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Pilgrims Pit - Design & Build - Page 15

post #421 of 523
I'm in the Cumberland Valley School District (Hampden Township). Yes, the schools are very good, but also huge, which means for things like sports and other extracurricular events only the best of the best make it. My son's still in elementary school so that's not an issue yet, and he's one of the brightest kids in his class, but we'll see how things progress as he gets older.

Anyway, congrats on the promotion. I'm not sure if I'll have my theater started by the time you get here or not. I'm not a DIYer but I have a friend who's a general contractor and I've worked in the past with a company called Omni Interactive, who do theater installs and home automation, so I'll be in touch with them for help with some things. The good news is that I have all of the equipment I need except a new processor (I'm looking at the new Integra DTC 9.8) and a projector (probably a Sony VW-60). I still have my Parasound amps, Stewart screen, Vandersteen speakers and Paradigm sub from my old theater.

My biggest problem is time. I just don't have it to dedicate to a build. All of my spare time is taken up with either my son (I'm a single dad) or writing to fulfill my book contracts. Oh, and never enough money, but who except a few of us doesn't have that problem?

Anyway, enough rambling. I look forward to meeting you later on in the year.

post #422 of 523
I used to have an NEC 9PG. Incredible projector. Here are a couple of pics of my old theater (two years gone since the divorce and sale of the old house, though as I said, I still have most of the equipment).

Front screen wall, with the Vandersteen speakers and Paradigm sub.

The rear of the room, with the 9PG visible.

And the stairway down to the theater.
post #423 of 523
Thread Starter 
Dave your old space looks great. Hopefully the next version will exceed it time and money willing. Looks like I'll get mine together and go on hiatus for a while too.

My daughter is 2, so we'll assume she will see the elementary schools, but can't predict if we'll be there for high school. In my field its not unusual to change jobs in 5-10 year increments. As for athletics, if she inherits from my wife's side (3 aunts went to college with full athletic scholarships) she might make the team in a big school. If it is from my side, its hopeless. . .
post #424 of 523
Hi Dave,

I'm in a townhouse now, so I'm not going to sink a whole lot of money into the theater. I have room for a dedicated space but new ordinances that require Bilco door exists from basements (mine's not a walkout) might cause me some heartburn. Regardless, I have to keep it as a fairly multi-functional space so I don't lose my shirt in the money sunk, since I don't think I'll be there more than five more years.

Neither my ex-wife nor I were very athletic, and my son really isn't either. He's decent at baseball and likes it, so that's something. But I don't think there are any scholarships in his future.
post #425 of 523
Thread Starter 
Okay - we've been working hard over the last two weekends since the promotion new hit, and we are now ready for carpet,. We put in a rush order. The measure is coming on Tuesday (we hope), and the install could be as soon as Friday. We are going with a basic charcoal on the floor, black on the stage, no patterns (cheaper given resale). I am on the road during the work week for the next two and a half weeks, so we hauled to get it ready.

I don't have great shots, but we finished wrapping the columns in fabric - a tip - spray adhesive - we only used it on the last one because the staple wouldn't fit between the column and the sump pit cover - what a difference. So easy to keep taught and clean. We added staples in the upper section too, but a plus.

Along the staple lines we added 3/4" square wood to hide the staples, painted black they disapear in the column. We also added the second piece of trim to the bottom of the column (was going to be to hide staples, now makes a more dramatic crown). On this shot you can see we ran out of the ones my wife pre-painted with the glaze, and part of it isn't glazed yet. The glaze really adds IMHO.

The next task was under the marquee, we had no idea how to cover/hide the inside/bottom of curved section and the insulation. For the curve section, we just painted the interior black. It made it blend so well. Worked great.

We started to frame out a solid cover, but it was too heavy so we made a switch to a fabric cover. This was again 3/4" square wood, with L brackets, on black dazian janus.

Hot glue guns are sweet

Then a friction fit

Black is beautiful, can't see the transistion in the room at all:

We cleaned up the room some, so its as open as its been (baseboards are up, too)

The short list is getting real short

1. build screen (wilsonart designer white on order)
2. build sconce covers (wood is all cut, was cut before, but I screwed up the size)
3. carpet
4. some TLC on the sump cover (new hinge)
5. finish speaker access panels - panels made, just need to cut the holes in the fabric on columns, hot glue gun the fabric aside, then velco up the panels
6. re hang door
7. put in new speaker stands
8. converge PJ / calibrate audio
9. clean, touch up paint.
10. add seating

Rats, not quite single digits. But getting close. Realtors come in next weekend, so I'll have their impressions soon.
post #426 of 523
You're almost there! Nothing beats that list going into single digits!
post #427 of 523
Sorry to hear that your move interrupted your theater build. I Was look forward too seeing your Fabric Frames go up. Maybe at the new house.
post #428 of 523
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by GPowers View Post

Sorry to hear that you move interrupted you theater build. I Was look forward too seeing you Fabric Frames go up. Maybe at the new house.

I am definitely disapointed. But I started the new position this week, and it is the right move.

I have all of my MDF strips taped together in stacks of 5 read for the move. My wife and I have talked about waiting a year or so before starting the next version to get the rest of the house settled in. I will probably bevel and pre-assemble my frames during that down time.
post #429 of 523
Thread Starter 
Met with two realtors this weekend (assigned by the relo company, part of that contract). The first was a real cold fish. Her sales presentation included her reading their introductory letter to us, and most of the other marketting materials. Pretty painful. She had no reaction to the HT or anything else in our house except the tray ceiling in the master. The scary part was despite 19 years in real estate she didn't know what to call it.

The second was better. When she saw the HT she asked if we were disapointed to be moving. She was otherwise what you would expect from a realtor (extraverted, a little pushy), so we are going with her. Buttering me up on the HT certainly helped, but the first one was so terrible she could have trashed it and still gotten the listing. Hopefully it is an asset in the sale. Time will tell.

Didn't get as much accomplished as I wished over the weekend. Picked up the laminate and built the DIY screen. Then realized I did it backwards for the french cleat (idiot move), so I punted finishing it up at that point.

Carpet hopefully gets installed this week while I am away for business.
post #430 of 523
Thread Starter 
I am PA for work, but carpet went in today and my wife sent some pics. Again we went with a basic grey on the floor, and black on the stage.

My daughter seems to like it!

The baseboards, column and sump cover:

Transition to the adjacent room:

Can't wait to see it myself!
post #431 of 523
Looks great Dave! I know it's bittersweet to see it really coming together now when you have one foot out the door. Hopefully the real estate agent brings some home theater buffs through (or future buffs)!
post #432 of 523
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by dropzone7 View Post

Looks great Dave! I know it's bittersweet to see it really coming together now when you have one foot out the door. Hopefully the real estate agent brings some home theater buffs through (or future buffs)!

I hope so too. Unless it sells immediately (which I'd take), I should get a couple of months of enjoying it before I move. We'll hang the screen this weekend (wilsonart - its built, just need to add trim). Then I need to reconverge and setup before list. Hopefully I can pull it off w/forum help after watching Chip work his magic in the fall.

Then start looping Nemo when the realtors come.
post #433 of 523
I think you will really like that Wilsonart screen. That's what I'm using and it adds just the right amount of pop. I spent about 4 hours working on focus and convergence last night (it never ends) and got it looking better than ever.
post #434 of 523
Thread Starter 
We've been working on the sconce covers. First we made frames out of 1/2 x 3/4 wood, mitered, glued, and stapled the corners, then painted black. Next we got some plexiglass at Lowes, and a $3 cutting tool. Scored the plastic using a straight-edge and snapped to size. The pieces didn't snap perfectly, so there is some irregularity, but its all stuff that sits behind the frame.

Here is the cut plexi and a frame:

Liquid nails, and set into place:

Then we cut velumn paper to size, and double sided taped them to the plexi:

And walla - cheap, easy (somewhat time consuming) DIY frosted glass:

Screen is up, seating comes tomorrow, realtors come on Friday. Still need to converge/calibrate the PJ. Good bit left to do. I'll add room pics when I can.

EDIT - anyone have any thoughts on how best to attach to the column? I intend to pre-drill and screw one per column so that people can change light bulbs - I was debating gluing the other 2 per column - but not really sure how I would hold them in place while the glue dries. I can bite the bullet and drill and screw them.

This is what I am covering:
post #435 of 523
Thread Starter 
I am debating whether I should glue and fire a nail north into trim above. This would eliminate my concern that drilling or nailing through the plexiglass will make it crack.

My concern is that it won't stay flush while the glue dries. Maybe I need some new clamps.

For the one cover per column that I will use screws (to change bulbs) I might need to go through since there would be no glue to dry. I had planned to make the side panel away from the door/facing the screen the one to provide access, so any visual imperfections caused by making it accessible would be less noticeable when you enter the room or sit down to watch a movie. Alternatively, I could make the front one accessible, which would be a larger opening for bulb swapping, and might be better for stray light at the edges/join. Any thoughts?

I guess once I test out drilling the plexi will help me figure out how challenging this will be. More tonight.
post #436 of 523
If it turns out you can't drill it without cracking it, you can certainly heat/burn a hole through it with a nail heated by a torch, or a soldering iron that you don't care too much about anymore...
post #437 of 523
Thread Starter 
That's an interesting thought.

I have plenty of scrap plexi, so drill first, heat second. HT builder meets rouge CIA operative. . .
post #438 of 523
Thread Starter 
Soldering iron was a great tip.
post #439 of 523
I'm a master of using tools for the wrong purpose.
post #440 of 523
Hey Dave, glad your new position is working out. What is it about a new home theater that brings out the let's move this person in a company? Looks like after 1 1/2 years working on our theater and being almost done we may be relocated to CA. Northridge in the LA area of all places.

IF this happens we won't be selling ours. Just turn the key in the locks and head to CA.

Given the choice, I would much rather go to MD area than LA.

I hope everything runs smoothly for you.
post #441 of 523
Thread Starter 
Well hope its for the right reason, and if so, congrats. If I could keep mine I would. Just not sure how soon I'll be back, if at all.
post #442 of 523
The house I will be leaving is my family home built by my grandfather originally so no way I am selling it. As for husband's company, they are closing the local facility and moving it to Northridge. Of course all my family including my baby grandaughter are here in MA.
post #443 of 523
Thread Starter 
Well we listed yesterday. Here is the link for the arm-chair real estate brokers (& curious).


A friendly forum member is stopping by in a little bit to help tame the CRT PJ. I should be able to post finished pics later this weekend. We are in single digits now:

1. Clean up the wiring - - in room, @ rack
2. converge PJ / calibrate audio
3. clean up the sconce covers a bit (some of the screws don't strike the column, just air, so need to jury-rig something)
4. repaint the top of the sump cover (surface got dinged up during construction)
5. Program Harmony 890 for realtors (and us)
6. Watch some movies - while we can
post #444 of 523
Thread Starter 
Well we are at about 94% I'd say. I am over due for room pics:

Screenwall from the PJ point of view:

Stages are irrestistable:

Looking back from the screen at the rest of the room.

Sidewall, near screen:

Closeup of the column, w/speaker in it. We made fabric frames and velcro's them in place. The sconce covers took a bit out of the light output, but its acceptable:

Last but not least, JTFoley stopped by and helped me with setup, making that process go MUCH faster. Great guy, appreciated the help:

I was watching a few pixar shorts with my daughter, she loved the "For The Birds" one. But when she was elsewhere I went with a little jack-jack:

Realtor's open house is next sunday. Hopefully by then we can finally do a premiere night for us. My wife and I are very pleased with the end result, and the journey - just a bit bittersweet that life throws curves.

Thanks to all in the forum who helped us figure this out.
post #445 of 523
Originally Posted by dc_pilgrim View Post

Hi Dave,

Can I ask a favor? Can you please measure the distance of the projector side facing the concrete floor? Not the side with the unistruts.


post #446 of 523
Thread Starter 
Do you want the dimensions of the PJ itself? Or its height from the (dricore) floor?

The dimensions of the PJ generally are here, although I am happy to verify any of them.

post #447 of 523
Originally Posted by v1rtu0s1ty View Post

Hi Dave,

Can I ask a favor? Can you please measure the distance of the projector side facing the concrete floor? Not the side with the unistruts.



If you are talking about head-strike clearance... I'm 6'2" tall and managed to hit my head once. I'd say Daves' install height is pretty much appropriate for his screen height, and the lid (facing the floor in a ceiling mount situation) is about 6' off the floor.

I've got a 9PG Xtra and its' just over head high (about 6'3" off the floor) in my HT, and the screen is of course proportionally higher.

Dave... Good choice of screenshot fodder! Make sure you watch Jak Jak Attack! in the extra material!
I'm glad we could get you dialed in before any showings.

NOW REMEMBER! Stock to Disney/pixar for demo material... No baseball, football, or golf in HD during showings!
When prospective buyers walk in to the HT the guy will see Fenway Park in the postseason in 80" of HD glory and go "YES!" and the wife will go "OH HELL NO!"
post #448 of 523
Originally Posted by dc_pilgrim View Post

Do you want the dimensions of the PJ itself? Or its height from the (dricore) floor?

The dimensions of the PJ generally are here, although I am happy to verify any of them.


Yeah, just the height from the dricore floor. I would like to compare mine because I think mine looks low.
post #449 of 523
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by v1rtu0s1ty View Post

Yeah, just the height from the dricore floor. I would like to compare mine because I think mine looks low.

Not that I think my install is reference - but the lowest point to the floor is 67 inches.
post #450 of 523
Thread Starter 
Had our first open house today. We had 11 sets of people in, of which 3 were curious neighbors. Realtor said this was the most traffic at an open house in a long time. The theater was a hit, we'll see if anything comes of it.

Still working out the kinks on the Harmony 890. Its a little buggy I think. I set up an activity for HD-DVD, and it shows in the software, but the activity is MIA on the remote. Trying to figure out how to integrate the lighting controls so that the lights come up at stop or pause, dim on play, etc. The functionality is there. Its just unrefined.
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