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post #1 of 31 Old 10-05-2018, 07:02 PM - Thread Starter
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How to build a ceiling mounted projector shelf

My current projector has a dedicated mount. I'm about to upgrade and I'm thinking about building a custom shelf/box type thing that I can just place a projector inside of. That way, the next time I upgrade projectors, it is a simple matter of pulling the old one out and sliding a new one in.

I'm thinking of using 3/4" plywood and painting it to match my wall paint.

Wondering what type of joinery I should consider using. I want it to be strong, but I also want it to look good.

Wonder if there are others out there who have constructed something similar who have any pointers.

thanks in advance for any input!
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post #2 of 31 Old 10-05-2018, 07:55 PM
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Whoa there Pardner!


There are only a very few projectors with anywhere near the Vertical Lens Shift that would allow for a Ceiling Mounted "Projector Box" that was essentially a Enclosed Shelf.


Almost every time, the Projector would be inverted...on a Mount attached to the Ceiling / Top of the Box.


Also...because even with a JVC or Epson (...those are the only two possible choices...) you'd have to get the PJ exactly centered on the Screen because when such extreme travel is assigned to the Vertical aspect of Lens Shift, the curvature of the lens housing won't allow for any Horizontal Shift.


And your Ceiling height is gonna determine how possible, or how "up the creek..." you are as far as a "slide in Shelf" design goes.




OK...all that aside, building the Box itself can entail as much an effort (...and skill set...)as you feel capable of.


Dimension wise above and beyond the PJ's dimensions, you'll want at least 6" on each side, 6" height above and 12" behind. And even with a PJ whose Intake / Exhaust ports are in front, you'll need to be able to dissipate the ambient heat that will come off the PJ's Casing itself .



Plywood will work....but it takes a lot of refinishing and sealing to make it stop looking like....Plywood. Best to start with a A/B Grade of 5/8" Multi-Ply Pre-Sanded Baltic Birch or Cabinet Grade Fir.
At least 7 Ply.



If you not going for a true "Hush Box" where almost everything is enclosed but the Lens, that rules out having internal Ribs. That leaves the best choice being Pocket Screws located on the Inside corner length of the enclosure. You can use Filler to smooth out any ends that show the Plys, but the better the stock you use, the less that will be necessary.


Attaching the Enclosure to the Ceiling might require a combo of 3" Screws and Toggle Anchors. Less is NOT more in that regard.


Be also advised that your gonna have to route 110v HDMI into the Box's interior via the Ceiling...unless you want that spaghetti dangling out the back.


Still game? Ok...let's do it!



What PJ will you start out with, and can you build to accommodate at least a worst case size later on?
Screen size and Ceiling Height?


Of course there will be/ is more to consider....but the above is a starting point.
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post #3 of 31 Old 10-05-2018, 09:12 PM
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I've been considering the same thing, I still don't see why it would be an issue to do something like this:

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post #4 of 31 Old 10-06-2018, 01:06 AM
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You can put most of the current crop of projectors on shelves without a problem. Check the lens shift specifications. A lot of them have the same shift range up or down. Which means it can go on a shelf. JVC for example can sit on a shelf up to 30% of the screen height above the screen. See the White Oak project for an example. Sufficient airflow is a major consideration based on make and model. You need to know the airflow design of the projector, some exhaust out the front which is great for a shelf, others out the back which can turn the box into an easy bake oven. Powered ventilation would be required in that case. An open front box lined with acoustic absorbtion does take a big bite out of the sound.
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post #5 of 31 Old 10-06-2018, 01:58 AM
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The shelf mount is the way to go. Never have to worry about changing mounts when swapping projectors. Super quick to try a different projector or take the projector down for some reason.
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post #6 of 31 Old 10-06-2018, 04:32 AM
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post #7 of 31 Old 10-06-2018, 08:06 AM
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It looks like those examples will not accommodate an upgrade to this year's JVCs - they literally went big this year. @markmon1 it looks like you would just replace the sides of your box though, or will the RS3000 just fit?

I'm considering building a shelf, as the new projectors are right up to the weight limit of the Chief RPA mounts, and may be over with a lens. I've considered building a shelf out of Unistrut (suspended from Unistrut on the ceiling), and then the outside can be clad in a wood/MDF shell to match my soffit design (stolen from Bacon Race).
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post #8 of 31 Old 10-06-2018, 08:18 AM
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it is critical to line the box otherwise it acts like a megaphone directing the sound energy out to the MLP. Best practice is a glass porthole and powered ventilation. On my example we played the "what if" and constructed it such that it wouldn't be a big deal to cut off the bottom and extend the box down to handle a bigger projector. the box was already twice the width of the projector. Better yet the owner sold that house and plans on building HT 2.0 next year.
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post #9 of 31 Old 10-06-2018, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlinsley View Post
It looks like those examples will not accommodate an upgrade to this year's JVCs - they literally went big this year. @markmon1 it looks like you would just replace the sides of your box though, or will the RS3000 just fit?

I'm considering building a shelf, as the new projectors are right up to the weight limit of the Chief RPA mounts, and may be over with a lens. I've considered building a shelf out of Unistrut (suspended from Unistrut on the ceiling), and then the outside can be clad in a wood/MDF shell to match my soffit design (stolen from Bacon Race).

The Chiefs have a 50 lb rating...and that is actually understated...the latter having been confirmed by Chief Tech Support.


As I said...and I want to see anyone show otherwise, a Ceiling Mounted Box, or "just below the Ceiling" high Shelf will require a Projector with an extreme amount of Vertical Lens Shift. The higher the Ceiling (..and/ or the smaller the screen...)



.....and that excludes most of the Current Crop....with the only notable exceptions being JVC & Epson. Only.



vintagegroove * markmon1 both show an Epson (8350?*) and a JVC respectfully...as does the White Oaks. (JVC) Candidly put...ain't no other projectors that can come close to the Vertical Lens Shift ranges featured by JVC & Epson upper tier models. Nada...Squat....


*...and I'm bettin' the Dog's Bone that vintagegroove's Epson has it's Lens almost exactly centered on the screen to even allow that PJ's Lens Shift to accommodate that height.



I'll state again...it all will depend upon the Projector the "OP" is going to use...and until he relates such, everything else is pure speculation...and pretty limited in scope at that.

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post #10 of 31 Old 10-06-2018, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post
Candidly put...ain't no other projectors that can come close to the Vertical Lens Shift ranges featured by JVC & Epson upper tier models. Nada...Squat....

Not quote true.

The current crop of entry level Sony 4k projectors have a larger shift range than the JVCs. Specifically the JVC is +/- 80% shift (translates to 30 % above or below the image height) the Sony's are +85% /-80%. The entry level 1080P is +/- 71% so roughly the lens on the shelf can be 20% above the image height
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post #11 of 31 Old 10-06-2018, 12:42 PM
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Entry Level? In a Sony? Why bother to waste someone's money.



OK...I get that, but 5% gain in shift isn't going to offset the losses in Contrast and Lumen. Sony doesn't even list Dynamic let alone Native for the 285es...or ANY of their products. Only Dynamic and well all know about that.........



At both a Price comparison and Performance standpoint, the x790 / x990 JVC make a mockery out of the 2nd and 3rd tier Native 4K Sonys, especially at the current price points...which put both those JVCs (...and their RS-brothers)in direct price warfare with Sonys that either cost close to the same, or $2-5K more. I mean really...a 285es loses ground to a x590r on every point...and costs $1500.00+ more!



While I must accept the correction, but only on the premise that Sonys were never, nor ever would be a consideration for me against a JVC eShift's imagery....I would never be suggested as a performance / value choice...so I knew less than little about the rest of the feature set. When a Mfg cheats by restricting Lumen just to achieve even modest Contrast levels, the rest of the equation suffers.


But Big...you proved the "Vertical Shift" point. A Sony would at least put the Image where it needs to be of a Shelf position.



Ouch.

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post #12 of 31 Old 10-06-2018, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
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My ceiling height is 89". I have a 100" 16:9 screen where the top of the screen is about 9" below ceiling height.

I plan to purchase a JVC RS540 projector.

Thanks for all this great feedback!
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post #13 of 31 Old 10-06-2018, 03:22 PM
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Be sure the lens is between 12'-2" to 20'- 4" from the screen.
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post #14 of 31 Old 10-07-2018, 10:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
Be sure the lens is between 12'-2" to 20'- 4" from the screen.
the manual says 3.01 meters to 6.13 meters as distance for a 100" 16x9 screen. That would be 9.9 feet to 20.1 feet. Did I mess up a calculation or table look up?
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post #15 of 31 Old 10-07-2018, 10:37 AM
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I used the Projection Central online calculator.


If I do the math myself using the specifications for the throw ratio (distance to width of the image) of 1.4 to 2.8 I get 10.2 to 20.2



how far were you planning?

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post #16 of 31 Old 10-07-2018, 10:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
I used the Projection Central online calculator.


If I do the math myself using the specifications for the throw ratio (distance to width of the image) of 1.4 to 2.8 I get 10.2 to 20.2



how far were you planning?
I am planning something in the range of 11 to 13 feet. My current CRT is at about 12 feet I think.

I could go farther back if needed.
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post #17 of 31 Old 10-07-2018, 10:59 AM
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post #18 of 31 Old 10-07-2018, 11:35 AM
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I would bet a Dime against a Dollar the Shelf / Box...as it were being mounted to the Rear Wall...will be far enough away...but probably not over 20'.


That 89" Ceiling height, after a shelf is constructed that has at least 10" clearance between the shelf and the Ceiling, will leave the bottom edge right at 6'.5", and theLen's Center point at 6'-9" (...which is 8" below the Ceiling...) so in actuality, any shift will be more directed to a higher point than lower. So there is no reason really to warrant much discussion on that point. Such a revelation earlier on might have reduced the superfluous content to a considerable degree. Again the point is made...when asking for advice, provide all the known information you can. And if such has not been provided, before dispensing advice / opinions, ask for such. I tried to elicit the Ceiling Height figure early on....but it didn't come until after 9 posts later so...*


At least the OP is solidly in the driver's seat as far as having sufficient brightness (lumen output) with a JVC coming on tap. Even at 20'-4" he will get 49 fl off a 1.0 Gain 100" diagonal surface.


All he needs to focus on now is building that Shelf solidly enough (...and deep enough...) to support a 34 lb load at a retained "level", and get himself the best possible deal going on his JVC.


ColoFatherof3 , Here are some very pertinent Qs.
  • Do you have any access to the Ceiling above (...sounds like a Basement with that low Ceiling...)

  • How cosmetically pleasing do you want the structure to look? Minimalist?

  • Please relate your actual Room's depth from rear Wall to Screen.

  • Where will your seating be in relation to the PJ's location? (...has much to do about any need to "Hush" the Projector...)



Starting out, I would vote for a minimalist approach, a shelf with no Sides, and that has a Base that can be removed and replaced with one that may be either Larger...or even Smaller, as well might be the case since the JVC is so beastly large its highly improbable that your eventual upgrade will require even more of a footprint area.

A Shelf 19" Wide and 20" Deep ...or 20" x 20" (...with the necessary 110v / HDMI cordage exiting the Ceiling at the rear of the PJ...) would be more than sufficient for now and the future. If I was building it, I would use a 1/2" thick Top Plate of Cabinet Grade Plywood set in Flush with the Ceiling's drywall, solidly anchored to the Ceiling Joists or a combination of such and extended Deadwood. The Base would be 3/4: Cabinent Grade Ply. Using 6 -1" diameter Dowels, 3 down each side, Each location through the Top & Bottom Plates, as well as into each end of the Dowels are Pre drilled and attached with 2.5" Coarse Threaded Screws would rigidly support the suspended shelf assembly, allowing for the Projector to be "Front Loaded" and slid back until the Face/Lens is flush with the Leading edge .

Here is a basic Diagram:


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post #19 of 31 Old 10-07-2018, 01:02 PM
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ColoFatherof3 ,

Hmmmmm....,

Having started on it before Church, and upon returning, I checked and saw no further response...and while I was finishing making up the diagram, I see that You and BIG settled the distance issue.....sort of.

Please....if you would, respond to my 4 Bullet Points.

I'm left to wondering just how deep the room is, and where the Hanging Shelf will be in relation to you seating.

Being set as low as it must be, I find it hard to visualize your having the Projector be directly above the Seating...let alone forward of that location. You certainly have the Lumen output and Focal length to spare, so I strongly suggest the Projector be behind the seating it at all possible. It need not be against the Back Wall necessarily, but far enough back that "Hushing" won't be a requirement, nor will the possibility of "Head Space Intrusion" be something to "come up against".


BTW...for a slightly more ornate look, the Dowels could be replaced with turned Balustrade Spindles.



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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlinsley View Post
It looks like those examples will not accommodate an upgrade to this year's JVCs - they literally went big this year. @markmon1 it looks like you would just replace the sides of your box though, or will the RS3000 just fit?

I'm considering building a shelf, as the new projectors are right up to the weight limit of the Chief RPA mounts, and may be over with a lens. I've considered building a shelf out of Unistrut (suspended from Unistrut on the ceiling), and then the outside can be clad in a wood/MDF shell to match my soffit design (stolen from Bacon Race).
I actually have one that's 11" deep ready to go up. Just need some L Brackets to mount it.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
it is critical to line the box otherwise it acts like a megaphone directing the sound energy out to the MLP. Best practice is a glass porthole and powered ventilation. On my example we played the "what if" and constructed it such that it wouldn't be a big deal to cut off the bottom and extend the box down to handle a bigger projector. the box was already twice the width of the projector. Better yet the owner sold that house and plans on building HT 2.0 next year.
Never have had a problem even remotely like this. Don't think this is a concern to be honest. The box should be a U channel, open on both ends.

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post #22 of 31 Old 10-07-2018, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markmon1 View Post
Never have had a problem even remotely like this. Don't think this is a concern to be honest. The box should be a U channel, open on both ends.
Wassamatter?

You don't like my open-sided, Pillar'ed design?

One thing the Balusters' squared Ends will allow is for any current or future decision to enclose fully with 3/8" Oak Veener Sheathing. Really, there is no need for further strengthening...any Veneer sides thicker that that would only add to the structure's weight.


Mr Big's suggestion come from years of installing Projectors whose Fan db levels sat closer to 40 db than 30 db. And those PJs got HOT in a Box with a Glass Porthole / Square...so Fan Assisted forced air voiding /replacement was the rule of the day. I built a couple for Sanyo PLV-70s that had 35 db Fans.

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post #23 of 31 Old 10-07-2018, 04:19 PM
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Never have had a problem even remotely like this. Don't think this is a concern to be honest. The box should be a U channel, open on both ends.
The soffit pocket I did last for a JVC was noisy without lining, much quieter with. It is a problem if you want a really quiet theater.
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post #24 of 31 Old 10-08-2018, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=MississippiMan;56920128]


ColoFatherof3 , Here are some very pertinent Qs.
  • Do you have any access to the Ceiling above (...sounds like a Basement with that low Ceiling...)

yes, I have a power outlet already installed and I have a PVC tube that runs to my electronics.
  • How cosmetically pleasing do you want the structure to look? Minimalist?

I'd like it to look nice. I'm a decent woodworker.
  • Please relate your actual Room's depth from rear Wall to Screen.

19 feet from rear wall to screen. First row of seating is at about 11', 2nd row is at about 17'.
  • Where will your seating be in relation to the PJ's location? (...has much to do about any need to "Hush" the Projector...)

first row seating has projector above it.

I can post pics of that is helpful.
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post #25 of 31 Old 10-08-2018, 02:58 PM
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Here is my mount before it was installed. Used some L brackets to mount to ceiling studs. The top opens to the ceiling, the top has some vent holes but the air flow is mainly back to front to work with the fans.

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Video: JVC RS4500 135" screen in pure black room no light, htpc nvidia 1080ti.
Audio: Anthem mrx720 running 7.1.4, McIntosh MC-303, MC-152, B&W 802d3 LR, B&W HTM1D3 center, B&W 805d3 surround, B&W 702S2 rear, B&W 706s2 x 4 shelf mounted for atmos, 2 sub arrays both infinite baffle: 4x15 fi audio running on behringer ep4000 + 4x12 fi audio running on 2nd ep4000.
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post #26 of 31 Old 10-23-2018, 07:55 AM - Thread Starter
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OK, thought I would post some pics of my shelf so that others who are considering something similar down the road can see what I did.

My old CRT was mounted about 12' from the screen. I was able to re-use my old CRT ceiling mount by attaching the metal plate to the new wood box I built. Given my old mount held a 120 pound CRT projector in place for 19 years, I felt it could easily handle these new "light weight" projectors .

I built a box out of 3/4" birch plywood. Dimensions were 15" x 24" x 24". The 15" drop from my 89" ceiling was not an issue as the shelf hangs right above the first row of seating, so unless somebody decides to stand on the chairs instead of sit in them, it was not an issue. The box I built ended up being very similar in size to the old projector, so not much change to the theater lay out.

I over-engineered the box as I didn't want it ever falling on anybody's head. I used pocket holes to start the joinery.

I then re-enforced the pocket holes with metal angle brackets (16 of them):

I then used bolts to attach the old CRT metal mounting plate to the top of the shelf.

I also used seam tape for the plywood edges to have a nice finished look.

I trimmed the top out with some casing to give it a finished look (I still have some drywall patching to do). see attached pictures.

I've ordered some plastic "nut caps" to hide the unsightly bolts that are visible at the top of the shelf. Don't have those yet, but hoping that they help improve aesthetics some more.

Hope that helps somebody down the road.
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post #27 of 31 Old 10-23-2018, 09:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoFatherof3 View Post
I over-engineered the box
yes, a 1/4 inch bolt should hold at least 400 lbs. You have 12.

Last edited by BIGmouthinDC; 10-23-2018 at 09:31 AM.
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post #28 of 31 Old 10-23-2018, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
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My bolts are 3/8", not 1/4", so they hold even more than 400# each. I have 10. Way over engineered, but my wife is happy that way!
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post #29 of 31 Old 11-08-2018, 11:16 AM
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I have my projector mounted already (inverted). I'm thinking of just building a box around it.
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post #30 of 31 Old 11-11-2018, 06:58 PM
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I'm a little late to this thread, but I will share my alternative to a projector shelf. In my case it is an "inverted shelf", with the projector bolted to the shelf. This gets the projector as close as possible to the ceiling. The projector, with the "shelf" bolted it, simply slides in. The "L" channel is lined with felt and there are a couple of holes in the bottom to screw the shelf into place so that it can't move. The projector is level and square to the screen and the alignment is done with lens shift. The cutout behind the projector is a vent. It is temporarily plugged with wood during construction to contain dust. The soffit will have an edge on the front and will have acoustic panels on the bottom and the cavity inside will be filled with insulation. I will be building a hush box that fits over the projector. It will attach magnetically to the "L" channel that supports the projector.


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