The 'El Unico' Theatre Build - Page 12 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #331 of 422 Old 04-04-2019, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Really appreciate it!

Work at the office isn’t letting up so I probably shouldn’t but I’ve taken tomorrow off to push through some items.

On the agenda: install the ceiling speakers, install and paint the soffit crown moulding and stain the stairs/bull nose. If the dye doesn’t come in today I’ll switch lanes and start the MASSIVE sub build.
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post #332 of 422 Old 04-04-2019, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Gouie View Post
Hey Darren, yikes, my bad for the delay. Thank you, that helps a ton. I haven’t been able to get to the screen yet with huge issues related to the fabric on the soffits (the complete story to come soon) but I’m glad you shared your experience. I was headed down the staple route but thing I’ll go spline. I already have the Seymor screen but trust it should be the same experience as spandex.

Can I ask, did you have a quideline that you followed on the install or did you wing it?
Looks like I'm as bad for the delayed response. Sorry about that! The theater is looking good!

As for guidelines, there are several ones on the DIY screen guide. I'll see if I can find the ones I used. (and see if I have pics on my theater build, "Darren's No Money No Time" theater

In general:

1. Use fingerjointed pine (FJP) 1x4 for the frame of the screen. I'll have to double check the size, but I think that's the size I used. Windsor Plywood has 16' lengths available.

2. Cut the top and side pieces, making sure to subtract the size of the wood from the side pieces (in my case, 3.5" top and bottom, or 7" total.)

3. Cut 2 more pieces for support for the insides. I placed mine equally apart, leaving space in the middle of course for the center channel speaker.

4. Use butt joint for each of the pieces, as mitered/ 45 degree cuts are harder to line up. Screw together with pocket screws (using Kreg pocket jig).

5. Flip over, so the smooth side without the screws is on top. On the outside perimeter of the frame, use 1/4 round all around the frame. That way the screen is held off of the frame so the frame doesnt show through. The vertical edge should line u up with the outer part of the frame, and the round part should be towards the inside of the screen. I used a bit of wood glue and brad nails to hold it.

6. Paint the entire front of the frame black (including the 1/4 round), so it doesnt show through the screen.

7. After it dries, mount the spline frame on the back of the screen frame. I mounted it a bit off of the edge, about 1/2 an inch or so. It cuts well with a hack saw, I found a mitre saw chewed it up.

Mounting the screen:

1. Lay the black spandex down. I used 3 pieces (vertically, overlapping slightly) as I couldn't find wide enough black spandex to order. If you can find the 120 inch wide black spandex it really helps for stretching. Or if your screen is smaller and can easily fit the smaller stuff as 1 piece then that's easier.

2. lay the frame over top of the spandex, eyeballing it approximately centered.

3. Cut lots of pieces of spline, about 8 inches each.

4. Fold some of the spandex over the top, bottom, and sides. Start at the center top, put the spline in the OUTER track/ groove. Tool makes it easier for that. If you use the outer groove/ track for the black, then after the black is trimmed, you can use the inner groove for the white. It gets really tight with 2 layers of spandex (I'm sure there's a joke in there somewhere... )

5. The slightly stretch the spandex on the bottom, and put a piece of spline in at the bottom center.

6. Slightly stretch one of the sides, put a piece of spline on the center of the side.

7. Repeat the other side.

8. Slightly stretch the top again on each side of the center piece, add another 8 inch piece of spline to either side.

9. Repeat at the bottom, then the one side, then the other.

10. COntinue until you reach the corner.

11. Inspect your work, should be just slightly snug, not tight (definitely not like a drum). Only tight enough so that it doesnt sag. If it's too tight, remove that area (the benefit of using spline), and redo.

12. Once you're happy with the black, trim the excess black.

13. Repeat with the white. The white layer of spandex is most important to be not too tight, or you'll start getting stretch marks. I did the white layer, then hung the screen up to look for them. Easy to redo it needed because of the spline.

Let me know if you have any questions! I would definitely do another spandex screen again! Not as bright as other materials, but definitely adequate for me (let alone for the price)!

Darren
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post #333 of 422 Old 04-04-2019, 02:10 PM
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Here's my build thread, with the screen build from post 52-56.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-de...e-theatre.html

Darren
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post #334 of 422 Old 04-04-2019, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Awesome directions Darren, thanks.

I’ll run through your thread, sorry, I missed that you had one. I can visualize everything except the quarter round. Looking forward to the read.
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post #335 of 422 Old 04-21-2019, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
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The 'El Unico' Theatre Build

Happy Easter everyone. Hope you're all finding the time to enjoy with your families.



Lots of progress over the last couple of weeks so let's dive in, first the finishing of the oak. I was really banking on the dye being the answer unfortunately, shipping was delayed and I wouldn't have enough time to colour and protect before the carpet went in, scheduled for the 17th. So, I picked up some stain at HD. This stuff but in black - the idea being that it is supposed to have 3 times the pigment as normal stain https://www.homedepot.ca/product/var...6ml/1001003856



Boy have I learned how difficult it is to stain black. I tried many different methods of applying and wiping, none of them really producing the results I was looking for. I ended up laying down a very thick coat, waiting 5 minutes for penetration, then very carefully wiping off only the pooling. I know this isn't the best approach and that all material is to be removed completely but doing that left a very red undertone that looked terrible. I let the first coat dry for 3 full days then applied a thin second, letting that dry for another 3 days. I'm happy with the results.



************ Sorry, hit post by accident. Stay tuned! ***********************















I thought the hard part was over, wrong. Applying the protectant is an absolute art. The bullnose and risers went okay and after 5 coats I'm happy with the finish. The large tread however, is kicking my butt. I'm on coat 5 and no matter how I apply east/west, north/south, flat brush fanning out to a light vertical, etc. I'm left with brush marks. This is what it currently looks like. My next plan of attack is to move up from the 400 grit I've been using between coats to a 1000 then a polish with a 2000. Hopefully that will blend things out.











The next thing I wanted to tackle before the carpet was the crown around the soffit. I'm pretty confident in my trim work at this point so this didn't present too much of a challenge - until I got to the last piece. The technique I used was to tack with pins, the middle of the run and at either corner about 2 feet out from the actual corner. This allowed be to lined up the adjacent boards correctly and allowed for the use of CA glue to get the corners as tight as possible. This worked a charm until the middle pin on the last 15 foot run gave way. In my attempt to catch it, the board arched and split in half. With an hour to spare before the store closed I was able to rush down and buy a replacement. Here's the end result pre-paint.











And a few shots of the room ready for carpet!



















Now the drama. I took last week off with family coming in for Easter and our grandson's second birthday. I lined up the carpet install so that I could be home to ensure it goes in as planned. The 17th was the original date. When the clock struck noon and still no installer, I called and was told there was a shipping delay and that it would be Thursday. Really, then pick up the phone and let a guy know. No problem. Thursday comes around, finally. The installer showed up at 8:00 sharp and had a look at the room. He took some measurements then was immediately on the phone. "It's not happening today, they cut the roll 2 feet short." Yup, I paid for about 20% waste to ensure there would be no seams. The carpet for the riser and floor was cut too short. I could go ahead with the install but there would be 1 seem the depth of the riser. Okay, frustrated but I suppose not the end of the world. The carpet for the stage however, was cut significantly shorter than required and even with seams, there was physically not enough material to cover it. I've been on the phone for 2 days now with no next steps yet. Arghhh!



Still lots to do so I buried myself in the shop working on the monstrous sub enclosures - there's no better relaxation for me than creating saw dust. I thought about starting a dedicated sub build thread but decided to keep everything in one place.



First off, props again to @LTD02 for the awesome design. As far as the build goes, not a lot to post about. My technique for any MDF build is carpenter's glue on the joints, held together with brads, then all seems are "caulked" with PL400 construction adhesive.



As a refresher, there is the design





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Last edited by Gouie; 04-22-2019 at 07:00 PM.
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post #336 of 422 Old 04-21-2019, 11:34 AM
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Hi Gouie, that stain is a pigment stain:

“Varathane Ultimate Wood Stain is a premium, high performance stain system enhanced with Nano pigments and soy oil base for exceptional colour clarity.”

So leaving it on longer does very little. How fine / rough did you sand to? A rougher grit will provide more pits for the pigments to deposit into.

While I haven’t done black, I’ve had good results using TransTint dye which you can get at your local Woodcraft or Rockler if you have one nearby.

But, this is likely all for naught as I’m sure you’re finishing your post as I type this! Hoping you got it nailed no matter how you went about it.
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post #337 of 422 Old 04-21-2019, 11:42 AM - Thread Starter
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First step was the box, pretty straight forward keeping the sides protruding about 1/16" to allow for a flush trim with the router. Center strips are 3" to make the framing for the port.







Then the port itself





That was the easy part. After allowing the PL to harden overnight, I started on the bracing - the miles and miles of bracing. I find it easiest to invest the time in creating a solid template when there are more than 2 identical parts. I'm building one sub at a time so I'll have to make 2 templates for each piece but still worth it. I used jig saw to cut out most of the material then smoothed things out to the precise line with the oscillating sander. With the template complete I used a router with a guide bit to cut the remaining pieces. Here's the template and the template taped up to route another piece.





With all of the pieces cut out it was time for assembly. I found it easiest to assemble the jigsaw puzzle outside of the enclosure. This made applying the PL to all of the joints a lot easier.





Then fully assembled in the enclosure.



That's as far as I made it in the couple of days I had to commit to it. I'm really happy with how they're turning out and can't wait to install the last bit of bracing and dry fit the driver that's been sitting the basement for over a year!
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post #338 of 422 Old 04-21-2019, 11:42 AM
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The Black turned out really well Gouie!

For the sealant issue: what product are you using? Water- or Solvent-based?

Have you tried thinning it to give you more working time?

Might you be “over-brushing” — common technique mistake where we THINK we are smoothing it out, but if brushing after it has already started to set we are in fact creating the very brush marks we are trying to prevent.
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post #339 of 422 Old 04-21-2019, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texpilot View Post
Hi Gouie, that stain is a pigment stain:

“Varathane Ultimate Wood Stain is a premium, high performance stain system enhanced with Nano pigments and soy oil base for exceptional colour clarity.”

So leaving it on longer does very little. How fine / rough did you sand to? A rougher grit will provide more pits for the pigments to deposit into.

While I haven’t done black, I’ve had good results using TransTint dye which you can get at your local Woodcraft or Rockler if you have one nearby.

But, this is likely all for naught as I’m sure you’re finishing your post as I type this! Hoping you got it nailed no matter how you went about it.
Haha, yeah, hit the go button a little too quick. Definitely unfortunate that the dye didn't come in, in time. As it turns out with the carpet drama I could have waited. Oh well.
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post #340 of 422 Old 04-21-2019, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texpilot View Post
The Black turned out really well Gouie!

For the sealant issue: what product are you using? Water- or Solvent-based?

Have you tried thinning it to give you more working time?

Might you be “over-brushing” — common technique mistake where we THINK we are smoothing it out, but if brushing after it has already started to set we are in fact creating the very brush marks we are trying to prevent.
I'm using an oil based that's made for flooring. I do have a General water based but didn't know how it'd react to the oil based stain. I like the idea of thinning it - there's definitely resistance when I apply it so it could simply be too thick or has set up some. I could very well be over brushing in an attempt to smooth things out. Do you recommend a single brush stroke and let it level out on it's own?
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Try India ink from Speedball. There is no blacker black and it penetrates deeper than any stain/dye out there. It dries fast and can be clear-coated.

You might want to give this video a look;


https://www.amazon.com/Speedball-Sup...gateway&sr=8-5

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JVC-RS540, 124" Wide 2.40:1 DIY Screen, Denon 8500H, Denon 6200W, Panasonic UB820 UHD Player, (3) iNuke 6000DSP's; (3) HTM-12's; (14) RSL C34e surrounds; (2) 18" Dayton Audio RSS460HO-4 Subwoofers; (1) Dayton Audio UM18-22 18" Ultimax Subwoofer; (4) Dayton Audio RSS390HO-4 15" Reference HO Subwoofers
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post #342 of 422 Old 04-21-2019, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for that, I have a lot to learn about finishes other than paint. This is what I ordered, plenty for the next project now.

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post #343 of 422 Old 04-21-2019, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gouie View Post
I'm using an oil based that's made for flooring. I do have a General water based but didn't know how it'd react to the oil based stain. I like the idea of thinning it - there's definitely resistance when I apply it so it could simply be too thick or has set up some. I could very well be over brushing in an attempt to smooth things out. Do you recommend a single brush stroke and let it level out on it's own?

Again, what product is it? I don’t want to give you advice without knowing what it is and checking its application instructions.

In general oil-based finishes tend to dry slower than water-based. So that’s your first plus. But Minwax sells an oil-based fast-drying polyurethane, so if the product you are using is also geared towards faster drying (to enable the floor to be used sooner), that could be your problem. Especially if you’re doing a thin brush coat.

In woodworking, many thin coats are better than fewer thick coats. But I’ve not done any floors, though I watched the guys seal our hickory floors — they did one THICK coat that they literally poured on the floor. I can’t see that working with the rounded edge you have though, of course!

Thinning with mineral spirits (though check your label first!!) might help with your product to increase the dry time to allow your thin brush coats to smooth out. And yes, one or two or three brushes over a section to ensure it is well coated, then no more. Keep moving quickly to maintain a wet edge.

Please share what the product is so we can all learn from your experience with it. HTH
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I thought the hard part was over, wrong. Applying the protectant is an absolute art. The bullnose and risers went okay and after 5 coats I'm happy with the finish. The large tread however, is kicking my butt. I'm on coat 5 and no matter how I apply east/west, north/south, flat brush fanning out to a light vertical, etc. I'm left with brush marks. This is what it currently looks like. My next plan of attack is to move up from the 400 grit I've been using between coats to a 1000 then a polish with a 2000. Hopefully that will blend things out.
Texpilot covered this brilliantly above. He's absolutely correct. If this is an oil based poly then you can thin it with mineral spirits. I have done as much as 50/50 when I really want it to soak in and don't mind doing a lot of coats - but mixing it 1:1 will result in needing to apply seven or eight coats. The good part of it is that the extra mineral spirits make it very fast drying and you can come back without sanding about an hour or so later (touch it, if it's not sticky you can recoat). I NEVER use poly straight out of the can bc it is flat out impossible not to get defects in the finish unless you have a dustless area and are an artist with a brush. Speaking of brushes, I never use them for poly. Once you thin the finish a rag rolled up into an application pad is my choice. And as Tex mentioned, multiple thin coats. The mineral spirits will help the poly self level and you won't have any brush marks.

I would mix it 60/40 poly to ms then wipe on. Do three coats waiting for each to dry to the touch but not longer than two hours between coats. Then wait 24 hours, sand it with 400 grit, and apply one to two more coats. You'll end up with a flawless finish I assure you.

The theater looks phenomenal man and that black really turned out well.

EDIT: I'd stay away from the water based as they tend to be much more difficult to get brush strokes out of - but also bc they don't do well over oil based stains.

Roll Tide.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texpilot View Post
Again, what product is it? I don’t want to give you advice without knowing what it is and checking its application instructions.

In general oil-based finishes tend to dry slower than water-based. So that’s your first plus. But Minwax sells an oil-based fast-drying polyurethane, so if the product you are using is also geared towards faster drying (to enable the floor to be used sooner), that could be your problem. Especially if you’re doing a thin brush coat.

In woodworking, many thin coats are better than fewer thick coats. But I’ve not done any floors, though I watched the guys seal our hickory floors — they did one THICK coat that they literally poured on the floor. I can’t see that working with the rounded edge you have though, of course!

Thinning with mineral spirits (though check your label first!!) might help with your product to increase the dry time to allow your thin brush coats to smooth out. And yes, one or two or three brushes over a section to ensure it is well coated, then no more. Keep moving quickly to maintain a wet edge.

Please share what the product is so we can all learn from your experience with it. HTH

Here are the products that I used.

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Originally Posted by p3bham View Post
Texpilot covered this brilliantly above. He's absolutely correct. If this is an oil based poly then you can thin it with mineral spirits. I have done as much as 50/50 when I really want it to soak in and don't mind doing a lot of coats - but mixing it 1:1 will result in needing to apply seven or eight coats. The good part of it is that the extra mineral spirits make it very fast drying and you can come back without sanding about an hour or so later (touch it, if it's not sticky you can recoat). I NEVER use poly straight out of the can bc it is flat out impossible not to get defects in the finish unless you have a dustless area and are an artist with a brush. Speaking of brushes, I never use them for poly. Once you thin the finish a rag rolled up into an application pad is my choice. And as Tex mentioned, multiple thin coats. The mineral spirits will help the poly self level and you won't have any brush marks.



I would mix it 60/40 poly to ms then wipe on. Do three coats waiting for each to dry to the touch but not longer than two hours between coats. Then wait 24 hours, sand it with 400 grit, and apply one to two more coats. You'll end up with a flawless finish I assure you.



The theater looks phenomenal man and that black really turned out well.



EDIT: I'd stay away from the water based as they tend to be much more difficult to get brush strokes out of - but also bc they don't do well over oil based stains.


Thank you both for the great advice. I’ll take a crack at thinning the oil based that I’ve been using. Interesting approach using a rag to apply the finish. I’m open to try anything at this point.
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Thank you both for the great advice. I’ll take a crack at thinning the oil based that I’ve been using. Interesting approach using a rag to apply the finish. I’m open to try anything at this point.
Glad to help in any way I can. I'm sure you know this but one thing I always mention - make sure if you're using a rag for anything oil based that once you're done you spread the rag out on a non combustible surface. I use the concrete of my driveway and leave it there until it is totally dry. Then you can dispose of it however. The vast majority of shop fires are caused by spontaneous combustion of rags with oil on them. As the finish cures, it gives off heat. Given the proper circumstances it can get hot enough to ignite...
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Roll Tide.
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Umm, yeah, I knew that.

Yikes, thanks for the advice! I can’t tell you how many folks I’ve talked to about this and spontaneous combustion hasn’t come up once.
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post #349 of 422 Old 04-22-2019, 03:44 PM - Thread Starter
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The 'El Unico' Theatre Build

A quick update on the carpet, it’s in!

I had a good chat with the install team and I decided to let them install with seems. Long story short; when I ordered the carpet I brought with me rough dimensions. It turns out the salesman took those measurements and added a few inches thinking that would be enough to cover any misses in the numbers. Well, it wasn’t - what do I know about measuring for carpet? We’re still working out the details but I’m expecting reimbursement for the extra I ordered to eliminate the seems.

In the end I’m happy with how it turned out. They sent their best installer, not a sub but an FTE of 20 years. He kept the seems to a minimum, one on the riser on the side opposite the door and one on the stage again, opposite the door. I can’t tell where the seems are.

Pics????





I don’t think I posted any pictures of the samples. Here’s a close up of the pattern. I was hesitant going with something so light but I couldn’t steer away from the great match with the wall fabric. Of course the black is much darker than the pictures show. I’ll try taking some pictures with the SLR and different shutter settings.



All of the wood and walls are completely undamaged with the exception of one small patch on the stage. I had painters tape covering the treads, these two spots actually pulled up when I removed the tape. Just not enough time to cure I suppose. Thankfully not a big deal as I have more finishing to do anyway.
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post #350 of 422 Old 04-22-2019, 03:52 PM
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Looks good!
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post #351 of 422 Old 04-22-2019, 04:28 PM
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Outstanding!!! Everything is looking absolutely fantastic! You are definitely closing in on the finish line...keep the momentum going!!
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post #352 of 422 Old 04-22-2019, 05:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the words of encouragement. This has been an absolute marathon that is now, finally approaching the finish line. Certainly a lot of work yet to do but it’s now a list of 2-4 hour projects, not 2-4 months!
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post #353 of 422 Old 04-22-2019, 06:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Outstanding!!! Everything is looking absolutely fantastic! You are definitely closing in on the finish line...keep the momentum going!!


BTW, I’m one of many anxiously awaiting your next update. I know the hours and hours I’ve put into the detail of my room. I can’t imagine the hours on your clock knowing the look you’re going for!
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post #354 of 422 Old 04-23-2019, 08:32 AM
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BTW, I’m one of many anxiously awaiting your next update. I know the hours and hours I’ve put into the detail of my room. I can’t imagine the hours on your clock knowing the look you’re going for!
I'm with you on Stonewater.

The carpet looks awesome man I really like the colors you've picked. Hell the whole thing looks amazing and has definitely come a long way from the start. I'm sure you're looking forward to sitting down and watching some movies.

Roll Tide.
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post #355 of 422 Old 04-24-2019, 05:03 AM
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BTW, I’m one of many anxiously awaiting your next update.
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I'm with you on Stonewater.
They are coming, I assure you. I've just been traveling WAY too much and several large work projects with hard deadlines have been dominating almost every spare minute I have...sadly, including weekends.
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post #356 of 422 Old 04-24-2019, 05:48 AM - Thread Starter
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I know how that goes. Hang in there.
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post #357 of 422 Old 04-25-2019, 07:27 PM
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omg, i'm not sure if that sub was ever actually supposed to be built with all that crazy bracing.

looks good though!

for future reference and/or others contemplating diy, there are simpler bracing strategies that can be just as effective.

more importantly though...nice work on your theater!!
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Listen. It's All Good.
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post #358 of 422 Old 04-25-2019, 07:32 PM - Thread Starter
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omg, i'm not sure if that sub was ever actually supposed to be built with all that crazy bracing.



looks good though!



for future reference and/or others contemplating diy, there are simpler bracing strategies that can be just as effective.



more importantly though...nice work on your theater!!


Haha.

Do you think the bracing will effect the internal volume? Should I be re-evaluating for the second sub?
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post #359 of 422 Old 04-27-2019, 01:22 AM
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it's good and will perform well. no worries there. recently, i've been trying to simplify recommendations for bracing. that's all my comment was about. --thumbs up--

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post #360 of 422 Old 04-27-2019, 06:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Awesome, thanks!
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