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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Introduction.


During my own exploration of screen options for my living room I contemplated several different ideas for making a simple retractable screen. I ended up buying a very inexpensive electric retractable screen and painted it to get the gray screen I wanted. However I did mull over various ideas and they still come to mind from time to time. Before I completely lose interest in this hobby and fade off into the Northern Lights (I'm Canadian Eh!), I thought I would try to pass on some of these ideas and I might even be tempted to try some of them myself.


Before we get started here are some examples of my past attempts at interim removable screens:



Bed Sheet & Bungy Cords:




Slanted Screen Instead Of Keystone Correction:





Sportlight Material & Bungy Cords:


In this photo there is a sample of Da-Lite High Power (left square) and High Contrast Matte White (right square) in front of the gray sport light screen.



Here we have a couple of screen shots on the gray Sportlight material. It was a bit too dark but not a bad material. It also comes in a white similar to BOC.


So you can see that I went through all the typical trials of very simple cheap DIY screen solutions.



Now on to my more recent ideas . . . .
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The first idea I will present is one that came to me recently when trying to think of a way for fellow AVS member, edan, to make a reasonable temporary screen. The idea is to use BOC(1) as it is known to be a good DIY screen material. It is also quite readily available everywhere and inexpensive.


Here is the basic idea:



Using simple 8' 1x2s and BOC that is typically 54" wide one could make a 106" screen this way. In the diagram I have shown the 1x2s as unfinished wood. They could be painted black or covered with black clothe hockey tape.


I have shown the material as being the full 96" screen width with black side borders. Again these could be painted on, or black clothe hockey tape. I think the hockey tape would be problematic on the ends. It is not stretchy like the BOC and therefore I suspect it would cause additional bagging problems.


To roll this screen up and hook the ends is probably a two person job. One person on each side would roll up the bottom bar and then use a hook or loop of material to suspend the bottom bar and rolled screen material under the top bar. Not very elegant but functional.


As you can see in the diagram I suspect that unless the bottom bar is rolled up very carefully it would cause horizontal creases in the BOC. I also anticipate some bagging issues at the sides of the screen.


I have given some thought to way to deal with these two anticipated issues but please feel free to post up any ideas or other issues I have not anticipated.


(1) BOC: Block out clothe is a white cloth with a vinyl backing. It is primarily used to line window drapes to block out the sun light. It is a rubbery material that has some stretch to it. As a DIY Screen material it is usually stretched over a simple wooden frame and stapled to the back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by kciaccio /forum/post/15495426


Was a $99 screen from Best Buy out of the question or something?

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1210378662257

I am in Canada so I searched the BestBuy.ca site. The price I found was $348.99 for a 106" manual matte white screen. Futureshop.ca also has this screen listed for $345.99


I purchased my 120" remote controlled screen from Eastporters.com and they still have them listed at $189.99 or you can get their newer EluneVision electric retractable for $299.99 or go for the $169.99 manual retractable 106" screen.


In hind sight spending $169.99 + $50 shipping for the manual 106" screen would have been a reasonable starter or interim screen solution. I am sure I have spent many times that on paint and materials supporting this obsession.
But this is a DIY Screen forum so this thread will cater to the idea of making something with readily available materials. But you point is well taken and others should give it some thought before committing a lot of time and effort to making an interim screen.
 

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Tiddler,


In post #3 where you show the diagram of the screen....


1"x2"s I don't think would be necessary. I think you are trying to get the material sandwiched to hold in place right? If a person were careful, they could find a 1.5" to 2" dowel, cut it in half lengthwise and fufill the same purpose.


Now your concern of wrinkles are gone.


Next would be how to address to side tension?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Highside /forum/post/15495815


Tiddler,


In post #3 where you show the diagram of the screen....


1"x2"s I don't think would be necessary. I think you are trying to get the material sandwiched to hold in place right? If a person were careful, they could find a 1.5" to 2" dowel, cut it in half lengthwise and fufill the same purpose.


Now your concern of wrinkles are gone.


Next would be how to address to side tension?

I agree that a split dowel or two half rounds would be ideal. If you have a router and corner rounding bit you could round off the outside corners of the 1x2s.

NOTE: I am assuming that when we attach the BOC to the bars we will stretch it along the bars to insure there are no vertical wrinkles.


As far as the bagging sides go there are some very simple solutions.


If we are willing to go for longer bars we could make the screen wide enough to get the entire 106" image area between the baggy sides. Then either cut the baggy sides off in a concave curve or just paint them black. If we are not willing to go for 1x2s that are not the standard 8' length we could reduce the size of the screen. A 100" screen is 87" wide. That would give us 5.5" of material to sacrifice on the sides. That might be enough.


Once you start thinking of cutting the sides in a concave curve it leads one to ponder simple tab tensioning ideas.


Anyone?


When we go to the fabric store to get the BOC what could we get that might allow us to make a side tensioned screen?


Does the side have to be curved to create side tension, and if so how deep a curve is necessary?


I'm getting the urge to do some experimenting!
Oh man she's gonna kill me if I come home with screen making materials!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Since I have thrown out the notion of painting black borders on BOC, I wonder what would happen if you painted the back of the screen black? Would you get a light neutral gray screen? What if you painted it white? Would you get a brighter white screen?


Hmmmm . . . Hey Harpmaker, do you have any scraps of BOC around? Could you give this a try and see what effect it has on your spectrometer measurements?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Harpmaker!



If the BOC is completely opaque then no I don't think it will make much difference either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My curiosity has gotten the better of me.



I popped into Home Depot this morning and looked at the 1x2 lumber. With a bit of patience you could find 4 pieces that are straight and not too rough. But they just seemed to be too flexible for our purposes. The 1x3 lumber was cleaner and the added stiffness just seemed right. I was able to find 4 pieces that were in reasonably good shape and straight without too much sorting. Here in Canada the 8'x1"x3" boards are $1.57 each.


I also picked up a box of 1 1/4" drywall screws. You could use nails but I want to be able to take mine apart easily. Drywall screws are cheap ($2/100), and small gauge so they are easily driven and less likely to split the wood.


Then I dropped into a local fabric store and bought some BOC. I didn't measure it yet but the clerk said it was almost 60" wide. She also showed me that it has a black layer sandwiched between the outer white layers. Compared to my actual retractable screen this cloth is fairly thin. It has a little stretch to it but not a lot. The clerk said BOC used to be thicker and stiffer but the new stuff is much softer and more flexible. Unfortunately that works against our purposes here. This BOC was $11 Cdn a meter. That seems a bit high, is suspect in the US you can find it for about half that price.


Let's Take A Step Back


My intension for this thread was to start by addressing a beginner's desire to rig up something usable but fairly easy and not too expensive. I would go even further to suggest these first simple ideas and trials should be possible with minimal tools and only the living room floor of an apartment to work in.


That is why I have started with cheap 1x3 strapping instead of the select pine that is cleaner and usually straighter. The select pine also tends to have very clean sharp edges while the strapping has about a 1/8" radius on the edges. For rolling the screen up that is an advantage.


So I encourage anyone with ideas on how to improve upon this initial cheap quicky version to post them. However don't be surprised if I don't incorporate these ideas. As we go along the goal may evolve into a refined solution that one might consider for longterm use, but for now the idea is to rig up the best interim screen we can.


Now you may be thinking that the best, least expensive, and easiest interim screen is just a primed wall, or some light neutral gray paint on the wall. I would have to agree with that. In fact I think that is a given for most people, even newbies that have just skimmed through a few threads here. The question that seems to get posted more often and repeatedly is "What can I rig up in my apartment or dorm room, that will not involve painting or more than a couple of nails to hang it on the wall?" The other requirement I often see is that the screen can be easily removed or stored somewhere. This is true for people who are in a position to install something more permanent also. In my own case I wanted something to use to try out the projector and get a feel for the screen size I wanted. BUT! It had to be removable so we could still watch our TV. This first simple roll up BOC screen would have been a good interim solution for my own situation and I think for many others in a similar situation as well.


So to begin with the goals are:
  1. Easily acquired materials.
  2. Minimal tool requirements.
  3. Easily constructed on the living room floor.
  4. Minimal or no mess created.
  5. Fairly inexpensive.
  6. Smooth Flat Screen Surface.
  7. Easily stowed when not in use.


I'm thinking most people will or should have a pair of scissors, a stapler, screw drivers, and maybe a hammer. If they don't have these basic things then they are worthwhile purchases anyway. I also suspect most people would not want to be doing a lot of sanding, painting, gluing . . . etc in their living room, so we will avoid any of that sort of mess making. Whether you are a starving college student or middle income family man, keeping the cost down is a requirement because you either don't have money to burn or you will not want to spend a lot on a screen that is just an interim solution.


I should also point out that in keeping with the frugal theme of this first version, any solution to the floppy sides will have to be possible without significant addition cost, difficulty, or the requirement of a sewing machine etc. However I am sure we will explore some more elegant solutions in the future, along with some ideas for a more traditional top roller retraction system. For now we will see if we can't make an adequately flat smooth BOC screen quick and dirty and for cheap.
 

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$157 each!!!! or $1.57 each?


HOLY ****
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Highside /forum/post/15508549


$157 each!!!! or $1.57 each?


HOLY ****

Typo fixed.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiddler /forum/post/15508432


My curiosity has gotten the better of me.

I hope you have survived your wife finding you with ever more DIY screen materials
And that said, I will share what my wife wants to try, as it was very fun to see her excited about a DIY screen fabric project


Quote:
Originally Posted by tiddler /forum/post/15508432


So to begin with the goals are:
  1. Easily acquired materials.
  2. Minimal tool requirements.
  3. Easily constructed on the living room floor.
  4. Minimal or no mess created.
  5. Fairly inexpensive.
  6. Smooth Flat Screen Surface.
  7. Easily stowed when not in use.

First, I am in total support of this project and its design goals! I would think lots of people would want a cheap, easy, decent, and easily stored screen. Just slightly beyond your tool specifications, do you think that it would be OK to add things to the project that are easy/cheap to have done? For instance, a home improvement store will give you a couple cuts for free, so we could say "cut wood to length" and it will still be cheap/easy.


Or for my example, my wife wants to try sewing a hem along the top and bottom, to create pockets to slide dowels into. I haven't called any alteration shops, but my wife rolled her eyes when I asked her to confirm it was cheap
You specifically said "no sewing machine" requirement, and I wonder if you think this idea makes some cheap "sewing outsourcing" fit your requirements.


And what is the thought on creating two pockets above and below? That's what were going to start with and see how it goes. It won't be stretched to the sides, at least not without some further ideas. Is the lack of horizontal stretch going to be a big issue? I guess we will see
 

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I know I posted the Best Buy comment about the $99 screen, but I have made one screen on my own that I use for when I show an outdoor movie. I purchased a large sheet of white canvas from a frabric store for $30 and installed eyelits(I think they are called that) so I could hang it. It works great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I agree that getting cuts done at the store is within anyone's grasp.


I also agree that the sleeve top and bottom is a good way to go. Bud16415 has some photos of his original bed sheet screen. He did the sleeve and dowel idea.


I was trying to avoid using up anymore of the height than absolutely necessary. The method I am about to try should only use an inch of material top and bottom.


I also considered the sleeve idea but did not think I could sew it perfectly straight. If you could get it done by an awning company then it would probably be very straight.


If you want to add some horizontal tension then you could either attach the sleeve to the dowel or add a grommet and some springs or bungee cord. You would have to make the bottom dowel a bit longer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by kciaccio /forum/post/15513755


I know I posted the Best Buy comment about the $99 screen, but I have made one screen on my own that I use for when I show an outdoor movie. I purchased a large sheet of white canvas from a frabric store for $30 and installed eyelits(I think they are called that) so I could hang it. It works great.

Do you have any photos? I did not install eyelets in mine. I sewed loops of nylon strapping into the corners and the sides.

 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiddler /forum/post/15513763


I also agree that the sleeve top and bottom is a good way to go. Bud16415 has some photos of his original bed sheet screen. He did the sleeve and dowel idea.


I was trying to avoid using up anymore of the height than absolutely necessary. The method I am about to try should only use an inch of material top and bottom.

I think using minimal height is a noble goal. I'm not sure how much fabric we will be using, I suppose we need to take a SWAG at dowel thickness/weight. I'll check Bud16515's photos for ideas. For my purpose, it's going to be awkward (nearby furniture) to go wider than 75-80", so height starting at 54" is plenty for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiddler /forum/post/15513763


I also considered the sleeve idea but did not think I could sew it perfectly straight. If you could get it done by an awning company then it would probably be very straight.

According to my wife, it should not be hard for the sleeve to be straight. Getting your stitching straight could be trickier, but that's not important. Hah! Ok, now she says she might want to get some cheap plastic guides for making long straight hems from Michael's... This seems like a project similar to making large drapes, so I may ask the shop I was at earlier this week what they think (and if they do it).


I'm going to order the BOC from the friendly ladies, because my wife doesn't want to sew this weekend anyway... I'll report back with any further feedback on DIYness or easy outsourcing
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kciaccio /forum/post/15513755


I know I posted the Best Buy comment about the $99 screen, but I have made one screen on my own that I use for when I show an outdoor movie. I purchased a large sheet of white canvas from a frabric store for $30 and installed eyelits(I think they are called that) so I could hang it. It works great.

I think your point about $99 screens is a good one, because we also need to keep in mind the highest total cost before you should really just buy a cheap projector screen



And yeah, like tiddler said, do you have any pics of your canvas screen? That sounds pretty easy if all you have to do is hang it because it's so heavy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Basic Assembly Report


I started by picking the two 1x3s that I thought would look best on the front of the screen. Then I marked a line on the boards that I would align the edge of the BOC with.




I used a paper stapler to tack the edge of the BOC to the top bar. Then I folded the BOC up and aligned the two edges. Since the edges are exactly parallel, folding over on itself and cutting both where the ends of the board are, will result in a square end cut.




Then I started all the screws in the back half of the top bar. The back half is then attached to the front half sandwiching the BOC in between.


I ran into a problem at this point. The screws near the ends caused the wood to split. To avoid this wrap some black cloth hockey tape around the ends of the bars.


Once I had the top and bottom of the BOC attached to the bars I rolled the screen up with the bottom bar. I attached the hook & eye fastners on the ends and mounted eyes for to hang the screen.




I managed to hang the screen by myself without waking up the boss, and even unhooked the ends and lowered it.


It looks pretty bad in these pictures with light coming from the side. Even the face on flash photo looks terrible. Some form of side tension would make a real improvement.





As bad as it looked I know this is a matt finish material so I decided to throw some images on it and see just how bad it looked in use.









NOTE: I did not recalibrate for this screen.


No doubt any full screen solid color images will show the waves and wrinkles but most of the time I was somewhat surprised and impressed at how good it looked. As an interim solution I think I could live with this.


Tomorrow I will cover the bars with some black hockey tape.


Now if we can only come up with a simple way to add some side tension.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
After sleeping on it . . .




Now all I need is one more 8' length of 1x3 (which I can cut at the store), some long black boot laces, and 4 bolts with wing nuts & washers.


At my local Home Depot they have a miter box and hand saw available in the molding isle. Is it safe to assume that all Home Depot stores do this?


I would also like to add a sanding sponge to our list of tools. Is that getting too extravagant?


I guess it should be apparent by now that black cloth hockey tape (or equivalent) is a required material for this project. If you are looking for an alternative it must not be very thick or stiff. It's not black but cloth medical tape from the drugstore comes to mind as an alternative. It might even have a stronger adhesive.
 
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