A funny thing happened on the way home from the electronics store

We splurged today and replaced our 20 year old, 28″ CRT TV with a modern HD setup.  But of course the new behemoth won’t fit on the existing stand, and to keep things interesting no place in town had an base that was big enough for it.  Honestly, I’m glad.  The ones they wanted to order for me were UG-LY, and cost almost as much as the TV did.

So I poped over to Home Despot and picked up a box of screws and two sheets of 3/4″ plywood and decided to make a simple stand.  It took me about two and a half hours to reduce the two sheets of plywood to the cabinet you see here.  It’s not fine furniture.  It isn’t even medium furniture, it’s just this side of coarse.  But it’s cheap and functional and will serve until I can design and build something nice.

The two hour tv stand

The two hour tv stand (that’s part of a video game my adolescent is playing)

I didn’t sand this or put any finish on it, the whole family was eager to watch a couple of episodes of Dr. Who.  In fact I forgot to drill the holed in the back to pass the cables through, so the X-ox and Satellite Receiver are still sitting on top.  I’ll drill the holes and get it set up properly.  The top is rock solid, the middle shelf could use a brace (or a face frame), but it’s not critical.  This is stopgap at best (which probably means I’ll be using this for the next 5 years).

Plain, unfinished (un sanded, even!) Birch "SandePly".  And loads of screws.

Plain, unfinished (un sanded, even!) Birch “SandePly”. And loads of screws.

Categories: Uncategorized | 12 Comments

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12 thoughts on “A funny thing happened on the way home from the electronics store

  1. Sylvain

    Those tv are quite heavy. To avoid saging of the top, you might consider adding two vertical divider in the center to transfer part of the load to the bottom shelf. I had to add it on the furniture my wife bought.

    • The TV is surprisingly light given it’s crazy size. It’s maybe 75 pounds — I can lift it easily enough other than it being unwieldy. The top sits on the back and sides (all 3/4″ ply) and I added two 3″ tall ribs that span the width of the case that are screwed to the bottom surface of the top and to the case sides. I can sit on the top and it’s very solid, no flex at all. Without the ribs I’m sure it would have flexed easily.

      The whole thing was a quick sketch and make it up as you go.

  2. On the east coast stop gap is good for 7-10 years.

  3. I’m really glad that the flat-screen TV table has replaced the minibus-sized entertainment center as the furniture design problem of our age!

    • Just thinking “entertainment center” conjures up images of really bad furniture, doesn’t it? Before I started on this plywood monstrosity I checked Craigslist to see if there was something I could buy to hold us over. Lots of “golden oak” plywood. Looking at them _was_ entertaining…

  4. Amazing – 2 hours!? That would have taken me a week. I wonder if you just plunge into projects and I overthink them. Can I ask what your background is? Mine is in the military so I came to woodworking very late in life. I hope I can achieve your level of excellence. By the way I’m not sure if I thanked you for the note you sent a few weeks ago – I appreciate it. Any other words of advice to get over the overthinking? John

    • Hey John, If I was trying to make this nice it would have taken me a lot longer. I was going for “serviceable”. I don’t have any particular background that qualifies me as a woodworker — much less anything else. I have a friend that told me “we start with insufficient information and problem solve as we go” — that seems to apply to a lot of life.

  5. I’m currently working on a stop-gap desk that has 15yrs on it. Nice quick and functional solution you have there Joe. It’ll still outlast any of the solutions the store was trying to sell you.

    • Some of the junk in the store was unbelievably ugly, and all of it was crazy expensive. A simple “modern” square base finished in some sort of plastic film started at $1,000. Ones with doors or drawers were $1,500 to $2,500. Nutso.

      If anybody is counting, I completely realize just how obscene these giant TVs are. That’s why we’ve avoided getting one so long, but I expect it’s going to bring a new dimension to watching woodworking instructional videos.

  6. Pingback: Stained Glass for the Thorsen Cabinet | McGlynn on Making

  7. Sylvain

    Those giant tv are effectively ugly when they are shut down.
    The picture quality is so much better than it was with CRT screens.
    The unresolved problem is the inanity of the programs.

    PS: I have ones seen a tv which was like miror when shut down; it was manufactured with a fake gilded frame looking like the ones for old paintings. If I am right it was manufactured by Philips.

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