit lights is another, and the four overhead LED puck lights is the third. I've wired it so that I can split the LED puck lights into a front and rear zones later.

I recorded a video of the three zones to try to give you an idea of how it looks. I don't have the scene selector in yet and I haven't programmed any of the scenes yet, so I had to run each of the dimmers manually.


A couple things to note, my phone was doing it's best to adjust the exposure, so it's hard to see how much dimming is actually happening (I think, anyway. I haven't been in the room when any of the dimming action has happened because my arms aren't long enough ).

Next, you'll notice the LED puck lights don't dim all the way. I expected that, but I'm hoping I can get it a little better by adjusting the trim on the dimmers. We shall see.

Finally, The puck lights do buzz a little bit. For now, it's not a problem since it distracts me from my tinnitus. I don't think it will be a problem in the finished room either, as the plan has always been to dim the pucks to off first, and turn them on last since they won't dim all the way down. So those lights are not expected to be on during a movie or sporting event…… ever.

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post #1600 of 1618 Old Yesterday, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post
I mentioned a few posts back that I have my lights in. Still missing the screen wash lights, the step lights, and the LED top lights. It just doesn't make sense to put them in yet. I do have three of the zones in, though. The soffit lights on both sides in one zone, the back soffit lights is another, and the four overhead LED puck lights is the third. I've wired it so that I can split the LED puck lights into a front and rear zones later.

I recorded a video of the three zones to try to give you an idea of how it looks. I don't have the scene selector in yet and I haven't programmed any of the scenes yet, so I had to run each of the dimmers manually.

If someone can tell me how to embed this video, that would be awesome!


A couple things to note, my phone was doing it's best to adjust the exposure, so it's hard to see how much dimming is actually happening (I think, anyway. I haven't been in the room when any of the dimming action has happened because my arms aren't long enough ).

Next, you'll notice the LED puck lights don't dim all the way. I expected that, but I'm hoping I can get it a little better by adjusting the trim on the dimmers. We shall see.

Finally, The puck lights do buzz a little bit. For now, it's not a problem since it distracts me from my tinnitus. I don't think it will be a problem in the finished room either, as the plan has always been to dim the pucks to off first, and turn them on last since they won't dim all the way down. So those lights are not expected to be on during a movie or sporting event…… ever.
Well,

I was taken to photobucket by not much happening other than push start button works for a bit then stops before full run. Shrugs...
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post #1601 of 1618 Old Today, 07:34 AM
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JPA.. Just another quick comment on the Columns FWIW

I built 3 sided columns with removable grilles.. these attached to blocking as others have described.. however I screwed from the inside through the blocking into the column.. built the columns 1/4-3/8" inches short, and pushed them up to the soffit.. carpet/pad/trim covered any gap at the bottom.. makes it permanent from any inspectors point of view.

I like building then mounting interior details.. I find it much easier to finish them in the shop/garage then trying to sand/ stain/ seal inside the house..

Too bad you don't have longer arms... the lights dim nicely.. you should see it

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post #1602 of 1618 Old Today, 07:59 AM
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Now imbedded......much better!
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post #1603 of 1618 Old Today, 08:03 AM - Thread Starter
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I think I got the video fixed. I had to upload it to the Youtubes and then it embeds automagically with just the link.

KNKKNK, Good suggestions on the column construction. I was considering that approach, so I'm glad to hear someone else has done it with success. What thickness sheet material did you use? I'm planning MDF since these will be painted. I've never worked with MDF before, so I'm not sure if 3/4" is necessary.

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post #1604 of 1618 Old Today, 08:16 AM
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KNKKNK, Good suggestions on the column construction. I was considering that approach, so I'm glad to hear someone else has done it with success. What thickness sheet material did you use? I'm planning MDF since these will be painted. I've never worked with MDF before, so I'm not sure if 3/4" is necessary.
I was thinking of a similar approach as well, and I'll have 'in wall' speakers being used in the columns. I was debating using an IB-3 type sound isolation bracket to attach the column to the wall... Do you think that is really not needed and direct attachment works just fine?
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post #1605 of 1618 Old Today, 08:26 AM
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When I'm doing painted built-ins, I usually use a B-grade maple ply with poplar hard wood. Maple ply will produce a much higher quality end product than MDF and is easier to finish and much easier to work with. It is certainly more expensive, but not necessarily by that much given the advantages over MDF. I haven't been following closely enough to be familiar with your design plan, but it may be worth doing a little math to see what the actual cost difference is. [/rant]

Regardless of your material choice, I would suspect that 1/2" would be plenty strong enough (especially for the sides) for something like this that is more or less ornamental. The front you may want to make 3/4" just based on design/trim choices. As a belts and suspenders move, you could use some of the scraps for bracing is you were worried about flexing or resonance. Just my $.02.

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post #1606 of 1618 Old Today, 08:33 AM - Thread Starter
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I was thinking of a similar approach as well, and I'll have 'in wall' speakers being used in the columns. I was debating using an IB-3 type sound isolation bracket to attach the column to the wall... Do you think that is really not needed and direct attachment works just fine?
I don't think the IB-3 clips will gain you anything with regard to sound isolation. The downside I can see is the column may rattle. I don't know that for sure, though.

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When I'm doing painted built-ins, I usually use a B-grade maple ply with poplar hard wood. Maple ply will produce a much higher quality end product than MDF and is easier to finish and much easier to work with. It is certainly more expensive, but not necessarily by that much given the advantages over MDF. I haven't been following closely enough to be familiar with your design plan, but it may be worth doing a little math to see what the actual cost difference is. [/rant]

Regardless of your material choice, I would suspect that 1/2" would be plenty strong enough (especially for the sides) for something like this that is more or less ornamental. The front you may want to make 3/4" just based on design/trim choices. As a belts and suspenders move, you could use some of the scraps for bracing is you were worried about flexing or resonance. Just my $.02.
Do you use the poplar for the framing? Is there a reason for the poplar over a regular dimensional pine 2x? Could you explain how the maple is easier to finish than the MDF? Since I don't really know any better, it seems he MDF would need less sanding to be ready for paint.

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post #1607 of 1618 Old Today, 09:05 AM
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MDF is great for painting the factory edges but it sometimes sucks with nails and screws and corners are easily damaged. Durability is lower. Hard woods have maximum durability. Soft wood like pine in between. Pine is cheap, easy to work with too; but is soft so it can dent or show damages easily too.

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post #1608 of 1618 Old Today, 09:10 AM
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I've always found it more difficult to join two pieces of 1/2" MDF with mechanical fasteners than with 3/4" and the corners ding much more readily. With two young boys, well......

Here's a couple of quick sketches:


I use the first method, along with a few well-placed pieces of velcro and some single-sided adhesive closed cell gasketing. A few firm tugs and the whole column comes free. I'll be using this method because I will not have removable access panels from the front of the column. If the front is removable, then it's easy to screw together, of course. Inspectors have never challenged how attached the columns were and I've never had and issue.

The second method is what I believe Brad is describing, so I thought I would draw it up since TMcGoogle(R) Sketchup was already running.
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post #1609 of 1618 Old Today, 09:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Awesome, guys! Thanks for the input! TMcGoogle® Sketchup has been turning out some serious renders lately. The first is what I had in mind, but hadn't though of the second. I think getting the screws in the first version would be easier.

Do you guys have any suggestions on dimensions? I'd like to be able to hide some smoothing subs later, but I don't want to end up with 2' deep columns either.

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post #1610 of 1618 Old Today, 09:30 AM
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I just made a post in the Coffin Build about the column depth in response to your question in that thread.

You can always buy Triad in-wall subs which max out at 5.5" deep or something similar, but here is a perfect example of how DIY subs can really fit into your design by simply making a back box big enough to satisfy the Qt of the driver while maintaining a fixed maximum depth. Both are things you'd naturally have to noodle through before building your column, though. If I know you, I'd imagine you are considering the DIY approach for smoothing subs vs. store bought, right?

Generally speaking, though, a comfortable column size range is 16-20" wide and 6"-10" deep, speaker (and room) dependent, of course.
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What thickness sheet material did you use? I'm planning MDF since these will be painted. I've never worked with MDF before, so I'm not sure if 3/4" is necessary.
I stained so I used 3/4 oak ply.. (I build virtually everything out of 3/4) if using MDF I personally would go 3/4 also.

Mfusick makes an excellent point about the corners... you would need additional trim to finish the corner of ply, without an elaborate jointing method.. Glue and MDF is like peanut butter and jelly.. they go great together

@TMcG .. my copy of TMcGoogle(R) Sketchup crashes every time i try to load it.. then again it is the freeware version

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Heres how I did mine..

Nailed and glued 3" wide strips 3/4 ply for "L" shaped mounts .... Strong, perfectly straight and less space required inside column compared to 2x2's (another advantage of the track saw is the cost/ease of these strips)

Used adhesive when screwing mounts to wall..
Then just screwed the columns to the mounts from inside..

Ill use the same approach for mounting everything to the wall in this build also

BTW I had the triad inwall bronze 10's in 2 of them also

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@TMcG .. my copy of TMcGoogle(R) Sketchup crashes every time i try to load it.. then again it is the freeware version
The full version of TMcGoogle® Sketchup is now available on 4790 5.25" floppy disks, 2100 cassette tapes or 1.27 million mainframe punch cards, plus freight. A free copy of Pong and a manufacturer refurbished "Ove Glove" in non-retail packaging is included with the purchase.

Advanced features in the full version include:
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KNKKNK, I hadn't considered using 3/4" ply for my blocking either. That's a good idea since the attachment doesn't have to be particularly strong. Normally I don't like attaching into the end grain of plywood, but I don't think it will matter here.

TMcG, I haven't settled on a speaker yet. The speakers I've been considering have a 12" deep box if I go with the flatpack. Looks like I may need to consider the 8" versions to get the box down to 9.5" deep. My speakers were spec'ed at 5 degrees down, so I'd still need at least a 12" deep column to give me a little wiggle room. Fortunately I've got a lot of space to work with. I could probably even go with a 14" column and plan on 4" to 6" of space for treatments. That would give me room for broad(er) band absorption on the walls.

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My speakers were spec'ed at 5 degrees down, so I'd still need at least a 12" deep column to give me a little wiggle room. Fortunately I've got a lot of space to work with. I could probably even go with a 14" column and plan on 4" to 6" of space for treatments. That would give me room for broad(er) band absorption on the walls.
Yeah, probably because you have the extra room width. Mine were spec'd at 8.75 degrees down. Smaller rooms naturally have the higher down angle.
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post #1616 of 1618 Old Today, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Time for another update. Earlier in the week I got another chance to work in the theater. I got quite a bit done all things considered.

Here's what I started with and it looks like a mess with all those wires!



I was ready to put down one layer or 1/2" decking plus two more layers of 3/4" decking to make up the difference between my riser height and the entrance height (minus 3/4" for floor covering). Fortunately, I realized that the landing outside the theater was slightly sloped in one direction, and my riser was slightly sloped in the other. Both within the lines on a level, but between the two it made for about 1/4" height difference across the door opening. I decided to pick the corner of the riser up so that it more closely matched the slope of the landing, and wouldn't you know it, now I only need two layers of 3/4", and the transition between the landing and the riser is closer.

Next case insulation, and it already looks nicer!



After that, I had 24 sheets of 3/4" T&G delivered. The driver was nice enough to help me move the ply from his truck onto the back of mine. I tipped him a Hamilton for his troubles. Not much, but it only took five minutes. This pic shows why I had it delivered rather than hauling it myself. My truck would have made it, but it wouldn't have been happy! And in case I haven't mentioned it, it's times like this I'm glad I got the four-wheel drive.



And finally, here's the first layer of decking down, and it looks a lot better in there.



Now, after the first two rows were glued and screwed down, I came to a rather unpleasant realization. Apparently T&G plywood is 4'x8' nominal. Unfortunately, it measures 47.5 x 72 across the face. I'm sure I knew that, but it's been ages since I've put down decking. What this means is the stuff is intended to go down perpendicular to the joists. After the first two rows, I had to cheat the sheets over enough to make sure the edges fell on the joists. Fortunately I've got another layer going over it (perpendicular to the first) with GG between. I'm hoping between the liquid nails, the GG, and the extra layer of 3/4" decking, I won't have any squeaks.
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post #1617 of 1618 Old Today, 01:08 PM
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Nice work! I can't imagine how nice it must feel to walk on something solid vs. on top of and in between joists all these months. Was there a reason you wanted the first layer to be parallel with the joists?

By the way, what kind of sheet pricing were you getting? I have to buy some myself and know the pricing can vary a lot by region. Just curious.
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post #1618 of 1618 Old Today, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Parallel worked out better from a waste standpoint, or at least that's the way I figured it. It also made it so I only had to cut one hole in each sheet for cables and smurf tube instead of two or three. In hindsight, I would have run them the other way and just dealt with it.

IIRC, big box store pricing was $32/sheet and $29/sh for bulk. I'm not sure how many sheets I would need. The Builders First Source has it for $29/sh regularly. If you order enough or you know someone with a commercial account you can get it even cheaper.

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