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post #1 of 244 Old 09-30-2006, 08:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello Everyone, Well I finally decided to take some time and post information about my theater and the other rooms that I am building in my basement. I hope some of you find enjoyment from the information and pictures.

I believe it is very important that I thank a few folks here first. I have spent countless hours on AVS researching and talking to people about thoughts and concepts. I have learned a ton of invaluable information on the forums here. I am sure I am going to miss some folks but here's a short list:

Alan, SandmanX, Mark P, Mr. Poindexter, mcascio, ebr, svonhof, chinadog, basementbob, JoeLinn, miltimj, chirpie, and many more. Without these folks my theater would not be close to what it is today.

Here is an artistically poor layout of my complete basement. This will give you an idea as to the layout so you can orient yourself for the following sets of pictures.



Joe

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post #2 of 244 Old 09-30-2006, 08:35 AM - Thread Starter
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When I began working on the basement we were already having construction going on on the rest of the house. So the basement had become quite messy and a holding place for many things that were not normally there.

Here are a few pics as we began construction:

This pic is standing at the stairs looking at the utility closet, fireplace, and equipment room


Here is looking down the theater toward where the screen will end up



This is looking from the theater toward the pool room. We have already removed the walls that used to make up a bedroom. I guess the Mother-in-Law just can't stay over anymore



Here is from the pool room toward the wet bar (on left) and theater (on right). Notice the pillars? I could not economically get rid of them so I had to integrate them into the theater. Later on there are pictures on how I did this.



This is where the wet bar will be going. You can also see part of the equipment closet on the left.



Pool room with more walls removed



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post #3 of 244 Old 09-30-2006, 08:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Here is where things got really messy. As if they were not messy enough before.

My house was built in 1957. When we tore the walls down we made sure we treated all of the block with waterproofing. All ofthe black stuff is tar paper that the original builder had used.
This is a pic looking at the front of the theater and wet bar and equipment closet on the left.



Here is a pic of the theater area with the walls down. We will be building a false wall on the right side there for acoustic purposes.



This is looking from the wet bar toward the future sauna. We are going to take the bathroom in the picture and split it in half for a sauna and a 1/2 bath.



Closeup of the wet bar area with the walls removed



Looking at the screen wall with the walls removed.



Here is another pic from the stairs. You can see the beam and support columns that I had to deal with.



Lookey Lookey, the bathroom is now gone



Ok, I think everything is now gutted.


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post #4 of 244 Old 09-30-2006, 08:53 AM
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jmorris644,

Looking forward to your thread You certainly have a lot of space to work with and a pretty solid plan. Considering the list of people you have for inspirations you'll have a pretty high bar for building. Many of the most amazing HT on AVS belong to the people on that list. I used and talked to many of them myself - my screen is a SMX from Sandman for my basement HT and my main PJ was bought off Alan and AVS.

What have you decided to use for equipment, have you bought it all yet or are you still in the fun "shopping phase"

Good luck I'll be watching with interest.
Cheers
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post #5 of 244 Old 09-30-2006, 08:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Here are the first stages of construction. I built a false wall on the right side of the theater. I wanted to trap as much sound as I could because of the openness of the left side of the theater. So we build a wall 1/2 foot away from the original concrete block wall and double filled it with acoustic insulation.

The studs go up



Here is a pic of the vertical insulation going in. We had already put in a complete layer horizontally behind the wall.



The wall behind the screen are and the wet bar is acoustically treated but not a double wall like the one on the right.



Here is a closeup of the edge of the false wall on the right side of the theater. you can see the additional acoustic insulation behind it.



The sheetrock starts. At the same time I was putting in-floor heating for the upper levels of the house. That is what the orange tubes are.



This little wall is what separates the theater stage(in later pics) from the wet bar.



The theater sheetrocking is all done.


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post #6 of 244 Old 09-30-2006, 09:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Here is the building of the stage in the front of the theater

Here's the main base. The stage is free standing. It does not connect to any of the walls. In addition, there is insulating foam between all wood-to-wood connections as well as between the wood and the concrete floor.



We completely filled the stage with sand to isolate and boombox sound from open cavities. It sure takes a lot of time for the sand to dry. We had fans and lights in it for days and we raked it daily too.



The sand changed color when it dried.



Here is a pic looking down the theater at the stage.



Building the steps for the stage



Another step picture with the top of the stage going on.



A closeup of the same pic. Notice the foam insulation



Here is the other side of the stage



The completed stage.


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post #7 of 244 Old 09-30-2006, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Here are a few miscellaneous pics of other construction going on at this time.

This is the original bathroom that we split and are making into a sauna and 1/2 bath. The front area is the sauna. This is at the back side of the theater. See the big open area with the level at the bottom of it? That is a window. We are going to be able to sit in the sauna and watch movies Oh, and it is an infrared sauna so there won't be any steam buildup. At least from the sauna itself That is my younger brother in the red shirt.



The framing is finished for the sauna and bath



The pool room sheetrock is now finished.



The theater is surrounded by a soffit. This is for acoustic purposes as well as for lighting. The soffit will be filled with insulation and I am putting a cherry wood light bar around all of it. The light bar will contain small halogen recessed lights as well as hold rope lights.


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post #8 of 244 Old 09-30-2006, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Here is the beginnings of the wiring. I purchased a 6 zone Grafik eye. So all of the lights in the basement are controlled by it. I also pulled all of the speaker wires and the low-voltage wires. Man, it sure takes a LOT of wires

This is a pic of where the equipment rack will be. (sideways, sorry.)



These are some of the home runs we made to the main electric box. On the left you can see where we ran all of them down the beam in the middle of the room.



A closeup of the wires in the beam



Another equipment closet pic



Here is a pic of the Grafik eye



This is where all of the high voltage wires come together just above the equipment rack. I did no lighting using low voltage. I was afraid of any hums and I definitely did not want them.



Here is a pic of the Grafik eye remote control that is installed in the back of the theater at the bottom of the stairs


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post #9 of 244 Old 09-30-2006, 09:21 AM - Thread Starter
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In order to hide the steel support pillars I built posts around them. I also built complimentary posts on the other side of the theater for symmetry purposes. in addition, the rear posts will house the side surround speakers. This is going to be a 7.1 installation.

Here is a post next to the stage.



The posts on the right side of the theater.



Here are the posts on the left side. you can barely see the white support pillars inside the posts.


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post #10 of 244 Old 09-30-2006, 09:25 AM - Thread Starter
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We also filled in all of the joists with a double layer of the acoustic insulation.

This the theater. You can also see that the soffit was sheetrocked and the outlets installed. These outlets, controlled by the Grafik eye will control the down lighting halogen lights as well as the rope lights. You can see that the soffit on the left is built also.



I decided to double insulate the complete basement. This is looking toward the pool room from the wet bar.



Heres looking the opposite way


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post #11 of 244 Old 09-30-2006, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Things start to get a little more fun now. We are beginning to finish different areas of the basement.

Here is looking at the wet bar. The ceiling is finished and you can see the recessed light. You can also see the wet bar's granite countertop on the left edge of the picture.



A better picture of the granite countertop



This picture is terrible but it is looking toward the front of the theater. The walls are now all painted black. Even though I will be covering these walls with black GoM fabric on 703 insulation boards I did not want any light reflection of any kind to happen.



This is really the first pic of the staircase coming down. The ceiling with the recessed lighting is actually on the far rear of the theater. We intentionally built it this way to that when you stepped off the last stair it didn't feel like you were in the the theater. You actually have to turn right(left from this point of view) to enter the theater.

We used the lighting to give a "path" toward the pool and bar areas.

You can also see the sauna window on the right as well as the cutouts in the soffit that will hold the rear surround speakers.



Here is a pic of the back of the theater with the sauna opening



The pool room walls are finished.



Here is a close-up of the back of the stage and the surrounding black walls.



Here I am testing positioning for my screen using wires. I am using SmX AT screen that will be between 9 to 10 feet wide. You can also see that the ceiling is not completely finished. The majority of the theater's ceiling will be a twinkling fiberoptic ceiling.



Those lightbulbs are behind the screen. The recesses light, and 2 others, are above the stage.


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post #12 of 244 Old 09-30-2006, 09:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Here is the wet bar. We used a granite counter top and custom built cherry cabinets. We are also putting in 2 built-in wine coolers. One for white and the other for red. No I am not really a wine snob, I just thought it would look cool.







We found a heck of a deal on a hand crafted pewter sink that will go in this hole in the granite. man is granite heavy!!!


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post #13 of 244 Old 09-30-2006, 09:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calv1n View Post

jmorris644,

Looking forward to your thread You certainly have a lot of space to work with and a pretty solid plan. Considering the list of people you have for inspirations you'll have a pretty high bar for building. Many of the most amazing HT on AVS belong to the people on that list. I used and talked to many of them myself - my screen is a SMX from Sandman for my basement HT and my main PJ was bought off Alan and AVS.

What have you decided to use for equipment, have you bought it all yet or are you still in the fun "shopping phase"

Good luck I'll be watching with interest.
Cheers

Thanks. There is absolutely no way in He!! that I will be able to even come close to those guys. They are all great people though.

I just received my projector yesterday. I purchased an Optoma HD81 1080p. It is absolutely amazing. Later on I will be putting up posts about the rest of the equipment.

Thanks Again.

Joe

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post #14 of 244 Old 10-02-2006, 05:55 PM
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Good stuff Joe!

Definitely brings back memories of when we were building my dedicated HT. Despite running into problems here and there, I definitely look back on the whole process rather fondly.
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post #15 of 244 Old 10-02-2006, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Good stuff Joe!

Definitely brings back memories of when we were building my dedicated HT. Despite running into problems here and there, I definitely look back on the whole process rather fondly.

Thanks Rob,

I have some mroe pictures to post once I get my hands on my camera again. my son borrowed it and has it at his band's warehouse.

Joe

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post #16 of 244 Old 10-09-2006, 08:18 AM
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Very nice Joe, what are your room dimensions, looks like 12x20. How many seats are you going for? I am curious as to how you determined the stage depth and the radius?

Bill
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post #17 of 244 Old 10-10-2006, 06:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uxbridge View Post

Very nice Joe, what are your room dimensions, looks like 12x20. How many seats are you going for? I am curious as to how you determined the stage depth and the radius?

Bill

Thanks Bill,

You are very close The theater space itself is 12x26. But the back end is really like a hallway. So 12x20 is right on for the actual darkened space of the theater.

I am probably one of the few folks that doesn't really care for the typical theater seating. Quite often I like to lay down to watch a movie. So we are going to be putting a couch and a chaise lounge in the theater. We will also have something like bean bags up front. We are empty nesters and grandkids are still a few years off.

As far as the stage, I definitely wanted a good 2 feet behind the screen for the speakers and the ability to walk around. I am installing a SMX AT screen. We tried a number of different radii and chose one that was the most appealing as we had 3 identical radii to create. The stage, the ceiling above the stage, and the ceiling at the rear of the theater.

So the ceiling above the stage is a mirror of the stage itself, even including the step. However the rise of the "step" in the ceiling is not as much as the stage itself. We just added two sheets of sheetrock to create the illusion of the ceiling step.

Between the two ceiling radii I will be installing a fiber optic twinkling star ceiling. These stars are controlled by the grafik eye just like the rest of the lights in the room.

Joe

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post #18 of 244 Old 10-10-2006, 03:54 PM - Thread Starter
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I finally got some more pics taken.
We got the doors hung today (10/1/06)

Here is the door that leads into the equipment closet. The opening on the left where the equipment goes will have matching cherry cabinet doors. There will also be a IR receiver drilled through the trim once it is up.



Here are the cherry cabinet doors that will go on the space where the equipment goes.



The light trays arrived. These cherry trays will attach to the soffits that surround the theater. They will contain small can lights that will point down as well as a rope light that will reflect up into the starred ceiling.



This is facing the stairway coming down with the new doors on the laundry room and closet. You can still see the opening in the sauna for the window.



We just installed the granite pieces on the fireplace. We have the top ones clamped and are using paint cans for spacers.



Closeup of the granite on the fireplace. It is the same granite that we used on the wet bar.



We tore the stairs apart and got the kickboards installed. We will be putting hickory on the staircase. The hickory will match the landing above as well as the kitchen.



Here you can see we got the trim on for the equipment space. The cabinet fronts are laying on the floor next to the opening.



The small bathroom is almost finished too. Just painting is left now.



Here is a picture of the bar sink. We got lucky and found this as a floor clearance. It is hand pounded pewter from Mexico. We got it for $180 and were told the retail was $1300.



That is it for this week. Tomorrow we are putting up the light trays. I should have some really cool pictures of that process.

Joe

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post #19 of 244 Old 10-10-2006, 05:11 PM
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Joe,

The build is coming along amazing. Looking great I love the sink always a nice touch to have something unique or at least very rare.
How much of the work are you doing yourself ?
Looking forward to seeing more.
Cheers
Calvin
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post #20 of 244 Old 10-10-2006, 07:21 PM
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Joe,
what are the three junction boxes (two at the floor one to the left half way up)in the front wall for, 115v or speaker wiring, or is the speaker wiring the hanging blue wire? Why the lights behind the screen are they for utility or a form of accent lighting? Will the glass bulbs reflect light through the AT screen or will they be in a shadow above it?

Excellent progress!

Bill
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post #21 of 244 Old 10-10-2006, 09:55 PM
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Nice details! I love the sink, I agree that it's the unique things that really make a difference in your room. Way to go on the killer price too

Mike
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post #22 of 244 Old 10-11-2006, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calv1n View Post

Joe,

The build is coming along amazing. Looking great I love the sink always a nice touch to have something unique or at least very rare.
How much of the work are you doing yourself ?
Looking forward to seeing more.
Cheers
Calvin

I have done all of the research and design. In addition to the basement we are also remodeling the main floor of our house. So the builder that we are using to do that remodel is also helping me with the home theater et al.

While al this is going on I put in in-floor heating throughout the main level along with a super efficient boiler to run it all. All of that work I did completely myself. I also did all of the low voltage wiring and quite a bit of the high voltage wiring.

I am having all of the woodwork done for me. My builder has a good connection with a cabinet shop so all of the wood is coming from there. Everything is cherry.

We are currently installing the light trays. I will have some pictures of those soon They are looking spectacular!!

Joe

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post #23 of 244 Old 10-11-2006, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uxbridge View Post

Joe,
what are the three junction boxes (two at the floor one to the left half way up)in the front wall for, 115v or speaker wiring, or is the speaker wiring the hanging blue wire? Why the lights behind the screen are they for utility or a form of accent lighting? Will the glass bulbs reflect light through the AT screen or will they be in a shadow above it?

Excellent progress!

Bill

Thanks. The lights behind the screen are for utility only. The rest of the wires are the speaker wires and the power fire for the light box that runs the starred ceiling.

The outlets are for the subwoofer and anything else I can think of. More than likely I will never use most of them. The one half way up is the light switch for the lights behind the screen.

Joe

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post #24 of 244 Old 10-11-2006, 02:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by accts4mjs View Post

Nice details! I love the sink, I agree that it's the unique things that really make a difference in your room. Way to go on the killer price too

Mike

Thanks

Joe

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post #25 of 244 Old 10-11-2006, 04:25 PM - Thread Starter
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We started putting the light trays in today. They are looking really nice!!!


We cut triangles out of 2x4s and screwed them into the soffits for support of the light trays.




Here you can see two of the triangles, one on either side of a speaker opening in the soffit.



You can see one light tray installed above the head of the carpenter. It runs the full length of the soffit. Another light tray is laying upside down on the sawhorse.



Here is the back corner where two light trays will come together. The outlet is used to plug in the down throwing lights and it is controlled by the grafik-eye. One side powers the down lights and the other side powers the light ropes. The green tape marks the approximate location for the down light. We didn't want a triangle support block getting in the way.



Here is a closeup of the almost finished light tray. You can see the seam because of all of the sawdust flying around. we attached the sections of light trays together using Kreg joints. These joints are what are used in cabinetry to get those really good looking joints.



We also put the light up that goes above the pool table. We like Coke in our family


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post #26 of 244 Old 10-12-2006, 09:04 AM
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Wow, you're really making some serious headway! I like the coke sign (of course we'd have to get a diet coke one in my family ).

Mike
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post #27 of 244 Old 10-15-2006, 10:37 AM
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Joe,

Looking great - I'm eager to see some new photos been almost a week I'm sure you've been busy

BTW you have a huge basement what are the dimensions down there?

Cheers
Calvin
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post #28 of 244 Old 10-15-2006, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calv1n View Post

Joe,

Looking great - I'm eager to see some new photos been almost a week I'm sure you've been busy

BTW you have a huge basement what are the dimensions down there?

Cheers
Calvin

Thanks. I'm about to post another set of pics. The house was built in 1957 so it is not really that big. The theater area is 12'x26', the wet bar area including the fireplace is 6'x21', the pool area is 11'x14'. These 3 areas areas share a common open corner like it shows in the first post.

Joe

Starting Research for new Theater. New Theater will be 24x36x12.

The link to my previous theater build :) Theater


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Daughter's Music
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post #29 of 244 Old 10-15-2006, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, We got the light trays up this last week. I don't know if I mentioned it before but the theater is going to be completely black with cherry wood accents. So the light trays are made out of cherry wood.

This is a pic of the light tray on the right side of the theater



Here is the left side looking toward the wet bar (on left) and screen area.



Here is the back of the theater area. You can see the slots in the light tray for the rear surrounds (7ch setup) and we have framed in the the sauna window. All of the doors are cherry too. We decided that was the best look.



Here is a closer look at the front left light tray. I am going to put one down light in the middle of this opening.



Here is the middle left tray. Between the two pillars. There will be 3 down lights here.



Here is the back left looking toward the pool room. There will be 3 down lights in this span.



The back tray again where there will be 1 light in each of the 3 sections.



The down lights in this right side will match the positions of the left side.



Joe

Starting Research for new Theater. New Theater will be 24x36x12.

The link to my previous theater build :) Theater


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Daughter's Music
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post #30 of 244 Old 10-15-2006, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
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I got almost half of the down lights put in yesterday. Boy is it hard drilling a 3" hole in that cherry. I ended up lubricating the hole saw with WD40 so it would stop burning the wood. Here is a hint: If you are going to use WD40 to oil up a hole saw make sure you spin the saw near the ground BEFORE you start drilling. I got a face full of oil the first time I did it.

Here is a picture of the lights that I am using. Ruben found these and used them in his light trays. They are 35 watt halogen and from an installation standpoint work really slick.







Here is the first light installed. (Sorry for the bad focus)



Here all 6 that go on the left side light tray are installed.



Same pic but with all of the other lights turned off. Just the 6 on and no flash.



Joe

Starting Research for new Theater. New Theater will be 24x36x12.

The link to my previous theater build :) Theater


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