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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been reading up on the spandex screen. I'm going to start building a 130" screen but need a little help. I have the two spandex sheets 2.5 yards each (I know, I should have bought slightly more but I didn't, gonna have to stretch a little): Silver Matte Milliskin and White Matte Milliskin. I'm using a benq w1070 in a light controlled room. My room size is 118" wide by 89" high with about 20' depth.

My questions are:
1) The spandex came in a box from spandexworld and it's quite wrinkly, will that come out?
2) Should I build the frame the width of the room? Would that be easier for mounting?
3) How do you attached the spandex to the frame? I was thinking staples, but it seems like they might just rip right through the spandex.
4) Lastly, how do you mount the frame? I was thinking about mounting 1x1's on the side walls with a french cleat...would that work? I do not have a fake wall built and don't want to since if/when we sell the house in a few years this room will be converted into a bedroom.

Thank you very much for any help or insight you can give me!!!
 

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DIY Granddad (w/help)
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Read up on the several Spandex Threads.

Wrinkles? If you have to stretch as much as you seem to be needing to, you might be A-OK

In no way or manner can you cover a 118" wide frame with 2.5 yrds

If you wrap the Spandex around the edge of the frame and staple on the outside, the top edge acts as a strain relief. The Spandex is much tougher than it looks. That is why you seldom see anyone busting out of their Tights.

French Cleats are good to use, but you have to build in the ability to use them into your Frame's design.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank u for the response! I'm at 115" wide and 60" tall...I have to try with the 2.5 yrds since it's already here (I'm such an idiot going short on the spandex). Quick question regarding outward trim, is that necessary? I'm getting ready to apply 1" border of 3/4 mdf, do I do it on front of frame? Or will the spandex, lay flat on the frame?

Just have to paint, install spot lights, waiting on a couple new speakers and amp for subs, few more acoustic panels (other half of room is done) and I will FINALLY have this theater finished!!! Sorry, been at this for so long, I have a mountain of movies is to catch up on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
In no way or manner can you cover a 118" wide frame with 2.5 yrds
How much do you recommend? I just laid it out and yeah, it doesn't look like it will work... So, there goes 50$ down the drain.

If I reorder, how much do you think I should buy for 115" wide 130" diag. 16x9? I'm thinking 4 yards, but want to make sure so I don't muck this up–again.


Also, from what I've read, it sounds like the silver/grey under white milliskin is the way to go? Just verifying.

Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What's a good cheap material to use for sound dampening behind the screen? I was thinking about spray painting the foam mattress pads from Walmart and putting those up; seems like an inexpensive way to do it...suggestions?
 

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What's a good cheap material to use for sound dampening behind the screen? I was thinking about spray painting the foam mattress pads from Walmart and putting those up; seems like an inexpensive way to do it...suggestions?
Foam will only knock down highs..you'll need a denser material (and more than an inch or two) if dampening mids and some lows is needed.
I believe some folks reported good results from heavier insulation materials from the hardware store. "Rockwool" is a more common choice, but I'm not at all sure where its pricing lands.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
"Rockwool" is a more common choice...
I've built a number of rockwool panels, but they're not nearly big enough to cover the area behind the screen. I could try to use just a few panels, but I was thinking something more widespread, deadening the entire front stage (behind the screen where the speakers are).
 

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I've heard that having a 2-4inch air gap between materials (perhaps like a ~2"foam or ~2"linked-material sandwich) also helps for deadening mids/lows more effectively. If nothing else, air is cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I simply threw a crate of rock wool up. Wasn't sure how to place them on ceiling so I used duct tape-doesn't look pretty, but who cares, it's behind the screen.

One question, my spandex is arriving today and I'm wondering if I need to put a boarder around my frame? I.e. 1" X 3/4" mdf, so screen sits away from frame, or is this not necessary? Frame is 130" on left in photo.
 

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You'll need either a farther forward frame or farther back central supports to keep the supports from showing up as slight bumps/lines down your screen. Also, either painting or otherwise coating the frame in black will be important before attaching the spandex..otherwise the light-colored wood will reflect a slightly brighter line from behind the screen.

You don't need mdf/trim if the inner supports are already set back a little ways. If they aren't, mdf as you've asked is an easy and effective fix.
Judging by the picture, you'll need the mdf.
 

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I'm watching this thread specifically to learn how you install the screen without a false wall. I'm inclined to do something similar but almost all examples of AT screens are from those who went the false wall way. I have similar concerns as yours.. when I sell this place, I should be able to just take away my screen and stuff leaving behind a "normal" living space.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Glued down the mdf, not perfect, but hope it will work. Don't think I'm going to paint the frame black though because I'm working on this on theater room carpet and I'm worried about the mess, plus I just want this thing up! I am planning on a border though, so if the seeing the frame becomes an issue I'll put the border over it.

Question, is there a good order for stapling the spandex to frame? Do you staple to back of frame or to the top/sides to avoid stretching fabric too much?
 

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You could lay some scrap newspaper or a few plastic bags under the frame pieces as you paint..that's what I've been doing over the carpet.
Painting the center supports black can be pretty important because you won't be able to hide them with a frame if they reflect light through.

Stapling to the top/bottom/outside edges is good, all the way around the back is good too. If going around to the back might be stretching it a little more than necessary, stapling to the sides will be better. Going around to the back can look nice for a borderless screen, but it doesn't sound like you're going that route.

Here's a good stretching/stapling order diagram.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Yeah, i can see the center supports easily, BUT it may be because the screen is balancing on left top corner, causing the braces to stick out a bit...at least, that's what I'm hoping for. I thought with the mdf border this would remedy the issue...oh well, time for top layer. Still not sure how to mount this thing. I'm thinking with a side mount french cleat, at least that's what I have planned...on to it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It's up! No supports showing. Used a very simple french cleat mount; if your screen is wide enough to use your side walls, it doesn't get any simpler than a french cleat. I used my little table saw and cut 1x1 to 45 angle, mounted on strip to back of frame and the other to a 2x4 I screwed on side wall, then just plop er in!

I cannot believe how good it sounds when you deaden the front wall. I mean. My speakers aren't even that good (except my huge subwoofers and sinclairs: I have cheap dayton towers and even they sound about 3x better) yet everything sounds so crisp and clean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Finished! Picture looks amazing! More than happy with the screen. Wouldnt change it even if you gave me the most expensive screen in the world as a replacement. And like I said before, the sound is simply...ineffable. For the border, I hung black material like a skirt frim the ceiling to the top of screen, and left the bottom open so you can see my Marty subs.

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It's all looking very nice! And certainly big. :cool:

The sole only suggested addition would be to drape some of the Black Material you used for the top border at each side, between the Screen and the door on the right, and the same width on the left wall.

The color of those walls are essentially non-reflective...but only to a point, and having the non-edged screen but so very closely to each wal will create enough reflection to distract from the "Floating Screen effect" you are so very, very close to achieving.

You can cut the drape to conform to the Air Vent, and while your at it, paint that vent a Satin Black Enamel as well.
 
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