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Discussion Starter #241
I continued work on the second riser sub by adding a few more braces near where the driver will be mounted, and also added the foam mattress topper to the internal surfaces:



At this point, I shifted gears and started looking at the 8" riser. We marked where we were going to remove the riser (namely a 90" wide section centered in the room and extending back 57" from the front riser edge). Here is the riser as we are cutting out and removing the first layer of decking:



Once we had completely cut out the 90" X 57" section of decking from the 8" riser, it became clear that we would need to remove the surrounding sections of decking because the mid span supports were right along the back edge of where we cut, we needed to run a new wire to the side surround column that was missing, and removing/cutting the 2X4s was going to be impossible without having better access. So, we went ahead and removed a large portion of the riser decking. Here is the riser after we cut the insulation and removed it from the center of the riser area.



Next up was removing the 2X4s from the middle portion of the riser. I started the process with a sawzall, but found the process went better with a jig saw. The jig saw couldn't get through the entire 2X4 without hitting the ground first, so I attempted to go from the bottom up, which required starting the cut diagonally and then moving toward a flush potion as I gained clearance. I guess this is not safe operation of a jig saw, but it gave a cleaner cut than the sawzall.


Here is the riser with the 2X4s cut and some ripped 2X8s that will be used as new framing, laying on the riser:



The ripped 2X8s were cut to fit between the next adjacent (non-cut) 2X4s and to provide some support for decking that would otherwise be unsupported. Here is one of the 2X8s in place before screwing in the 2X4s :


Here is the riser with both 2X8s installed:


And here is how I handled the wires that were travelling through the center of the riser:



Once that was finished, I went back to the second riser sub, added some polyfil, and glued on the first baffle wall:
 

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Discussion Starter #242
I should also mention that I am finally having some of the drywall finished. I chose not to do this myself because mudding and taping is more of an art and I want someone with a lot of experience doing it. I am only having the ceiling and soffits finished because the rest will be covered by fabric panels or the acoustic treatments on the front wall.
 

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It seems like the two tasks people say are a good idea to be farmed out are drywall finishing and carpeting. Makes sense.
 

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Discussion Starter #244
Once the second riser sub was complete, it was time to test fit. Here is the first sub sitting in the hole. It looks like the hole is wide enough front to back:





Here it is with the sub pushed over into place:



You can see all the wires that I have to contend with, which is why the riser subs were built to rest on 2X4s (to create clearance for the wires). I can't remember if I mentioned this in a prior post, but somewhere along the line I screwed up the measurements for the depth of the subwoofer by 3/4". This means that the overall height of the secondary riser will be 16-3/4" instead of 16". When we were working on how to achieve the necessary height on the framed part of the secondary riser that sits just in front of the riser subs, we realized that a 2X8 sitting on top of the additional framing with three layers of 3/4" decking get us exactly 16". At this point, we decided to use a single layer of 3/" plywood as feet under the riser subs instead of 2X4s. This brought the riser subs back down to 16" exactly and worked with the framed part of the secondary riser (without needing to buy larger dimensional lumber and ripping it down). The tradeoff was clearance for the wires under the subs -- more on that later.


We next started in on the framing for the secondary riser. I did not get a lot of in process pics, but here is the secondary riser framed on top of the first riser. You can see there is a sheet of roofing felt sandwiched between. We thought it would be easier to cut out the sections after than try to cut and lay small strips of roofing felt. Perhaps it wasn't even necessary, but I did not want to chance it.







You can also see in the pic that used metal plates to help secure the top framing to the bottom framing. That helped, but the top section was still able to move some independent of the bottom section. When we added some of these plates between the cross members on the inside portion of the box, it got much better.


We also decided to use some metal brackets to help maintain the geometry. This really added strength to the framing:



In this next pic we have cut out the tar paper so that the cavities communicate. You can also see where we added the metal plates between cross members to help contain relative movement. You can also see where we installed the step light in the end of the framing. We will need to add more insulation...


 

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Discussion Starter #246
Are you building a riser or a bunker? :D Some seriously stout framing.
Well, we felt like it needed to be pretty stout because that portion is 16" tall and only 19" deep. It has the tendency to be unstable when standing on it (i.e. not enough mass for the height and dimensions). So, we did everything possible to make it more solid/stable. We even eventually screwed the subs to the 19" secondary riser from inside the subs, but I will get to that on a subsequent update.
 

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Discussion Starter #247
In my last update I realized I missed a pic. Before we built the front 19" section of the secondary riser, we wanted to make sure the two riser subs would fit in the hole I had cut. Some quick measurements indicated that we were slightly out of square and the second sub would not fit by 1/8" or so on the side. To get a visual, we did this:





This allowed us to draw a line on the 8" riser for where to cut. We then shaved the amount off with a circular saw set to the correct depth.


Once we had the framing of the 19" front portion of the secondary riser complete, we installed both riser subs. In this pic, you can see the strips of 3/4" plywood that we used under the subs to create clearance for the wires.



In this pic, you can sort of get an idea of the fit of the riser sub(s). You can also see the wire in the sub box. I am hardwiring the speaker wire to the driver because the sub will never be moved, so there is no reason to have a connection on the outside of the box that I will never be able to reach anyway:





And here are both subs installed for the first time:



You can sort of tell from this picture that the nearest sub is taller than the other sub at the back left corner. It is much easier to tell in this pic. Also in this pic, you can see the fit of the port relative to the 8" riser. In this pic, the 8" riser only has one layer of decking on, so imagine the fit with another 3/4" piece of plywood on the riser:



We figured out that the riser was sitting high at that point because it was sitting on some of the wires that were crossing over each other and therefore sitting higher than the 3/4" clearance that we had to work with. This is why we wanted 2X4s, but out mistake on the sub builds dictated this change. Ultimately, we had to pull the subs out and straighten all the wires and then tape them to the floor so that they would stay in place and not cross each other. I thought I got some pics of that, but I can't find them.


We also noticed some rocking in one of the subs from corner to opposing corner. We decided that we needed to shim the subs to get them just right. We ended up shimming both subs on the bottom and one of the subs on the side between the sub and the 8" decking. Here is one of the shims going in:



After we were done shimming we were left with this:






The shimming got things pretty close, but I decided I needed to bolt the subs together to improve stability. So, I bought a couple sections of 3/8" threaded rod and then drilled two holes between the subs and bolted the subs together with lock washers and nuts. Unfortunately, I do not have pics of this, but I can take some if anyone wants to see.
 

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Discussion Starter #248
Next we put back on the second layer of decking to the 8" riser and put three layers of decking on the 19" front portion of the secondary riser. Again, I did not take any pics of this for some reason. When stepping on the 19" portion of the riser, it felt solid, but at the same time, it felt like you could get it to sway toward the front of the room and away from the riser subs if you jumped on it. In order to be totally secure, I screwed this portion of riser to the riser subs from inside the sub cabinets. This made the framed portion of the secondary riser feel completely solid and stopped all movement.


Once we finished that, we wired up the step lights and the switch for the lights back in the mechanical room. Here is the room with the step lights on:



And another view:



There's one more at the front of the room on the opposite side but it was not wired up at the time of these pics because we ran out of the yellow connectors.... It has since been wired and all step lights are functional.
 

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Once we had completely cut out the 90" X 57" section of decking from the 8" riser, it became clear that we would need to remove the surrounding sections of decking because the mid span supports were right along the back edge of where we cut, we needed to run a new wire to the side surround column that was missing, and removing/cutting the 2X4s was going to be impossible without having better access. So, we went ahead and removed a large portion of the riser decking. Here is the riser after we cut the insulation and removed it from the center of the riser area.
Just wanted to say: I feel your pain!! I'd say near the top of my list of "Things I Wish I'd Known Before I Started This Monolithic Project," is the fact that you WILL encounter more than one scenario where you feel an overwhelming urge to rip out the work you've done and do it over - for whatever reason. It is a (at times) frustrating reality that I have accepted goes hand-in-hand with the level of detail required to build a true home theater, coupled with (for many of us) a steep learning curve in construction.


I should also mention that I am finally having some of the drywall finished. I chose not to do this myself because mudding and taping is more of an art and I want someone with a lot of experience doing it. I am only having the ceiling and soffits finished because the rest will be covered by fabric panels or the acoustic treatments on the front wall.
Smart move. #1 on my list of 'What I'd Do Differently Next Time,' is paying someone to install, mud, and sand the drywall. It took me orders of magnitude longer than it takes professionals and the end result wasn't quite as perfect, though overall I'm satisfied with my handy-work. The main issue is time. I'd be done with my build by now if I hadn't had to deal with the drywall. That said, I was quite concerned about getting the DD+GG process completed properly by guys not used to doing that. I've read several stories here on AVS where contractors have failed to understand and/or follow instructions. I'd caution you to exercise oversight when you have that out-sourced.


It seems like the two tasks people say are a good idea to be farmed out are drywall finishing and carpeting. Makes sense.
Agreed. I would not think of doing the carpet myself. It's not worth the minimal savings in labor and personally, it's an area I want to be certain it's done properly.
 

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Discussion Starter #250
Smart move. #1 on my list of 'What I'd Do Differently Next Time,' is paying someone to install, mud, and sand the drywall. It took me orders of magnitude longer than it takes professionals and the end result wasn't quite as perfect, though overall I'm satisfied with my handy-work. The main issue is time. I'd be done with my build by now if I hadn't had to deal with the drywall. That said, I was quite concerned about getting the DD+GG process completed properly by guys not used to doing that. I've read several stories here on AVS where contractors have failed to understand and/or follow instructions. I'd caution you to exercise oversight when you have that out-sourced.
I installed the OSB/DW because I wanted to make sure it was done right. The taping, mudding, and sanding are more of an art, and there is no question that I cannot do it better than someone who does it for a living.
 

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I installed the OSB/DW because I wanted to make sure it was done right. The taping, mudding, and sanding are more of an art, and there is no question that I cannot do it better than someone who does it for a living.
Yes, I completely understand. I should have mentioned that like you - I did a base layer of OSB (5/8") and then a single layer of 5/8" drywall over it (though the ceiling has 2x DW layers for 3 layers total). At the time I was very concerned about a) having it done properly and b) the cost. I believe that's especially true going the OSB+drywall route as it's non-standard in-and-of-itself.

I also bought a drywall lift, which made my life much easier for hanging full sheets of both materials. However, I spent a lot more time than I had anticipated on mudding and sanding in particular. I'd say that is where 90% of the 'art' comes into play.

I also came to the conclusion if I were to do a HT version 2.0 in the future, I would likely skip the OSB and do just a double drywall layer. I found the OSB less convenient to work with than I had expected. When I settled on using OSB, I liked the idea of able to 'stick a nail anywhere.'
 

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Discussion Starter #252
I also came to the conclusion if I were to do a HT version 2.0 in the future, I would likely skip the OSB and do just a double drywall layer. I found the OSB less convenient to work with than I had expected. When I settled on using OSB, I liked the idea of able to 'stick a nail anywhere.'
This is 100% correct. I thought the same thing about being able to put a screw anywhere, but it isn't worth the effort (plus OSB doesn't even hold screws that well in the first place). Drywall just needs to be scored and snapped, while OSB requires cutting with a saw. It takes at least three times longer. If I had to do it over again, I would have just put up two layers of drywall.
 

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Discussion Starter #253
I am behind on my updates, and I did not take as many pictures as I should have, so I may miss some things that have happened in the past month or two. After I finished the riser subs and the step lights, I went ahead and changed out the low voltage boxes for the light switches in the storage room and installed some of the Insteon switches.



Then I went back to working on the subs that sit behind the first row of seats. If you recall, I had issues with spacing for the driver because I made it too tight between the port and the other end of the box. I am actually going to have one of the screws for the driver in the bottom panel of the box instead of the baffle. I will use Loctite to make sure it holds. I cannot figure out any other way to make this happen at this point. Here is the back side of one of the baffles with hurricane nuts installed:



Here is the baffle of one of the subs being installed:



I think I already pointed this out previously, but note that I built this box wrong. I should have made the baffle sit on top of the rest of the box instead of between the top and bottom panels. It will work the same in the end, but it was much harder to put together.



And here is one of the two subs complete and ready for sanding/finishing
 

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Discussion Starter #254
After finishing the primary construction of the front row subs, I put them in place to test fit and to see how these look in place in the room. Here is a view from the front of the room:



Here is another view from the front of the room.





And here is a view from the back of the room. You can get an idea of proportions from these pics.





Once that was complete, I went on to the bottom surface of the front soffit. Originally, I was planning on curved crown molding to match the crown molding around the rest of the soffits around the room. Unfortunately, the only flexible crown I found was like a triangular wedge, so that there was no room behind the crown to place black lights or led strip lights. Therefore, my design needed to change to accommodate a light tray in the front soffit. Because you cannot cantilever drywall like that (and I didn't leave extra drywall anyway), the drywall needed to come down and plywood needed to go up in its place.


I didn't get many pictures of this process, but what I did was buy two sheets of 1/2" hardwood plywood and set them up end to end on two sets of saw horses so that the overall plywood shape was 4' X 16'. I then took down the drywall, put it on top of the plywood, and traced the width dimensions and positions of the lights. I did not trace the front curve. Instead, I cut the two pieces of plywood so that it would fit between the side soffits and then put them into place with the drywall lift and some pieces of wood used to wedge in the smaller section. With the plywood in place, I took a piece of wood and drilled a hole for a sharpie at the correct distance from the front face of the soffit to the edge of where I wanted the light tray (I can't remember exactly, but I think it was 3.5" or so). Then I held the wood against the vertical face of the front soffit and traced the curve onto the back side of the plywood with the sharpie. I was then able to cut the profile with a jig saw to match the vertical face of the soffit.


Here is one of the sections of plywood in place after the curve was cut:



Here is the smaller piece of plywood in place but uncut and next to the larger piece that has already been cut.



Here is the front soffit installed and lights reinstalled:



and a better picture from a different angle:
 

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Discussion Starter #255
Next up, I hooked up my LED strip lights just to see if they work. I wired up a switch in the storage room to a power supply (also in the storage room), to the controller that is inside the theater and will be hidden in one of the columns. I wired the strip light to the controller and it worked first try. I am using a Wifi controller and have yet to download the app, so the lights currently just cycle through the different colors. I have much more playing around and wiring to go on these, but was at least able to ensure that my wiring layout is correct. I have a video of the light strip, but not a still image. Here is a pic of the power supply wired up:



Its amazing how much some places charge for these lights and power supplies when they are incredibly cheap by comparison on Amazon.


Next up, I started working on patching/sanding the columns to get them ready for paint. I used the following for patching the mdf:





Thanks to @BIGmouthinDC for the recommendation. This stuff is pretty nice to work with. It goes on thick and sands well. There are some minor porosity issues and it will shrink some if put on thick enough, but it is one of the better products I have used.


Here are some of the columns in process:



 

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Its amazing how much some places charge for these lights and power supplies when they are incredibly cheap by comparison on Amazon.


Next up, I started working on patching/sanding the columns to get them ready for paint. I used the following for patching the mdf:





Thanks to @BIGmouthinDC for the recommendation.
+1

And, agree w/you on Ready Patch from personal experience.

I bought 2-3 LV power supplies via EBay and I've been pleased with them. You have to weed through the junk vs. quality Chinese manufacturing (if there is such a thing), but they are substantially cheaper (and in some cases better quality) versus the PS's I could purchase locally. Amazon has become hit-or-miss much like EBay. It pays (or saves per se) to carefully study the specs before ordering. At least Amazon makes returns relatively easy.
 

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Discussion Starter #257
One thing I don't think I mentioned was that when we decided to redesign the riser to put the subs there, we decided to face mount the subs on the double baffle. The thought was that if they ever need to come out, having them recessed would make that near impossible. However, because we designed the drivers to be face mounted, the screws I bought were too short (not long enough the go through 2 pieces of 3/4" mdf and the driver flange). So, I had to order some longer screws:



As I was working on the columns, I was also trying to figure out what trim I want to use. I researched a number of builds on here and had ongoing discussions with a local supplier. I figured out what I wanted/needed and placed an order. I paid the extra $50 to have it delivered because some of the pieces come in 16' lengths, such as the crown, which means I do not have to join two pieces of crown in my soffit. That was worth the $50 right there. The alternative was that they would cut them in half and then I could fit them in my truck.


$650 in trim looks less impressive when it is tightly bundled:



This includes the crown for inside the soffits, the crown for the perimeter of the room under the soffit, the chair rail, the base board, a large amount of base cap, and the panel molding for inside the column cutouts.


I decided that before installing the crown inside the soffit, I needed to buy the black lights so that I could verify fit. So, 17 lights later.........



We decided that we needed to paint the vertical portion of the soffit and ceiling first, otherwise the job would be a lot harder after the crown goes up. In preparation for the paint, we had to fix some mistakes such as pulling romex through the soffit too high so that it would be visible over the crown:



One other issue that I had was that when we put up the drywall on the ceiling, we did not initially cut out the holes for the atmos speakers. Then when we cut them out later, we could only cut to the id of the hole in the baffle for the driver. If you go back to near the beginning of this thread, you'll see that I attached mdf rings to the baffle so that the drivers would end up flush with the drywall. Thus, I needed to cut out the drywall beyond the id of the hole for the driver by the od of the mdf ring. This also means that for the last year the mdf rings have been pushing the drywall down so that it does not sit completely flat against the OSB layer.


The way I ended up cutting back the drywall was to make a wood disk that just fits inside the existing hole and then use the Jasper jig, router, and wood disk to uniformly cut the drywall back to the correct dimension. It actually worked pretty well although I think I am still picking drywall dust out of my eyes.



Unfortunately, and I guess this is not too surprising, the drywall did not want to spring back up to be in contact with the OSB. I am guessing there is probably some amount of green glue in this space that does not want to be compressed any more at this point. I did not bother driving in additional screws to see if it would pull up because I don't think it would, it would create more mudding on the ceiling, and the drywall is not that far off of the OSB to be noticeable. What is a little bit noticeable is that the atmos speakers will now be slightly recessed instead of being completely flush.
 

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Discussion Starter #258
Once I completed the cut outs for the Atmos speakers and patched the soffit where I moved the romex, we primed the ceiling and vertical portion of the soffits. I used a cheap PVA primer tinted as dark as they could get it, which wasn't that dark (the guy said there was no more room in the container for more tint). Here is the primer on the ceiling and still wet:



While it was drying, we went ahead and added the vertical piece to the front soffit tray. We used 1/8 hardwood plywood. We got a more natural curve by only forcing it to touch the bottom surface of the soffit at the two ends of the board. The gaps in the middle showed how bad a job I had done at creating the curve initially (but those gaps can be filled). Here is the tray in the front soffit completed and the primer dry:



Next up was determining the color for the ceiling. I bought mouse ears for the columns, trim, and horizontal portions of the soffits, but I saw where a lot (or most) go with some sort of dark blue color when they are having a star mural painted. I looked through a bunch of threads and determined that I liked the Cobalt Blue used in College Park's 4k cinema (http://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-dedicated-theater-design-construction/1497736-college-park-s-4k-cinema-v1-0-a-3.html) and the starry night blue used in the Cinemar theater (http://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-dedicated-theater-design-construction/1208912-cinemar-home-theater-construction-thread.html). Ultimately I went with:





Here it is after the first coat. For some reason, the colors seem off in this pic:



Another angle, but the colors still appear yellowish:



Here is it after the second coat and more accurate color:
 

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Once I completed the cut outs for the Atmos speakers and patched the soffit where I moved the romex
VT, a brief suggestion: You may already be planning this, but I recommend for your soffit electrical outlet you use something similar to this recessed receptacle to ensure you can fit your plug between your crown moulding and the wall.



Though I would suggest a tamper-resistant variety as it will prevent dust from getting inside the receptacle and onto the electrical contacts.
 

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Discussion Starter #260
VT, a brief suggestion: You may already be planning this, but I recommend for your soffit electrical outlet you use something similar to this recessed receptacle to ensure you can fit your plug between your crown moulding and the wall.



Though I would suggest a tamper-resistant variety as it will prevent dust from getting inside the receptacle and onto the electrical contacts.
I have that exact outlet (in fact, you can see them in their boxes in post #32) , but I think I am just going to hard wire the romex to the lights. It will take up less space and I will never plug anything else into an outlet placed up there. Either way, its going to an Insteon switch, so I guess I don't see the need to use a recessed outlet, or any outlet. What am I missing?
 
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