DIY AT Spandex screen: Feedback - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 40 Old 07-12-2016, 08:57 PM - Thread Starter
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DIY AT Spandex screen: Feedback

Wow, this is defintely the place to hang to garner support for my project w/in a project. I have an active build thread for the room, but thought I would kick off one here for the AT screen portion. Would greatly appreciate any feedback from everyone and see that Mr. Mississippi is the guru in these parts for sure.

I was previously planning on a Falcon Screens AT screen as I did not want to compromise on the screen quality; however, the DIY aspect and encouraging feedback from users on AVS has convinced me to give this a try. I can always upgrade later, right? Seriously though - this seems like a great solution and I love a project.

Here are some room specific items:

1. 100% light controlled room - no spillage from anything aside from the light canon on the ceiling
2. Panasonic PT-AE8000 projector
3. Throw distance of ~15ft
4. Eyeballs to screenwall of 12ft for first row, bar height second row to be @ 15ft
5. Screen size is a max width of 125" and 2.35:1 CIH setup using the lens memory of the Panasonic
6. Plan to have the screen a mere 2-4" away from ceiling and both the left and right side walls. Planning on wrapping the remaining wall behind/beside the screen with velvet or recommended material
7. Will be going with about 1" thick acoustic frame panels on all wall surfaces and may even treat the ceiling in front of the stage with velvet if needed (flat black paint now)
8. Build thread has some additional pics, but I will include one here of the walmart bed sheet "temporary" screen I am using now



After reading thorugh some recent postings and some a little older I have collected the following as what I would call a STARTING point for critique:

1. 1x4 poplar/cedar wood framing w/ vertical bracing for stiffness - painted BLACK
2. Use quarter round on the screen side of the frame to serve as a standoff of the spandex material from the actual face frame? (I have not stumbled across a good clear picture of this, and would like to see this).
3. Milliskin Matte White (Product #795) OVER Milliskin Matte Black (Product #796) to enhance my black levels (vs. white over grey)
4. Construction technique I woud use would likely be my trusty Kreg pocket hole kit and some "T" and "L" steel braces as needed

Some extra features I would like to explore are some provisions for magnetic attach masking panels for 16x9 content as this is a CIH setup. I am more of a woodworker and I have built some cabinets some time back that I used some rare earth magnets recessed into a small forstener bit hole and a mating steel washer attached with a screw on the other side. This could be a solution perhaps. I am sure if I dig more here on AVS, someone has done this...

So, am I somewhat close to the correct starting point? Any advice or suggestions? Thanks!
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post #2 of 40 Old 07-13-2016, 02:46 AM
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Not much to critique here....you've done a pretty good job of researching everything out.

Here is a diagram of the Quarter Round standoff. Simplicity personified.




Or...if you are considering a Trimmed Screen, or want a wider stand-off.....

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post #3 of 40 Old 07-13-2016, 02:57 AM
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You Got It - Now start framing!

1. 1x4 poplar/cedar wood is by far the most popular choice and vertical bracing is a must.

2. Use of quarter round as a standoff - with an edgeless flat frame, the 1/4 round is just glued/brad nailed on the perimeter of the frame. There are a couple of drawings in the thread, search MississippiMan posts. If you build an edgeless box frame, you could eliminate the 1/4 round.

3. Lots of good threads on the White/Black, White/Gray here in the thread.

4. Kreg, Glue and some steel braces do the trick well.

Extra features - the magnet idea would work, but you'll need to get creative with the 1/4 round standoff. There's a couple threads here that have something similar, and you can check the 2.35 CIH thread for some other ideas.

GL and looking forward to some build pics!
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post #4 of 40 Old 07-13-2016, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
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OK, thanks to you both for the feedback. I will start mulling over the (2) options for basic design and a deeper dive into the various threads to see some more pics of others frames. If there are some favorite threads you all have and could serve as best examples, that woudl be great too.

I will also need to see what my lumber supply is - think all I have in 10ft+ lengths would be white oak which I suppose could work but would be heavier and perhaps wasteful of my furniture grade quartersawn white oak.

Thanks, more to come!
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post #5 of 40 Old 07-13-2016, 01:11 PM
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I have also thought about the magnet idea for masking. Similar to how they use them for DIY speaker grills. My idea was to have metal strips under the velvet edge so you would be able to adjust the masking panels easily. I use a HTPC so it is easy to drop the picture to the bottom of the screen and only need top masking. I plan on having a setup like a roller blind that you pull down and affix to the border at the correct height. Or at least I plan on trying to make something like that.
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post #6 of 40 Old 07-13-2016, 05:50 PM
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With the 8000s Lens Memory, a CIH screen with simple side-pull curtains is all that is needed.

16:9 would require a draw down Shade. or a Gravity held Cloth w/ Magnets above and at each side.

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post #7 of 40 Old 07-13-2016, 07:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, talk me out of using up a large stash of lumber I have on hand...

I have a couple hundred board feet of 1" thick (actual not dimensional type thickness) quarter sawn white oak that I could easily borrow from. Only issue I see is that it is heavier for sure (if it matters) but is only 8-9ft long. I need something more like 10'. Can easily address this with a pocket holed on extension piece.

As DIY, it seems like trying to use what I have available is worthy of raising the question...

Also - question concerning the spandex ordering process. Round numbers, if I had a 9 ft width screen, and the material is sold buy the linear yard, would I need 3 yards? I know there is certainly some stretching that will need done, so I am wondering if there is a factor for this for both width and height. Again, sorry, I have not researched this aspect yet so this is likely already buried in this forum.

Thanks for the feedback again all. Starting to take some measurements tonite and decide on my design type.
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post #8 of 40 Old 08-01-2016, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Well men, I never thought I would hear this sentence from my mouth (or keyboard), but I have ordered and received my spandex...

There, I said it

I have assembled most of the frame using some 5/4 thickness white oak I had available and my trusty Kreg pocket hole kit. I have a plan to use the screen-tite solution on the back of the frame to capture the Spandex as I have since read others have done. I will give that a go here later this week. Need a few more finishing touches on the frame and some paint first...

More to come...
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post #9 of 40 Old 08-01-2016, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PApilgrim View Post
Well men, I never thought I would hear this sentence from my mouth (or keyboard), but I have ordered and received my spandex...

There, I said it
It's about TIME !!!!

Glad to hear it.

Looking forward to seeing your end results.




BTW, post some shots of the Frame as it is now, further progressive steps (...especially Fabric Attachement method...) and show us the Frame assembly points.

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post #10 of 40 Old 08-01-2016, 04:25 PM
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Never quite understood the frame on flat vs on edge. Seems like it creates additional work like investing in a kregg, corner round, and without some horizontal bracing I'm not quite sure what prevents it from curving inward over time. On edge seems like it solves all that without the additional hassle no?

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post #11 of 40 Old 08-01-2016, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by datrumole View Post
Never quite understood the frame on flat vs on edge. Seems like it creates additional work like investing in a kregg, corner round, and without some horizontal bracing I'm not quite sure what prevents it from curving inward over time. On edge seems like it solves all that without the additional hassle no?

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On-Edge benefits greatly from the use of a Kreg. But beyond that, absolutely the Frame is more rigid and twist-resistant, and the much smaller width of the 1xlumber on-edge means no stand-off is needed.

However, with any size screen, centralized vertical supports are a necessity. And they just love gettin' Kreg'd too!

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post #12 of 40 Old 08-01-2016, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post
On-Edge benefits greatly from the use of a Kreg. But beyond that, absolutely the Frame is more rigid and twist-resistant, and the much smaller width of the 1xlumber on-edge means no stand-off is needed.

However, with any size screen, centralized vertical supports are a necessity. And they just love gettin' Kreg'd too!
Yup, built mine on edge with two vertical supports on flat on the middle quarters. Sadly no kregging needed there one other important thing that helped the frame from *insert term my carpenter friends used to mean twisting or keeping square* was two diagonal spans in the upper corners. Once square, the frame should measure identically corner to corner

Edit: see profile for my screen build if you'd like to reference, not coming across on tapa

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post #13 of 40 Old 08-04-2016, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post
Not much to critique here....you've done a pretty good job of researching everything out.

Here is a diagram of the Quarter Round standoff. Simplicity personified.




Or...if you are considering a Trimmed Screen, or want a wider stand-off.....

What do you do for the side of the screen for a Trimmed Screen? With the velvet trim attached to the the top of the stand-off and frame it would still leave the white spandex showing on the sides.
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post #14 of 40 Old 08-04-2016, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by TrickMag View Post
What do you do for the side of the screen for a Trimmed Screen? With the velvet trim attached to the the top of the stand-off and frame it would still leave the white spandex showing on the sides.
a. Use 1.5" Wood Lattice wrapped in 2" Carls Tape and placed to cover the exposed Spandex sides of the wrapped Frame. This option would include the actual Trim being Velvet Wrapped

b. Use 4" Carls Tape wrapping over 1.5" wood Lattice that is placed on Top of the Lattice and down onto to outside Spandex edges. This option excludes the need for Black Velvet, and so is actually the more affordable option.

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post #15 of 40 Old 08-04-2016, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post
a. Use 1.5" Wood Lattice wrapped in 2" Carls Tape and placed to cover the exposed Spandex sides of the wrapped Frame. This option would include the actual Trim being Velvet Wrapped

b. Use 4" Carls Tape wrapping over 1.5" wood Lattice that is placed on Top of the Lattice and down onto to outside Spandex edges. This option excludes the need for Black Velvet, and so is actually the more affordable option.
Thanks MM! I think I will give the 4" Carls tape a shot which will also save me some effort along with being more economical.
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post #16 of 40 Old 08-08-2016, 08:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Build update 1: Frame design and assembly

OK, so not as many pictures as I said I would take to document this for the masses, but enough i think to get the idea. I used some 5/4 (~1" finished thickness) white oak I had as "on hand" and already paid for. I really was not too keen on running down to the local mill just for a couple poplar boards. I decided to use a face-frame type design as very suited to the Kreg kit and it keeps the screen depth shallow. Since I needed a way to keep the spandex away from the structural frame to avoid any spots where you can see the vertical support braces or anything once it stretches over the rounded over edge, I needed a standoff of sorts to handle this like the pics that MM posted.

So, I started with 1" thick material and then cheek-cut the pieces on the narrow dimension on the table saw in order to create the 3/4" thick frame for the spandex to then not contact once stretched. After using a router table with a roundover bit on the outer edges, I had a single piece frame without the need to separately add on the quarter round moulding also. Clearest way to verbally describe as these pcitures are with it assembled and already painted with some flat black spray paint.

Since I came up with this plan to remove material to create the quarter-round on the fly, I had to fill in the corner areas where the sides joined with the top rails with a filler piece as I had already cut my pieces to finished length...






Here is a shot showing some 4x8 ft. material int he background to give it some scope of size. It is a scope screen of course!


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post #17 of 40 Old 08-09-2016, 04:19 AM
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Very nice! Well done "Stand-Off"

Excellent use of the Kreg Jig Tool method as well.

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post #18 of 40 Old 08-09-2016, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Build Update #2

I decided to try out the screen tite plastic track solution based on the experiences of some others in this forum. I ventured out to Lowes to see if it was stocked locally and to see if it looked like a good choice to try. It was stocked along with several different spline diameters with little to no real guidance on what to use and why. So, I went with the feeling of I want this to be as tight as possible so that I can stretch the spandex against this spline without worrying about unsetting the splines. I went with the 0.190" dia spline which is the largest that they had - I was able to slide the spline in the end of the plastic tracking snuggly which I felt meant that I should be able to roll it into the groove with the roller tool also. This is a nice solution as the track is designed to have (2) grooves - for use in its intended application to have adjacent screens for a door, window, porch, etc. These grooves allowed for me to strentch the BLACK spandex first around the frame and then roll into the outboard groove. I could then use the inboard groove for the WHITE spandex layer. So, confident, I went home, flipped my frame upside down, and installed the screen-tite track on the BACK of the frame near the outside edge of the frame as you can see here.







Then, I wanted to just see the finished frame on the screenwall in the theater w/ the old white bedsheet removed to get a sense of the scale of this thing and positioning. I will be masking off the outer perimieter of this frame with some black velvet tape of some sort (Open to suggestions here, but have seen many reference Carl's tape). Here is a pic showing the frame hanging just on a couple long lag bolts as a visual reference.



Next post is the sacrificing of large quantities of womens pants material for the purposes of satisfying the HT gods...
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post #19 of 40 Old 08-09-2016, 08:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Very nice! Well done "Stand-Off"

Excellent use of the Kreg Jig Tool method as well.
Thanks MM - I was kind of pleased with the idea of a single piece solution vs. adding more parts, worrying about more mitered cuts or transitions, etc.

Kreg tool is something I almost create projects/solutions to use as so versatile and satisfying. Highly recommended to anyone wondering if it is worth the coin.
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post #20 of 40 Old 08-09-2016, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Build Update #3

Let there be Spandex!

As I mentioned already, Using the screen-tite solution for attaching the spandex allows for a simple way to get quick attachment and even to retension later if desiring a tighter stretch (which I may even do at a later date).

To recap, I had purchased the spandex from spandexworld.com and went with the WHITE over BLACK recommendation. So, I started by laying out the BLACK on the freshly vacuumed floor and laying the frame on top (the viewing surface down, as the plastic track is on the back of the screen frame). We positioned the frame into one of the spandex fabrics corners so that just enough fabric was left to fold over the edge and reach the groove of the track. I had my lovely wife's help, and we started by strentching the spandex height-wise by about 20" perhaps (so about 30% more than the nominal width) and then I rolled in the spline material on one of the sides/vertical edges to fix this pre-stretch. Then, we moved to the other side of the frame and did the same thing again - stretch the spandex from top to bottom while also stretching the material horizontally now to set the prestretch in the side to side dimension. I would guess that we stretched this by more than 20% - likely closer to 35-40% as we had to stretch it to cover the frame first. I only ordered a 3yd length of fabric.

Here are some shots showing this sequence somewhat. As it was just the two of us doing this, I could not easily take pics as we were playing a bit of a game of twister to keep some pre-stretch and roll in the spline, etc. A recommendation would be to have another set of hands or two if possible as it would make this a little easier, but it was still not too bad with just 2 people.

Blakc spandex lready to be stretched:


Black complete and excess trimmed off with fabric shears, White laying ready for next layer:


Closer-up view of a corner showing the groove and black installed:


Only one thing to do after both layers were installed... I hung it up to get a look at it and did not even trim off the white layer yet in case I want to stretch more or less based on some viewing time.



Some lights on:


I have been spending some time viewing some material and doing some critical listening to see if I notice any more or less audio effect from the screen. I have to say, so far, I am very pleased with the quality, the appearance, and the audio. I will post some more info with a shots of movies to give everyone a feel of what it looks like. Back to watching!
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post #21 of 40 Old 08-09-2016, 11:16 PM
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Great job on the screen. Good choices made from start to finish. The white over black may drop the gain a bit, but definitely helps keep the glow to a minimum. I went with the same combination, just smaller at 114" wide.
Can't really beat spandex for cost and smoothness.
I am betting that your "temporary" solution will still be reflecting a very nice picture for years to come.
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post #22 of 40 Old 08-10-2016, 11:49 AM
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Great job!!!
How did you do the corners.... was is more difficult with the mitered track? I have mine built the same way (except I have the track recessed behind a trim board) and hope to be doing the spandex in the near future

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post #23 of 40 Old 08-15-2016, 11:19 AM
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What size quarter round is typically used? 3/4" seems a little big, 1/2"?
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post #24 of 40 Old 08-17-2016, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DavidK442 View Post
Great job on the screen. Good choices made from start to finish. The white over black may drop the gain a bit, but definitely helps keep the glow to a minimum. I went with the same combination, just smaller at 114" wide.
Can't really beat spandex for cost and smoothness.
I am betting that your "temporary" solution will still be reflecting a very nice picture for years to come.
Thanks! Yes, i think this will serve the purpose for some time and has allowed me to think of future improvements also by exploring other spandex combos or even stretching a little tighter for instance. Screen has held fine in the Screen-tight material now for a couple weeks, so it seems like all is well so far.
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post #25 of 40 Old 08-17-2016, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Great job!!!
How did you do the corners.... was is more difficult with the mitered track? I have mine built the same way (except I have the track recessed behind a trim board) and hope to be doing the spandex in the near future
Thanks. I did some head scratching on this topic (to mitre or not to mitre) but decided it woudl likely be the easiest with stretching to avoid any potential where the unconnected track width part would not look uniform. Probably would not have been a big deal, but this mitre approach made it easy as it just left a small fold there which was easily restrained by the top spandex layer. I plan to use a staple or two perhaps to hold this fold back tightly on the top white spandex payer once I decide I am happy with this stretch amount and am ready to trim off the excess, etc.

Still need to look into what kind of blackout border I want. Think that the Carl's tape stuff was the recommendation, but have not read into that too much as of yet. I must say, rolling the spline into the spandex and finalizing this screen has been the single most rewarding and simple things so far in this whole process where NOTHING is "easy"!

I had thought about doing a recess also, but decided to try the idea of the single piece design and not take away too much structure by routering/dadoing in a groove in the back of the frame too.
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post #26 of 40 Old 08-17-2016, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Newt1822 View Post
What size quarter round is typically used? 3/4" seems a little big, 1/2"?
Unsure, but I woudl think 3/4" as very commonly available. My version in this single piece type design is more like 1/2" tho.
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post #27 of 40 Old 08-17-2016, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by PApilgrim View Post
Thanks. I did some head scratching on this topic (to mitre or not to mitre) but decided it woudl likely be the easiest with stretching to avoid any potential where the unconnected track width part would not look uniform. Probably would not have been a big deal, but this mitre approach made it easy as it just left a small fold there which was easily restrained by the top spandex layer. I plan to use a staple or two perhaps to hold this fold back tightly on the top white spandex payer once I decide I am happy with this stretch amount and am ready to trim off the excess, etc.

Still need to look into what kind of blackout border I want. Think that the Carl's tape stuff was the recommendation, but have not read into that too much as of yet. I must say, rolling the spline into the spandex and finalizing this screen has been the single most rewarding and simple things so far in this whole process where NOTHING is "easy"!

I had thought about doing a recess also, but decided to try the idea of the single piece design and not take away too much structure by routering/dadoing in a groove in the back of the frame too.
Great good to know.
My recess is not the removal of material but the addition of and outer framework to add stiffening..... one day I will post some pictures when the screen is completely done.


Did you have to deal with any wrinkles in the material?
Mine is pretty bad as it sits in a bag..... the white should also be washed..... any recommendations on this?

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post #28 of 40 Old 08-17-2016, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Waterboy77 View Post
Great good to know.
My recess is not the removal of material but the addition of and outer framework to add stiffening..... one day I will post some pictures when the screen is completely done.


Did you have to deal with any wrinkles in the material?
Mine is pretty bad as it sits in a bag..... the white should also be washed..... any recommendations on this?
Everyone freaked out when their fabric was received not on a roll, mine came folded in a box, lines were gone before I was even done stapling

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post #29 of 40 Old 08-17-2016, 10:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Waterboy77 View Post
Great good to know.
My recess is not the removal of material but the addition of and outer framework to add stiffening..... one day I will post some pictures when the screen is completely done.


Did you have to deal with any wrinkles in the material?
Mine is pretty bad as it sits in a bag..... the white should also be washed..... any recommendations on this?
Yeah, I read about that too. Mine came folded up in a single 12x12x6" box. I just folded it out on the floor as I showed directly from the box, stretched, installed in track, and smiled. No wrinkles, nothing to worry about.

I did (and do) have a couple spots on the white fabric where there is what looks like a few extra fibre bundles or a something IN the fabric which I was pretty bummed about, but this is not something that can be seen from even a fairly close distance (3 feet). Given the ease of install, if you shoudl decide you want to wash it, use it as a blanket temporarily, prototype some new pants, etc. you can certainly easily do that later if you use the screen-tight mounting method.
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post #30 of 40 Old 09-15-2016, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Waterboy77 View Post
Great job!!!
How did you do the corners.... was is more difficult with the mitered track? I have mine built the same way (except I have the track recessed behind a trim board) and hope to be doing the spandex in the near future
I'm a little behind on threads, but Waterboy77 if you haven't done your spandex yet, you can basically fold your corners like wrapping a package, peel back the spline a bit, insert the folded corner, and use a screw driver to reinstall the spline. You can see pics of what I mean on the build I did.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/110-di...een-build.html


Nice looking screen PApilgrim! I was actually just debating taking my screen apart to drill some holes to insert magnets for easy masking. Currently don't have any masking so have been debating what to do to tackle that. Also, great to see another central PA'er
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