What happened to the DIY projection screen threads?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by MichaelDDD, Sep 20, 2004.

  1. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    I searched but found nothing. About 9 months ago there were several excellent threads on building your own screen. I'd like to peruse them. Looking to build a 72" to 84" diagonal, 16:9 screen.
     
  2. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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  3. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    Thanks very much, Dustin. Nice screen you have and great DIY info on your site! I do remember seeing your site some months ago. [​IMG] I bookmarked it this time.

    I have to decide if I'm going with regular blackout fabric, possibly painting said blackout fabric, or getting some more expensive "regular" screen material.

    Gotta be careful that this DIY project doesn't wind up coming close to the cost of a regular, commercially-purchased screen; that's the point of DIY - cheaper and better!!!

    BTW, did the screen fabric tear or get holes in it when you stretched it over/around the corners of the plywood? I know the screen fabric has to be pulled relatively tight as it's stapled down in order to avoid wrinkles. I would think that the corners of the wood would poke holes in the fabric. How did you avoid this, please?
     
  4. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    All I did was use a sanding block to smooth and slightly round over all the edges the fabric will be scretched around.

    I used a ratcheting clamp and two pieces of wood with some sandpaper with an adhesive backing as the canvas stretching pliers. Then with the canvas stretching technique I used by the time you get to the corners the screen is very taught and smooth. So I just hand stretched the corners. I've stretched 3 screens with this method and haven't ripped the blackout cloth yet.

    Lower on my screen/masking/mount page are the results of my grey screen paint and commercial screen material comparisons.
     
  5. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for that link, Jack. Plenty o'info there. [​IMG]

    Dustin: Does one have to have some kind of ratcheting canvass stretching tool for best results? Your homemade tool does sound pretty cool though. Whatever works, right? [​IMG]
     
  6. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    You should be able to get good results just hand stretching, but there is not way you'll get the screen as taught as you can using pliers.
     
  7. Chris Keen

    Chris Keen Stunt Coordinator

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    Perhaps if you have a router and a 1/4" roundover bit with a rolling bearing guide? This should ease the edges, and make quick work of it.
     
  8. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    Good idea, Chris. [​IMG] I'm most worried about the corners though, not the edges of the wood, per se.

    I've been browsing the "how to" pics folks have posted and I've seen that when it comes to the corners, the fabric is actually "folded" around the corners as opposed to dragging it "over" the point of the corner. I guess it's just a matter of luck/practice/voodoo to get the fold correct so that it doesn't look sloppy.

    I wonder if there's an advantage/disadvantage to rounding over the edges of the wood w/a router?

    It would smooth the fabric going over the edge, that's true.

    But I wonder if it would put more stress on the staples holding the fabric down that way? The fabric would have a smoother surface to "pull back to unstretched form" if it were passing over a rounded edge than if it were "hard bent" over a 90-degree angle. Make sense? [​IMG]
     
  9. Roy Lumsden

    Roy Lumsden Extra

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    I've never built a screen but I have done some uphostery work. Having said that, typically, you can't strech fabric around square corners. Instead, strech the sides leading up to the corners and then, by hand, just tighten the corners, fold and staple.

    Roy
     
  10. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    I built a 88" parkland plastic screen painted aluminum grey w/ a 3" satin black border. It cost about $50 in materials and paint and has done a good job. I'm about to, however, upgrade to a 92" Dalite Model B Video Spectra 1.5 gain for better brightness in my non quite 100% ambient light controlled living room. I'll probably build some kind ov valence box to cover the screen retraction box and possibly some kind of variable masking system like Dustin B's. I'll at the least have some kind of material draped down from the valence box to give the appearance of theater cutrains.
     
  11. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    Roy L, thanks for the tip on stretching and stapling.

    Stephen, I thought about going the Parkland route; but what I read about it was not positive at all. OTOH, about 90% of the people w/a BOC screen, even those that afterwards spent $$$ for a "real" screen agree that it's really the best value. Right up my alley!!! [​IMG]



    Well guys, I've been checking out some more links and came across this guy who did something different.

    He built the frame out of 1x4's and covered the frame with black felt. Then he stretched/stapled the BO cloth across the back. Imagine a regular painting where the picture itself is recessed "behind" the frame and you've got the idea, completely. It looked great!!! It solved one main prob: Having to add the black border later (painted? velcro? other?)

    I'm considering this method vis a vis the traditional method of building the frame and stretching the fabric over and around it.

    I do realize that the first (lazy) way has a much greater possibility for the cloth to sag or develop wrinkles b/c it's not being stretched or held by anything but the staples. Whereas with the traditional method, it's stretched/held over the 90-degree angle of the frame as the cloth wraps over and then is secured with staples.

    I need to find a link to that guy's screen...it really looked nice.
     
  12. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    Well my parkland plastic screen was never meant to be a permanent solution and I went that route instead of black out cloth to save on time. All I had to do was glue some strate pieces of scrap pine to the back to keep it from rolling after I painted the color and border on. W/ BOC I would have had to build a much more elaborate frame w/ tighetr tolerances, mount the cloth carefully to remove any wrinkles and get it stretched tight, then build/mount/attach some sort of fram/border. I knew I would be buying a comercial screen eventually so the Parkland screen was more of a stop gap than anything, but has worked very well for me so far.
     
  13. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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  14. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    I hand stretched my screen using pliers and then tacked it in place with a staple gun...the BOC is very tight on mine so it is possible without using pullers etc.

    I painted my BOC with the DDOG paint mix that was all the rage on AVS a year ago. I've been very happy with it so far and really of all the screen samples I have only the mega buck firehawk comes close to being better. That said I've started to think about trying the new light fusion screen using a mirror so who knows what I'll be using this time next year if I happen to come across a suitable mirror one day [​IMG]
     
  15. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    I have one archived in my signature.
     

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