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Mounting an MDF screen

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by RichMercer, Oct 15, 2004.

  1. RichMercer

    RichMercer
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    As some of you probably know, I'm looking into making a new screen made from MDF. I've just popped down the local B&Q superstore to see what they have but, believe it or not, they don't sell 6mm MDF, only 12mm. If you want 6mm, you have to order a pallette!!!!!

    So, my problem is this; what to do about mounting it? I'm quite concerned about the weight as I'm going to do one 6' wide and it will be quite heavy I reckon if 12mm thick. Has anyone else used MDF and if so, how have you mounted it? My main problem is the fact I don't want to screw it on the wall directly as you will be able to see the screws. I though about screwing two battons to the back with countersunk screws then fillign the holes with filler before painting. But then I'm out if ideas for attaching the battons to the wall.

    Anyone have some ideas for me?

    Thanks guys.
     
  2. Delh68

    Delh68
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    my brother used 18mm MDF, because the thinner stuff has been known to warp over time!

    He screwed his to the wall (a 1200mm * 2400mm sheet) using 2 small brackets, & a plate at the centre bottom to rest it on (he painted it Icestorm 4 or 5 as well)

    Delh68
     
  3. Delh68

    Delh68
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    He screwed one half of the bracket to the back of the MDF & then the other half was screwed in to the wall (could use a border to cover it that way))

    What is your wall type (solid wall contruction or Plasterboard (u can get the right wallplus for each)?

    It's stood firm for 14 months so far

    Delh68
     
  4. RichMercer

    RichMercer
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    I've just been reading some other threads on this and I'm inclined to just screw it on and paint the screws black like the border so you wont see them from the seated position. I'm not sure.

    I though about screwing a horizontal baton on the wall and one on the back of the screen. I could then sit the screen batton on the wall one but I was worried about the risk of it sliding off after a time.
     
  5. RichMercer

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    Sadly it's a plasterboard wall but I already have the right wallplug (the same ones used to attach the projector to the ceiling).

    Can you describe the bracket a bit more? I'm trying to picture it but struggling somewhat!
     
  6. Delh68

    Delh68
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    Actually it is only a flatish(a few mm thick) piece of metal about 6 inches long * 1.5 inches wide (there's probably a proper name for it, but i don't know it), with a hole at each end for a countersunk screw. Because it's 18mm thick , he could screw it in from the back without penetrating the surface, & the other in to the wall.(His is solid brick)

    Did u use metal butterfly wallplugs for the projector, or those plastic 'expanding' ones ?

    Delh68
     
  7. RichMercer

    RichMercer
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    They were the metal ones but not the butterflies.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. MikeRJ

    MikeRJ
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    The way I would do this would be to glue and screw some battons onto the back of the MDF, with the screws going through the battons into the back of the MDF. The glue will provide most of the strength when it has set anyway.

    The advantages that I see are 1) No screwheads to worry about 2) The battons will stifften the MDF and help to prevent it warping 3) You have a substantial bit of wood to screw a bracket to, rather than direct to the MDF.

    Drill small pilot holes for the screws, if you don't you can get "bulges" in the MDF where the screw compresses the material.
     
  9. Tempest

    Tempest
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    Probably a silly question, but why not just mask off and paint a matt black rectangle on the wall, and paint inside with the colour you want and just use the wall as a screen.
    Is your wall too uneven to do this ?
     
  10. Tempest

    Tempest
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    Following on to my last posting.......

    And I'm assuming your wall is horrid, else you would save yourself a LOT of time and effort by just painting a screen and surround onto your existing wall needing nothing more than masking tape and paint.

    But why MDF ?

    If you want someone very rigid and totally dead lovely and smooth and won't warp (or soak up the paint) when you paint it. Why not look into the white melamine covered chipboard.
    You will then have a dead smooth white (plasticy) surface to do as you like with.

    The easiest way (as been said above) would be get it about 2" all round larger than you need. Just screw straight thru it, within this 2" border area, fill the screw heads.

    You can then project onto your screen, then using masking tape, mask right up to the exact edge of your projected screen display. Then once you have it marked out, paint this boarder with matt black paint.

    Hiding the screws and giving a nice frame to your screen.

    You need a black surround anyway to make you picture look good, and this is by far the simplest way of doing it.
     
  11. PjPip

    PjPip
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    I was actually looking at some of these to potentially secure a pull-down screen to the ceiling with. Any problems using them Rich? Do you know how much weight they are holding approx with your PJ?

    regards
    Pip
     
  12. dj_johnnyg

    dj_johnnyg
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    Pip,

    These plugs are the mutts!

    They're not cheap, but shop around & you'll find a good price (Screw-fix & Wickes are a good place)

    As I'm in a new (5yo) house, all the walls are plasterboard, so everything I bolt to the wall uses these plugs.

    I used 9 of them to hold up a curtain rail's brackets (3 at each end & 3 in the middle) and could quite happily hang off the pole (although I was pis :censored: ed at the time!)

    My advice is to get the biggest ones you can find, and drill a hole 0.5 - 1mm smaller than it says on the packet, then (gently) hammer it home, before tightening it up.

    Regards
     
  13. mothball

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    Hi Rich, Are you gonna be leaving it up for good? Screwing through the screen frame and into the wooden frame behind the plaster board is the best option.

    If you don't fancy filling in large screw hole's on your loverly new frame you could screw through the mdf first into the wall and then glue your frame over the top of them.

    Pre-painting the frame means you only have to touch up the mitre's and edge nails afterwards.

    If you want to be able to take it down again then you could use stepped brackets (sorta 'N' shaped but with a straight '-' where the \ is) and drill a inverted key hole shaped locating hole fore the wall screw head to slot into. If you have to hang it off the plaster board remember that the screw part of those anchors you have pictured wont be long enough to go through the mdf AND plaster!
    Another option would be to get a strip or U shapped aluminium with one side longer than the other. Screw one half on the wall and the other half inverted on the back of the screen. You can then simply hook the screen to the wall with no possibilty or it coming of the rail and can be removed at any time!
     
  14. scott33b

    scott33b
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    Hi Rich. These fixings are known in the trade as toggle bolts. you'll get them at screwfix, buy a toggle gun with them (a lot less hassle and there only about £6). I'm a heating engineer to trade and we regularly fix radiators and c/h boilers to walls with them, and have done for years. You know the weight of these, much heavier than any MDF.
    As for hanging the MDF, I would glue and screw a 2"x1" baton to the back of the MDF and another on to the wall, with the toggle bolts. Lift the MDF on to the wall so as both batons are on top of each other i.e. the MDF is hanging. Secure with a couple of wood screws through the 2 batons.
     
  15. scott33b

    scott33b
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    Sorry Rich. First part of the last thread was meant for Pip.
     
  16. RichMercer

    RichMercer
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    Thanks all for the advice.

    Tempest. Our wall has textured wall paper on it so painting directly onto the walls is not possible without stripping the paper off first. Besides, I don't want the fact there is a screen painted on the wall detering any would be buyers if we ever came to sell the house (which we may be in 18 months time). Also, I'm actually enjoying the experimenting and DIY aspects of making screens so I may well decide to make a new screen soon (like a Light Fussion screen) so again, a screen which I could take down would be better.

    scott33b. That's what I'm going to do now. I bought the MDF yesterday (6' x 4') and just about managed to get it in the back of my 206 then drove it 12 mile home. I also bought a 10' length of timber (which I will cut into two) to attach to the top and bottom of the back like you say although in terms of mounting it, I was going to use some rather large mirror brackets (which should more than take the weight).

    mothball. Like I said above, no, I want to be able to take the screen down for an upgrade or to decorate the living room early next year.
     
  17. dupontin

    dupontin
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    If MDF is too heavy why not look at another thread here on "light fusion" they advocate using perspex/acrylic, with special coatings on either side, silver on the back and a mix of other white base paints on the front, to create a translucent/opaque effect (like a mirror)
    This screen is pretty light too and produces amazing results (screen shots given), this has beaten "Stewart" screens etc.
    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=156963

    Just my 2p worth :smashin:
     
  18. RichMercer

    RichMercer
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    I know, I've been actively following from the start, and if you have too, you'll know that the mirror alone is about a £100 delivered. That's before all the extras. So, you can see that £8 worth of MDF is not really a fair comparison. ;)

    Thanks for the input though. :)
     
  19. Delh68

    Delh68
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    RichMercer - Other than Light Fusion:), have you decided to go with Icestorm 6 on your MDf yet?
    I've been using Icestorm 5 for a no. of years, & recently decided to look into screens/material.
    I've had samples sent by DRH Screens (high power, matt, rear/front(A4 size)) & Ellie (1.4 gain Pearl & 1.2 gain Matt(although only post card size)), & have to say Icestorm 5 holds its own, even if the image is slightly darker.(It might be what i am used to!). The clarity of the images were favourable towards Icestorm 5, & the blacks were also far superior IMHO.
    My screen needs a new coat of paint, so am toying with Icestorm 6.
    Have you had a look to see how much the paint will cost at the moment?

    Delh68
     
  20. RichMercer

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    Hey,

    Yeah, I bought a 1 ltr tin of Icestorm 6 from B&Q last week and from memory, it was about £9-10. I've done some test sprays on one side of the MDF to practice and check the color. It's only slighly noticible that it's 'off white' but maybe enough. I'm worried about loosing the proper colors if I go too light. I can't say I have a big problem now with black levels on a brilliant white emulsion. Maybe it's the enviroment my screen sits in? Anyway, all is good. A bit more of a practice with the spray gun first, then I'll turn the MDF round and get going on it.

    Oh, and it weren't half a tight fit getting a 6'x4' bit of MDF into the back of a Peugeot 206. I drove from the B&Q Warehouse in Leicester to Earl Shilton (12ish miles) praying it wouldn't fall out the open boot when doing 50 along the 'A' roads. Lots of rope was used I can assure you!!
     

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