Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Edmonton, AB, Can
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I just wanted to let you guys know that my screen project turned out PERFECT. I now have a professional-looking 90 x 50 screen with a 4" black border around it.
Stretching the screen fabric turned out to be a lot easier than I thought. I started by stretching the middle and stapling it, then stretching the middle on the sides and stapling it (leaving a sort of 'diamond' shape in the cloth). Then I worked out to the corners a few inches at a time, going around the frame, until I hit the corners. I only had to stretch the material about 1" in each direction, so the frame isn't under much tension, but the fabric itself is tight as a drum.
As I stretched the cloth, I stapled it and held the tension while I hammered down the staple. Otherwise, the force of the tension on the staple would be applied just to the two prongs of the staple, and I was afraid of tearing. By hammering the staple in flat, the force is distributed over the whole staple.
I didn't bother with any sort of support pieces or backing on the frame. The 1 x 4 fir framing members are much stronger than they need to be for this amount of tension. The frame will twist easily when not mounted on the wall, but I'm confident that once mounted it won't sag or bow in.
I took some pictures with my digital camcorder in 'camera' mode of the screen at various stages of completion, and I'll post them as soon as I get a chance to get them out of the camera and into my computer.
For the next stage of my project, I plan to build a screen wall with a gap in the center exactly the size of my frame. Then I'll put some blocking pieces inset 1" back around the perimeter of the hole, so that the screen can be set in place and flush-mounted. Screws will then go through the frame and into the blocking behind it. I'll probably use 8 screws, one for each corner and one in the middle of each side. Then if I ever need access to the back of the screen wall to get at wiring or the flush-mounted center speaker, I can just unscrew the screen and remove it.