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Google SketchUp: My entertainment center rolls on.

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Blog entry by Stevinmarin posted 07-29-2010 11:00 PM 1884 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I want to thank everyone again for giving me so much help with SketchUP!

Shopguryl, Brad_Nailor, Will Stokes, Don “Dances with Wood” Butler, and especially Rance: I can’t tell you how many times I read and reread your posts. They helped enormously. I’m sorry I couldn’t respond to each of you individually.

And I have to say, I am very quickly becoming a SketchUp convert. I’ve probably invested at least 6 or more hours into learning it and I can say with all honesty that my skills are increasing at an alarming speed. I’m really excited about the possibilities.

Anyway, I am just going to copy and paste my post from my personal blog here. I have a very specific question and have no doubt that I will get answers on LumberJocks!

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

After an immense amount of help from readers, watching countless how-to videos, and mostly just spending a lot of time experimenting, I am beginning to get a grasp on SketchUp. I really like it and can feel myself improving and getting faster. It’s pretty nice to be able to move elements of a project around without having to get out a new sheet of paper or doing a lot of erasing.

The entertainment center is giving me a lot of SketchUp practice. Bear in mind, this is a really crude drawing, but it’s my first attempt. After a lot of evolution, I have boiled it down to a design that I kind of like, and is very minimal. The idea here is that a small shelf on top will hold the TV, and the two lower shelves will hold the components. The rear support (leg) is for cord management. I think I’ll include a power strip inside. I might turn the front legs, but for this illustration, I’ve just got cylinders.

I haven’t included any joints that will hold the backs of the shelves into the rear support. (It took me long enough to get to this point!) I’m thinking possibly dados, or even just small cleats beneath. But it’s the top shelf that I’m not sure how to deal with. It needs to support the TV, which is pretty light…maybe 30 pounds, but I don’t want front legs (dowels) that would interfere with the components on the large shelf.

So right now, the top (TV) shelf is just magically floating there. Any ideas (in the real world, with actual wood) how I can make that shelf sturdy enough to support the TV, yet only attach on one side? I suspect that’s not really practical.

-- Entertainment for mere mortal woodworkers. http://www.WoodworkingForMereMortals.com



11 comments so far

View Will Stokes's profile

Will Stokes

264 posts in 2078 days


#1 posted 07-29-2010 11:26 PM

One word: metal. If nice thick bent piece of steel should probably do the trick. The question is how to hide it. It could slide into the that top shelf that supports the TV. Perhaps stand the wood on end, run it through the table saw with the blade lowered a bit. You could then add bread-board ends to cover the slits on either end. You have lots of options for attaching the metal to the vertical member toward the back, preferably to the back side. Or maybe not, you could screw or bolt it on, then covert it up with some decorative piece.

I find it amusing (in a good way) that you are even designing it this way. I decided last night that the finish on my entertainment center had finally dried enough to move it to it’s final location and load it up with stuff. I don’t have the luxury of having a flat panel so instead I had to carefully place “the beast” (huge old TV I was given for free from my neighbor when he upgraded his TV) on top. Man is that sucker heavy! So heavy in fact that the front left corner of the entertainment center dug slightly deeper into our plush carpet and the twist that resulted made it difficult to open/close the left door! Once I realized what was going on I lifted the left side with one arm (man with all the weight on there is it heavy!) and adjusted the block that is underneath it so that the thing is now level again and the door opens and closes fine once more. Anyhow, I’m jealous of your non 80’s monster TV you must have ready to put on top of this space age contraption! :-)

View Stevinmarin's profile

Stevinmarin

838 posts in 1799 days


#2 posted 07-29-2010 11:42 PM

Oh yeah! I remember your entertainment center. Now THAT’s woodworking! It’s kind of funny how one thing leads to another. When my 20-year-old TV finally died, I had to get a new TV. That led me to my new one…it’s small, 37”, but so much lighter than the old one. But with a bigger screen size. Sticking that into my equally aged entertainment center looked ridiculous. So that led me think I needed to make a new EC. And I wanted one that is very minimal, to reflect the lightness of the TV itself. That led me to get rid of my no-longer relevant components: CD player, phonograph, and VHS player. Yea! I only need space for a receiver, DVD and DVR. THAT led me to the understanding that I was totally unable to visulize what I wanted with my limited pencil and paper skills.

So because my old TV went kaput, I am learning Sketchup. Life is a river.

I think your idea of some sort of metal brace is a good one. I’ll take a trip over to the hardware store and see what inspires me!

-- Entertainment for mere mortal woodworkers. http://www.WoodworkingForMereMortals.com

View Tomw's profile

Tomw

99 posts in 1951 days


#3 posted 07-29-2010 11:43 PM

I’m with Will: steel is the answer. Maybe you could use 1/2” steel rod, and bore horizontal holes into the supports and the back edge of the shelf sufficient to support the weight. Shelf and support would need to be at least 1 1/2” thick, I imagine.

-- Tom

View Stevinmarin's profile

Stevinmarin

838 posts in 1799 days


#4 posted 07-30-2010 12:36 AM

Now I’m thinking about just extending the back and mounting the TV directly to it:

And this has me wondering if the entire unit will be stable, given that there are only 3 legs. And I’m in earthquake country. Thoughts?

-- Entertainment for mere mortal woodworkers. http://www.WoodworkingForMereMortals.com

View Tomw's profile

Tomw

99 posts in 1951 days


#5 posted 07-30-2010 01:01 AM

I think 3 legs is an advantage for stability, but you probably need to stiffen the 2 shelves; maybe a back piece just along the aft edges, securely fastened to the rear leg. & you’ll probably wanna tether the top of the leg to the wall, like they do with tall bookcases.

-- Tom

View Cozmo35's profile

Cozmo35

2199 posts in 1759 days


#6 posted 07-30-2010 01:34 AM

“Life is a river”,....Don’t drown!

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View Will Stokes's profile

Will Stokes

264 posts in 2078 days


#7 posted 07-30-2010 03:51 AM

Steve, thanks for the compliment. I’m not in earthquake territory (just tornadoes) and yet I seem to strongly prefer big beefy mortise and tenon joints, but then again that’s just me. Since you have a light as a feather flat panel and you’re already going in that direction I think you should try to make the design appear to float on air. This desk comes to mind. Right now I’m not trilled of the juxtaposition of your big beefy wide rear leg with the two spindly front legs. Now tapered legs, like in that desk, might be just the trick. :-)

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112538 posts in 2301 days


#8 posted 07-30-2010 04:27 AM

Hey Steve
I’m no help on sketchup but it your wanting wood instead of metel for a cleat you might consider Epi
it’s super strong. and can

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

#9 posted 07-30-2010 02:30 PM


How about this?

Don

-- Will trade wife's yarn for tools.

View bigfish_95008's profile

bigfish_95008

250 posts in 1827 days


#10 posted 07-30-2010 04:17 PM

Using a monitor mounting bracket without the shelf I find most appealing. Anchor the tower to the wall and you are all set. Don’s idea for shelf supports would work well with the lower shelves and you could get rid of the legs (not a fan of those at the moment).

-- bigfish "I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it." Vincent Van Gogh

View Stevinmarin's profile

Stevinmarin

838 posts in 1799 days


#11 posted 07-30-2010 06:20 PM

Now I think I have talked myself out of the top shelf, although I so like Don’s idea for the supports. And I am definitely revisiting the front legs. I think they need to be beefier. So many options.

-- Entertainment for mere mortal woodworkers. http://www.WoodworkingForMereMortals.com

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