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Hi there, I just received my raw screen material in the mail today and I wanted to just check with this group to see if my plans make sense. I am planning to use 3/4" EMT metal tube with couplers for the frame in a rectangle. Then I will be folding each edge of the material 1" over itself two times so that there are 3 layers of fabric on each edge. Then I plan to sew the edges in place and insert metal grommets every foot or so. Finally I will be using ball bungees all around the edges to stretch the screen to the metal frame. Does this plan make sense? The Carl's rep seemed to believe that 3 folds should be enough to support grommets while stretching. Has anyone tried sewing this material? I've never sewed plastic before so I'm not sure how that will go. What about the frame, is 1 rectangle enough for a 71" x 126" screen, or should I have an additional tube in the middle for support? Any advice you have would be appreciated. Can't wait for the first backyard movie night!

~mindseye1~
 

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DIY Granddad (w/help)
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Folding is certainly the best "DIY" way to strengthen the edges....but I personally would have had Carl's install the Grommets instead..


If the Flexi came on a Roll and does not have any wrinkles or (gasp!) creases, then it doesn't require a lot of stretching tension.



As far as the needed stitching, it would need to be a very closely grouped Dual Line Stitch pattern to avoid it pulling loose.


I would suggest wrapping the material over the edges and using the Bungees to "cross attach" the material behind the Frame. That would let the Frame itself take up the pull resistance on all sides, and leave you with a Zero Edged surface you can keep as-is, or apply a very thin border of Black Flocking Tape (Carl's sells that)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Folding is certainly the best "DIY" way to strengthen the edges....but I personally would have had Carl's install the Grommets instead..


If the Flexi came on a Roll and does not have any wrinkles or (gasp!) creases, then it doesn't require a lot of stretching tension.



As far as the needed stitching, it would need to be a very closely grouped Dual Line Stitch pattern to avoid it pulling loose.


I would suggest wrapping the material over the edges and using the Bungees to "cross attach" the material behind the Frame. That would let the Frame itself take up the pull resistance on all sides, and leave you with a Zero Edged surface you can keep as-is, or apply a very thin border of Black Flocking Tape (Carl's sells that)
Thank you for the tips! I actually ordered this item on clearance so no option to have grommets sewn on at Carl's. This also means it came folded and does indeed have quite a lot of creases that I'll need to stretch out. I like your idea of wrapping the edges over the frame, that will probably make for a smoother stretch.
For sewing, I'm not sure if my machine has the "dual line" stitch, but I will check that out. If not, maybe I can just run it through twice?

Also, do you think EMT is overkill? Will PVC do the trick just as well? It is much cheaper, that's why I ask.
 

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DIY Granddad (w/help)
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23,765 Posts
Thank you for the tips! I actually ordered this item on clearance so no option to have grommets sewn on at Carl's. This also means it came folded and does indeed have quite a lot of creases that I'll need to stretch out. I like your idea of wrapping the edges over the frame, that will probably make for a smoother stretch.
For sewing, I'm not sure if my machine has the "dual line" stitch, but I will check that out. If not, maybe I can just run it through twice?

If the Machine can't Double Stitch, you would / do have to go through twice. Do a search on stitching Borders to get the exact best stitch pattern and gauge Thread to use.


Also, do you think EMT is overkill? Will PVC do the trick just as well? It is much cheaper, that's why I ask.

The EMT has extremely more rigidity per weight.....and requires proportionately fewer support pieces...however when your going as large as you are you should always play it safe and add 25% more than specified.


With PVC you must consider the flex quotient as relates to the Schedule thickness and tube diameter. With properly spaced vertical bracing, PVC can obtain a lot of rigidity. Otherwise it will bend under tension.



The bigger examples I've seen done in PVC utilized a exterior Frame of 1.5"O.D and interior Verticals of 1.25"O.D. and each Corner used 2 - 45 Degree couplings set 24" out from the Corner. Yes...money was saved, but at the expense of Weight and ease of mobility...not to mention disassembly since the PVC had to be permanently joined.


All of that is why many opt to go with a pre-made Frame kit from Carl's. Some people will tend to spend more for less worry and/or effort.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If the Machine can't Double Stitch, you would / do have to go through twice. Do a search on stitching Borders to get the exact best stitch pattern and gauge Thread to use.





The EMT has extremely more rigidity per weight.....and requires proportionately fewer support pieces...however when your going as large as you are you should always play it safe and add 25% more than specified.


With PVC you must consider the flex quotient as relates to the Schedule thickness and tube diameter. With properly spaced vertical bracing, PVC can obtain a lot of rigidity. Otherwise it will bend under tension.



The bigger examples I've seen done in PVC utilized a exterior Frame of 1.5"O.D and interior Verticals of 1.25"O.D. and each Corner used 2 - 45 Degree couplings set 24" out from the Corner. Yes...money was saved, but at the expense of Weight and ease of mobility...not to mention disassembly since the PVC had to be permanently joined.


All of that is why many opt to go with a pre-made Frame kit from Carl's. Some people will tend to spend more for less worry and/or effort.
Yes, definitely would have gone that route in hindsight. I can't find the couplers for the EMT anywhere! Would have saved me a lot of time to have the pre-sewn grommets and all the couplers included. Oh well... gotta make the best of it now. Thanks again for the tips!
 
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