Build You Own (BYO) TV Stand - Page 5 - AVS Forum
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post #121 of 1413 Old 11-24-2004, 01:02 PM
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I just stumbled on this thread, and all I can say is -- WOW! What a fun thread for someone who is a home theater buff AND an occasional woodworker. I'll have to snap some pix of a major HT woodworking project I did last year and share them with you.

Thoughts on materials, finishes, etc.: I also use the iron-on edge banding, and have discovered through experience that banding the individual pieces prior to assembly is, indeed the right way to go. I've also learned (the hard way) to hand-sand the edge banding, because it's so easy to put too much pressure on any kind of power sander and ruin the banding (much less bearing surface than when you're on the flat of a piece, so the lbs/sq in go way up).

For those of you in the Boston area, you might want to check out Boulter Plywood in Somerville (on the Charlestown line), who carry all manner of hardwood plywood. I constructed my project of maple veneer plywood with a natural finish (water-based poly); looks great! (Maple takes stain more evenly than birch, for those who do want to stain). If you're not in the Boston area, Boulter will ship, if you're willing to pay the freight! www.boulterplywood.com is the web site.

I also concur with the advice to make sure your unit is deep enough. I found that too much of the stock furniture available in stores is just way to shallow for today's components; receivers, especially, seem to be getting deeper and deeper. Be sure to allow room for connectors and cable bends, too. Quad shield RG6 does NOT like tight bends!
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post #122 of 1413 Old 11-24-2004, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Just wanted to wish everyone here a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving. Thanks so much for making this thread one of the most popular and often read in the section. Keep sending in those pictures and commentaries.

Enjoy your turkeys (not you turkeys) and if you got a HDTV, light it up and watch some football. The HDTV Lamp is lit (no DLP pun intended).

Iron Horse

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 If God had intended man to watch TV 24/7, he would have given him rabbit ears Â
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post #123 of 1413 Old 11-24-2004, 05:58 PM
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Same to you Ironhorse. Have a great Thanksgiving.

As for me, I am looking forward to the day after. You guys all got me going, and I started to look at some new speakers with cherry cabinets. If I get them, I will definitely have to construct a new cabinet, so that everything matches, and have it done for Xmas!

Pablo
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post #124 of 1413 Old 11-24-2004, 06:14 PM
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Yea, happy Thanksgiving to everyone.
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post #125 of 1413 Old 11-24-2004, 06:16 PM
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Just finished my stand today and it came out not to bad for me doing it lol. For the total of 100.00 not to bad and it will last allot longer then those ones you buy. I was getting ready to take a pic of it and I notice my 5 year old on top of it sleeping with his pillow and blanket so I will take some pics and post in the next few days. Have a great Thanksgiving all and thanks for all the help in this thread.


Chet
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post #126 of 1413 Old 11-24-2004, 07:23 PM
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I mentioned in a previous post that I would upload some photos of an Entertainment Center I built a while back. I thought I'd wait a bit to see how Ironhorse's project was progressing so I wouldn't end up hijacking his thread and taking it in a different direction. Now that I see that his project is near completion and looking quite splendid, I might add, I thought I'd go ahead and show some photos for a bit of contrast.

FYI - I am no longer actively using this Entertainment Center as the focal point of my home theater system because it has taken a different direction than it was originally intended for. I used to have a multitude of AV components (all separates in every sense of the word) and shelf space for a large number of components and storage for source material was an overwhelmong factor in the design of this unit. I have since greatly reduced the number of components in my system due to consolidation of the separate units into a single all-in-one A/V preamp/processor and have replaced the large number of VCRs and laserdiscs with a DVD player aand several DirecTivos and HDTivos.

The first photo shows the two major components of the Entertainment center, now being used primarily for storage of unused somponents and source material. The entire shelf unit was made up of six modules. Two of the modules spanned floor-to-ceiling and housed the majority of the AV components. These two units flanked a 50" Mitsubishi RPTV on both sides of the TV. Above the TV were two more smaller modules attached to each other and the end modules to form a solid unit. Two more modules were attached to the main end modules and were mainly shelf units on rollers.

The left-most large module had fixed shelves for a turntable, preamp, and tape deck. Each main end module had two lower fixed shelves for LPs and one upper fixed shelf for LPs or laserdiscs. The right end module has all adjustable shelves plus the three fixed shelves for LPs and laserdiscs. The two center modules had one fixed shlf for LPs or laserdiscs and adjustable shelves for AV components.
LL
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post #127 of 1413 Old 11-24-2004, 07:28 PM
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The next photo shows one of the center modules that was attached to each of the end modules above the Mitsubishi RPTV. Two of these modules were used to span the distance between the two end modules. Special hardware from Rockler was used to attach the modules to each other.
LL
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post #128 of 1413 Old 11-24-2004, 07:33 PM
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The end panels and shelves were made of cabinet-grade birch plywood. I used a thin hardwood strip of poplar to finish the plywood edges. I'm hoping the photo is clear enough to show the thin strip used along the outer edge of one of the movable shelf units in the attached photo. If you look at the extreme right main module to the left of the end shelf shows how the edge banding looks when viewed from the front.
LL
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post #129 of 1413 Old 11-24-2004, 07:35 PM
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This next photo shows the right end shelf unit used as storage for videotapes and DVDs.
LL
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post #130 of 1413 Old 11-24-2004, 07:39 PM
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This is an angled view of the left shelf unit. It's pretty much the same as the right shelf unit except that it has vertical dividers in the center for CDs. Sorry about the angle but it's the best I could do under the circumstances.
LL
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post #131 of 1413 Old 11-24-2004, 07:46 PM
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This is an end view of the right shelf with the shelf moved forward to expose the side of the floor-to-ceiling module. There is an opening in the side of the module to allow access to all cabling and electrical connections behgind the AV components. There is a power strip mounted on the inside partition and another one is mounted on the other side of the same partition behind the one shown. This is to accommodate any AV components located in either of the two center modules. The two power strips are hard-wired together and have a heavy 14-gauge power cable coming from the back strip and terminating in a heavy-duty right-angle three-pronged power plug. Both large modyules have exactly the same design with movable shelves and power strips. I had a separate circuit wired into my basement strictly for the Entertainment center. The two cables from the power strips were plugged into a single outlet dedicated solely to the entertainment center.
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post #132 of 1413 Old 11-24-2004, 07:53 PM
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Here's a shot of the base modules that supported each of the two moveable shelf units. There are actually four hard rubber fixed casters mounted upside down in a diamond-shaped pattern to support the shelf. Two single rollers are mounted at each end with two rollers mounted side by side in the center, providing a minimum of a three-point support for the shelf at all times. The top end of the shelf has a roller along the top edge that fits into a channel built into the top of the end modules. The shelves are extremely heavy when loaded down with videtapes, CDs, and DVDs. I have to offload most of the items before I can lift the shelf clear of the base unit to remove it. There are some small rollers mounted on the bottom of the shelf to keep it lined up with the base unit.
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post #133 of 1413 Old 11-24-2004, 08:02 PM
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You'll notice in the previos photos that there appears to be two panels mounted with screws into the face of the end modules. This is where it starts to get a bit deceiving. There are actually two secret compartments built into each of the end modules for extra storage of items that you don't want prying eyes to access.

The top front screw of the lower panel is actually a spring-loaded drawer pull. I am using a magnetic key to pull the screw out far enough for me to grasp with my fingers. The key is part of a magnetic latch system sold by Rockler.
LL
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post #134 of 1413 Old 11-24-2004, 08:04 PM
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Here's a shot of the drawer pulled out, showing the latch extended and the spring-loaded screw attached to a small wooden block. The latch cannot be retracted without the use of the magnetic key.
LL
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post #135 of 1413 Old 11-24-2004, 08:06 PM
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Here's another shot of the latch retracted with the use of the magnetic key.
LL
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post #136 of 1413 Old 11-24-2004, 08:09 PM
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Here's a shot of the drawer pulled almost completely out. As you can see, there are two shelves with videotapes. These are tapes that you would not want your kids to get hold of, if you know what I mean. I built this when my two children were quite small. They are now in college but I still don't want them thinking they have two perverts for parents.

The drawer unit has rollers built into the top rear edge of the shelf. There are guides with rollers built into the bottom of the end module so keep the drawer aligned.
LL
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post #137 of 1413 Old 11-24-2004, 08:10 PM
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There is another hidden compartment at the top of each of the end modules. This photo shows the access panel for one of them.
LL
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post #138 of 1413 Old 11-24-2004, 08:12 PM
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Here's another shot with the access door open. There's nothing special about it in that there's no secret magnetic latch to open it. It just has a push-push magnetic latch that keeps it closed and flush with the end module panel. This is nice to store accessories or valuables in a semi-secure location.
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post #139 of 1413 Old 11-24-2004, 08:19 PM
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Here's a shot showing the inside of the end modules. Notice the courtesy light mounted at the top of the opening. This is necessary to be able to see the connections at the rear of the AV components inside of the shelf units. The two large round openings at the inside wall allowed cables from compnents in the center shelf units to connect with components in the end modules. There used to be a long section of PVC pipe that spanned the gap between the two end modules that acted as a conduit between them for signal cables. Openings were cut into the PVC pipe at regular intervals top allow cables to exit the conduit and connect to components in the two center shelves. This prevented unsightly cables from hanging behind the TV and being seen from the viewing position. The two center shelf units were only about half as deep as the end modyules so there was anopening behind them that allowe access to the rear of the center shelf units from below. This also allowed me to drop cables from the ceiling behind the shelf unit. These cables included cable TV and satellite TV drops as well as allowing easy access to run speaker wires for the surround speakers.
LL
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post #140 of 1413 Old 11-28-2004, 07:58 AM
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Hey All,
Figured this was getting a little buried, and I would let you know what I was doing. I just picked up my new speakers Friday. I got the Polk RTi8's along with the matching center. Since I decided on them, I ordered my cherry plywood and it will hopefully be here Monday. I guess you got me all motivated to build something new! Hopefully it will built for the holidays. Will keep you up to date.

Pablo
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post #141 of 1413 Old 11-28-2004, 08:06 AM
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cap_video- good job.

Hey all, question I'd like to hear from everyone. When using screws to construct your stand/furniture, how do you deal with putty filled holes and stain? I hate seeing those dots everywhere from putty filled holes and was curious how others handle that.
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post #142 of 1413 Old 11-28-2004, 09:55 AM
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Kid Red-

I'd suggest countersinking the screws and using a plug cutter to make wooden covers for the screw heads. You'll probably want to use a drill press when using the plug cutter to ensure a perpendicular cut, but that is the best way I've seen to cover the screw heads. Wood filler and putties never take the stain the same way as the wood and almost always stick out like a sore thumb. With the plugs, you just put in a drop of wood glue, line up the grain and put the plug in place. If it is sitting "proud" of the cabinet, either use a flush-cut saw and/or a random-orbit sander to even it out and "voila" you're in business. You'll never know it's even there.

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post #143 of 1413 Old 11-28-2004, 10:15 AM
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I just used putty and Jason is right the stain does not look the same around the putty filled holes. I tried to sand but still didn't look to good. I was going to do it the right way but I seen this putty first and it had all the things I was wanting to here on the label but none of it was true lol. I used a real dark stain so you don't see it to much and the TV will be covering most of the holes so I'm not to much worried but still wish I did it the other way.

Chet
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post #144 of 1413 Old 11-28-2004, 10:33 AM
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Using putty or wood filler is fine for small nail holes but bir filling in larger holes a wood plug is best. You can by plug cutters so you can cut wood plugs from the same material the cabinet is made from to ensure consistency in the stain. Putty or plastic wood filler will not absorb the stain in the same way that the natural wood will, resulting in a mismatch between the filler and the surrounding wood.

Forstner bits are great for drilling countersunk holes with a flat bottom. If you don't have a drill press then use a small piece of wood scrap and drill a hole through it first using the Forstner bit. Place the scrap with the hole centered over the area you want to drill and clamp the scrap to the drilling surface. You can then use a regular hand drill to drill the hole withour the bit wandering and creating an uneven hole. Make sure the bit you use is the same as the inner diameter of one of the plug cutting bits to ensure a tight fit when creating the plug.

Attach your wood panels and then glue the plug in place. When the glue has dried, use a flush cutting razor saw to remove the excess plug material. Sand it flush with the surrounding wood and then finish it with stain or paint. A coat of sanding sealer first will also help ensure even distribution of the stain so the color will be even across the entire surface. It also fills in the areas where the grain has been raised due to the difference in density of the wood fibers and will create a smoother surface in the end.
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post #145 of 1413 Old 11-28-2004, 12:32 PM
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Just stuff guys. Sanding sealer? Never heard of that, will have to check it out. Thanks for the screws=plugs and nails=putty info. I know you can buy plugs and use a butterfly bit which I guess is the low tech way.
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post #146 of 1413 Old 11-28-2004, 01:41 PM
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No, no, no...don't buy the plugs. Make them out of the same material you are using for your furniture. That's the point. You can buy matching countersinking and plug-cutting bits for about $15 at Home Depot or Lowe's and it's well worth it. Using a block of wood as a "guide" is a great idea and works well if you don't have access to a drill press. Also, sanding sealer just prepares/conditions the wood for sealing or staining. You apply the sanding sealer, which raises the grain in the wood, you gently sand it with 400-grit sandpaper (preferrably mounted to a random-orbit sander), and then stain or seal. Anytime you get wood wet (with stain or urethane or whatever) the grain will stand up. If you don't use a sanding sealer before staining, you'll have to lightly sand after you've stained (which is a no-no).

Jason

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post #147 of 1413 Old 11-28-2004, 02:25 PM
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Kid Red,
I always try to design and build so that there no visible screws. No plugs no filler. Plan ahead during construction and you should be successful.

Pablo
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post #148 of 1413 Old 11-28-2004, 02:41 PM
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Jason-thanks for the info. I'll look for those bits.

Palbopsd- I hear ya, just comes with experience as well. I've built some stuff but still pretty limited experience wise.
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post #149 of 1413 Old 11-28-2004, 03:51 PM
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Yeah, building w/o any visible means of fastening is pretty complicated unless you have access to a decent array of woodworking machines or know of some pretty damn good joinery techniques. Short of that, you'd probably have to rely on some method to hide your fasteners. Like I've said, you can do a hell of a lot with a decent ($500) table saw and a dado blade. Consider that you'd be spending $1000 and up on a good entry-level A/V cabinet and justify it however you need to. I built my first HT cabinet w/ a Delta Contractor's Saw ($550) and a Freud dado set ($150) and probably could have sold the cabinet for upwards of $2K. Dados and rabbets are simple and versatile joints that can be used almost anywhere, not to mention easy to machine and work with.

Jason

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post #150 of 1413 Old 11-28-2004, 05:37 PM
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Finally got my stand 98% done. All that's left is some sanding of the doors so they open and close more freely. It's 8' wide, 23" deep and 14" tall. Perfect for my 62" Mits. It has 4 doors that are hinged to open down. It also has adjustable shelves to hold up to 8 componants. Each compartment is 24" wide to allow for maximum cooling. Here's a pic. The wife even decorated it.
LL
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