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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 8:51 am 
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Building some new and improved broadband panels gave me an opportunity to create a photo diary of how I go about upholstering a panel. Other intrepid DIY room treatment builders may find this handy one day...

A large flat elevated work surface is your friend, as are a pneumatic or electric staple gun with narrow crown 1/2" staples, long straightedges like my drywall square along with chalk for marking cuts, sharp scissors, robust pliers for pulling bad staples, and a hammer for knocking in the occasional misfired staple which didn't go in as far as it should.



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In the pic above I've already stapled one long edge. To avoid wrinkles, always start at the center of a side and then work your way evenly outwards whilst tugging the fabric tight. Also in the pic above you can see my straight edge and a chalk line in preparation for cutting a suitable length of fabric from the bolt. GoM 701 isn't very stretchy. Across a 3' wide swatch of fabric you will only achieve perhaps an inch of stretch so. With these 5" deep x 25.5" wide by 49.5" high traps, each panel requires exactly one running yard of fabric with only 3"-4" waste top and bottom.



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The trap face up with the two sides stretched and stapled but the top and bottom unfinished. This next bit is the tricky part...



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As though you were gift wrapping a present (I know, I know. Most of us guys suck at that! :mrgreen: ), Pull the triangular "ear" of fabric out from the corner and while tugging on it, shoot some staples into the end corner as close to the panel edge as you can.



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When you've done as instructed above you should now have a really tidy looking triangular fabric "ear".



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Again just like gift wrapping fold that ear back over onto the panel end and then while tugging to maintain wrinkle free tension, shoot some more staples along the edge of the fold.



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Now before stapling further, tease open the still loose top edge of the folded fabric and use your scissors to cut away some of the excess folds of fabric which will be hidden by the topmost layer. This will reduce the bulk of all the folded fabric staple to the corners. Be very careful not to cut the outside most layer when doing this.



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Then While tugging on any loose bits of the outermost layer of fabric, shoot a bunch more staples in the corner until everything is tidy and snug.



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Other than some minor trimming with the scissors to remove another 1/2" continuous strip of excess fabric, this corner is good to go. Now just repeat that exercise three more times...



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And here is a trap with all fabric upholstery work completed. Just one step remaining...



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Elsewhere in this thread, another member asked why these traps had no back panels while past designs of mine had. I answered that in an effort to minimize the visual depth of these larger 5" traps while maximizing their acoustic depth, I am using the wall behind as the back panel. None of these traps were built to be freestanding, but rather installed up against a wall or the ceiling. To ensure that they sit solidly against the wall and do not vibrate audibly in sympathy to large low bass impulses, I'm going to run a strip of 1/8"x3/8" self adhesive weather stripping around the frame perimeter.



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Fixing the weather stripping in place.



Now not all open backed broadband traps are going to be hung flat on a wall. Sometimes they are suspended from the ceiling as "ceiling clouds" or sited straddling a room corner or the wall/ceiling junction to more efficiently absorb excess low frequency energy. In this case the DIY builder may wish to apply thin fabric over the backside of the trap in order to prevent fiberglass particles from escaping. Builders centers and garden centers carry large rolls of thin black fabric known as garden or landscape cloth. It is super cheap at $12 for a 100'x3' roll and perfectly suited to this application.



*Paste pic here*

Applying landscaping fabric to the backside of the ceiling cloud prior to wrapping the front and sides in GoM. I stapled it in place but if using a pneumatic stapler be sure to set your air pressure carefully to avoid blowing the staples right through the thin cloth.



*Paste pic here*

The landscape cloth is so thin that it doesn't show when layered under the GoM.



Now to finish up this photo journal of "How-To-Upholster-A-Broadband-Trap", I thought I'd do a better job of showing you all a really sleek albeit pretty permanent mounting method. Most folks, myself included would simply use picture hanging hardware and some heavy duty picture hooks to hang their panels on the wall. This time with Jim Farrell's assistance, I have some much more precise panel location instructions. While I expect there will likely still be some fine tuning, the primary reflection points are clearly known and so I can confidently go with a much more solid and clean mounting method, the "french cleat".




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Here is a close-up of the two parts of the "french cleat" I will be using to hang all my wall mounted panels. The 18" long piece of angle cut stock in Jackie's hand is screwed to the wall, bevel facing towards the wall (I have 5/8" plywood behind the drywall in my room). A matching 24" wide strip cut to the same angle but facing down and outwards has been glued to the rear of the frame. The two pieces interlock in the same manner kitchen cabinets are mounted and the bevel ensures a snug, rattle free fit to the wall.





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And another pic of the wall mounted side of the french cleat.



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And here I am temporarily brad nailing the cleat to one end of my utility table. If you were mounting the cleat to a wall in your home, you would first locate and mark the location of an appropriately placed stud in the wall. This isn't that difficult as the cleat is 18" wide. Next you locate and level the cleat at the correct height and then drill a pilot hole or two into the stud. Finally apply glue to the back of the cleat and screw it into the stud behind the drywall. Why the glue in addition to the screws? Well the reflection point on the wall you are trying to intercept isn't likely to be centered perfectly on a stud behind the drywall. The glue ensures that even a cleat with a way off-center screw location remains solidly attached to the wall.



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Finally I flipped the utility table on its end to mimic a wall surface and hung the panel in place. The 45 degree beveled edge where the top and bottom halves of the french cleat meet sucks the weather stripping solidly against the wall for a secure, rattle free mounting. Look ma, no picture hooks! :D Better yet the 18" width of the wall mounted portion of the cleat versus the 24" width of its panel mounted mate, allows for the panel to be shifted 3" to the left or right for fine tuning its exact location. Pretty cool huh? I know I was certainly impressed with how slick this works! :D :D :D

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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 11:05 am 
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Awesome work and pictures
Thanks for sharing


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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 12:16 pm 
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Nice! On a side note, where can I generally find "french cleat" strips? Did you make them using a table saw? or router? or is there an easier way to make them?


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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 12:43 pm 
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RafL wrote:
Nice! On a side note, where can I generally find "french cleat" strips? Did you make them using a table saw? or router? or is there an easier way to make them?


A french cleat is made by simply setting your tablesaw blade at a 30-45 degree angle and ripping some 3/4" thick 4" wide nice straight lumber right down the center. Good plywood works well 'cuz it is stable, straight and not prone to warping. One half of the result is attached to the rear of your trap and the other to your wall.

Happy Trails!
MTB Vince

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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 2:42 pm 
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WOW, awesome Vince! You know I am going to be banging on your door once my basement ht is finished... :wink:
cheers

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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 5:44 pm 
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They look awesome.

Thanks for sharing your experience in building them. Its very helpful.

Your corners look excellent.

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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 6:39 pm 
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Thanks for the great tutorial.Its going to really help when I finally get the time.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:12 pm 
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BTW, thanks for the tutorial, I built some recently and turned a very difficult room into something very liveable.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2014 8:18 am 
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You can also buy french cleats made of metal at places like Home Depot ... they would NOT be suitable for a unit as large as the one demonstrated in this thread, but for smaller panels and apartment dwellers they would be ideal for panels and pictures.

If you want some additional 'security' with your panel on the wall, you can use two cleats (top and bottom) and then slide the panel into place ... it requires a bit more finesse and measuring to ensure the cleats are properly positioned on the wall and on the panel but the end result is something that's not going to move under any circumstances.

A friend who managed an apartment building used this method to attach art work to the lobby walls as it was being stolen on a regular basis -- using the two cleat method you could literally hang your whole body weight off a painting and it wasn't coming off the wall.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:22 pm 
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MTB Vince wrote:
RafL wrote:
Nice! On a side note, where can I generally find "french cleat" strips? Did you make them using a table saw? or router? or is there an easier way to make them?


A french cleat is made by simply setting your tablesaw blade at a 30-45 degree angle and ripping some 3/4" thick 4" wide nice straight lumber right down the center. Good plywood works well 'cuz it is stable, straight and not prone to warping. One half of the result is attached to the rear of your trap and the other to your wall.

Happy Trails!
MTB Vince



works great for hanging diy video projection screens as well.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 6:02 am 
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Thanks for sharing and excellent work. What type/brand of insulation did you use?

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 6:46 am 
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Good post.

Why not hide the triangle at the corner and leave the seam right on the corner? It's how I do my traps:

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http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/forum/vi ... 36&t=38507


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:47 am 
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As per the pictures, I chose to rip down some good quality plywood in order to avoid the wood warping with time.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:07 am 
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A bit off topic but since MTB Vince is here I thought I'd ask....

I've seen you in the Gearslutz acoustic forum contemplating an RPG type VPR bass absorber build. I saw your post researching the raw materials and your subsequent concerns with cost, available size etc...of the materials. I'm itching to attempt this build and am curious if you have done any more in that regard. For others who may be interested, here is the thread, https://www.gearslutz.com/board/studio-building-acoustics/667929-my-experiment-metal-panel-absorber.html

There is 40 pages of content there and a couple of other threads related to the subject, a number of the guys contributing are very knowledgeable and the density of knowledge in the thread is quite high, I've read through a few times and will do so again in order to completely understand this bass trapping method. Essentially...won't give away too much, the idea is that you can build a 1x1.5 meter, 4 inch thick bass trap that will work very well down into the 50-60Hz range and not take much space.
If there is CAM interest in this design then I can start another thread, for now just looking to see if anyone has tried this design. BTW, the commercial product the design is based on is the RPG Modex series of bass absorbers.http://www.rpginc.com/product_Modex_Plate.cfm


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 5:56 pm 
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Hey Kuka,

At the time, acquiring either of the exact acoustic damping materials that European Gearslut forum members were using was somewhere between difficult and impossible. after much legwork I did manage to track down one expanded foam product distributor with some Basotect but it was real expensive and he had a small quantity with no prospect of obtaining more. Also I was unable to identify an appropriate adhesive to bond the metal plates to the foam. Interestingly enough I had recently revisited that Gearslut thread knocking around the idea of researching other material suppliers.

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