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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,


I have this problem. I'm planning to turn my livingroom into a combined hometheater and.. uh livingroom. So I need a screen that can be easily removed or made to disappear when not in use. The obvious solution would be a regular retractable screen. But I don't want to drill holes in my ceiling, I want to do as little damage as possible to my apartment. Also even the housing of a retractable screen would look ugly hanging over my windows. A cornice to hide it inside is one option, but then again I spent a considerable time putting up these fancy.. what are they called.. baseboard but around the ceiling, not around the floor. Ceilingboard? "taklist" in Swedish. :) A cornice would obscure these as well as require drilling of holes in the ceiling.


So, I've designed a retractable screen that disappears to the left rather than up into the ceiling. I think it's fairly simple, but will take many hours to realize. It works much like a big curtain, but is stretched. I thought I'd share my sketches with the world and you can tell me if you foresee any problems. Specifically I'm not sure how the screen material will behave. When retracted, the material should fold fairly well. When stretched, it should stretch evenly in all directions.


Sketches below...
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
This is the screen when in use. It's attached to a fabric (grey in the picture) which would work as a flexible frame for mounting. All this is hanging from a rod (black) like a curtain.


Along the bottom of this curtain I would attach weights (blue) to provide a pull in the vertical direction to stretch the screen. Left and right I would attach the fabric to stiff rods (red) which in turn are tied to the walls (dark yellow). Those are ropes with hooks/loops tying the rods to the walls.


Something I'm not sure of is how to really make the screen "tab tensioned". There must be an independent pull at even tabs all around the screen. I believe the rods will not pull in such a manner by themselves, they will just pull with one force along the whole side. Let's say the screen is a little loose at mid-height, then I need a little extra pull at that spot. I've considered different types of fabric which might behave like that - stiff or elastic. Perhaps having elastic fabric stretching the screen to the sides (dark they) will tab tension the screen horizontally.. or perhaps not? Any engineers out there?


There's a similar problem in the vertical direction. There's a rod on top, but independent weights along the bottom. I'm not sure what type of fabric to use in the vertical direction either (light grey).


I might even cut stripes of the fabric to get tab tensioning. On the sides it could be cut in horizontal stripes and above and below it could be cut in vetical stripes. That should gurantee independent pull at even tabs around the screen. But I'd prefer solid fabric.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
When not in use, I'd unhook the right rod and push the whole curtain to the left side. The complete picture is that I would have ordinary curtains hanging on the left and the right side with windows along the wall (light yellow). So the screen would actually be pushed right behind my ordinary curtain and be completely out of view.


One problem I see here is that the screen material could be too thick and not fold very well..
 

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It's been awhile back, and I haven't been able to locate the post/link but.... there was a forum member here who designed and built a DIY retractable screen... that retracted horizontally. He had the screen rolling up on a vertical spool. Tension was provided by bungie cords wrapped around the spool like coiled springs. I believe he used bungies to secure the loose ends as well when the screen was deployed. He had nice shots of it in action.


I would imagine that retracting/extending a screen like a curtain will lead to lots of wrinkles.
 
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