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I needed a big 2.35:1 anamorphic size screen for my theater, and it had to be acoustically transparent, because I plan on putting speakers behind the screen. So I looked on avs forums and watched other youtube videos and decided to build a 120″ acoustically transparent screen out of spandex. That’s right spandex. And It is awesome! In this video I show how to build a spandex screen yourself and why you may want to do it too. I show the build process and the materials used in the project. In total I think I spent $130-150 and could probably have done it cheaper. This price sure beats over $1,000 for a comparable screen.
Check out Family White TV’s Chanel too. YouTube.com/familywhite1979
Here are the links to the spandex I purchased at spandex world.
hey everybody can Swanson here hope you're doing great today I'm gonna do a video and talking about how I built this screen here this is a 120 inch screen from corner to corner and I made it out of spandex pretty cool design pretty cool idea essentially what I'm wanting to do in this room is have a new sickly transparent screen with all my speakers behind the screen right now I've got these like big tower speakers right here they're as tall as I am that are hidden behind the screen right now these two subs I'm building a center channel it's going to go here the deal with the bear we're doing a screen that is going to have speakers behind it obviously that screen is going to get in the way of the sound so I had to build this acoustically transparent screen I'm super cheap so I didn't want to spend a thousand bucks on a nice acoustically transparent screen so I searched the forums on ABS forums they came across this idea for a trend spandex screen and I'll show you some footage here in a second of me building it I actually took about two and a half hours of footage of me building the screen and I'm gonna do a lot of time-lapse and that kind of thing just to show you how to put one of these together and a shout out to by the way to a youtuber who has a channel called family white TV has a great series on home theater for the masses and I watched his video on how to build this screen it was very helpful so I want to do a shout out to him I don't know him or anything but it's got a great channel so if you're gonna home theater stuff check him out family white TV anyway this screen right here is spandex two layers of spandex it's got a layer of black spandex stretched and then a layer of white spandex stretch what that does is it kind of creates a grayscale screen you know you don't want just pure white screen especially if you're doing like a one gun LCD or DLP projector you have a CRT projector it's a little bit different you can get by with pure white then also on this I put this felt up top here and this is just what I got on the Amazon and it's four inch felt that basically allows me to kind of over scan the image just a little bit and so the image goes up slightly over this and then I get a perfectly you know rectangle image I'm not seeing any of the screen on the top or the sides with bottom also this screen is a let's see if 235 to 12.3 five to one ratio screen which is what most movies are coming out as right now on blu-ray and wherever you're streaming them even on Netflix and stuff it's it's for this size of screen where it's wider gives you a little bit more of that cinema look rather than the sixteen by nine TV size so as we all know like when you're watching a TV and it's got the the wider aspect ratio it just puts a black bar on the top and a black bar on the bottom well I don't like that I want to be able to see the whole screen so what I've done is made the screen that ratio of one point three five to one and then I've got that full screen and so basically what I do with the projector is those black bars I just zooming out and the black bar just go projecting there's projecting up here and then projecting down here and this black velvet helps where you don't see the gray from because you know you can't project black so it's projecting a dark gray but this black velvet helps to it kind of crush those blacks to make them look black and they're really not that noticeable when it's a 16 by 9 a.m. in I basically just zoom it back in to fit in the top and the bottom and then I'll have a little bit of gray on the sides I'd rather deal with the gray on the sides then having to deal with the bars on the top the reason is because if you're doing for watching like a 16 by 9 aspect ratio chances are it's probably like a TV show or something like that and I can deal with that image being smaller I'd rather have my TV shows look smaller and my epic cinematic movies look bigger that makes sense eventually I'm going to figure out a way to take some some extra of the black acoustically transparent spandex and like create some borders with like a like a picture frame basically and just attach it to the sides to cover up the gray bars on the sides whenever I'm watching a 16 by 9 but I haven't done that yet I think totaling and and everything the spandex probably cost me and cost was about $70 I think with shipping for both layers of spandex this velvet stuff was I think $35 or $40 cymatic down at the Amazon and then the wood and different you know miscellaneous screws and materials I think I probably had about $30 in now so this is about 130 I'm going to say 130 150 dollar screen that I built myself but it is comfortable to a high end screen in my opinion and I couldn't be happier anyway here it is so what I use to attach my one by force together is the Craig jib and this thing is kind of an interesting little gadget it just kind of connects on the end of the board and gives you a perfect joint here I'll show you in a second so here I'm doing is measuring out the lengths of all my boards I'm going to cut them and I did everything I pre decided on everything I knew exactly have they got one on the screen and do exactly how long I wanted the boards basically what I did is I took my 120 inch screen that I wanted to build so one of the actual screen area to be 120 inches and I went on to tower I'm sorry I went on to projector central.com and put in my projector and the ratio that I wanted and put it in 120 inches basically tells you exactly what dimensions you need that added four inches to that so you know my screen let's say I don't remember what it was exactly but let's say it was 110 inches long like from left to right that's what I wanted well then I'm gonna have to add four inches to each side for the wood and so basically my black borders are gonna go on the wood here's a close-up of the Kreg jig and basically it has this little set screw you put on there that will determine how deep it drills into it and then this is just a test piece of woods I was trying it out for the first time this little gadget here is it's made by the same company but it ended up not really working it's like a clamp it's supposed to clamp perfectly but it didn't really do it anyway I took it back so I use it like half this project and took it back you can see here what the it's creating a pocket hole screws for the for you to screw in and butt up the joints next to each other and creates a really good joint so what I'm doing here is I'm just measuring on the 1 by fours exactly where I want to put in the Craig jib so here you can see I'm still using that thing I'm clamping down and it's just simply just screwing it in there this is this correct jib is like the I think it was 20 bucks or 30 bucks if I'm not mistaken they have one that's like 100 bucks that is a lot better and it clamps down but this this will get you by without a problem at all so I'm just kind of screwing all these and you can see here is a close-up of me doing it in real time and basically what it's doing is it's drilling in the setscrew thing that collar lets it not drill too far and then I take this off you'll see it's got it it's perfect there here's a little layout of the way that I kind of put once I got all the pieces screwed I'm gonna lay them out on the ground and just start putting them together these are the actual screws that made by the same company that's Craig screws they do require those square bit at the end of it but they work really well here you can see I'm going to kind of show you screwed in a little bit I butted it up against there supposedly that other clamp thing that I got was able to clamp these two together and hold him in place but since I took it back I just did it the old way I've got a board on the bottom that I'm pushing down up again so that this connection this joint is flush I didn't want anything any wobbles or anything like that and on the this first one I used the square to just make sure of a square but then I think maybe my I don't think I did it much after that it was it was pretty square actually perfectly square these are some clamps I don't know if you guys have these everywhere in the country or the world but here in Texas they have them they're type of hurricane tie type thing and I just decided to use these got them at Home Depot I think they're like 50 cents apiece or 75 cents apiece but just to basically make sure that that joint is never going to come loose so did that to all four corners and then I'm gonna start working on these middle braces here and I actually made a mistake when I was measuring for this I don't know why but I just I measured in two quarters instead of thirds and basically left the bigger opening in the middle then I I had anticipated but it ended up working out what I'm doing here is I'm putting that triangle that orange triangle underneath a little bit because I wanted these center joints of the center I'm gonna call them the supports to be away from the screen a little bit I didn't want them to be flush up against the screen because I didn't know if when I stretch the spandex if that would somehow push up against the support and then you have like a line in the middle of the screen so one of the you note support like I think that's a quarter-inch is what that that triangle was that's enough the word when it's a stretch it's not going to push up against there so did that on all four of the supports here but two supports before four connections you can kind of see it a little bit how there's like a little bit of a lip right there on the right side and this one spot here I actually didn't drill the pilot hole way I should have and it split out the wood not a huge deal as I'm going to be covering everything with felt and it's not part of the screen area in any way so I just kind of drilled another pilot hole and then put in a screw to kind of suck that back in but with any project there's always gonna be little mistakes and you know let me kill you just got to work around them so I'm putting the putting it back together and putting that that clamp there and for what it's called – along with the hurricane so that is the frame right there done now I'm gonna use my staple gun and just go through and staple all the spandex on there it's not rocket science this is what the spandex looks like from spandex world which was really funny when I when I got that package in my wife was like what the heck did you order from spandex world um and so I had to explain to her it's it's actually just part of my screen so here I'm just putting some kind of temporary not gonna so temporarily but just didn't go all the way across on the top there I just put maybe four or five staples across the top and then I flipped it over and then I'm gonna put all the staples across the outside of things and so it's honestly this is really easy it's not hard I was expecting it to be harder than it really was it wasn't very hard you just you just stretch it and you staple it and you start working one side to the next I read on one of the forums somebody put in staples every two inches and so that's what I did you may not even have to put that many and honestly but the corners are probably the hardest part you just got to kind of figure a way to to fold them over and you know might not even super super neat I just kind of you know it's not wrapped like a package it just kind of crumpled up the edge and stapled it down and it ends up working really well and I wanted to make sure that on the the black I have enough which I can staple the white on to the woods so I did make the black spandex you can see it's kind of overlapping about an inch or so maybe two inches I don't know from in different parts but there's enough space for me to staple the white spandex now on to the wood itself here's the white I forgot to do the very very first part of that but basically doing the same thing just stapling across here you can see and the sodden for a second I put actually put a clamp to hold the corner I wanted to make sure that the corner was stretched when I put in my first little bit and here I'm just trying to figure out a way to do the same exact thing and so I'm just I kind of pulled plants those the spandex underneath and then just working it around I mean this this this footage here is probably about probably like an hour and a half of maybe an hour I took my time to do it but it actually was quite a bit of time to just staple these but no big deal I'm cutting out a lot of footage you can see here the corners I'm just it's not perfect but you know I don't care about the back I really just care about the front and it ended up really stretching well I was anticipating having some areas that were kind of you know had a wrinkle or had a didn't stretch quite right you can see this is my first go at it the only spot that's poking through is right there on the bottom left where the the couch was was poking through but it is it is perfect these are also some things I got along there's some sort of a hurricane type thing and I basically just made sure not I put a little stop on there made sure not to drill through to the spandex on that that post there but I just wanted to put this on here to attach it to the ceiling I wanted to figure out a way to to do it where I wasn't drilling into the wood I'm watching some Stargate so I measured the the center of the screen here you can see where that that green spot there on the wall is that's the center and then from that I measured how far those brackets were from the center of the screen and then I measured that got that and put that on the wall so the brackets are gonna hang exactly down from these wooden things I'm attaching to the ceiling in order to to determine what distance I'm gonna put it so I didn't exactly know how far I wanted to put it back so what I did is I got these cargo straps and put those I hooks on the wood that's at that 45 on the the ceiling that would give me basically the options to go back a little bit and I can use the cargo straps to decide how high I wanted it to be I tried to do as much of this before I even built the screen but after I you know there's always going to be adjustments you make I didn't wanna get locked into something so this is still kind of part of the beta testing of this so here I decided exactly where I wanted it to be I think I'm just kind of going back and forth I ended up going on that third eyelid is I wanted to get it back as far as I can here is the felt that I got on Amazon I think it was 35 or 40 bucks and you can see right there that it's just felt and it's sticky on one side so what I did here and this may not be the best way to do it but it ended up working I just use green tape to hold up the felt I wanted to kind of see it before I just stuck it down and and then on the right side and the left side I didn't use the green tape I just just kind of went ahead and stuck it on to the edge you can see there's some green tape at the bottom it wasn't strong enough to hold the bottom and here's a close-up of what the felt tape looks like it's just fabric right there and then it sticks and it sticks pretty good I don't have it on the video but I did end up when I got totally done with the project stapling the felt onto the back just so that there's no way it's gonna peel up over time and on the top one I just overlapped it over the sides so here I'm taking off the green tape and now I'm going to peel the sticky part and peel the tape and actually permanently attach it now on this I just pretty much put it right up to the edge so if you were to look at this screen from the top of the sides you'd actually see white you can kind of see on the right side there there's a there's a little hair of white there here's the thing though if you're in a viewing angle of the screen that you're watching a movie you're never gonna see the sides there because it's just you're not an angle to where you're gonna see the sides so I thought about going back and adding some more felt I might possibly do that I don't know but right now it's not even a big deal to me just inching my way along the bottom putting the felt on there so that and I'm just trying to put it up against the bottom so that it just looks perfectly even here's my son looking at the first viewing of the of the screen this is the guardians of the galaxy's hour to gardenia galaxy 2 as you can see it looks awesome colors pop so hopefully you can see in the video how really good the image quality is with this screen so hopefully you enjoyed that build of me building this screen and hopefully it inspired you to build one yourself and improve your home Peter if your home theater needs it I'm Ken Russell I make videos that help usually help make musicians better musicians but I'm also home theater enthusiast so in this series of home theater videos making videos that help make home theater enthusiasts better home heater enthusiasts anyway Kenneth Russell out thank you so much for watching this long video take care and I'll see you in another video