I just bought a used motorized Stewart screen. It is pretty beat up and very big. However, the motor works fine which is the real important part for me. My biggest problem with it is whoever stored this thing stored it on its side like a pole in the ground. This caused the screen fabric to get stretched in one direction at the bottom of the screen causing fairly big wave patterns. I now have it setup so it is hanging properly hoping some of the wave will come out. Over the last 48 hours a wave in the opposite direction has occured to compensate for the initial wave. I think the damage is so bad that it won't be able to right itself on its own. Has anyone ever had this problem and found a fix? Would something like a steamer help perhaps flatten the fabric at all?
Here are two pics that might help better explain what this problem looks like:
As it is vinyl, it may be irremediably stretched... but you could try placing it's creased area above a low heat radiator and then pull evenly across its width to even it out by restretching it further?
Just an "off the cuff" idea, so think twice before trying this...
Lets see if we cant salvage that screen. You are right that the screen was stored on edge. That is one of the worse things to do to a screen.
Release the "S" hooks on the guy wire at the screen batten (the metal bar on the bottom) We want the full weight of the batten to be on the screen for a few days.
2. Take a heat gun, or super good hair dryer, and heat over the wrinkles. Think of the heat gun as a can of spray paint. Do not hold heat gun in one place for too long and keep making slow strokes over problem areas. The wrinkles will not improve as heat is applied.The wrinkles should get better after material cools back down to room temp. You may have to keep repeating the heat until your arm feels like its going to fall off. Judging from your photos the screen is in very poor shape.
Step 3. If fabric wrinkles improve the reattach guy wires to batten with minimum tension.
If the procedures above do not work the other option would be to remask the screen into a smaller size by painting new black borders around the undamaged screen area.
Thank you Bryan, Dan, Brett and Don for the great recommendations! Don, I can't believe I didn't even think about the weight of the metal bar at the bottom being hindered by those S-hooks. That is a great idea to release them. I am going to do this right now and let it hang for a few days to see what happens. Also, the idea about remasking the screen was just pure genius. I wanted an hdtv screen size anyway! My fiance thinks I'm crazy and should go for the full 120". Quality over quantity I say! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif
I sure will Don. I just assumed it was coincidence that your name was Don Stewart and not the Don Stewart of Stewart Filmscreen (I guess I should be paying more attention in the forum http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif ). I can't thank you enough for taking the time to respond to my question. This kind of attention I think is pretty much unheard of in the home theater industry especially since I bought your product on the used market. Again, thank you so much. It does mean a lot to me.
I sure will Dan. I did exactly as Don said and let the guide wires loose. This helped put more tension on the screen. Yesterday I started on the blow drying. I would do it with some pretty big sweeping motions to ensure that I didn't just basically burn in one area too long. I felt the fabric and it was warm to the touch. I could tell it is doing something because where the big creases are it would bubble up along the crease more or less displaying it was now stretching top to bottom a bit more. Also, a line would form down the middle of the crease itself, sort of a crease within a crease thing. Then I would let it cool which unfortunately didn't show too much improvement. I hate to say but I think this screen might be too far gone. I might just have to mask it. Don you had mentioned painting it to mask it. Is there any particular paint you might recommend because the more I do blow dry the more I think masking is going to be essential. I am not giving up though. For all I know I might just be in the early stages. I am going to keep doing this everyday to see what happens. I will post image results when I'm done. Hopefully, they will be good enough to have something to display but I am getting less optimistic.
I realize the images are a bit misleading. There has been an improvement but still not projector worthy yet. I started by just using a professional blow dryer and just as Don said the screen got worse before it got better. The heat I suppose would contract the vinyl in the screen and as it cooled it would then reshape itself. The big crease on the far left part of the screen I think is going to be the most difficult to get out and I am not sure if any treatment will ever help it. After blow drying a number of times and allowing the screen to cool while it was still down started to produce only a minimal amount of improvement. Then I thought perhaps if I heated up the screen and then raised it back onto the roller this might help flatten it out and reshape it while it cooled. This is exactly what happened and really helped move things along much faster. As time went on I have gotten more agressive with the blow dryer (I know, it sounds funny even writing that http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif ). I just wasn't getting any results. Now I have gotten to the point where I am basically aiming the blow dryer about 3 inches from the screen and working on only a 2 foot square area at a time. I spend about 10 minutes really getting this one area nice and hot and then raise the screen immediately. Then I let that cool for about an hour or so. I have a feeling these treatments are going to have to go on for quite a while before I see anymore results. I will continue to keep the forum updated with what happens.
Finally, there are quite a few pen and pencil marks on this screen. Does anyone know how to clean this type of fabric without ruining it? This particular screen material is Stewart's Videomatte 200 (I think now called 2000). It has a 1.8 screen gain.
[This message has been edited by JP (edited 11-01-2000).]
JP - What is the history behind this screen? It sounds as if it was trated very badly. As for the blow drying, I am wondering if placing the screen over a sheet of plywood, and allowing it to be almost "streatched" over the edge of the wood (or table, or whatever) would help. It seem at this point you would benifit from a hard surface under the screen to help promote the flattening of the screen. You have far more patience than I do, I would have pitched the thing by now, and ordered another.
Hey Dan. Well, the patience comes from simply lack of funds http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/frown.gif I still feel very lucky to have this thing. I have been into home theater for around 10 years and always wanted a motorized screen. The history behind this unit isn't much. I bought this one from an individual who works for a leasing company. His job is to basically get rid of broken or damaged equipment from the company he works for. This screen would fall under the damaged category. I just don't think he really thought that putting it on its side over a long period of time could cause this kind of damage.
Still, I am happy with the improvement. This material is much different to work with than my Dalite Model B (video spectra material). The Videomatte 200 is much thicker and holds its shape very well. Thus the problem with the creases.
I plan to keep on trying the blow drying treatments along with the immediate raising of the screen until I don't see anymore improvements. I don't think I am far off to be honest. After that I might go ahead and try laying it on some plywood and actually lightly iron it to see what happens. I wouldn't use steam. I think the heat coupled with pressure is what this screen really needs and I think it might work. I'll keep you posted.
Again, does anyone know how to clean a screen like this. I have some pencil and pen marks here and there I would like to get out. I am assuming soap and water with a clean rag might be best but I just don't know for sure.
Here is an update on the screen. After many blow-drying treatments I could tell the screen was not going to get any better. It needed not only heat but pressure. So since I really had nothing to lose I decided to take it down and try to iron it. I simply ironed the rear of the screen by laying it on the carpet and using a cloth between the iron and the screen vinyl itself. The creasing was so bad I kept trying at low heat but still nothing. I slowly increased the heat until I went too far and added to much pressure and managed to burn part of the screen. However, it hardly shows on the side that matters...the white front side. Here is a pic to see the improvement.
I think with one more try to really iron out a few wrinkles I might just be able to salvage it but I just don't know. I can see myself trying to take things a bit further by cutting the screen fabric and reattaching the bottom bar higher up beyond the problem area and just using this as an hdtv screen (16:9). I'll keep the forum posted.