Curved screen completed with Wilsonart laminate - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 12-20-2001, 02:19 AM - Thread Starter
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I have visited this site over the last several months and came across Alan's suggestion on a curved screen made with white counter top laminate. I have finally completed mine in a modified manner for a 5X8 size. I was so happy with the results that I wanted to share the success story and compliment Alan on his excellent idea and post.

I used the WilsonArt Designer White (matte). It can be purchased in 3, 4, or 5 ft widths and up to 12 ft in length. I bought the 5 X 12 and cut it with shears to 8'1". The laminate cost about $.77/sft on sale and the shears were $26. I did construct the frame differently since I did not have much luck with Alan's curved plywood "shelfs" or bracket supports. The plywood sagged above and below the supports ( I must have done something wrong). However, I found that you can handle this in a different manner. I constructed a "picture frame" out of 2X4's for the basic mount and reinforced it with rigid steel ties and cross supports (I used a one foot wide by 5 ft MDF board to form the center cross supports for later use to secure the slats). Then I mounted a 2x4 at a 90 degree angle and in the middle of the 4 inch side of the two end Pieces of the picture frame to match the height of the screen (5ft). This would become the support for the curved "slats". Next, I used six 1x4's (white pine) as curved slats to form the support for the plywood sheet. I pushed the 1x4's down to the center cross support (MDF/2x4) and screwed them into place. This provided slightly less curve but this can be adjusted with higher wood mounts. The rest of the job was done per Alan's post. One word of advice, be very careful in using the glue. Once the sheet touches down on the plywood it is all over. It's there to stay! I had to make another trip for the WisonArt after a bungled first attempt...

I mounted the new screen on my wall (you will need a friend or two....its heavy), reset the convergence, bow, and keystone on my ceiling mounted Electrohome 3501 and the result was phenomenal. This is before doing any focus work adjustments. The colors, brightness, and detail were all improved dramatically with the same contrast level (6). It was such an improvement (Previous Quickfold Da-Lite mount with Da-Lite screen) that I spent about 4 hours rewatching two movies I am very familiar with to compare. And, the screen can be cleaned like a countertop. Thanks again Alan. This was a tremendous improvement to my system for less than $200. Highly recommended. I will try to post some pictures in the future when I can get my hands on a digital camera.
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post #2 of 4 Old 12-20-2001, 03:48 AM
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Y-der4me,

Welcome to the curved screen club. My first one was a DIY formica similar to yours and also an ECP3501. The benefits are just as you desribed. Once you are used to the improved picture, it's hard to look at a flat screen again.



Mike
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post #3 of 4 Old 12-20-2001, 10:35 AM
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Do you have any clue what gain you get...ie what was the gain on your Da Lite, and is the laninate brighter?

Any downside you noticed, other the construction? Any hot spotting or smearing because its plastic?

What size CRTs is your PJ?

How did you determine a radius?

Sounds good! I may be trying this!

Thanks,

Jeff

Finally went digital: RS20, ISCO IIIs, DIY 10.5' wide torus screen, Stewart StudioTek 1.3 G3 with 4 way masking and adjustable image size
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post #4 of 4 Old 12-20-2001, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Jeff,
The Electrohome 3501 uses 7" CRT's. Mine has slightly upgraded/improved Sony tubes (-09's?). I do not know the gain on the screens. However, you can do an excellent side by side comparison with your existing screen. I did this before building a mount.

I bought the laminate (5'x8') and set it on the floor propped up flat against my current screen. Thus, the new laminate screen was about half of the total picture. Then you can turn on your projector and view different images for comparison. The new material improved the gray and white tones in particular. It is whiter than my old Da-Lite. You can curve the laminate to determine its effect on the picture (it is rolled up for transport anyway and will curve standing up). The new material would have been an improvement in a flat configuration. However, it is like night and day in a curved format!

To determine the amount of the curve, I measured the depth of the curve suggested by Alan in his original post. When I traced it out it was about 5". Mine is about 4.5". In other words, the horizontal edges of the screen are about 4.5" closer to the CRT axis than the center of the screen. The center point of the new screen is about the same distance from the CRT's as the old screen.

You can probably find samples of the WisonArt Designer White at local shops for custom kitchen counters. If not, I can probably find some scrap from my project and send you a sample. I have not noticed any hot spotting or smearing of colors. If anything, it is much sharper than before. In fact, I could never reach this brightness level before on my old screen without severe blooming as I turned the contrast up. My DVD picture size is about 42" by 76" in 1.8 mode.

After seeing these results, I will not go flat again. I will probably experiment further with curved screens down the road.

Good Luck!
Bryan
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