Ok - I'm really PO'd because I just typed this whole thing in, and then I clicked on a jpg to check it and it overwrote this entry screen and so I'm doing it all over again...
Here is my screen building experience. Overall I rate it a 4.5/5. That breaks down to 5/5 for cost 4.5/5 fun factor, 4/5 end result with lights on, 5/5 end result during viewing.
Thanks to all who came before me who helped in building this forum and thus in building my screen.
First some backgound - I moved recently from a large house with a dedicated HT room, fully treated and custom install. Dalite screen pearlescent with a Barcographics CRT install. New home is 1/2 the size, no dedicated HT room and much smaller. Also much less budget, thus the need/desire to build my own.
Basically I decided to build a 52/92" screen to be watched from about 11 feet. This is for my plus UP1100 projector. I decided to use a wood frame and place screen (i.e. porch)holding cleats around the frame to hold the screen material. This was suggested here and is a GREAT idea - makes getting the screen flush and flat very easy. Initially I had planned to use black felt for the border, but this did not work, thus I ended up just using the caps that came with the screen mounting cleats - for some reason these didn't come in black (even though the bottom section where the screen is held in was black) so I just spray painted them flat black.
Well, lets look at a few pics. First here is the overall frame. Notice a couple things. First the big mess, small space. This is not a fancy shop, to say the least. Second, the work surface - not exactly high tech but my point is this is really not hard to do. Third, notice the clamps - I'll discuss this below.http://users.clover.net/pprior/images/frame.jpg
The cross braces in the above picture were put in to try to minimize/eliminate any bow created in the frame by stretching the fabric. I think probably 1 in the middle rather than the 3 I did would be adequate, but I was having fun with my new tool - a biscuit jointer, so I put 3 in.
Yes, one of my rules is that if I'm doing a project to "save money" I invest part of that money into a tool that I'll then have for the next project. In this case I spent around $180 on a dewalt biscuit jointer which basically allows you to make very easy, very strong joints. Highly recommended:http://users.clover.net/pprior/images/toolsjointer.jpg
I had already bought before a miter saw when I framed in a basement before, and this made the project much easier, but of course is not needed:http://users.clover.net/pprior/images/toolssaw.jpg
The reason you see the clamps on notches in the frame is that my corner clamps wouldn't fit on the wide boards that I was using (1x4)so rather than buy a bunch of big clamps I notched the corners and then used the clamps I had. This worked great. One note: the wood was not all exactly the same depth. I referenced my biscuit joints from the top surface of all sides and thus the top is flat - the back edge is not exactly but who cares? If you had a planer, this would not be a problem, but that's a purchase for my next project http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif
Here is how I notched those corners:http://users.clover.net/pprior/images/cornercut.jpghttp://users.clover.net/pprior/images/notchcut.jpg