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post #1 of 1435 Old 11-15-2004, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
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DON'T BE AFRAID TO BUILD YOUR OWN TV STAND!


May - 2010 Update

This thread was started on November 15, 2004 so we're closing in on six years of active participation. When I started it, I hoped a few guys would chime in and we might have the opportunity to share ideas, designs, and techniques. We've had well over 250,000 views of the thread with nearly 1100 individual posts. Lord knows how many pictures are in this thread... and THAT... should be an inspiration to all the people who are even remotely interested in attempting to design and build their vision of the perfect TV stand. Come and look at the results. Find out how easy it really is to build something as good as... if not better, than anything available at retail.

It was suggested that I edit this first post and do whatever I could to get everyone to explore their options. Perhaps down the road we can even organize this into some distinct categories that will make it easier to find specific information on hot topics like construction techniques, finish, materials, design, finished stands, and a few other categories.

But the bottom line is that there is a wealth of information in this thread, and if you just take some time and poke around you will find tons of ideas and loads of inspiration.

DON'T BE AFRAID TO LOOK... IT DOESN'T COST ANYTHING!




It seems that we have a couple of different factions here with regard to form factor, but there are two primary groups... those that find a metal-open stand attractive, and those that prefer a wood-closed stand. I thought that since there seems to be a fair number of folks who are interested in possibly _building_ a custom stand, it might be time for a new thread dealing with BYO wood stands.

For those who are curious, I'm going to try and post some images of what I'm building. Before I do, here's my basic design parameters:

1. Must be wide enough and strong enough to carry my Mits 62725, so my general dimensions are 60" wide, 20" deep, and roughly 21" high. We find it more comfortable to view higher than with our chins in our chests .

2. I want three (3) main "compartments" for my components, center channel, and storage (remotes, manuals, etc.).

3. My side compartments will have adjustable shelves and flush tempered glass doors. Each compartment is about 18½" wide and 16½" high.

4. My center compartment will be about 19½" wide, and have a shallow, flush drawer. The center compartment has a false back that allows a ¾" X 9" channel for wires to crossover without a visible rats nest. There's enough room between drawer and speaker to add a spare shelf down the road if needed.

5. The stand will be mounted on dual-wheel casters so as to allow easy roll-away from the wall to mess with wires. I might use eight (8) casters and while I'm on carpet... Shepard does make urethane treaded casters that would be easy to push on any surface without scratching it.

6. I'm probably going to use my router to make an inset groove on the back edge that would allow me to put ¼" pegboard behind the components with a pop-off speaker mount type deal. If I need ventilation, I can always use a small boxer fan, but these components have worked in a box before.

7. I'm using a combination of the Slamander Triple-20 and a few other wooden cabinets I've seen as my guideline, but this unit is basically a big, strong box that would easily support 400 pounds if not more. Finish wise... I'm using birch plywood and will stain it cherry, then finish it with a satin polyurethane.

Bottom Line: I know that while my material costs will be under $500, If I had to charge for my labor... I probably would be well over the cost of the Salamander... but then I'm not that nuts about the Synergy anyway. I don't like the fact that exposed bolt heads are showing on the top of the cherry wood over each column. But I'm determined to do this, and I'm sure others might get inspired if they have some ability and access to tools.

So feel free to jump and get some sawdust on your knees as we build this monster and others. BTW, I'd be happy to offer whatever expertise I can on your project, so if you have questions... shoot!


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post #2 of 1435 Old 11-16-2004, 09:12 AM
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I don't want to step on you toes, but don't know what you experience is. I am a carpenter and make furniture too. If you any advice or help, I would be happy to offer. I made my current cabinet to hold an older 35 Mits tube. It has held the tv for 8 years and on occasion held me along with it, when the need has arisen, to decorate for the holidays, etc.
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post #3 of 1435 Old 11-16-2004, 09:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Pablopsd...

Hey, I'm always open for help, and likewise, I'll offer my help to anyone willing to listen. I grew up in a construction family, both my father and uncle were custom builder and (kitchen) cabinet makers. While going to college I apprenticed summers as a carpenter, and of course... worked on numerous jobs with my father before I choose a career in marketing and design. My woodworking experience of late is limited to hobbyist and homeowner who will design and build a deck, remodel basements, hang doors, do some light plumbing and wiring... but this TV stand is something I'm trying to _finish_ as best as I can with my limited finishing skills.

I'm going to post a couple of pix I took last night. Pix #1 is the front 3/4 view which shows my three compartments, the outer ones have been template drilled for adjustable shelves... and the middle one has no holes but I shimmed up a drawer front to show where the drawer goes. Full extension ball-bearing tracks.

My biggest worry at this point is finishing the edges of the plywood. I bought some iron-on birch "tape" veneer, but I don't know how well this stuff finishes. Ideally, I'd like to use a 3/4" X 1/8" piece of solid birch (or poplar) and use conventional glue (and maybe the nail gun with 3/4" brads) to at least do the two horizontal edges (front/sides-top/bottom). If I had a thickness planer I could make the strips... because I don't want to use pine. But if you have any thoughts on the edging... let me know.

Mike
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post #4 of 1435 Old 11-16-2004, 10:07 AM
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ironhorse- looking good. It would be very helpful if you took a lot of step by step photos. Also, tell us how you did the holes for the shelves, I tried tape around a bit and it wasn't very successful. As for finishing the plywood, my deal is it would have to be a darker color/stain or black. How would i deal with that? I doubt I could match veneer, maybe use trim moulding (that thin 1/2" wide trim stuff) just to cover the edges.

I like the over all design tho. My only criticism/concern is having the center channel so low. I think I'd prefer the draw at the bottom with the center channel up top. Don;t want the coffee table blocking the sound, or just simply having the vocals aimed at my knees. The other option is to mount it on a shelf above the TV I guess.

Keep it coming guys and Pablopsd please chime in, maybe show you cabinet as well.
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post #5 of 1435 Old 11-16-2004, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Kid Red...

Thanks for the feedback and compliments... I'm trying!!!

Anyway, the room is 21 feet deep by 14-4 wide. The coffee table is about 12 feet from the front of the TV. My Bose front speakers are those two little cubes and they are mounted to the ceiling. Rear speakers are Bose as well and so is the Sub.

I use a store-bought template to do the shelf holes. You can get it at Rockler or Woodcraft (check their online stuff). It sells for around $30 and comes with a 1/4" centerpoint drill mounted in a spring-loaded carrier that fits the template holes. It's pretty easy to use. Rockler is a great resource for all sorts of stuff you might use in building a TV stand.

I'm attaching Pix #2 to this note which shows the rear 3/4 view which is sort of unremarkable except that I did allow for the wire pass-thru and also recessed the center so that I could mount a low-profile clean power strip.

Think of the stand as a simple "box" and its pretty easy to build. One sheet of 3/4" birch plywood provided enough material to make 2- 60" X 20" pieces (top & bottom), as well as 4-16" X 20" bulkheads. A good table saw, a 24" steel square, and a few other tools are all that's needed to build the basic unit... which looks sort of like an extrusion. C-Clamps & Pipe clamps are also a big help and I have tons of those.

Feel free to ask any questions... I'll post some other pix to keep you happy !


Mike


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post #6 of 1435 Old 11-16-2004, 10:36 AM
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This thread could not have come at a better time. It sounds like you guys have more experience than I. I have next week off from work. Project: build a TV stand.

Since I have my TV in a corner, I could not find a pre-made stand that would work. The plan view of the stand will be a trapezoid. I also want to have a shelf above the TV to get components out of the kids' reach. My big dilemma is how to hold up this upper shelf. My current thinking it two 2x4s (I would like to use something smaller, but don't know if it will be strong enough) behind the lip on the screen and another two bind the very back to the TV, reinforcing these with metal brackets.
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post #7 of 1435 Old 11-16-2004, 10:49 AM
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ironhorse, yes more pics! Of all the angles. Thanks for the equipment break down, I have a pretty good selection of tools and have build simple shelves before. The drawer would be my only concern (getting it level)

the_bear- I wouldn't use 2x4s for the CC shelf as they are pretty rustic. There are plenty of options. The easiest would be shelf 'L' brackets. They mount to the wall and under your shelf so it would float above the TV on the wall. You can just use a shelf, or make one capping it off with a 1x2 border edge to make the shelf look thicker (which is what i will probably do). The other are those shelves that mount to the wall without the L brackets and show no hardware. Lowes has them. They are not very deep however and would not fit my rather large center channel. Then I would just make a decent table box for your TV.
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post #8 of 1435 Old 11-16-2004, 10:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Bear...

Here's how I'd attack the corner shelf.
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post #9 of 1435 Old 11-16-2004, 10:57 AM
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i think you've inspired me. I would like to build something like this and put some casters on the bottom. I never thought of putting the center channel under the tv. I like that idea. I have a spot for all my components, but extra DVD storage would be great.

Something like your cabinet, that's 55" wide, on wheels, can hold a center speaker, and a bunch of DVD's..
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post #10 of 1435 Old 11-16-2004, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Red...

Here's another pix that shows the bottom 3/4 view. I put a 1 X 2 kick panel (poplar) under the basic cabinet and reinforced it with gussets. I did this because I know that I might pull it forward from the bottom when dragging it away from the wall. Another tool that is sooooo handy is the compressor and nail gun.

BTW, you can order ready-made drawers from Rockler built to size... and you can also order hardwood drawer fronts and the corresponding slide hardware. Once you have all that... it' just a simple matter of making sure you mount the slides pretty close to level (side to side) and then you can use the slotted mounts to make the tweaks.

I'm making my own drawer, so I'll post pix as I go along. I'm doing this at night between the raindrops, so don't expect it to be finished this week!

I'm thinking I might need 8 dual-wheel casters, partly because of the weight, partly because of the aesthetics. I'm going to use plate mounted casters, and I could try mounting them to the bottom and seeing how far it sinks into the carpet... and if need be, I could add a 3/4" plywood pad between the caster plate and the bottom to lift the cabinet higher.

Great response guys... I knew this thread would be fun... and helpful.

Mike
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post #11 of 1435 Old 11-16-2004, 11:50 AM
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ironhorse- nice kickplate, I'm sure that will look sweet when finished. I'll have to check out that Rockler pre-made drawers. I know I can make a drawer and I know I can by the hardware from Home Depot, just doing it perfectly and have the drawer slide smoothly seems intimidating. Getting the slides on the cabinet level with vertical spacing for the drawer would be the hard part. How are you going to handle the glass doors? And believe me, I wish I had a compressor and nail gun I know Home Depot has a mini compressor for $100 that supposedly handles a nail gun and it's on my wish list.
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post #12 of 1435 Old 11-16-2004, 12:14 PM
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Ironhorse,

In my research of tv stands, and subsequently not finding exactly what I wanted, I decided to take on this task my self also. But while you are doing this on your own, I have little to no wood working skils. So a friend of mine agreed to help me out and I am actually picking up the wood tonight after work so he can get started.

Definately going the 3/4 inch oak plywood route, but I never thought about the pegboard for the back. I was just going to do 1/4 inch plywood there also, but your idea makes much more sense. I am going to look into that this evening.

Attached is an idea of what the cabinet is going to look like. I had to make the center section wider because of the large Klipsch center channel, but it will fit very well in my space.

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post #13 of 1435 Old 11-16-2004, 12:32 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by IronHorse

I'm attaching Pix #2 to this note which shows the rear 3/4 view which is sort of unremarkable except that I did allow for the wire pass-thru and also recessed the center so that I could mount a low-profile clean power strip.

Think of the stand as a simple "box" and its pretty easy to build. One sheet of 3/4" birch plywood provided enough material to make 2- 60" X 20" pieces (top & bottom), as well as 4-16" X 20" bulkheads. A good table saw, a 24" steel square, and a few other tools are all that's needed to build the basic unit... which looks sort of like an extrusion. C-Clamps & Pipe clamps are also a big help and I have tons of those.

Feel free to ask any questions... I'll post some other pix to keep you happy !


Mike


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Nice job on your stand.

It appears you butt-jointed the box (with nails and glue?). Did you reinforce the joints with biscuits? If not, are you worried about the lateral strength; i.e., are you worried about the stand racking if you push it from the side, especially on carpet?

John

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Quote:


Originally posted by IronHorse
Bear...

Here's how I'd attack the corner shelf.

I do like the look of a separate shelf. My big fear with this approach, is that it would be difficult to pull the TV out far enough to get behind it with only 6' cords going from the TV to other equipment. On the plus side, the larger shelf would give enough extra room for my laptop. It would also allow curtains to be hung from the shelf. The curtains could be partially closed for 4x3 viewing movie theater style. My original plan was to have the top shelf smaller than the TV, so the supports would be hidden and give me the ability to move the TV farther back.
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post #15 of 1435 Old 11-16-2004, 01:12 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by falsedawn
Iron Horse

Nice job on your stand.

It appears you butt-jointed the box (with nails and glue?). Did you reinforce the joints with biscuits? If not, are you worried about the lateral strength; i.e., are you worried about the stand racking if you push it from the side, especially on carpet?

John

One way to add support would would to add a flat L bracket to the back corners.

Any wood experts around here? If I made this cabinet is plywood and edged with another trim, what wood would I need to use to get it to match if I were to stain it? I don't know if my choice are limited to pine and maybe poplar. If so, will pine match plywood if both are stained the same color?
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post #16 of 1435 Old 11-16-2004, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
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John...

Nope, I didn't use biscuits although I do have a DeWalt biscuit joiner. What I did is butt-join it, using glue and 2" screws plus 1/4" dowels. The center "back" which is inset, is fully gussetted, glued and nailed, so there's no chance of racking... I think. Hehehehehehe he says as he scratches his head. I forget why I didn't use the joiner.

Red...

Here's a sketch of one side which kind of shows how the doors mount. Rockler has 1/4" slot hinges that will hold frameless glass doors. Use them top and bottom, and then use the combination of the metal strike plate which slides over the 1/4" glass along with the spring-loaded magnetic door latch. Like any old stereo cabinet, you simply push and release and the door pops open a few inches to allow you to grab it. To close you simply push until you hear a click and it self-aligns.

With regard to the wood finish... I'm using birch plywood which is available at Home Depot. They also sell the birch edge tape that you apply with an iron. Don't use Fir plywood because the wood will look cheesey almost no matter what you do to it unless you laminate it with formica. Another approach is to use coated MDF or flakeboard. They have 3/4" white (and tape), but you can special order black coated 3/4.

Crane...

You might want to check out Rockler's catalog online as they have some nice metal legs with glider bottoms if that's your intention. OTH, with that width... maybe you want casters?

Mike
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post #17 of 1435 Old 11-16-2004, 01:31 PM
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ironhorse- I must ask, what's a gusset? And can you show how you used them? Also, how did you line the dowel holes to make sure they aligned correctly? I can never get a perfect hole drilled that match the secondary hole.
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post #18 of 1435 Old 11-16-2004, 01:36 PM
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Ironhorse,

thanks for the heads up on the catalog, I am going to check it out now.

Also if you need any dowel's, wood screws, or biscuits, etc. I can hook you up...even on pre-glued stuff which is so damn easy to use. I am the IT manager for the largest manufacturer/distributor of wood products in the world, so I can either send you samples if you just need a few, or get you items at a discount.

If I can help you out with anything, let me know.

www.exceldowel.com

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post #19 of 1435 Old 11-16-2004, 03:45 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by IronHorse
Pablopsd...

My biggest worry at this point is finishing the edges of the plywood. I bought some iron-on birch "tape" veneer, but I don't know how well this stuff finishes. Ideally, I'd like to use a 3/4" X 1/8" piece of solid birch (or poplar) and use conventional glue (and maybe the nail gun with 3/4" brads) to at least do the two horizontal edges (front/sides-top/bottom). If I had a thickness planer I could make the strips... because I don't want to use pine. But if you have any thoughts on the edging... let me know.

Mike

I built a very similar project using birch plywood. Mine has 6 casters underneath, and a single compartment for a very large center channel speaker. Like you I used an inset back to prevent any possibility of racking.

Things that I found were that staining birch is a pain because it adsorbs stain very unevenly. I ended up using a gel stain to control this. I used Tung oil for the final finish and it came out very nice.

I used the iron on strips and found no problem with them taking finish. I'd suggest that you experiment on scrap pieces so you can see what it looks like for yourself. I'm glad I did this because it allowed me to get the color I wanted etc. before finishing the real piece.

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post #20 of 1435 Old 11-16-2004, 03:51 PM
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Great thread! I need (but cannot find) an enclosed stand that is low (16" max). However, instead of building one from scratch, I am thinking of taking an existing open glass stand and adding acrylic sheet doors and sides to it. Basically, I am looking to add some childproofing. Is this something that people can provide pointers on? Thanks.
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post #21 of 1435 Old 11-16-2004, 04:21 PM
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I think that more people are heading the "do it yourself" or with a friend route. I'm sick of looking at the TV stand thread, I'm wondering if manufacturers will get it together, but then again i'm sure we're all in the minority with our custom home theaters and what not.

Keep the pics coming IronHorse... Good luck

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post #22 of 1435 Old 11-16-2004, 04:52 PM
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I've built several TV stands and various pieces of A/V furniture and I'm in the process of building a new set for our new casa. It'll be 3 modular pieces...a low TV stand, a media cabinet, and an equipment rack. Trying to find furniture out there that's worth a crap is difficult, and once you find something that's well-built and looks nice it costs a fortune. I'm using solid cherry and lacewood and building what would certainly sell for $2-3k for about $600. I'd be glad to give assistance or pointers to any other DIY'ers out there hoping to save a few bucks and build their own.

I've attached a final drawing of the media cabinet which will hold about 1000 cd's and 120 DVD's/XBox games.

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post #23 of 1435 Old 11-16-2004, 06:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Gaajar...

You might want to look closely at the IKEA low-profile unit. I haven't seen it in person, but it's low, it's wood, and it's cheap (relatively). IKEA has several units with and without doors.

http://www.ikea-usa.com/webapp/wcs/s...74&cattype=sub

I hope I'm not sounding like a pitch man for Rockler, but you could order satin aluminum anodized door frames and you might have what you want. Check this out:

http://www.rockler.com/ecom7/product...uminum%20doors

Since the doors are in frames you might be able to use just plain smoked glass as opposed to tempered, or you could go with 1/4" smoked lexan. I would've bought these doors if they came in black.

Jason...

Nice drawing. Are those handles or are you inlaying veneers?


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post #24 of 1435 Old 11-17-2004, 10:24 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by IronHorse
Bear...

Here's how I'd attack the corner shelf.

Another option I have been considering, since I saw your example, would be to simply make three selves built into the corner with no stand at all. I wonder if the anchor strips would be enough to support the TV itself, 130 lbs., or would I need additional support? My walls are stucco.
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post #25 of 1435 Old 11-17-2004, 11:28 AM
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IronHorse,

Thanks a lot for the rockler idea. It is definitely very interesting. I looked at IKEA Oppli and this looked wide enough to hold all my components, but it doesn't have doors. Might be a good starting point though if nothing else works out. Where might I find 1/4" smoked lexan? I was thinking of using some kind of clip to attach (not permanently) the lexan/acrylic sheets (without frames) to the glass shelves of an open stand. Would you know what hardware might be appropriate for this purpose? Also, what type of hinges are appropriate for unframed acrylic/lexan?

Has anybody considered using prefab cabinets for a stand? I was thinking that something like a half cabinet would work perfectly. I remember reading about some options for entertainment walls/built-ins from some cabinet manufacturers. It provides a custom solution with a fraction of the work.

The newbie thanks all for ideas and help.
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post #26 of 1435 Old 11-17-2004, 12:03 PM
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IronHorse, great thread. I can barely screw in a light bulb by myself so I appreciate folks that can build their own stuff. I also like the thread because it has a positive feel to it. Can't wait to see the finished products.
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post #27 of 1435 Old 11-17-2004, 12:07 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by IronHorse
John...

Nope, I didn't use biscuits although I do have a DeWalt biscuit joiner. What I did is butt-join it, using glue and 2" screws plus 1/4" dowels. The center "back" which is inset, is fully gussetted, glued and nailed, so there's no chance of racking... I think.

Sounds like the combo of screws, dowels and inset back should do the job.

John

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post #28 of 1435 Old 11-17-2004, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Red...

I'm attaching a pix of what I call "gussetts" which some furniture makers will call corner or glue blocks or whatever. When I apprenticed I worked at a custom stair builder that built conventional and elaborate spiral wood staircases and we used glue blocks behind stair risers where they meet the treads. Believe it or not, we only glued them in... did not have nail guns back then !

Dowel pilot holes are pre-drilled in bottom on centerline when cabinet is clamped together, then you remove, insert dowels, glue sections, match them, and screw while clamped. Make a simple depth collar jig out of a piece of wood so you only drill the required depth.

Quote:


Originally posted by Kid Red
ironhorse- I must ask, what's a gusset? And can you show how you used them? Also, how did you line the dowel holes to make sure they aligned correctly? I can never get a perfect hole drilled that match the secondary hole.

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post #29 of 1435 Old 11-17-2004, 12:47 PM
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ironhorse- Ah, so gussets are just braces. As for the dowel drilling, you mean you drill completely thru one piece to make both holes? When doing a butt joint, I can never get it perfectly centered matching on both pieces, so I just avoid that process and stick to screws mostly. Is there an advantage to screws vs nails? Or are nails just better for plywood then screws?
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post #30 of 1435 Old 11-17-2004, 01:05 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Kid Red
ironhorse- Ah, so gussets are just braces. As for the dowel drilling, you mean you drill completely thru one piece to make both holes? When doing a butt joint, I can never get it perfectly centered matching on both pieces, so I just avoid that process and stick to screws mostly. Is there an advantage to screws vs nails? Or are nails just better for plywood then screws?

Pardon me, Iron Horse, for jumping in here.

You can drill completely through where the end of the dowel is not a cosmetic problem. You can also use dowel centers:
http://www.rockler.com/ecom7/product_details.cfm?&offerings_id=2509&objectgroup_id=319&catid=47&filter=dowel%20centers
You drill the dowel hole in one side, insert a dowel center, align the two pieces of plywood and the point on the dowel center makes a divot. You can then drill the second hole.

Screws are much preferred when fastening into the end grain of plywood. Nails are not as strong in that application.

John

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