One of the first things I did here after finding this site was to post a project I had designed in Sketchup for a new TV stand to match my entertainment center. You can find the original forum post here:
I thought it might be interesting if I detailed the evolution of this project to show how listening to good advice can drastically change the way you have something originally designed. We had a large 65” TV we were going to replace with a newer 65” DLP set which would not have the large base the old set had. As such, I needed to create a matching TV stand with DVD storage to put the new TV on. Here is a picture of the old setup:
I drew-up a plan in Sketchup and created a render and liked the way it looked:
My original plan was to base the structure around a 2×4 skeleton with 3/4” oak play for the top and sides and 3/4” oak for the face frame and false fronts:
It was suggested that I was putting way more effort than needed into creating the base structure, and that the 3/4” Ply would be more than sufficient to support the structure with a center support. I then redesigned the project in Sketchup to reflect my new thinking:
Since I planned to leave the top and back off until the last part of construction a valid concern about racking of the cabinet was made. That, combined with the fact that the base would be open and the carpet potentially viewable with the drawers open led to yet another redesign with modified corner blocks, back braces, and floor boards. I also put-in the sticks in the rear to catch the back of the drawer slides:
Reasonably comfortable with the design, I moved-on to trying to match the drawer construction on the original unit:
I posted another thread asking about finding a router bit set that would match this profile. It was suggested that it was probably made using stacked bits on a shaper, so I decided I’d try to replicate it using several router bits and created a test piece:
At this point I exploded the drawings and used the dimensioning tools to get the exact measurements for the wood needed and created a material list in Excel. The, I used Sketchup to create cutting diagrams for the boards and sheet goods:
After gathering the needed material it was on to construction. Total construction time was about 40 hours over the week before Christmas. Pretty-much everything on the cabinet itself was assembled with pocket holes and glue, which made the entire project very easy. I even mounted the trim piece on the top with pocket holes before attaching it to the base. You can see the basic construction in the following photos:
The top was sufficiently sturdy enough that I did not use the top corner braces I had originally designed. It was more than capable of supporting my weight, much less an 85lb TV.
The doors had to be individually adjusted and are designed to only fit in one location. To attach the false fronts I turned the cabinet on its back and inserted the MDF drawers. I then lined-up the fronts and drilled the center hole for the knobs into the drawers. I then attached the knobs and turned the cabinet right-side up and drilled two more holes in the upper corners to hold the fronts in the correct positions:
Overall the project turned-out very well. The main towers aren’t currently perfectly square (I didn’t feel like unloading them to move them slightly), so the cabinet is a little tight at the back. The cabinet also doesn’t sink into the carpet as much as the towers, so the front trim isn’t flush. Otherwise, I think it matches very well:
The advice garnered here was invaluable in getting this project done in an efficient manner while still looking good and being structurally sound. I didn’t necessarily follow every piece of advice; since I stuck with the MDF drawers instead of going with a plywood or better material. If the MDF became a problem i could always redo the drawers later. However, by being open to new ideas I was able to save myself a lot of time and effort and still produce a nice product. I’d like to thank this community for its help and support.
As one final note, I wasn’t satisfied with the color match of the cabinet so I’m in the process of stripping it down and refinishing it again as we speak. I was in a hurry to get it done and in use, but now I’m going to be taking even more time to get it done correctly. Just a bit of advice that it’s always easier to do something right the first time then it is to do it again!
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