How-To: Make A Custom Projector Display

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The quest blip.fm to build a fantastic home theater is certainly one of our recurring themes for Engadget's How-To Tuesdays. And as anyone home theater buff will tell you, any HDTV worth its weight in salt will present its viewer with a 16:9 (1.78:1) side ratio display, or in some circumstances, challenge a 1.8:1 ratio. For todays How-To, though, we're building one of the holy grails of the house theater: a 2.35:1 widescreen. Yep, that is film theater widescreen, alright. A very powerful component is the display screen materials. Mother's outdated mattress-sheet just is not good enough (and is actually fairly nast). Most fabric shops carry rolls of fabric referred to as curtain backing or black-out cloth. It's a mild, opaque white material used to make curtains really block gentle. Made from cotton and polyester, one side looks like woven cotton whereas the other seems to be like it is plastic coated. At our native fabric retailer it was about $5 per yard and 54-inches vast. When shopping for your fabric, we suggest shopping for no less than 4-inches wider and longer than your planned display dimensions to allow room for building. In order for you to build a MECHA-display screen, it's out there even wider. Our 2.35:1 display screen is designed to maximize the materials we purchased. We decided to purpose for a 104-inch broad, 44-inch tall screen. By putting 1 x four boards at the ends of our 8-foot (96-inch) boards, we achieved 103.5-inches of actual property. The body is constructed using theater set 'Flat' building methods. 1 x 4-inch boards, some plywood and drywall screws will make a very sturdy body. We used Douglas Fir because it was simpler to search out nice straight boards, and it costs about the identical as the more brittle (and bent) select pine. To visually examine the board, hold the end and look down the board lengthwise like a gun barrel. To get started, the 1 x 4-inch boards need to be cut to length. Do not forget that 1 x 4-inch wood is actually .75 x 3.5 by the point it gets to you! Our trick for getting them even is to screw the 2 boards collectively and reduce each ends directly. Screw two of your 8-foot long boards together and simply trim the ends so that they're perfectly even. Unscrew them and set them apart. Cut round 45 inches off your last board. Screw the two pieces together and trim one finish even. Now cut the 2 boards down to forty four inches at the same time. Do not hit the screws along with your saw! You may want to chop some 1-foot triangles out of the plywood for each corner. If you do not have a saw, you might just have the hardware retailer reduce out 1-foot squares and use a sq. on each corner. We lower our triangles on a table-saw. Lay out your wooden frame on a flat floor. The edges of the 44-inch items can be towards the ends of the 8-foot items. To get the body square, get a helper and a tape measure. Measure diagonally nook to corner. If the two measurements match, it is sq.. Place your plywood triangles on the corners. We uses a scrap piece of 1 x 4-inch to put the triangle evenly off the edges. Use your screw-driving drill to put the drywall screws in a pattern much like the picture. You would possibly need to double examine the squareness of the frame as you work simply to be secure. When your body is completed, it will look something like this. Theater flats often have a cross bar, but for our light sporting software, it's simply not wanted. Now you want a Clear floor to work on. Lock the dog in one other room and lay your blackout material down on the flooring. Carpet or a big clear blanket is necessary to make use of. Place your new frame (triangles up) on the middle of the fabric. Beginning in the middle of one of the long sides, wrap the cloth over the body. Apply a gentle tension to the sting of the cloth and staple the cloth about 3/4 of an inch from the outer edge of the frame. Work your means completely to 1 finish. Return to the center and work the opposite direction. Repeat for the alternative aspect. Do the same with the quick sides. As you're employed round, evenly tension the cloth so that there can be no wrinkles. Take your time and it needs to be effective. In the corners fold the material over itself and staple every little thing down. If the fabric got here out nice and even, go ahead and tap all of the staples snugly into the wood with a mild hammer. Do not hammer so onerous that you just reduce the fabric in the method, you simply need the spread the tension of the staple throughout the fabric. When you're completed, trim the additional material with a utility knife or scissors. Be careful and do not slip and cut your new screen. Now that the screen is constructed, mounting depends on you. I used two brass shelf mounting tabs and drywall screws. Simply locate some studs (our are a part of a cloth covered body behind the display screen). Voila! Complete bill of materials: about $35 US. All products really helpful by Engadget are chosen by our editorial group, independent of our parent company. A few of our stories embody affiliate links. If you buy something by way of one of those links, we might earn an affiliate commission.