Dumpster diving = TV stand

  • Advertise with us
Project by bryson posted 02-07-2013 07:08 PM 3875 views 5 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My goal for this project was to use all scrap wood—the only cost for this project (aside from things like glue, finish, sandpaper, etc.) was for the four hinges and the two catches.

Awhile ago a friend at work gave me a piece of furniture that he had made, but wasn’t happy with. He didn’t want to throw it away, but also didn’t want to finish it out and keep it in his house. That piece became the body for this cabinet, shown in picture 3. I cut off the bottom and created feet with leftover pine from the coffee table that I just built. I also removed the facing from the middle shelf and trimmed the facing on the sides to bring the edge of the doors closer to the sides of the cabinet. I also added a small, thin apron just below the table top with scrap from a pile at a friend’s workshop.

There was a large sheet of hardwood flooring (an old display, maybe?) affixed to an OSB backer that has been outside of an adjacent shop near the dumpster for about a year now, so I got it and used the boards to make the front doors on the cabinet. The layup was interesting (picture 2), but it worked fairly well, and motivated me to buy some proper clamps! I did end up adding plywood backing to stop some of the bowing problems that I was having—I beveled the edges to make it look more finished when the doors are open—I think it came out pretty well, although the doors are now pretty heavy. One door got maple and the other got birch because those were the only two cutoffs that I had that were large enough for the job. The outside ends of the doors got a small border with scrap poplar, and everything except for the door face got a heavy coat of stain, followed by about 3 coats of satin water-based poly.

All in all I think it turned out really well, and it was a lot of fun to make something a little different!

The first and last pictures are just to detail the wood finish—I managed to keep the boards in the same location relative to each other so that all of the scratches and scars are still aligned. Thanks for looking!

14 comments so far

View Bsmith's profile


330 posts in 2870 days

#1 posted 02-07-2013 07:27 PM

I like this a lot. Good design and looks great in the room.

-- Bryan

View NaFianna's profile


524 posts in 3226 days

#2 posted 02-07-2013 07:53 PM

Great job. Well done

-- Cad a dheanfaimid feasta gan adhmad.......?

View a1Jim's profile


117328 posts in 3777 days

#3 posted 02-07-2013 08:45 PM

cool wood and a good build.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 2373 days

#4 posted 02-07-2013 10:15 PM

Nice built. Execution is flawless.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View Napaman's profile


5530 posts in 4277 days

#5 posted 02-08-2013 01:04 AM

i love this piece!

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View gawthrrw's profile


207 posts in 2647 days

#6 posted 02-08-2013 01:17 AM

I really like the rustic look as well. Great job man! You just gave me some ideas.

-- Rob, Dallas TX

View garbonsai's profile


154 posts in 2155 days

#7 posted 02-08-2013 01:52 PM

Very nice. I like the weathered look, and I did a little happy dance in my chair (not pretty, I assure you) when I saw the felt pads on the bottoms of the legs—you’d be surprised how few people use them.

-- Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2448 days

#8 posted 02-08-2013 02:00 PM

That’s pretty sweet, but what’s the deal with that old M5 wearing some sweet BBS’s?


View toddbeaulieu's profile


818 posts in 3204 days

#9 posted 02-08-2013 02:39 PM

I absolutely love that piece. I live near Boston and could just imagine how many of those you could sell in Cambridge!

View matts_dad's profile


61 posts in 2859 days

#10 posted 02-08-2013 02:39 PM

Well executed, creative idea – I like it.

Your weighted clamping system did its job just fine. Is that a transmission on top of that chunk of plywood? Makes my back ache just looking at it. But, I’m sure that your ‘out of the box’ thinking came up with a novel way of putting it there.

Keep up the good work.

-- Barry

View HickoryHill's profile


219 posts in 4346 days

#11 posted 02-08-2013 03:22 PM

Nice score/save. Really like this old rustic looking kind of furniture.

-- Jim, Michigan

View bryson's profile


18 posts in 2162 days

#12 posted 02-08-2013 03:27 PM

Thanks for the compliments, guys! It’s pretty cool to get to share this kind of stuff with people other than just those that enter my home!

garbonsai—I use those on everything; they’re great! I also like the small cabinet pads for the bottom of coasters and trays, or most anything that I’m going to be leaving on a piece of furniture. I saw some dark brown ones at Lowe’s the other day, so I think that I might swap them out. I just happened to have the light ones in a drawer, so I put them down in a pinch.

lumberjoe—That’s awesome that you noticed it! My dad and I have always been into the older BMW’s, and I got that one about 5 years ago. I’ve got a set of 17” Style 5’s that I am planning on restoring and putting on there. Poor thing has been neglected recently, though.

matts_dad—It did work pretty well, but I think that the concrete slab of the shop floor sweats a little overnight, so it bowed back up the next day after I took off all of the weight and trimmed it up. The center weight is actually a short block from a Subaru—it was the mockup engine for my buddy’s tube chassis car that he built in our shop. It actually wasn’t too terrible to move, although I will admit that I wasn’t the most graceful human being for a moment while getting it across the shop and onto the plywood.

Thanks again to the entire LJ community! This is an incredible site and I really appreciate everyone taking the time to check out my project and to leave feedback!

View matts_dad's profile


61 posts in 2859 days

#13 posted 02-09-2013 11:53 PM


Cement is porous and can draw water thru it even when it does not appear to sweat. My basement appears dry, but I have put a warped board, cup down side down, on the basement floor to straighten it out. The trick was then to wait a couple of days until it straightens out, quickly use it and seal the result. It worked sometimes.

If you first put a plastic sheet under on the cement floor you could prevent direct contact moisture transfer. Then lay some scrap sticks on top of the plastic and under planks you are gluing together like they do when drying wood. Hopefully, this allow air to move under the planks and help to prevent uneven moisture build up on one side. Good luck!

-- Barry

View MetallurgyNerd's profile


5 posts in 2130 days

#14 posted 02-11-2013 05:38 PM

I like it a lot.

Best use I’ve seen for an old transmission by far. Now I can justify hanging on to that old Kubota diesel engine I pulled out of a garden tractor last year. “But honey, I couldn’t possibly part with that unsightly contraption. I might need it to keep a panel flat during glue-up.”

-- Challenge the prevailing perceptions.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics