The Vortex Theater Build - Page 7 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 11-06-2014, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kmhvball View Post
I don't know much about the Painted Star ceilings, but if you look at page 2, mostly posts 40-48, this thread references doing a 'knock down' ceiling, which my IMPRESSION means a little less perfect of a requirement.

New build (Mason)

This theater had the NightSkyMurals guy come out and do the Star ceiling for him, is that your plan? If so, you could talk with him about the knock down ceiling vs the 'perfect' ceiling.

I am in the mid-west (Cincinnati Area), and my bids/cost to hang & finish my drywall ranged from $25/ board up to $40/ board. I think 'most' of that was the finishing part vs the hanging. You could calculate your boards x this price range and see how this compares to your $1,500 quote.

If I was covering my walls, and the 'knockdown' ceiling means less perfect, I might swing it myself. If the ceiling has to be perfect, I would definitely hire that out.... of course, assuming I could find someone!!
Interesting... yeah it sounds like I'm going to be doing my own drywall finishing now. I don't know why I was under the impression that the ceiling needed to be "perfect". I can put a knockdown texture on it to hide my lack of skills with taping and mudding. Makes it even better now that I know that it helps out with the mural as well.

The walls I really don't care about because they are going to be painted black and covered with fabric panels floor to ceiling.

Exciting. Now the only thing slowing up this project is me.

Thanks for the ideas

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Old 11-10-2014, 06:32 PM
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Looking really good! I am also in Ashburn. Welcome to the NOVA Theater "club" :-)

If I were to do mine over I would do the detached walls.

How are you planning on building the fabric panels? I have some info on how I did mine in my build thread that may be useful.

My soffits are also similar to yours except that I left the sides "open" by making removable fabric panels using yards sticks and magnets.

I plan to go back and stuff them with pink fluffy stuff.
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Old 11-11-2014, 10:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jimmyk36 View Post
Looking really good! I am also in Ashburn. Welcome to the NOVA Theater "club" :-)

If I were to do mine over I would do the detached walls.

How are you planning on building the fabric panels? I have some info on how I did mine in my build thread that may be useful.

My soffits are also similar to yours except that I left the sides "open" by making removable fabric panels using yards sticks and magnets.

I plan to go back and stuff them with pink fluffy stuff.
Nice, I'll look over your build thread.

Why did you leave the sides open? Future proofing?

I like the idea of yard stick + fabric panel idea for me to finish the soffit idea. Since my joints look terrible and have completely broken open at this point.. This way I can cover up all the imperfections in my MDF soffit joints with fabric.

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Old 11-12-2014, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by ClemsonJeeper View Post
Nice, I'll look over your build thread.

Why did you leave the sides open? Future proofing?

I like the idea of yard stick + fabric panel idea for me to finish the soffit idea. Since my joints look terrible and have completely broken open at this point.. This way I can cover up all the imperfections in my MDF soffit joints with fabric.

Couple reasons I left the sides open.

- First is I still need to go back and put in my recessed lighting and all I have to do is pop the panels off to get access.

- Second is that is makes it really easy to add any cabling that I may need in the future. I just put an infrared receiver at the front of the room and ran the cable back to the AV equipment through the soffit. (Maybe add Atmos? Maybe add Fluffy stuff later...)

Hope I am not threadjacking..... but here is a picture of the soffit covered with a "yardstick panel" - If you look closely in the following picture the left half of the soffit is the yardstick panel covered with the fabric and the right half is a test fitting of the yardstick panel without the fabric. I used Rare Earth Magnets super glued to the panels and they worked great. The panels just grab on the metal soffit framing. (I only used the yardstick panels for the sides of the soffits, not the bottoms.)

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Old 11-12-2014, 06:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jimmyk36 View Post
Couple reasons I left the sides open.

- First is I still need to go back and put in my recessed lighting and all I have to do is pop the panels off to get access.

- Second is that is makes it really easy to add any cabling that I may need in the future. I just put an infrared receiver at the front of the room and ran the cable back to the AV equipment through the soffit. (Maybe add Atmos? Maybe add Fluffy stuff later...)

Hope I am not threadjacking..... but here is a picture of the soffit covered with a "yardstick panel" - If you look closely in the following picture the left half of the soffit is the yardstick panel covered with the fabric and the right half is a test fitting of the yardstick panel without the fabric. I used Rare Earth Magnets super glued to the panels and they worked great. The panels just grab on the metal soffit framing. (I only used the yardstick panels for the sides of the soffits, not the bottoms.)

Definitely not threadjacking. Any input is definitely appreciated. I think I may end up covering the bottom of the soffits with fabric and this would be the best way to do it - never would have thought of using yard sticks as the frame.

Thanks!

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Old 11-12-2014, 07:04 PM
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See posts 36 and 70 in my build for more info on the yardsticks.
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Old 12-11-2014, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by ClemsonJeeper View Post
Nope. I called 5 places and left messages, not one call back. I have a buddy who works construction and said he really didn't want to do it but would for 1500$ which sounds ridiculous for just taping and mudding.

Maybe I'll just suck it up and give it a try. I still haven't figured out how I'm going to fix my soffit mdf butt joints. Every one of them has completely cracked at this point. Kinda bummed about that. I guess I just need to sand all the ready patch off and use drywall tape over the seams and use joint compound...
Has been a while since your last update. I hope you found someone to help with the drywall finishing.

Wanted to get back to you on one option to fix the cracks in the MDF butt joints. One of my butt joints developed a crack also - the one without the biscuit to hold the MDF pieces together. I think I found one solution to fix it.

In order to add trim for my light tray, I screwed and glued a vertical piece of MDF along the inside of the light tray. Before screwing, I clamped the vertical MDF to the soffit MDF. This created a larger crack at the butt joint. A couple days later after that dried, the two pieces of MDF could no longer separate. I sanded off some of the Ready Patch and then patched the joint with plastic wood (a bit more flexible). Let that dry and then sanded. After 2+ weeks, no crack has reappeared.

Picture of the vertical MDF attached above the butt joint. Taken after the butt joint was re-patched with plastic wood

My in progress build thread: Hidden in Bethesda
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Old 12-11-2014, 06:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, I've been distracted with some "real world" things - these things tend to happen. I do have updates, haven't taken photos yet, but here is my progress.

I ended up dismantling the riser I built because I decided I wanted to make it a bit shorter (to allow the front row to be further from the screen). So I sliced off 12" from it. It is now reassembled and stuffed with insulation and topped off with double layer of 5/8 OSB with GG between.

I'm still a bit bummed about the soffits - they all have totally cracked and its honestly kinda froze the project since I'm not sure what to do about it. I may try your plastic wood idea and see how that looks.

Alternatively I may just go the fabric panel route.

Still have not taped & mudded. I called like 10 places and no one returned my call so I guess its just on me to do it myself. I bought the materials just haven't started yet.

Hopefully get some time this weekend to work on it.

Thanks for getting me motivated.

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Old 12-14-2014, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemsonJeeper View Post
The metal channels for the soffit are sold at home depot. They are in the metal stud aisle. There are ones that are 1 1/2" wide that will perfectly fit a 2x4. I had never built soffits before so this was my first time - I followed a couple other builds on here for "light weight" soffit building techniques.
I am beginning my search here in southern PA for this metal channel for soffit building. I have had no luck at Lowes or Home Depot locally - would you (or anyone else) know what this stuff is called or referred to generically in the industry?

Also - if I can ask, whats the root cause with the MDF seams cracking? Just need a more flexible filler material or do you suspect settling or something of that nature? Thanks!
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Old 12-14-2014, 03:32 PM
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The upright metal studs are called C channel and the piece you are looking for, is
called track. It is usually found right by the drywall.

Could the MDF cracking be related to seasonal heating? MDF is supposed to be stable, but any wood
supporting it, might be drying out and shrinking, due to moisture content.
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Old 12-15-2014, 07:54 AM - Thread Starter
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I am beginning my search here in southern PA for this metal channel for soffit building. I have had no luck at Lowes or Home Depot locally - would you (or anyone else) know what this stuff is called or referred to generically in the industry?

Also - if I can ask, whats the root cause with the MDF seams cracking? Just need a more flexible filler material or do you suspect settling or something of that nature? Thanks!
The ones I used from Home Depot were next to the metal studs near drywall. I don't recall the actual term they used to describe them, but there should be a few big racks of metal channels near the metal studs.

I believe I just need to use a more flexible filler material as you mentioned. I may also just try standard drywall tape + build it up with 4-5 layers of mud to make the transitions not noticeable. That or the idea of covering the soffits with black fabric and calling it a day.

As an update, I took a break from the theater for a while and just started back on it this past weekend - got the first coat + tape on the walls/corners/ceilings. I need to go back and knock all the roughness down and apply 3 more light coats while sanding between. Should be fun. (Yeah, right).

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Old 12-15-2014, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemsonJeeper View Post
The ones I used from Home Depot were next to the metal studs near drywall. I don't recall the actual term they used to describe them, but there should be a few big racks of metal channels near the metal studs.

I believe I just need to use a more flexible filler material as you mentioned. I may also just try standard drywall tape + build it up with 4-5 layers of mud to make the transitions not noticeable. That or the idea of covering the soffits with black fabric and calling it a day.

As an update, I took a break from the theater for a while and just started back on it this past weekend - got the first coat + tape on the walls/corners/ceilings. I need to go back and knock all the roughness down and apply 3 more light coats while sanding between. Should be fun. (Yeah, right).
Thanks for the help Tedd & ClemsonJeeper. I made a few more calls this afternoon and located a source for the channel. Price seems reasonable at about $3/10ft piece. Question now is - what gauge is needed? - is 25ga ok, or should I go with the 20ga? Cost is only about a $0.15 difference so my engineer spider-sense tells me to go with the heavier 20ga.

Good luck with your drywall finishing. I told myself that was the one part of the job I was going to outsource as I wanted a quality job. Like you, I am planning on fabric panels too so the walls don't have to be perfect, but I wanted a good ceiling and wall/ceiling joints for the visible surfaces. So - found a colleague who is trained in drywall finishing and is super reasonable for pricing. I can tell the prospect of drywall finishing is about as interesting to you too!

Keep up the great progress!
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Old 12-15-2014, 10:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by PApilgrim View Post
Thanks for the help Tedd & ClemsonJeeper. I made a few more calls this afternoon and located a source for the channel. Price seems reasonable at about $3/10ft piece. Question now is - what gauge is needed? - is 25ga ok, or should I go with the 20ga? Cost is only about a $0.15 difference so my engineer spider-sense tells me to go with the heavier 20ga.

Good luck with your drywall finishing. I told myself that was the one part of the job I was going to outsource as I wanted a quality job. Like you, I am planning on fabric panels too so the walls don't have to be perfect, but I wanted a good ceiling and wall/ceiling joints for the visible surfaces. So - found a colleague who is trained in drywall finishing and is super reasonable for pricing. I can tell the prospect of drywall finishing is about as interesting to you too!

Keep up the great progress!
Yep, same here. I didn't want to do drywall. I called like 10 companies, of the 3 that returned my phone call, none of them wanted to do the work because they weren't hanging the drywall. I got one company finally to come out and give me a quote for taping + mudding and they wanted 1600$. I was like, .... no. Obviously they just didn't want to do the work.

So I'm doing it myself. The walls will be fabric so not worried. The ceiling I'm thinking I might do a knockdown ceiling because it hides the painted star ceiling and it hides my probably poor attempt at taping and mudding.

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Old 12-29-2014, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm not dead! Just been busy with holidays and whatnot. That and I'm at the all-so-fun part of taping, mudding, and finishing drywall, soffits, and ceilings.

And just like I thought from the beginning of this project - this sucks. I really wish a drywall company would have returned my call but I called like 10 of them and very few returned my call but one and they wanted 1600$ to tape and finish this room (which I thought was ridiculous considering the drywall was already hung).

Soooo I took it upon myself.

And just like I thought, my skills at doing so are pretty bad. The walls I'm not so concerned about since they will be covered with fabric panels, but the ceiling I'm a bit worried about. So my plan now is to put a knockdown texture on the soffits and on the ceiling. Apparently the knockdown is preferred when paired with the nightsky mural as it hides the little dots of paint a bit better. And knockdown is better for ceilings with less-than-perfect finish jobs (which mine is definitely).

As for an update with the MDF soffit splitting - I decided to try to just tape and mud it like drywall. Since I had previously sealed it with minwax to prep for painting hopefully I won't have any issues with the MDF absorbing the moisture out of the drywall mud. Sofar I've put 2 coats on the soffits and they actually look really nice. Also hopefully won't crack like the other stuff I used did.

So here's some somewhat boring photos of me going through a few coats of mud and sanding.

First coat (I believe):





Turning white housings into black:



3 coats (I believe):

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Old 12-29-2014, 07:26 PM
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I will probably be stoned for saying this, but I found taping and mudding to be some what rewarding. I'm certainly no professional, but have done enough of it now after 20 years of home ownership that every seam is no longer a life or death struggle. Just think of it as practice for your next project.

Looking good by the way. Paint is just around the corner, then it will all be worthwhile.

.
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Old 12-29-2014, 07:55 PM - Thread Starter
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I will probably be stoned for saying this, but I found taping and mudding to be some what rewarding. I'm certainly no professional, but have done enough of it now after 20 years of home ownership that every seam is no longer a life or death struggle. Just think of it as practice for your next project.

Looking good by the way. Paint is just around the corner, then it will all be worthwhile.
BURN THE WITCH!!!



Yeah, I need to figure out my carpet/color scheme pretty soon I think.

I'm thinking a black soffit with a super dark gray ceiling (or vice versa) and some very deep deep blues for the fabric panels I'm going to build. Carpet, nooooo idea.

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Old 01-05-2015, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Some updates, I spent some time this break finishing the drywall (putting 4 coats on, sanding, etc) and then rented a drywall spray texture gun from HD and put a knockdown finish on the walls, soffits, and ceiling. I think it looks pretty good - not perfect but most of the walls are going to be covered by fabric anyway.

Here are some shots:

The drywall texture sprayer:



The walls + bottom of soffit done:



Everything done (ceilings + walls + soffit). The uncovered part on the soffits will be covered by trim so you won't see that part.





And a close up of the knockdown texture:



I still need to lightly sand the entire room for a final step, clean up all the drywall mess, and then figure out what color I'm painting the ceiling & room. After that, time to figure out the door, carpet, and the screen wall.

It's getting close!!!
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Old 01-09-2015, 02:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Started painting yesterday. Decided on a deep blue ceiling with black soffits and walls. The fabric panels will be a lighter blue to give the room a bit of brightness since I have a feeling its going to turn into a black hole once those black walls go up.

Thought it came out pretty good! You can see the 4 locations I have for Atmos speakers. I think I've decided on DIYSoundgroups Volt 6 Coaxials for ceiling mount. They are small enough that I don't mind them being up on the ceiling. (8" at its highest point, 5" at lowest).

Also hung some trim that will be painted black when the soffits/walls are painted.

I'll be doing another ring of trim at the ceiling intersection painted white, and crown to cover up the light tray.



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Old 01-10-2015, 12:17 PM
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What color paint is that?

Room looks fantastic!
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Old 01-10-2015, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
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What color paint is that?

Room looks fantastic!
Thanks! Now that the paint is going up it actually feels like I may make it to the end of this project sometime this decade. :-)

This is the paint, got it at HD:

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Old 01-10-2015, 10:15 PM
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[quote=ClemsonJeeper;30691449]Thanks! Now that the paint is going up it actually feels like I may make it to the end of this project sometime this decade. :-)

This is the paint, got it at HD:

Thanks, man. Looks great in the pics. Can you tell it's blue and not black in person?

Fwiw, I have spent the better part of my free time today reading through your thread. Very impressive work and I love the fact that you include your mess ups as well. Makes it read a lot more like a normal guy taking on a huge project and having to figure some of it out as he goes.

Thanks for sharing it all.
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Old 01-11-2015, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, man. Looks great in the pics. Can you tell it's blue and not black in person?

Fwiw, I have spent the better part of my free time today reading through your thread. Very impressive work and I love the fact that you include your mess ups as well. Makes it read a lot more like a normal guy taking on a huge project and having to figure some of it out as he goes.

Thanks for sharing it all.
No problem, I've definitely taken a lot from this forum and thought if I could contribute any bit back I would do it.

I'm figuring out pretty much everything as I go at this point. :-)

The blue definitely looks blue in person. The camera just didn't do the color very good justice.

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Old 01-12-2015, 06:59 AM
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You and redstripe are my DC area heroes. The room looks awesome!
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Old 01-19-2015, 08:45 PM - Thread Starter
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You and redstripe are my DC area heroes. The room looks awesome!
Thanks buddy! Just trying to keep steady progress to get done by my official premiere night which will be Game of Thrones season premiere. They announced it to be April 12th so realize I gotta get cracking... I'm very much keeping tabs on your build as well - can't wait for it to be done and if you have a locals night, I will definitely make the trek up to MD for that.

soooo speaking of work, here are some updates. Got ceiling paint & soffit / wall painting done.

My soffit issues still are there. I still had major splitting issues that I thought I would solve with caulk and then paint. This worked, unfortunately since the caulk is smooth& shiny, you can see distinct areas where I had to fix things under the paint. I'm not happy with it at all so I think I'm going to have to add fabric into the mix. I will do that after I get everything else done though since I'm tired of wasting time on the soffits. I need to get the light tray done, the rest of the moulding installed, and then I can finally move onto screen wall, carpet, and acoustics!





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My Home Theater Build: The Vortex Theater Build
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Old 01-19-2015, 08:48 PM - Thread Starter
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oh yeah. and the door. I still have to worry about that too. LOL.

My Home Theater Build: The Vortex Theater Build
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Old 01-20-2015, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemsonJeeper View Post
Thanks buddy! Just trying to keep steady progress to get done by my official premiere night which will be Game of Thrones season premiere. They announced it to be April 12th so realize I gotta get cracking... I'm very much keeping tabs on your build as well - can't wait for it to be done and if you have a locals night, I will definitely make the trek up to MD for that.

soooo speaking of work, here are some updates. Got ceiling paint & soffit / wall painting done.

My soffit issues still are there. I still had major splitting issues that I thought I would solve with caulk and then paint. This worked, unfortunately since the caulk is smooth& shiny, you can see distinct areas where I had to fix things under the paint. I'm not happy with it at all so I think I'm going to have to add fabric into the mix. I will do that after I get everything else done though since I'm tired of wasting time on the soffits. I need to get the light tray done, the rest of the moulding installed, and then I can finally move onto screen wall, carpet, and acoustics!





Looking great.

Since you put the date out there... 82 days and counting. Keep the progress coming.

My in progress build thread: Hidden in Bethesda
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Old 01-22-2015, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
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No new build updates - still trying to kick this cold/flu bug I have... but decided on an AVR!

Went for the Marantz 7009 AVR which supports up to 7.2.4 (which is what I'm shooting for). I will need to get a separate 2 channel amp to power the last 2 channels (since the amp only has 9 amplified channels), but not a big deal.

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My Home Theater Build: The Vortex Theater Build
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Old Today, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Got another good days worth of work done - mostly working on trim & the light tray.

For trim around the light tray to hide all the lights, I ended up finding some baseboard and chair rail that I liked at Lowes and glued them together to make a "fake crown" kind of moulding. It will be vertical (90 degrees from the light tray) and glued/nailed to the MDF of the light tray. Ended up painting all of it today. Once I get the black lights Tuesday I'll be able to finish the install of the T5 housings and then finally install the trim:



All the RGB LED equipment I need to light up the ceiling. Since the run is so long, I have to use a couple of power boosters inline:



This is how I plan to integrate the LED strip into my home automation: Arduino Uno + Ethernet Shield + RGB LED strip shield. This will allow me to program it however I want and do cool things (fades, maybe even add an audio input so that I can have it pulse with the beat with music for parties, etc):



Installed 1x2 board around the perimeter of the soffit to lift the LED strip a bit higher to help with how it looked when it was installed. Also can see the T5 enclosures I have around the soffit for the UV black light for charging the star mural:



LED light strip installed (still need to fasten it a bit better to the 1x2):



Installed a small moulding where the soffit meets the ceiling, painted it brilliant white to give a cool reflection effect of the LED light strip:



Next week I plan on shopping for carpet, as well as measuring for a custom door to be built. Also my UV blacklights come in so I should be able to get the T5 enclosures fully mounted and wired, and then install the final moulding to cover it all up!

Progress!!
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My Home Theater Build: The Vortex Theater Build
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