DIY Screen #1

My first projection screen was built with a wooden frame and covered with blackout cloth (also known as drapery lining). It was 100" in diagonal and built with a 16:9 aspect ratio (HDTV). Use of blackout cloth is a common approach for do-it-yourself'ers for making a good quality front projection screen. Blackout cloth has a smooth, white, almost rubbery surface on one side and a more cloth-like, woven pattern on the other. I chose to use the rubbery side as it appeared smoother and slightly more reflective. The photos below show how I built and covered the screen.

The screen turned out very well and I was quite satisfied with the picture, especially considering the low cost of the materials (<$50). I would recommend that anyone unsure of what screen to choose to build one this way and try it before dropping a thousand or more on one of the commerical specialty screens. Unless your situation has special requirements (i.e high ambient light or projector with very low contrast) you may find this is all the screen you require.

54" x 3 yds of blackout cloth (drapery lining) (~$10/yd)
32' of 1x2 lumber (very straight pieces!) 4 - 4" Flat Corner Braces
Wood Screws
Flat Black Latex Paint

Here is the frame assembled and painted black to control any reflections. The cloth is underneath with the smooth side facing down.

Here the fabric has been stapled to the frame and it is standing on end waiting to be installed.

I mounted two blocks of wood on the top back of the screen. Each piece has a slot cut in it to accept a 1/4" bolt. This then passes through another block which mates with a piece on the wall. In this way I can adjust the height of the screen and level it using wing nuts to secure the moving block to the back of the screen.

Please send me an email and let me know what you think.


© Copyright 2003-2008Gary Reighn

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