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There has been mention of Sintra expanded PVC sheeting containing lead and perhaps not being safe to use in making a DIY screen for the home. While it is true that Sintra does contain a form of lead, as well as other heavy metals, these are bound to the polymers in the plastic and do not leech out over time. Similar heavy metal stabilizers are also in many forms of PVC tubing used in plumbing systems in the U.S. today.

The heavy metals (actually their salts) are only a heath concern when the material is in powdered form (and can be inhaled) or when it is exposed to high enough heat to decompose the plastic (as in burning it).

It is always a good idea to look into the safety of materials that we will be exposed to in our homes or working environments, especially if children may be in these areas since they tend to chew on things, but from a DIY screen standpoint, plastic sheeting that is to be painted and hung on a wall is out of "toothing range" and of little danger.

Material Safety Data Sheet for Sintra:
http://www.harborsales.net/Portals/0/docs/Sintra MSDS.pdf
 

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Way back when they recommended Sintra or Gator board to me but nobody in my area sells it... or they won't sell to the public.

It does seem like a great substrate... IF you can get it.
They also spin things and say it is way cheaper than laminate, and that depends too. In some areas it is, but in other areas they are the same, and I have even seen some people get laminate cheaper than Sintra.

In a lot of ways it boils down to one person having to have the last say in everything. Any other options are dismissed or mistruths are fabricated to shy other people away from other methods that are usually easier, less expensive, and often better.

For a painted substrate I would not hesitate in using Gatorboard or Sintra IF I could get it. The other spin factor is telling people to paint Designer White and then comparing it to the price of Sintra. Nobody in their right mind should be telling people to buy DW just to paint. If a painted screen is desired, then any light laminate will do. Every home center I have been too has Formica and Wilsonart, but they all also carry a 'house brand' of laminate. It's cheaper in both price and quality but it still can usually be ordered in sheets larger than 4'x8'. At about half the price of Wilsonart, and with no Sintra available to me... that's the route I would go if I were doing an install of a screen larger than 98" diagonal and wanted a painted substrate.
 

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I agree Bill, the cost of many of the forms of plastic sheeting are quite high, but this does seem to vary greatly from area to area and source to source. For me personally they are all out of the question since all of them seem to be 'special order' items in my area and that makes them VERY expensive.

If I wanted to make a screen larger than a 4x8 sheet will allow I would go the vinyl flooring route as Quantum did.

I know to whom you are referring and the forum they are on (and dominates for the most part). It really is amazing how whatever he is using is always "mo bedder" than anything anyone else is using. At one time he was singing the praises of the Wagner CS HVLP sprayer and now it's a piece of junk now that he is using something newer! :unbelievable: :rofl:
 

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What if you have to cut it? That would be my main concern. :scratch:
Anything thinner than 5 mm/0.25" can be cut with a good utility knife which won't produce any "dust", but even if you are working with thicker material that does need to be cut with a power saw, just wear a dust mask like you should be doing even when cutting wood.

In fact the "acute" (immediate) exposure warning for Sintra isn't for lead, but for antimony! And then the warning is for eye irritation. Wear protective goggles if you are truly concerned.

Fact is, most of the warnings are for chronic (long term) exposure to dust and fumes produced when manufacturering the materials rather than for the normal consumer
 

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Thanks for the info on Sintra. I picked up some Gatorfoam for $60 and it looks pretty good. I also got some samples of Dibond, Sintra (white, dark and light gray) and Gatorplast. I am going to see how good they are in my limited testing. If mechman wants to play with them, then he can. I was also going to see if umr (jeff) wanted to test them.

On the Sintra and DW, I understand what you are saying. One should not throw the baby out with the bath water though. I remember Parkland and Doable not being available to me, but it sure sounded like a great DIY screen for those that could get it. From what I am seeing, these substrates could be a very good alternative and maybe a preferred substrate over DW for those that can get it. When I first did the testing on Wilsonart, I thought and still do think it is a good screen material. I still have questions about gloss variability though. I still cringe when I think of that pj owner who bought a sheet of DW that seemed near patent leather glossy. Fortunately, he didn't have a lot into the screen, but I hate recommending something to someone and then they end up wasting their money. The other problem I have with DW is the variability in cost. I have taken some flak on this, but I recommended this as an inexpensive screen solution. I have seen people pay over $200 and I believe one who paid $250 for a sheet of DW. Throw in mounting and everything else and they are looking at over $300. To me I would just rather buy a manufacturer screen at those prices. Like I say, I hope one of these can be another option for an inexpensive screen substrate.

On MM, I have had my run ins with him over the years. No big deal to me anymore. I see AVS as AVSales not AVScience. I know that ticks people off, but I call them like I see them. AVS is still a good place for info, but I make sure to put my blinders on. I didn't know MM was using a different sprayer. What has he moved to now?
 

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I'm sure Mech would like to see those samples when you are done with them. I can measure their color, but Mech can do gain testing if the samples are large enough. Be advised that the gain testing Mech does is to screen industry standards and his results can be compared directly to gain data found on screen manufacturers sites. While umr's tests are accurate, they only apply to his personal home theater setup since he is not measuring peak gain.

Since you have several Sintra samples at hand perhaps you could answer a question for me. Several years ago when I made my first DIY screen (using Silver Fire :doh:) another member at AVS (Zductive) made a SF screen using Sintra. To make long short, we both ended up trying to color-correct SF to get it to even approach being a neutral gray. Zductive got closer than I did (I didn't know how to properly color-correct at the time), but he was having problems with his screen being too sparkly. He sent me a cut-off from his screen and it was indeed sparkly - way too sparkly, it almost looked like a fine glitter was sprinkled on it. We never did figure out why it looked that way. The Sintra sample he sent me was only painted on one side and the other was it's natural color (a bright white). This Sintra had a fine, but very visible, texture to it - almost like fine wrinkles. Do your Sintra samples have this texture? BTW, MM was of absolutely no help in trying to color-correct our mixes.

There is very little actual science in the AVS DIY Screen forum. It truly isn't welcome there. That is why we left, along with a number of the other older members. There is some good info at AVS, just stay away from their screen mixes.

I think MM is using the WAGNER CONTROL SPRAY PLUS HVLP unit now, but I could be wrong. If I were going to buy a turbine type HVLP unit I would pay the extra few dollars for an Earlex model, they have metal nozzles instead of plastic and have a number of different size nozzles and needles available depending on what material you are spraying; Wagner, as far as I know, doesn't.
 

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Eric I really am surprised about the varying gloss you're talking about. I spoke to Wilsonart and they have pretty good QA testing and the gloss should be within an acceptable DE from one sheet to the next. It has to be so when contractors do large surfaces that require multiple sheets they have to match. I understand different lots might vary, but again they have to be within a certain DE in the event something needs repair work or else things won't match.

I also totally agree that once things go over a certain price point DIY starts to lose any incentive. One area DIY still hasn't been able to match is when it comes to light weight but solid frame construction. Whereas a commercial screen goes together pretty easy and is strong but light, DIY frames tend to be big and bulky and something Arnold Schwartzenegger would use for a workout! I honestly feel we've gone almost as far as things can go with paint, and when it comes to substrates, matte and as close to D65 as possible is what people need... but very little has actually been done to create a better frame. That's an area I really think needs some more concentration and effort.
 

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Harp,
On the samples, I just want to get some reputable input besides myself. I just measured them with my Datacolor unit, but as you guys may remember I can't bring up much info. Well, I could, but I would have to spend a couple of thousand dollars on another program. Not going to happen.:) Anyway, who wants them first? Whoever gets them last could them send them to umr. I understand his set up, but he does have a very accurate instrument.

On the Sintra, I see some sparkles on one of the grays, but not on the other samples. The Sintra has a slight texture, but it is less than Wilsonart. Dibond is like glass and Gator is like a sheet of office paper.

I am aware of AVS. I don't paint anymore, as I am fine with a white screen. Titanium Dioxide is titanium dioxide.

On the sprayer, I have read about the Earlex. Have you used one? I thought about getting the $100 one. My problem is I really want to get an Accuspray.:)

Bill,
I hope you are right. I saw it with the original samples that I tested five years or so ago. I hope that their DE is much better now. I could deal with someone saying they got a screen that didn't work out for them and then posted it on a forum. My problem was I was standing there in the owners home and he is asking me why it looks like a flashlight. I felt really bad for the guy, because I knew that he just wasted $70. Oh well, I could only suggest what to use.

As for DIY, I agree. I think you guys have done an excellent job on the paints. I don't think there is much place to go. The only things I can think of are a good carrier for Barium Sulfate to make the ultimate white screen and maybe a 3D silver screen. As for the substrates, I am very impressed with the stuff I played with today. Dibond is the best, but it is to glossy. Sintra is less glossy and probably close to DW. The Gators are more of a matte finish. All of these are light weight. My Gatorfoam weighs 10lbs for a 4x8 sheet. Honestly for $60, I don't think I could have asked for more. The only thing I would do different is get a thicker less flexible Gatorfoam.
 

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Harp,
On the samples, I just want to get some reputable input besides myself. I just measured them with my Datacolor unit, but as you guys may remember I can't bring up much info. Well, I could, but I would have to spend a couple of thousand dollars on another program. Not going to happen.:) Anyway, who wants them first? Whoever gets them last could them send them to umr. I understand his set up, but he does have a very accurate instrument.
Since Mech can do both color and gain testing I would send them to him.
Yeah, umr's PR-670 is a sweet piece of kit - I want one. :bigsmile:

On the Sintra, I see some sparkles on one of the grays, but not on the other samples. The Sintra has a slight texture, but it is less than Wilsonart. Dibond is like glass and Gator is like a sheet of office paper.
Thanks for the info! Something that would be nice is to take some photos of the various screen materials with something like a dime or ruler in the photo to show scale; and to light the samples such that the texture is highlighted. If you don't want to mess with that Eric maybe Mech can do it while he has the samples.

On the sprayer, I have read about the Earlex. Have you used one? I thought about getting the $100 one. My problem is I really want to get an Accuspray.:)
A friend in England (where they are manufactured) has one and I have seen some videos on YouTube where they were used. What I like the most is that the nozzle and needle are made of metal instead of plastic and different sizes are available. I almost bought one to use in situations where I don't want to lug my air compressor around, but then there was a sale on the Wagner CS DD so I bought that instead. If I had it to do over again I would get the $100 Earlex HV500, it does everything I need to do with such a sprayer and I expect it would be working long after the Wagner is on the trash heap.

My problem was I was standing there in the owners home and he is asking me why it looks like a flashlight. I felt really bad for the guy, because I knew that he just wasted $70. Oh well, I could only suggest what to use.
The only explanation I can think of for this is that either the person ordered or received the wrong gloss. :dontknow:
 

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The only explanation I can think of for this is that either the person ordered or received the wrong gloss. :dontknow:
Eric I have no doubt what you saw, I was just about to say what Don did... is it possible he ordered (or the store ordered) the wrong thing? If you saw D354-60 stamped on the back then he got the right stuff and there is something wrong. I'd be curious though to see exactly what he got.
 

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I will start with the DW. I can't remember, since it has been three plus years ago. I think he got the correct one though. I remember varying glosses on samples that I had. Anyway, it is over and no need to hash it out. I just want people to be aware that the gloss may be an issue. I personally prefer a matte finish, which is what the Gator has.

I am thinking seriously about the Earlex and you are correct about the different needle/nozzle sizes. The thing is the Accuspray is a little more versatile for me. I don't know. Hell, I will probably go back and forth for another six months.:)

If mech is on board, then PM me his info and I will mail it out. I was talking to Darinp2 from AVS tonight and will probably send him a sample of the Sintra and Gator.
 
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