Here is the channel that was built (my dad built this while I was working on other parts.... thanks pops!):
I was able to cut all the fibers and it was a pretty quick event, less than a couple of hours and the little tool created by another in the link above worked out very well - Thanks TMcG. I just used it at an angle and ran it across the ceiling. It cut all the fibers at 1/8 of an inch in no time at all. After they are cut I just pushed them up. All done.
Here is a pic of my crapsmanship... uh, I mean craftsmanship
It took me all of about 30 seconds to build this (and it shows). Still, it worked perfectly and I never burned the ceiling.
I also wanted to show the adhesive spray I used. I tried some 3M sprays and they didn't really work. This worked great !!!! :
I have a question for those FOSI builders out there..... are all your stars the natural color? I remember asking for color plates to have my stars twinkle with some colors (maybe just the milky way) but they are all the exact natural color you'd see in the stars. Not that I'm complaining because it is beautiful and I love it......... I'm just thinking of a way to make it a little better. I just don't know if they actually tried to give me color plates and their version just doesn't work or if they just forgot to add that in my shipment. I'm thinking of just smudging some blue water color paint on that portion of the wheel but would love to hear if anyone out there has colors in their stars and if it is noticeable. Thanks.
Quick learning points from my build that will help the next guy out there with no experience:
If you have more than one shooting star in a FOSI build, do not put them near each other. I was under the assumption they would both come on at the same time. They don't. In my version I spaced it out on the insert plate so each shooting star would take different times to cross the ceiling but they would run parallel to each other. The way it is now, it looks like the same shooting star is crossing the ceiling. Oh well, live and learn.
Another AVS member let me know about light leakage. All the bundles of fibers give off light and can leak into adjacent fibers. He was upset that his comets and shooting stars never really turned off completely. I wrapped each bundle with tape (like a hockey stick) and it worked perfectly. When my comets and shooting stars are off, they are OFF!
Depending on your build (mine is 12' x 18') you will have lots of extra holes in the milky way and constellations (see my plate above). Have fun with them if you want, just make sure you have enough fiber optic cable. If you need more I found some (exact size and brand- ESKA CK-40) for much less on the internet then what is sold to you through FOSI. I put my name in the side of my ceiling but wished I added a date and maybe some other small hidden things.
Unroll the black cloth the same way on top of each board in the same way. With the exception of one board I went from left to right on each board that was set up correctly in the orientation in which they would be mounted. Looking up I can see a slight shade difference in that one board (slightly lighter in color). My dad can see it too but only with the light on full brightness. No one else can see it so far but I can.
Think of it like a carpet that just got vacuumed; you can make tracks in it with each different way you force the fibers to go with the vacuum. Brushing the fibers doesn't really help so just keep this point in mind. Use the same routine for EVERY board (set the board up in the orientation it's going up on the ceiling and then start on the same side and unroll the fabric every time). Overall, I love the fabric look. I can't imagine using paint as I think it would be a lot less forgiving.
I'll add more points if I think of them.......