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Author Topic: New cloth screen pics  (Read 114118 times)
rfisk
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« on: March 30, 2005, 11:35:24 pm »

In 2004, our original particle board projection screen was violently killed in a Midwest thunderstorm.  This was a particularly nasty storm.  It also destroyed a local building where I worked for 15 years.  The crash woke my wife and I at 3:00AM but we really didn't know what had happened.  I looked out during the storm and confirmed our  screen was "gone" from its uprights and figured I'd find it in pieces all over the backyard the next morning.  The storm finally settled down, we still had a roof on the house, and we went back to sleep. 

The next morning I went out to survey the damage.  I expected screen pieces everywhere but there was no sign of the screen at all.  Finally, I looked 'up' and found half of the screen perched ON THE ROOF of the house.  Then I found the other half in the FRONT yard.  That piece probably weighed 120 pounds and had sailed roughly 60' OVER the house and landed in the front yard.  Fortunately, nothing else was broken but I officially pronounced the heavy wooden screen "dead" that morning.

So the replacement screen frame is made of 2 1/2" extruded aluminum; typically used for commercial window glazing/frames.  I had the local glass shop miter the corners and brace them inside and out.  I added two 1/2"  eyelets to suspend the screen from and started stretching the cloth screen material over the frame.  This material is called Trapeze and stretches up to 50% in both directions.  I love it.  It works for front or rear projection.  It looks a little transparent in the photo's and I was worried about that, but once it's dark and the projector is on, you can't even see the black frame edges behind the material.  It's just a big white perfectly flat surface.

I was in a hurry to get a new screen up for the weekend and attached the material with sheet metal screws.  My plan was to use extruded aluminum friction clips (used to hold greenhouse vinyl) but those pieces were on order and had not yet arrived.  As it turned out, the sheet metal screws worked fine for the entire season.  The material actually resists tears very well.  I can post some pics of these friction clip things if anyone is interested.  I have them now and plan to add them to the frame for this season, (unless I get in a hurry again.)

The resulting screen is much lighter and easier to handle.  It's flat and smooth.  It allows for a certain amount of air to flow through so it's not like a big sail hanging up there.  The material is machine washable.  This is just a WAY better screen setup.  We used it for half of last season and I'm getting anxious to put it up again for this year.  I think it's probably sonically transparent enough that I may suspend the center channel speaker behind it this year.

This screen is raised and suspended with nylon rope, then tied-off to the uprights.  It still takes two people about five minutes (gotta love having a big teenage son around) -- but it's not nearly as dangerous as raising that heavy wooden screen 17' on ladders.

I've been promising a few people I'd post some pics of the new screen so for now, I'm going to drop them into the NEW forum.  I'll get around to making pages for them one of these days.

Randy

Edit: More/older photos of my whole setup can be seen linked from the small thumbnails on the main page of  http://BackyardTheater.com


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« Last Edit: June 17, 2006, 06:09:24 pm by rfisk » Logged

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DigiMark
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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2005, 05:22:34 pm »

I think your screen is perfect for the purpose. A few more questions please.

1. Is there an online source for the "trapese" material? Does it sell by the yard, and (without being nosy) roughly how much does it go for?

1a. I found this vendor --

  http://www.b-adeals.com/ProductScreenWhiteFire.htm

Any thoughts on this material?

2. (Not a question but) I would like to see the aluminum clips you mentioned. For that matter, would it be difficult to take a few more pictures showing the construction, how the screen is attached, etc?

3. If I wanted to have someone build me a similar frame, who would I contact and what is the best way to describe the material and how it is constucted? Will I need cross-bracing of any sort? Angle brackets in the corners for ridgidity?

I have posts spread all over your website -- I don't mean to be scattered, but I have taken this on as a huge project, and I'm still building my confidence in all the different areas (screen, sound, etc.) I appreciate your patience. -Gary
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rfisk
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« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2005, 07:19:14 am »


1. Is there an online source for the "trapese" material? Does it sell by the yard, and (without being nosy) roughly how much does it go for?

It came from Dazian.  Here's a link to the product page:
http://www.dazian.com/cgi-bin/page.pl?action=show_style&style_id=297

Yes, it is sold by the yard.  Prices and dimensions are on their site.  Remember, it stretches 50%.  I don't pull mine quite that tight.  That way, if it relaxes a bit from rain and wind, I can give it a little more stretch.  I used it about half of last season, washed it over the winter, and it looks (and stretrches) great again this year.  I would have been happy if I could only get one season out of a piece.

That other material may be fine too but I'm REALLY happy with this Trapeze.

I shot a few pics of the clips last night and will try to get them posted tonight.  They came from a greenhouse supply store in Denver (I think) but are widely available at greenhouse supply places.

I still think your best bet on a frame is a local glazier.  This extruded aluminium is the kind of stuff you'd see at the local fast food joint  for their large window frames.   I wanted it large enough that the top piece wouldn't bend from being the main support (without using braces).  It could be a lot lighter if not for that point OR if you wanted to do some bracing.  I was thinking it was square but it's actually about 2 1/4 x 3".  It's mitered in all corners and there are two "L" shaped braces INSIDE that the screws screw into.  One on the inside corner and one on the outside.  I'm not sure if this is the way they normally assemple these window frames.  The guy who did it for me is a friend and he knew exactly what I was building so he may have addressed the bracing differently for this.  But it's very sturdy.   It has two groves for the rubber window 'seal' but those are not used in my application.

Right now, the material is simply held on with sheet metal screws and large washers screwed into the backside of the frame.  I'll add some pics of that too.  I got into a hurry again this year and put it up before attaching the clips.  Oh well....

Randy
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DigiMark
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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2005, 06:55:51 pm »

Leaving aside the screen itself for a moment, my wife and I were discussing (read that as beating each other over the head) ways to mount this screen so it stays fixed and rigid.

Reminder -- this is our backyard:

   http://www.digimark.net/og/random-images/backyard1.jpg     and
   http://www.digimark.net/og/random-images/backyard1.jpg

With the screen being 6 3/4' by 12', and hoisted into the air somewhat, we were thinking we could either dig three post holes and concrete-in three 2x2 square posts in a line diagonally across the back corner, or we will need to think up some kind of strong but temporary support. The posts would have to 8' to 10' high. We'd also have to figure out how to secure the screen structure to the posts.

I can't tell from your pictures (would you have any close-ups?) but it looks like there are yellow cans at the bottom of the posts. Are these movable or are they permanently dug into the ground? Do you use any crossbracing besides the one pipe across the top? Anything else you can add about it?

I can imagine that the washers prevent the screen material from ripping at the holes. And that you just pin up any excess material on the back side of the frame?

(as an aside, once I've got the screen taken care of, I'm going to be working on  the "refreshment stand" and the food to be served. Is there an appropriate place in the forums to talk about those?)

-Gary
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rfisk
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« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2005, 10:10:10 pm »


With the screen being 6 3/4' by 12', and hoisted into the air somewhat, we were thinking we could either dig three post holes and concrete-in three 2x2 square posts in a line diagonally across the back corner, or we will need to think up some kind of strong but temporary support. The posts would have to 8' to 10' high. We'd also have to figure out how to secure the screen structure to the posts.

I can't tell from your pictures (would you have any close-ups?) but it looks like there are yellow cans at the bottom of the posts. Are these movable or are they permanently dug into the ground? Do you use any crossbracing besides the one pipe across the top? Anything else you can add about it?

I can imagine that the washers prevent the screen material from ripping at the holes. And that you just pin up any excess material on the back side of the frame?

(as an aside, once I've got the screen taken care of, I'm going to be working on  the "refreshment stand" and the food to be served. Is there an appropriate place in the forums to talk about those?)

Sounds like you're getting serious!  I need to find some time to get pics posted.  Sorry, I'm behind...

I'll need to get some exact measurements, but our uprights are approx. 2-1/4"O.D. galvanized pipe.  There's a 90 degree elbow on each, and the cross support on the top.  That support is 17' high.  I was able to find SQUARE tubing that's about 1/4" wall (fairly thick) and the round uprights fit perfectly into the square tube (yes, you can put a round peg into a square hole...).  So the square tube is anchored in about 46-48"" of concrete.  The galvanized pipe came from a local hardware store (they delivered) and the square tube came from an industrial supply place.  It took me a while to find the right square tubing.

I may have posted this elsewhere on the site but in my original design, the plan was to position these concrete supports in such a place that I could build a) a bench that would slide into both of them, or b) individual round (tall) tables that would slide into them.  The idea was that if we didn't have the screen up, we would have these other backyard accessories AND we would not have a couple square tubes sticking up out of our yard to trip over.  As it turns out, once the screen goes up in the spring, it stays up all summer.  Also, that 17' long U-shaped stand has some weight to it and is tricky to get tipped upright, lifted about a foot straight up, and then dropped evenly into the square tubes.  Actually, I'd say this process is borderline dangerous!  So the 'stand' stays up all the time.  Many people would not want to have this thing in their yard all the time but it's enough fun that it's pretty much part of our family now...

The night the wooden screen crashed, one of the round uprights bent about 8" in the wind.  I used a backhoe to straighten it out and it's all good now.

Oh, each of the uprights is drilled at the location of the top of the square tube.  I ran a 3/8" bolt through the upright and that's what keeps the upright from slipping down into the tube too far, and keeps everything level.  Granted, it creates a weak spot in the tube, in a vulnerable place, but when the one did bend, it bent about half way up, which sort of surprised me.  Also, I turn the tube so that the weakness is only from forces sideways, which a close to zero.  Anyway, this thing as taken some serious wind.  Basically, as long as everything is plumb, it's not under much stress.

The yellow things you see at the bottom are simply the remainder of the yellow nylon rope that supports the screen.  I was being tidy and wrapped them around the square tubes. Smiley  Right now they're not as tidy.

When pulled, the excess screen material has a natural tendancy to roll back onto itself so it's easy to keep trimmed and nice.  It doesn't fray or fall apart.  This stuff is perfect for this.

I'll try to get a few more pics up soon andyes, we'll need an area for munchies and party ideas and such. 

Hang in there.  It's worth it.

Randy

Update: 08/01/2006 I added a couple pics of the ropes.  It's just 1/2" (or so) nylon rope.  Makes it easy to raise and lower the frame, then tie it off to the upright.  To give the ropes a little more bite, I added two conventional muffler clamps to the uprights.


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« Last Edit: August 01, 2006, 07:50:56 am by rfisk » Logged

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rfisk
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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2005, 05:09:50 pm »


I shot a few pics of the clips last night and will try to get them posted tonight.  They came from a greenhouse supply store in Denver (I think) but are widely available at greenhouse supply places.

Right now, the material is simply held on with sheet metal screws and large washers screwed into the backside of the frame.  I'll add some pics of that too.  I got into a hurry again this year and put it up before attaching the clips.  Oh well....

Randy

Here are a few pics of the clips.  The base portion is 48" and the caps are a foot or two long.  Typically used to secure greenhouse vinyl (which I tested as a screen material... didn't work well).


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* clips3.jpg (47.57 KB, 600x450 - viewed 4524 times.)
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rfisk
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« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2005, 05:13:31 pm »


I'll need to get some exact measurements, but our uprights are approx. 2-1/4"O.D. galvanized pipe.  There's a 90 degree elbow on each, and the cross support on the top.  That support is 17' high.  I was able to find SQUARE tubing that's about 1/4" wall (fairly thick) and the round uprights fit perfectly into the square tube (yes, you can put a round peg into a square hole...).  So the square tube is anchored in about 46-48"" of concrete.  The galvanized pipe came from a local hardware store (they delivered) and the square tube came from an industrial supply place.  It took me a while to find the right square tubing.

Oh, each of the uprights is drilled at the location of the top of the square tube.  I ran a 3/8" bolt through the upright and that's what keeps the upright from slipping down into the tube too far, and keeps everything level.  Granted, it creates a weak spot in the tube, in a vulnerable place, but when the one did bend, it bent about half way up, which sort of surprised me.  Also, I turn the tube so that the weakness is only from forces sideways, which a close to zero.  Anyway, this thing as taken some serious wind.  Basically, as long as everything is plumb, it's not under much stress.

The yellow things you see at the bottom are simply the remainder of the yellow nylon rope that supports the screen.  I was being tidy and wrapped them around the square tubes. Smiley  Right now they're not as tidy.

When pulled, the excess screen material has a natural tendancy to roll back onto itself so it's easy to keep trimmed and nice.  It doesn't fray or fall apart.  This stuff is perfect for this.

Pics of the screen back (screws and star washers), and the base.


* base.jpg (99.06 KB, 400x439 - viewed 4461 times.)

* screws.jpg (40.82 KB, 600x450 - viewed 4190 times.)
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« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2005, 05:34:49 pm »

Thank you for the pictures. There's a lot to digest here, so I will sort it out and write back. -Gary
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« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2005, 04:51:38 pm »

Randy,

The new screen looks great and I'm really interested in the material, Dazian is sending me a sample.  In the meantime, I'd like to ask you a question.

Do you think the fabric would hold grommets?  The frame I'm imagining would use stretchy tie balls (i'm sure that's the technical term!) to stretch the fabric.  The size  screen I'm looking at, approx 10' x 14', is too large to take down and store in one piece, so I need something I can take down and take apart.

Love the website!

Thanks,

Michael




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rfisk
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« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2005, 05:26:33 pm »

The new screen looks great and I'm really interested in the material, Dazian is sending me a sample.  In the meantime, I'd like to ask you a question.

Do you think the fabric would hold grommets?  The frame I'm imagining would use stretchy tie balls (i'm sure that's the technical term!) to stretch the fabric.  The size  screen I'm looking at, approx 10' x 14', is too large to take down and store in one piece, so I need something I can take down and take apart.

Love the website!

Hi Michael, welcome aboard!

Mt first reaction on metal grommets in Trapeze is “probably no”.  I think it’s too stretchy and the material would pull out from under the crimped edge -- especially given the size of your screen and the wind it will catch -- but I’ve never tried it.  Now if you were to fold it over and do a double layer, that might help a bit (and might not).  However, my gut feeling is that “sewn” grommets in a doubled edge of some sort might work if they reached out and grabbed material a half inch or so away from the hole.  It's not that the material is not strong, it's the stretchyness that concerns me with metal grommets.  If you can find some that grab 'more' material than the ones I've seen (on tarps, etc.) then they might work.

I'll tell ya', I really love this material for this, and I have no financial connection with Dazian.

Thanks for your comment on the website (please tell your friends!) and keep us posted on your progress!

Randy
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don
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« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2005, 11:26:41 pm »

 hi, question for rfisk, is that trapese material you buy sold in one piece? also... my aluminum frame is 12ft in height x 20ft in length you say the matl. stretches up to 50% if thats the case, what  size piece do you think i should get.you basically have the same frame design i have. do you think i would need an extra vertical support in the center of my frame.. your screen really looks nice and flat with no wrinkles . thanks, don.
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rfisk
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« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2005, 11:44:59 pm »

hi, question for rfisk, is that trapese material you buy sold in one piece? also... my aluminum frame is 12ft in height x 20ft in length you say the matl. stretches up to 50% if thats the case, what  size piece do you think i should get.you basically have the same frame design i have. do you think i would need an extra vertical support in the center of my frame.. your screen really looks nice and flat with no wrinkles . thanks, don.

Hi Don, welcome to the board!

Yes, it's one piece and you shouldn't have any proble with that size.  Nice size, btw.  I would consult with the vendor about what to order.  I thought I had it all figured out but ended up with way more material than I needed.  Could be they just sent me a roll-end or somethng.  Or I just don't understand how material should be ordered.

I really don't stretch mine much.  Probably not more than 10-15%.  I had to add a little extra stretch one time this summer (about an inch) to tighten up a couple places.  Unless it rips, I'd guess it probaby has 3-4 more good years in it, and it's outside day and night all summer.

Are you suspending your screen only from the top bar?  If your frame material is large (mine is about 3"x 2 1/2") I 'think' you could do it without a middle support.  I thought I might need one but it's so light it doesn't need any center support at all.  A 20' span would add a little more stress and it would depend on how far apart your supports are (the wider the better) assuming your hanging it from the top bar only.  Basically, the closer you get to the verticals with your mounting, the less likely you'll need any support in the middle because more of the load is distributed to the verticles and bottom.

As far as the material applying force from the stretch, it's very low.  The thing doesn't need to be tight like a drum head to be perfectly flat.

Keep us posted!

Randy
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« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2007, 05:08:41 pm »

Wow, I haven't updated this thread in a long time.  Just adding a pic of Carlos Santana from last night, since I changed my thumbnail on the main page...  I was in a hurry and it's a little fuzzy but the colors are good.   Grin

Randy



* carlos.jpg (105.76 KB, 800x533 - viewed 2905 times.)
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« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2007, 05:23:17 pm »

Damn that's a nice setup Randy!  It really makes me want to get motivated enough to start on my semi-permanent screen plan in my backyard.
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« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2007, 05:40:33 pm »

Thanks JB! 

It sure has been nice not having to deal with any screen setup/teardown.  And I love having it up high.  But obviously it's not for everyone, to have that thing hanging in the backyard all the time.

But... it really wants to be bigger.  I may build an 18-22' wide frame for next spring. 

Randy
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"Instead of cursing the darkness, light a candle for where we're going.  There's something ahead worth looking for." -- Neil Young





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