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What are your screen requirements? (Pick as many as apply)

  • I want something that is easy to install.

    Votes: 426 62.4%
  • I want something as inexpensive as possible.

    Votes: 373 54.6%
  • I want something less than $100.

    Votes: 271 39.7%
  • I am willing to spend whatever amount is needed as long as it's the best.

    Votes: 71 10.4%
  • I want a simple one can painted screen option.

    Votes: 68 10.0%
  • I want an advanced paint mix screen option.

    Votes: 52 7.6%
  • I want a single material screen option.

    Votes: 291 42.6%
  • I want something durable.

    Votes: 271 39.7%
  • I want an ambient light screen.

    Votes: 246 36.0%
  • I have light control and want a white screen.

    Votes: 241 35.3%
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Discussion Starter #1
This first post will be updated with any new information and as a summary for what was discussed so far.

An Index as added to the bottom of this post with various highlights throughout the thread. Also there is a new thread that was created just for the purose of showcasing people's laminate screens.


This thread started out as a quest for a material over the 4x8 size that is common and readily available. If you want a larger screen though, finding a substrate larger than that can start to become tricky, but we have found some solutions


As the thread progressed, laminates were suggested by some members and the thread became more about laminates at that point than about finding a plastic substrate. Laminates come in sizes up to 5x12 and are readily available at any Home Depot or Lowes.


The laminate posts really start around post #36 for anyone that wants to skip over the substrate talk.


There are numerous laminate manufacturers, currently Wilsonart is the primary manufacturer that is being tested and having color analysis done. Other companies will be tested and color data collected as well, but the goal is to identify a suitable white, and ideally three shades of gray. These colors and manufacturers must be something that is readily available in any part of the country. Other sources will be investigated as well, such as Pionite.


The plan is to come up with a clearly defined set of options for a white and gray one step screen solution that are both easy to get and put up, as well as provide a better than average screen. The number of options are intentionally being kept low as to avoid people from becoming over whelmed with a situation where there are 40 different manufacturers and people recommending 300 different laminate colors that would put us right back where we are now with too many options and not enough data on any of them.


Currently Designer White has passed all tests and is being used as screens by several members.

Here is a summary of the main details discussed in this thread.

Availability

To order Designer White, go to any Lowes or Home Depot and tell them you want Designer White D354-60, then the size sheet you want. It comes in 4x8, 5x8, 5x10, and 5x12 sheets. (The grays are also available in the same sizes)

Performance and Data

Ericglo recommended Designer White and Clarence ordered a sheet and did initial testing.


Below are some of Clarence's screen tests, to see other screen shots and to read his entire comments click here .







Clarence explains in his post what he is pointing too. Plus there are other screenshots and he has detailed comments about Designer White and Wilsonart as a screen material.


He has numerous posts in this thread along with other screen shots showing a digital projector image instead of the CRT projector he normally uses.


Ericglo did some comparison tests with other Wilsonart samples and provided that information in posts #69 and #77 .

Here is one of his test shots, to see the rest and his comments, click on the post numbers above:
HD NET zero degrees


Both Ericglo and Clarence have provided a wealth of valuable information. If it wasn't for those two laminates may have remained in the archives, and I for one am grateful they shared this information and brought it back to everyone's attention.


It was decided more detailed color information was needed so a dialog was opened with Wilsonart, who put me in contact with their color lab. They provided color analysis, which has now been checked and tested for accuracy.

Here is the data of the Wilsonart samples. This is the official data.


Next is a graph of the data. We can see the characteristics of each sample.


More data and graphs are in post #220 .


It can be seen that the preliminary data is indicating these are pretty close to neutral. Once the final data is completed this graph will be updated, and the screen performance testing of the grays will begin.


Color Codes
Wilsonart Colors (
 

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I have the same problem - I'll be soon constructing a 54"x96" screen, and I haven't been able to find places that carry substrate materials bigger than this... I'm considering going with a BFLF type screen design on an acrylic substrate, and I haven't found anywhere that offers a substrate of that size.


Just a little bump for the cause.
 

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This comes up all the time. I painted 1/2" MDF for my screen. I ordered a 5'X8' sheet from my local lumberyard, and they cut it for me also. Before you say it's too heavy, it's also available in 1/4" thickness.
 

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Discussion Starter #4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McC /forum/post/0


This comes up all the time. I painted 1/2" MDF for my screen. I ordered a 5'X8' sheet from my local lumberyard, and they cut it for me also. Before you say it's too heavy, it's also available in 1/4" thickness.


I already checked with the main lumber store in my area (Curtis Lumber) and they didn't carry it and said it wasn't something they would order. I guess it's worth seeing if there are any other lumber stores/yards in my area.
 

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If you properly brace the back of it you can butt together 4' x 8' sheet material provided it is over 1/4" in thickness. Then if you plan to paint it, ordinary wood filler and some sandpaper will hide the seam.


John
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiddler /forum/post/0


craftech,


I was thinking about this the other day and wondered if the idea in the scetch would work?


I've used polyfiller to fill joints in MDF before. So far it has not cracked. The other technique that might be better would be a saw dust and wood glue mix to make filler. Of course you would need a large flat area to work on this. What do you think?

Elmer's Carpenter's Wood Filler works just fine. I use it a lot. It holds up very well and is easy to work with and cheap. You probably don't need to make a V- shaped fillet. Fill the seam and slightly feather the edges. Once you prime and paint it it will disappear. You can also screw through the material into the brace provided you recess the screws slightly and fill them with the same stuff.


The problem is, as you say, the large surface area to work on. For most people that would be a floor, and even then it will probably be in the way of something as you work on it not to mention the mess.


John
 

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go to your local plastics distributor and ask them for Sintra, Komatex, Komacel, or Celtec.

they are all different names/brands that refer to rigid, expanded pvc.


rigid, flexible, light weight and easy to work with. it will not warp or curl like gatorboard can do.

you can hang it freely or attach it to a frame.


it comes in sizes up to 144" x 100".


i recently purchased a 5' x 8' sheet of white sintra for a measly $27.
 

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Discussion Starter #9

Quote:
Originally Posted by pb_maxxx /forum/post/0


go to your local plastics distributor and ask them for Sintra, Komatex, Komacel, or Celtec.

they are all different names/brands that refer to rigid, expanded pvc.


rigid, flexible, light weight and easy to work with. it will not warp or curl like gatorboard can do.

you can hang it freely or attach it to a frame.


it comes in sizes up to 144" x 100".


i recently purchased a 5' x 8' sheet of white sintra for a measly $27.

I'm still looking but so far it doesn't look like anyone around the Albany, NY area handles any of it...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I am batting a negative 1000... you'd figure with the GE headquarters located right in my local area there would be a way to buy something from GE Plastics.


I called GE Plastics, and they sent me to Polymershapes, a subdivision of GE Plastics. The guy there was less than helpful, although I admit was unprepared for his questions. I explained what I needed and what it would be used for, and he said without a product name or SKU # there was no way he could look up any information. Even if he could, he said it was unlikely I would be able to order just one sheet, and there was nobody local to me, so shipping for an 8x10 sheet would be at least $150. He pretty much ended the call at that point. I got the feeling since I wasn't a company placing an order he felt I was wasting his time.


It's a shame, because this is the route I wanted to go for my next screen (interim until I can get proficient enough to attempt a Light Fusion screen) It looks like to get either a plain white 8x10 plastic sheet or acrylic mirror in my area will be in the $300-400 range minimum. Shipping is the killer, but also any prices I found for just one sheet were up there too.


I haven't had any luck on finding a lumber yard that would order 1/4 inch MDF in the size I want either. I've called every company I can think of, and then a few just to see... nothing.


I have two ideas that are borderline crazy, one I know will work but won't let me build a masking system that retracts behind the screen, so essentially for what I want it really won't work. The other mentally looks like it might work, but there will be a lot of prepwork involved... Sometimes I really hate NY!
 

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Discussion Starter #12

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McC /forum/post/0


Doesn't everyone hate New York?

Not being a native of NY, I know I don't like it. Everything costs more here and I see no reason it should. The other thing is when you say New York everyone automatically thinks the city. We live in a small country town 3-4 hours from the city.


As far as something to use, I'll keep looking around. If I still find nothing I'll resort to trying my nutball idea, at worse all I will be out will be around $40 if it doesn't work.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pb_maxxx /forum/post/0


go to your local plastics distributor and ask them for Sintra, Komatex, Komacel, or Celtec.

they are all different names/brands that refer to rigid, expanded pvc.


rigid, flexible, light weight and easy to work with. it will not warp or curl like gatorboard can do.

you can hang it freely or attach it to a frame.


it comes in sizes up to 144" x 100".


i recently purchased a 5' x 8' sheet of white sintra for a measly $27.

Damn, I was going to say Wilsonart for a $1 a sq/ft but you win.



Ericglo
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pb_maxxx /forum/post/0


go to your local plastics distributor and ask them for Sintra, Komatex, Komacel, or Celtec.

they are all different names/brands that refer to rigid, expanded pvc.


rigid, flexible, light weight and easy to work with. it will not warp or curl like gatorboard can do.

you can hang it freely or attach it to a frame.


it comes in sizes up to 144" x 100".


i recently purchased a 5' x 8' sheet of white sintra for a measly $27.

After several calls around Kansas City this afternoon, I found a place that had it in stock. I didn't catch the brand name but 3mm expanded PVC, white, 5x10'. They also have two sheets of the 6mm.


The price is much higher - $47.23 for the 3mm and $93 for the 6mm, but still reasonable I guess.


Now, how to get it home!
 

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Discussion Starter #15

Quote:
Originally Posted by l8apex32 /forum/post/0


After several calls around Kansas City this afternoon, I found a place that had it in stock. I didn't catch the brand name but 3mm expanded PVC, white, 5x10'. They also have two sheets of the 6mm.


The price is much higher - $47.23 for the 3mm and $93 for the 6mm, but still reasonable I guess.


Now, how to get it home!

As far as the price... it's a GREAT price if that's the only one around, I mean think about how much it would if you had to pay for shipping!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well I found a place that sells Celtec, not as cheap as what other's on here are getting it for, a 4x8 sheet will run me $85 for a 3mm thickness, a 6mm thickness will be $165. They possibly can get me a 5x10 sheet as well but they aren't sure, but if they can the price will be significantly higher.


They also have acrylic mirrors for $97 for a 4x8 sheet 8mm thick, 6mm jumps to almost $200. They will ship too for $60, but I would probably just go pick it up.


Still though... no 5x10 material. This is getting discouraging. I really want to go this route and would love to see a LF screen in person, but I also don't want to reduce my screen size if I don't have to. God I hate saying this, but that electric tab tensioned high contrast gray screen with dual remotes for $575 is starting to look better and better.


If I could get substrate in the size I need so I don't have to make my screen smaller I am all for DIY, but I don't want to sacrifice the size. Granted, LF may more than make up for giving up a slightly bigger screen. I'd be dropping from a 110" diagonal screen to a 98" diagonal screen. Sounds kinda trivial I know, but dropping from a 54x96 screen to a 48x85 screen is a 1,104 square inch viewing difference... Just to put that in perspective, that's bigger than the viewing area on my Toshiba 36inch TV.


That's a hard sale now isn't it?


Below is all done tongue in cheek and meant for fun...


____________________________________________________________ ____


Imagine this pitch

Salesperson "Sir I'm sorry we don't have a screen in the size you want you'll have to settle for this one, it's smaller but much better... however I can't let you see it in person."


Reply "Why is it better?"


Salesperson "Because... I told you it was better just now."


Reply "Well what about those screens over there that are the right size?"


Salesperson "You don't want THOSE... that's a remote tab tensioned screen and not worth the money. Besides you can't see those in person either. Nyyaah..."


Reply "But I really like my 110" image and don't even know what the other one would look like or if I could even make it... $100 for the sheet, paint, sprayer, trim, velvet... gee that's starting to add up... how much was that screen again?"


Salesperson "$575 for the tab tension screen, and $245 for the fixed frame screen, but you really don't want those. Besides, I won't let you see those either unless you buy them, but I suggest you stay away from them."


Reply "Why?"


Saleperson "Well... it's a mfg screen that's why. Just settle for the smaller screen and you'll be happy... trust me... you'll like paint much better anyway"


Reply "Because it's cheaper or because it's better?"


Salesperson "Maybe"


Reply "Maybe what? Better or cheaper?"


Salesperson "Well you won't know now will you?! Nyyahh..."


Reply "I already have a DIY screen made with Behr Silver Screen, I just want to make a permanant screen that's better."


Salesperson "You used Silver Screen?"


Reply "Yeah, is there something wrong with it?"


Salesperson "It sucks."


Reply "No it doesn't."


Salesperson "Yes it does."


Reply "Okay WHY?"


Salesperson "Because I said so. You should have used a different mix. Don't you read?"


Reply "But lots of people have used Silver Screen and love it."


Salesperson "Yeah and 'lots of people' suck too! Like you for not using the right one."


Reply "Okay, so what mix should I use?"


Salesperson "Depends."


Reply "Depends on what?"


Salesperson "Depends on if you want your screen to suck or not."


Reply "Okay now you're just talking in circles... what is the best mix?"


Salesperson "I can't tell you that."


Reply "And why not?"


Salesperson "Because you have to decide that on your own. Besides, mixes change every week, so whatever you use now will suck next week anyway."


Reply "Now you're just making things up."


Salesperson "No I'm not. May I suggest crayons for your screen? I hear they are very popular with preschoolers."


Reply "Why does this have to be so frustrating?"


Salesperson "I don't know, you tell me. You're the one that wants your stupid silly 110" screen... now be off."


Reply "But I just want a piece of 5x10 plastic to make a screen."


Salesperson "I said you can't have one. Take the 4x8 and be gone!"


Reply "Okay I want the tab tension screen over there."


Salesperson "Can't have it."


Reply "Okay okay... I want the 4x8 acrylic mirror, a sprayer, some molding, velvet, paint, miscellaneous hardware to put the frame together and mount everything, how much will that be?"


Salesperson "Um... hmmm... mirror $97, decent sprayer, say, oh $80-90, wood for a frame $15 or so, paint, $30-40 if you don't screw it up little man and need more... or god forbid you have to practice, you stupid annoying person... now where was I... okay... that will be $237. Oh, I forgot the velvet and sales tax... wait for me to readjust that... Sir that will be $5,387,932.41... just kidding... That comes to $275 give or take a little."


Reply "WHAT?! Okay give me the fixed frame screen for $245."


Salesperson "NO"


News Headline: Breaking news... DIYer stuffs projector screen up salesman's behind... details at eleven!"
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by l8apex32 /forum/post/0


After several calls around Kansas City this afternoon, I found a place that had it in stock. I didn't catch the brand name but 3mm expanded PVC, white, 5x10'. They also have two sheets of the 6mm.


The price is much higher - $47.23 for the 3mm and $93 for the 6mm, but still reasonable I guess.


Now, how to get it home!

l8apex32


Please let me know where it was that you found this in KC, and let us know how you like it as a screen when you hang it.
 

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wbassett,

If you are in Albany, then why don't you drive down to NY city. I am sure you can get anything there. If not, then look up Wilsonart laminate. Just going to their webpage, I found a distributor in Albany.


Ericglo
 

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Discussion Starter #19

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ericglo /forum/post/0


wbassett,

If you are in Albany, then why don't you drive down to NY city. I am sure you can get anything there. If not, then look up Wilsonart laminate. Just going to their webpage, I found a distributor in Albany.


Ericglo

Thanks for directing me to Wilsonart laminate, I'm checking them out now. All hope isn't lost!


As far as NYC goes... that's over 3 1/2 hours one way for me, takes $45 or more to fill my truck, so there's $90 in gas right there... plus I've been to NYC and would NEVER drive down there! Those people are crazy!
 

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In case anyone is wondering, I bought mine from the local Wilsonart store in Miami. It was I think $1 sq/ft. I went to the store and picked out the pattern I wanted (green marble) for my flexy rack. They sent me to the dock where they had rolled it up into about a foot wide by four foot long tube. I have a van, but it could have easily been thrown in the trunk or backseat of a car. It weighs about two pounds. I used my computer last year to measure some of their samples. The results can be found somewhere around here. One nice thing is that you can curve it horizontaly.


Ericglo
 
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