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Why aren't "Formica" type screens more popular ?  

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 
Why aren't "Formica" type screens more popular here? Are they too much trouble to work with, too hard to mount? A while back there were a few members talking about their "Formica" screens, but nothing since. One of the laminate companies must have a nice white or gray, flat/matte finish that would work nice for a screen. It seems that once it's up, the screen would be very durable, easy to clean, etc. Anybody have any input on a "Formica" screen? If you have one, how and what did you mount the laminate to? Thanks very much.
post #2 of 49
Because MM doesn't make any money promoting them :)

Watch with MM's writing flare within two weeks of mm promoting melamine half the people here would forget about LF and start following mm 's melamine threads :)

I have seen people helping MM promote his Lf screen for over a year who have no intention of painting one or having ever seen one but just love the companionship :)

I also feel it is a lot of work and extra costs painting a LF just to get a 1.3 to 1.5 white screen

Jim I would think that a 3/8" mdf panel would be one of the best substrates to mount your laminate on if you were going to use laminate for a screen .

I found melamine easier because it is already mounted to a flat substrate, but but laminates have more possibilities in finishes and colours
I found a couple of samples of wilsonart to be pretty promising also a brand named nevermar had one , but it is a very highend expensive laminate

Even if you were going to paint mud for your screen then a 1/2"melamine board is a perfect substrate !! flat , hard and smooth

It is twice as easy and fast to make a melamine screen compared to a bo cloth !! also easier to frame , another way to hang a paneled screen would be to mount it with four angle brackets out from the wall a few inches and have your rear wall covered in black felt saving the need for a felt frame, and the screen looks like it is just floating in the air !! pretty cool looking

I am surprised as well at how popular a dull Bo cloth screen is especially since so many people have a hard time doing one in the first place .

Bruce
post #3 of 49
I agree with Bruce. I was at Home Depot yesterday and there are a couple of options to choose from for a screen.
For around $25, Clarence tells everybody that Melamine is the cheapest and easiest. I will have to agree since you don't have to worry about a flexible surface. Parkland is also cheap and you have two choices there as well.
This was all to set up the laminates. The Depot sold 4x8 Wilsonart for $42. I believe the Wilsonart stores have them for less at around $30. I looked at all of their samples and picked up the ones that might work. After getting them home, I think you have four choices. In white, they have white and designer white. I would chose the white, since there is a slight color shift in the designer. In grey, they have cloud and dove grey. Cloud is the lighter of the two and would probably work well with a digital. I also looked at the metal laminates for a possible light fusion adaptation. They have a whole line of metals that look interesting, but there is one problem. You got it - price. I felt like I had been raped and I didn't even buy it. It is $27 a square foot. I haven't checked out Formica to see what they have yet. I doubt they have anything much different and I think their prices are higher. The laminates still have possibilities for a hard Torus, which is what I am interested in.

Ericglo
post #4 of 49
$27 a foot! Good God, you can buy 1" granite for that price. Might not make a very good screen though, and it'd be damn heavy to hang on the wall. :D

Melamine, Parkland, laminate, all of these are easy solutions. Finding a nice white one isn't too hard. But if you want to keep it simple, that means no painting, and how are these things for projection? Lots of them are too shiny and smooth to use as a projection surface. Hotspot city. If somebody could come up with a simple no-paint solution that was significantly brighter than BO, I'd be real interested. Otherwise it's just easier to paint my BO screen. BO's a helluva lot lighter and easier to move around than any of these whiteboard solutions. Mine is currently hung with two small finish nails in the sheetrock -- simple and almost no marks on the wall until I decide on a more permanent mounting solution.

(And Bruce, a BO screen is pretty darn easy to make. I'm hopelessly unhandy and I managed to put mine together with no problems. It did help that I was able to borrow a friend's nailgun and miter saw. Total cost for all materials was less than $60. But it IS dull.)

Gary
post #5 of 49
Gary,
My mistake! It is $23 a sq/foot or $736 for a 4x8!!!! Now you know why I felt like I had been raped by a couple of gay porn stars.:D

On the Melamine, I thought Clarence had tested it and said it was o.k. Melamine might be heavy, but Parkland and laminates aren't. As for gloss, the white that I have in front of me isn't that glossy. You would need to see the full size sheet for confirmation, though. This is all moot anyway, because you are eventually going to go for the ultimate - TORUS.:D


Ericglo
post #6 of 49
Thread Starter 
I read that thread by Clarence after doing a search, but he is using the stock 4'X8' white melamine from Home Depot. I need a 52"X92" screen. I currently have a B/O cloth screen I need to re-do due to wrinkles, and I'm considering my options. How can a screen be "too smooth" for a projection screen, as long as it's a flat/matte finish? Maybe I'll look at Home Depot today. Thanks.
post #7 of 49
You're right Ericglo, a torus is in my future someday, but in the meantime I'd just like something with a bit more "pop" than my BO...

Jim McC, if the surface is too smooth, it will reflect too might light and hotspot like crazy. Think what it would look like if you projected onto a typical white marker board. You need something with a bit less glossy surface than that.
post #8 of 49
Jim McC,
Wilsonart sells their laminates in sizes up to 5x12. They have different finishes, but I don't know what that means. You can email them and ask. I think it is about a dollar a sq/foot.

Gary,
So, why don't you make a Torus? It isn't that expensive or hard.

Ericglo
post #9 of 49
Thread Starter 
Gary, I'm confused. A laminate can be smooth AND have a matte finish. Are you saying a smooth, white matte laminate would still hotspot? Does hotspotting, in general, happen if PJ is ceiling mounted? Does ceiling mounting reduce or eliminate hotspotting? Thanks.
post #10 of 49
A true cabinet grade melamine is a lot less glossy than a white board and It isn't as smooth either . I found melamine has a duller finish than a doable board as well .
Laminates are a whole other product than melamine boards

"And Bruce, a BO screen is pretty darn easy to make. I'm hopelessly unhandy and I managed to put mine together with no problems. It did help that I was able to borrow a friend's nailgun and miter saw. Total cost for all materials was less than $60. But it IS dull.) "

I know how easy it is to make I have made about four of them !! I think the last one took me less than twenty minutes , but I was saying that the way some people agonized considering doing one I was wondering why they didn't go for something else .

Bruce

PS the next screen I am going to build when I get some time is a solid torus screen
post #11 of 49
Jim, if it's "matte enough," then no, it won't hotspot. Ceiling mounting doesn't cause hotspotting -- high-gain screen surfaces do.
post #12 of 49
Thread Starter 
What is a torus screen?
post #13 of 49
Ericglo, it's not hard like climbing Mt Everest maybe :) but it's a stretch for my very limited DIY skills and tools. Expensive -- well, a 90" wide torus will take about 36 ft^2 of screen material at something like $5/ft, plus other materials, so I figure $250-300 total. That's not in the budget right now.

Jim -- see this post for an explanation of curved, spherical, and toroidal screens.

Gary
post #14 of 49
Quote from Bruce Can " I found melamine has a duller finish than a doable board as well ."
==================================================
I found the exact opposite to be true. I went from a small 2'x4' Doable board to
a "full size" (75 in diag) melamine board and had some pretty nasty hotspoting until I took a piece of Scotchbrite to it. I'm still not completely happy, you can see some surface aberrations on all white winter scenes when they pan. I think melamine is a generic term, and you can get a pretty wide range of shininess from product to product. I'm just going to try MM on my melamine board next. BTW, it was super easy to mount, I just screwed it to studs along the perimiter where the frame was going to go anyway.

4//4/05 update: I went with Behr Ultra Pure White flat exterior over my melamine per, your guessed it MM on the cheap 4805 screen thread, and it looks great! Removed all hotspotting and "features".
post #15 of 49
I have a 108x61 inch Bright White Wilsonart Formica screen and it's simply fantastic.

While I never intended to be a DYI'er, I decided upon formica because of one particular enviornmental factor.

My Cats like the Mouse on the screen from the HTPC. They jump at it, and on the way down, they like to extend their claws into whatever the mouse happens to be displayed on.

Lucky for me, I had 2 samples of cloth screen on a bare wall before I discoved this. While I was evaluating Stewart and Draper, The Bat (as she's called) charged the screen, flew into the air, and attached herself to the screen sample.

At that moment, I knew that a cloth screen wasn't gonna cut it.

So, I tried Parkland, but just didn't like it.

Then, I got some Formica, and LOVED IT.

In fact, Mike Parker, the Guru who did the mods on my Marquee 8500, when he was visiting saw the screen and went "WOW!".

There's really no hotspotting to speak of, it's totally flat, it's easy to mount, you can cut it with a pair of sheers, and it's about 1/16th of an inch thick, so mounting black casement trim around the oustide is pretty freaking simple.

Since I went this route, I've tried some mixes, but in terms of sharpness, this one beats all.

Just an FYI
post #16 of 49
Thread Starter 
Kineto, I sent you a PM. Is the color actually called "bright white" from Wilsonart? I got 2 white samples from Home Depot, one is "Frosty White", and one is "Designer White". The "designer white" is brighter, both are matte finish. How did you mount it to wall? Did you glue it to particle board or something first, or did you mount/glue it right to wall? I was hoping to find a particle board or MDF larger than 4'X8' to glue it to first, then hang it on wall. My screen size is 52"X92". Thanks.
post #17 of 49
Designer White will do just fine.

Mounting was fairly easy, if you're the least bit handy.

Because the screen wasn't a standard 4ft x 8ft size, there was no easy substrate that I could use to mount it.

So, I used 3 pieces of 9/32nd plywood, had HD rip cut them so I would have 3 panels that I could attach to the wall. Since there were factory seams on all of the vertically running edges, it fit perfectly.

One note - you will have to use toggle bolts or wall anchor for some of the joints, as it's not likely that you'll be lucky enough to hit a stud.

Now, if you're screen size is less than 4ft by 8ft, you're home free. Just get one tin piece of plywood, mount it on the wall with screws and maybe a few toggle bolts (The edges need to be secure).

Make sure that any bolt or screw heads are counter-sunk.

Then cut your Formica to the right screen size (which should be the same size as your substrate).

You can use industrial sheers or a Formica cutter, and if you're handy, you can use a router against a straight edged fence with a Formica cutting bit.

Get some Formica adhesive and a trowel.

Throw the adhesive on your plywood, and have a friend help you mount the Formica on the wall. Take care not to get any adhesive on the Formica it'self.

I put a few ring shank nails through the Formica (using pre-drilled holes so there was not chance of splitting) at the very top into the studs. The ring shanks had wide, flat heads. I knew I was going to cover that area with trim, so it wasn't a problem.

The nails hold the Formica in place so that you have use either a rubber roller, rolling pin, or just elbow grease with a towel to smooth out the surface.

Now, before you put the trim up, or as a fastener with the trim, at the corners, try secure the Formica as best you can, as corners are known for curling if you don't put enough adhesive down there.

It takes almost as long to explain as it does to do.

And I have to say, this thing is nearly indestructible. I've spilled trim paint and ceiling paint on it and it just wipes off.

Cleaning = Windex.

And it's a fine screen. I've got both a CRT and a AE700 LCD as back up and they both look A-Okay.

Hope that helps!
post #18 of 49
Pretty Nifty.

And it sounds easy to do if your not afraid of such work. Laminating things is scarier than painting for some. Something intimidating about glueing anything I guess.

Thanks for the excellent tip. If nothing else, it sounds like an excellent, instantly smooth white base coat for additional experimentation. But just maybe for some, it's all that's needed. (CRT owners)
post #19 of 49
Thread Starter 
Thanks kineto. Is "designer white" the one you are using?
post #20 of 49
MP says "WOW," eh? Hmmmmmm... that sure would be simple...
post #21 of 49
I've got two questions:

1) is the stuff bendable enough to get down a curved staircase?

2) What is the price per sq ft on this stuff?

I was down to the point of being 99% sure I was going to use fabric (since I can't get solid sheets of anything down my stairs bigger than 4' x 8', and that's too small), but this 'might' be a viable option if I can get it down the stairs (and if the price is right). Thanks

Taylor34
post #22 of 49
Laminate can be rolled into a tube, maybe 12-18" in diameter. Roll it up, take it down to the basement, glue it to your backing, and you're golden.

I looked online and 4x8 Designer White is about $75. 5x12 is about $150.
post #23 of 49
Quote:
Originally posted by garyfritz
Laminate can be rolled into a tube, maybe 12-18" in diameter. Roll it up, take it down to the basement, glue it to your backing, and you're golden.

I looked online and 4x8 Designer White is about $75. 5x12 is about $150.
Guess I might as well get the Draper fabric then--it's in the same ballpark as that for the screen size I need. It would have to be $75 for the 5 x 12 for it to be a viable option for me.

Taylor34
post #24 of 49
MMan - you're absolutely right about Formica being an excellent base. I have several samples of the stuff that I've been experimenting with MMUD on and let me tell you, all you need is a fairly steady hand and you're golden.

That, and the surface of the material is matte to begin with, and it has a very very very tiny texture which makes adhering of paint very nice.

In terms of budget, I got a 5X10 bit of Formica for less than $100 special ordered from Home Depot.

You don't need 5x12 if you're doing a 16x9 screen. Right now, I'm using the entire height of the 5x10 sheet and I had to cut the width down to 108 inches to get the right aspect ratio.

FYI, the 5x10 sheet is actually 1 inch bigger than 5x10, so it's 61 inches high by 121 inches wide.

In terms of transportation, it's rolled up with tape when you get it, and it's easy enough and light enough to be carried by one person.

Also, it's not really a laminate, which does require skill to mount. This stuff is tough! It's flexible, but it's essentially bendy melamine with a surface on it.

It's been about 6 months, and I think what I'm using IS designer white.

A hardcore DYI'er could probably wipe out a pro screen with this Formica and one of MM's surface formulas.
post #25 of 49
Thread Starter 
The Wilsonart "designer white" also comes in 5'X8' sheets. That is perfect for my screen size of 52"X92". I got a price quote from Menard's for a 5'X8' sheet of "designer white" for $83 plus $9 shipping(they said it has to be shipped to my house). I think it is silly though, to use a laminate to paint over, it's too expensive. There are much cheaper options such as MDF. And yes, MDF is available in sheets wider than 4'.
post #26 of 49
Sure Jim, I see your point.

Having said that, this whole HT thing is like crack.

If there's a scintillia of a chance of an outside possibility that you can do one thing to make your HT 1% better...

:o)

"I do cocaine, so I can work more hours, so I can paint more screens, so I can buy less cocaine..." etc.

If you have a CRT as I do, I think you put it up and walk away. But if you have a digital PJ, there's some merit to experimenting with paint.

But, to each, his own addiction.

That's good news about your find at Menards!

Good luck with the screen!
post #27 of 49
MM quote

Pretty Nifty.

"And it sounds easy to do if your not afraid of such work. Laminating things is scarier than painting for some. Something intimidating about glueing anything I guess. "

Another mm quote
"Thanks for the excellent tip. If nothing else, it sounds like an excellent, instantly smooth white base coat for additional experimentation. But just maybe for some, it's all that's needed. (CRT owners)"

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Too funny MM

truly words of wisdom , a laminate glued to a sheet used JUST as a backing for some flat white paint


If you can't say anything nice about something NON LF then just don't say anything at all :)

If someone is scared of laminating Formica to a sheet then that same person might or SHOULD be a little hesitant in laminating a HUGE LF screen to his wall permanently with the glued backed plastic sheets like you have been promoting lately.

Also It would be cheaper to go to a counter top or cabinet shop place to glue it for you than going and spending money on compressors and sprayers and supplies !!

I think that laminate is a very viable solution to many people if they want something relatively cheap !!

I think once you are up into the hundreds of bucks you might as well buy a screen, unless you really enjoy making screens and do it as a hobby
post #28 of 49
:rolleyes:

bruce can.. Please don't try to sell this heckling as humor. I'm sure allot of members don't appreciate this ongoing harassment. Not that you seem to have much respect for this forum to care but your privileges to post might just be curtailed by the moderators if you persist.

For one's present projector spend a hundred plus bucks for the laminate, backing and glue for a screen to rival screens worth hundreds of dollars more and then if down the road a light cannon is purchased that causes hot spotting some very easy options are at hand for a fraction of the cost of starting from scratch.

If careful, maybe could bring a roll home and pin it or have someone try to hold it flat to the wall while you check it out. If not a solution roll it back up and take it back for a refund. Can't be bad.
post #29 of 49
bruce can.. Please don't try to sell this heckling as humor. I'm sure allot of members don't appreciate this ongoing harassment. Not that you seem to have much respect for this forum to care but your privileges to post might just be curtailed by the moderators if you persist.

For one's present projector spend a hundred plus bucks for the laminate, backing and glue for a screen to rival screens worth hundreds of dollars more and then if down the road a light cannon is purchased that causes hot spotting some very easy options are at hand for a fraction of the cost of starting from scratch.

If careful, maybe could bring a roll home and pin it or have someone try to hold it flat to the wall while you check it out. If not a solution roll it back up and take it back for a refund. Can't be bad.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Do you comprehend that I DO think that a laminate is a pretty good solution !!

I just said that if experimenting goes over a couple of hundred bucks then you might as well buy a screen !! especially if you are not having fun doing it

Now why would the moderators curtail me making suggestions for people to use a laminate or melamine or whatever screen other than a Mud screen

THE ONLY MODERATOR STICKY I SEE IS " do not post screen shots'"
It does not say follow mm around like a puppy dog

Do you think that because I do not agree with mm on his LF mix that I am going to be repremanded by the moderators ?

I do have respect for this forum as it is an OPEN forum I am glad that people are realizing the other options other than MM plugging LF continually !! I personally like some varity.





I think that I try to participate in questions about VARIOUS diy screens not just act like a mutt and Jeff team and play follow the leader !!

Remember MM was the one who did not have anything positive to say about laminates on this thread right I like some laminates for a screen option

Have you ever sprayed mud through a # 15 tip ? the mud mix is the wrong consistency for even using a hvlp gun it has to be thinned so much that it is just watered down hvlp guns were designed for pretty thin vicosity paints . I think someone quoted a while back that they were using up to 14 ounces of water to thin the mud

ender if you want to experiment with a LF or some painting go to HD and buy some matt l finish acrylic urethane and go and get the clerk to mix PURE titanium oxide colorant to your mix then you would have a truly translucent mix . One that would flow nice for spraying ,as well as be durable and have a color clarity and purity far greater than a ceiling chalky paint
Also if you were inclined for some extra surface gain just throw some WOP in

Let me know how your Lf works out ender !

Bruce
post #30 of 49
bruce,

Can you be so blind to your own actions that you cannot see how other perceive your input?

Can you be so myopic that you must always read into everything I post, an endorsement for LF?

Are you so forgetful that you cannot recall how you, from the 2nd post on this thread, started right off by making disparaging comments, essentially appropriating this Thread for YOUR continual tirade against a popular DIY option, and myself in particular.

And be so very dense, frustrated, and desperate for attention that you think you have to wage your personal little vendetta in order to feel that your contributing something worthwhile?

But, most puzzling of all, how you possibly could read into my one post's statement about Formica being "nothing good to say about Laminates", when I plainly said, "Thanks for a great tip!" ???

Obviously all of the above rings true because you are nothing but consistent. Consistently a pain in EVERYONE's neck. (..or lower.)

You often complain about my writing prowress as if that itself is a demeaning characteristic. And lament how so many follow my advice. The most telling thing you said was how others expound upon Light Fusion without aspiring to make one, merely because they like my "companionship". Do you, can you even begin to know how making such a statement brands you?

I work hard to post things that are relevant and useful, in a style that allows the "Majority" of readers some little bit of entertainment. Your so fixated on "ME" you completely lose track of "YOUR" purpose here, to learn, teach, and/or advise...., not demean, insult (...with or without your silly Smileys...) or constantly misinterpert.

....at the risk of sounding "conceited", you sound "Jealous" of my popularity ,<...as it is...> and my work. Get your own Life!

If only misinterpretation was the problem. But unfortunately, your 2nd post pretty much shows you ARE on a personal vendetta, and that WILL get you either censored, or booted off this Forum. And with all the complaints against you piling up, on so many threads....constantly, don't think the issue ISN'T being monitored. Your disruptive, and obviously hoping that by your actions, you can belittle me as a person, and LF as a viable option, and worst of all, you make others dread your posting up on any thread, not just ones concerning LF.

You don't have to be this way bruce, so it is painfully apparent that you choose to be this way. Others see it, deplore it, and resent it.

Now this thread, and the respect it deserves, has been sullied by you and your antics. It will go on without my input just fine because it is exactly what I said it is. A Neat idea for those who can/want to attempt it. It does NOT need you to defend it from charging Windmills.

I seldom say anything on AVS in this manner, but if you want to respond to this post, do so on a PM so that others do not have to listen to things they have NO interest in. Better yet, post another thread like the one you did before about me, and speed up the inevitable.

DON'T trash this thread again with insults. You make issue that this is a Public Forum, but it is not. It's privately run, and has specific rules that you constantly ignore, and it's only because the Mods have a HUGE job to do that you get by as you do. That and the fact that until reported, your just a "fly in the ointment" that merits no real concern at all.

I'm to be taken to task somewhat for not doing so myself, but this post is for the 'record', and to put you on notice that soon, if you don't desist, the ground-swell of resentment your building up in so many others, is going to rise up and swat you a hard knock. Your reputation is already suffering as it is. You'll be far better off focusing on things that interest you, than trolling about for threads to post your silly, thinly veiled insults on.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

JimMc, I plan myself to get some Formica and try some "one on one" with some other test samples I've accumulated. I look forward to ANY option that proves itself out as an affordable and viable DIY application that affords "as good as or better" results than a Mfg Screen.

Since bruce posted up first, I'll not apologize for attracting him. His motives for posting are clear. I will apologize 'a little' for using this thread to respond however. If Bruce continues to disrupt, you already know your options. If you want me to continue to post (...and make this thread popular 'all on my own'....... :rolleyes: ) just say so.

Good luck, and thanks.
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