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TV Stand

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TV Stand

Postby Dr.Al » 08 Apr 2021, 18:37

I've been thinking about replacing the TV stand in our lounge. Carolyn (my other half) doesn't like the colour of the one we have at the moment and the design and construction makes it very obvious that it is mass-produced budget furniture. This is the old TV stand:

Image


I think this is going to be a very slow project: I think it'll take me a long time before I even make the first cut in the first piece of wood as I'm very much in the thinking stage, but I thought I'd start writing down my thoughts in case anyone wants to offer any interesting suggestions!

As of now, I don't really know what I want, so I expect the design ideas to go through several iterations. Thoughts so far:

  • It'll be made of oak, to match my side table.
  • It'll have some drawers. It's likely that I'll go for two full-width drawers, but I might go for one full-width drawer and two half-width drawers; I'm not sure yet.
  • It's going to be sized to fit my current 32" TV. I have no aspirations of getting a TV any bigger than this, so I'm sticking with that size. The width of the TV is about 800 mm, so I'm going to make this about that size or slightly bigger.
  • It's not going to have any shelves for DVD players, Sky boxes or whatever. I pretty much exclusively use a Roku (which is stuck on the back of the TV) for anything I want to watch.
  • I'd like it to be a corner-type TV stand with the TV at 45° to the walls (as at present, but with the unit sitting parallel to the TV unlike at present). At the moment I can't decide how "extreme" to make this: it could be triangular in principle, but I think that would look weird, so it'll probably end up as a truncated triangle. I'm not sure how much to truncate it or what that means for drawers.
  • I'm currently thinking the drawers will have runners underneath rather than on the side. That should help with the fact that if I want to make the drawers as big as possible, they'll have to be non-rectangular.

I'd originally been thinking that, rather than having conventional drawers, I'd do something fancy with the drawers pivoting out from one corner rather than sliding on runners/rails/whatever. I'd even wondered about making the two drawers pivot in opposite directions. The more I think about it though, the more I think I'm biting off more than I can chew with that!

This is what my CAD model looks like so far. I'm sure it's going to change a lot before I start cutting wood (and I haven't even started modelling drawers etc), but you've got to start somewhere.

Image
Image


The colours are random to make it obvious where the different pieces of wood will join; in practice it will all be oak. I haven't started to think about that angled join on the sides (whether it needs any support) or anything in the way of rails for the shelves and top. Dimensions of this model are 820 mm × 340 mm × 500 mm as that seems a sensible outline size.
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Re: TV Stand

Postby Mike G » 08 Apr 2021, 18:55

.........ooooh, we have the same Wild Flowers, Water Life, and Animals books as you. :)

What's a Roku?

Corner units are great, but watch these couple of traps: A/ Don't take the structure all the way into the corner. Square off the back away from the corner, as you've done, because corners are never square.....but personally I'd take the top much further back so as to avoid the lost space where dog hair and spiders will collect.

B/ The long-grain junctions at 135 degrees need to be bang on, because they'll be the only thing you'll ever see if you don't get them right.

Anyway, this will be a great project, and I'm looking forward to it.
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Re: TV Stand

Postby Dr.Al » 08 Apr 2021, 19:12

Mike G wrote:.........ooooh, we have the same Wild Flowers, Water Life, and Animals books as you. :)


They're good books, aren't they?

Mike G wrote:What's a Roku?


It's a little box that looks like this:

Image

(except our version of the remote control doesn't have all the branded buttons)

It plugs into the back of a TV and connects to things like Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC IPlayer, Youtube etc etc etc etc. I know a lot of more modern TVs have these sorts of things built in, but my TV is about 13 years old (and as a result of not running a complicated operating system, starts up in a few seconds when you turn it on!). My Roku is quite an old one - I bought it about 6 years ago - but it's probably functionally equivalent to one of these: https://www.roku.com/en-gb/products/roku-express

Mike G wrote:Corner units are great, but watch these couple of traps: A/ Don't take the structure all the way into the corner. Square off the back away from the corner, as you've done, because corners are never square.....but personally I'd take the top much further back so as to avoid the lost space where dog hair and spiders will collect.


Thanks for the suggestions. It won't actually sit in the corner. It's a bit of an odd corner of the room if I'm honest: if you look very closely at the wall behind the left-hand-side of the TV, you can see that it goes very dark in the photo immediately behind the existing TV stand. That's because the bit of wall you can see on the left of the photo is a chimney breast and there's an alcove in the corner. High up in that alcove there are some shelves. The space at the bottom is largely dead space that we're just leaving as dead space (I don't want to do anything too involving as we're hoping to move sometime in the next couple of years). At the moment we're storing a table from my late father-in-law's house in the alcove under the shelves - you can see one of the legs of it if you look closely.

Mike G wrote:B/ The long-grain junctions at 135 degrees need to be bang on, because they'll be the only thing you'll ever see if you don't get them right.


Yes, that's a good point. My previous drawing version had legs going down at that junction (which would hide the evidence a little!) but it looked a bit odd with 6 legs, so I got rid of them. I still don't feel like the design at present is quite right, but I haven't worked out what to do with it.

Mike G wrote:Anyway, this will be a great project, and I'm looking forward to it.


Thanks (as ever) for all the good advice. I'm still feeling very uncertain (for want of a better word) about wood furniture design. The portable workbench I just completed was more of an engineering design project than a woodworking design project so was much more in my comfort zone. Thinking about joinery, wood expansion and (probably most significantly) what might look good is all a bit new to me!
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Re: TV Stand

Postby Dr.Al » 08 Apr 2021, 19:32

Another view that shows what I mean about the alcove a bit better:

alcove.jpg
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Re: TV Stand

Postby AJB Temple » 08 Apr 2021, 19:54

Sorry, but.....TV technology has moved on a long way. For Netflix etc you will eventually want a much bigger screen and far better sound. TV stands are becoming old hat rapidly.

Get a modern TV and hang it on the wall. Top notch, thin, large, flat screen TVs with 4K are now very cheap and will transform your watching experience.

Books last for ever and deserve a beautiful home far more than a TV does.
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Re: TV Stand

Postby Dr.Al » 08 Apr 2021, 20:32

AJB Temple wrote:Sorry, but.....TV technology has moved on a long way. For Netflix etc you will eventually want a much bigger screen and far better sound. TV stands are becoming old hat rapidly.

Get a modern TV and hang it on the wall. Top notch, thin, large, flat screen TVs with 4K are now very cheap and will transform your watching experience.

Books last for ever and deserve a beautiful home far more than a TV does.


I don't watch enough to justify it & have never felt the need to "transform my watching experience". Netflix is fine (and a LOT cheaper at £6 a month) in standard definition. I'd rather have paintings on the wall & the TV tucked in the corner rather than dominating a room like the big ones do.

I've got bookcases all over the house, so I agree on books deserving a a good home, but big TVs are for people who watch way more TV than I do.
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Re: TV Stand

Postby AJB Temple » 08 Apr 2021, 20:53

Are you Scottish by any chance? High def Netflix on a big screen is a whopping extra £3 a month on my deal :lol:

If I could have a wall sized screen and really punchy surround sound I would 8-)
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Re: TV Stand

Postby Pete Maddex » 08 Apr 2021, 21:41

I think a subtle curve to the top and rounded corners would lift it from a mass produced corner unit.

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Re: TV Stand

Postby novocaine » 08 Apr 2021, 21:42

Pete Maddex wrote:I think a subtle curve to the top and rounded corners would lift it from a mass produced corner unit.

Pete


Id also add a chamfered underside of the front edge for the same reason.
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Re: TV Stand

Postby Woodbloke » 09 Apr 2021, 06:35

Tricky one is this. It's clear from your comments Dr. Al that you don't want or desire a bigger televisual unit thingie and fair play to you for that. I personally would never hang one on a wall simply 'cos most people seem to hang them far too high. When you're seated in your favourite arm chair or sofa to watch a film, the centre of the screen should be level with your eyes; if you have to tip your head back even a fraction it'll soon become uncomfortable (basic ergonomics here) Books and prints or paintings are always better than a TV and in my view it becomes far too easy for one to dominate a room; it shouldn't.
Drawers; keep them simple, simple works. Forget corner swivelly things, make them conventionally with or without a centre drawer runner (as I did recently)
Location; it looks slightly awkward to 'shoe horn' a design into that space so I'd go about it very, very carefully and probably make a scale model or even a full size 'lash up' in cheap n'nasty material just to play around with form and function; you and SWIMBO will soon find something that works and more importantly, something that doesn't - Rob
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Re: TV Stand

Postby Woodster » 09 Apr 2021, 10:43

Your CAD drawing looks very similar to the one we bought for one of our TV’s some years ago.

https://www.oakfurnitureland.co.uk/furn ... /5415.html

We still use it but the TV no longer sits on it. We bought a new 50” TV some years ago and it was too close to where we sit, lucky we didn’t get the 55”! As a result I needed to move the TV further back. I happened to have a wall bracket that hadn’t been used for a previous TV so it was pressed into service. I was careful to mount the centre of the TV at head height when we’re sitting down so it all worked out fine.
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Re: TV Stand

Postby RogerM » 09 Apr 2021, 11:23

Dr Al - Here's a link to a TV stand I made a couple of years ago. Different concept, I know, but there may be some ideas you can pinch, even if it only confirms what you DON'T want.

I tend to agree with Adrian though, in that TV technology is changing all the time and I didn't want to build an heirloom that would be completely redundant in a few years time. However, we don't have a conveniently placed wall on which to hang a TV, and in any event we like the screen to be at head height when seated. I have made the stand so that the TV hangs on a wall bracket mounted on a hollow post above the unit, which contains all the cabling, so that it will be able to take any size of TV, within reason, and being firmly attached, it is also grandchild proof.
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Re: TV Stand

Postby Woodbloke » 09 Apr 2021, 11:54

RogerM wrote:Dr Al - Here's a link to a TV stand I made a couple of years ago. Different concept, I know, but there may be some ideas you can pinch, even if it only confirms what you DON'T want.

I tend to agree with Adrian though, in that TV technology is changing all the time and I didn't want to build an heirloom that would be completely redundant in a few years time. However, we don't have a conveniently placed wall on which to hang a TV, and in any event we like the screen to be at head height when seated. I have made the stand so that the TV hangs on a wall bracket mounted on a hollow post above the unit, which contains all the cabling, so that it will be able to take any size of TV, within reason, and being firmly attached, it is also grandchild proof.


I tend to agree with Rog and as I said earlier, we also like to have the TV at head height when seated. Nice also to see a reference to the 'Blokeblog' and in particular what happened, or more the point, what went wrong with that job :D

The AP inspired media unit today is still going strong:

IMG_5549.jpg
(169.82 KiB)


...and hasn't collapsed yet despite a modest upgrade in the TV, but it's not, unlike Rog's, hung on a wall but is free standing on top of the unit. I remember that I built a very poor scale model of this piece to persuade SWIMBO to allow me to build it; she was distinctly dis-chuffed with it but eventually came round to the idea when it was explained to her. When it was finally done she was happy so there were a few brownie points to be gleaned.

Like Rog's idea, there may be some features of this project that you like or could use - Rob
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Re: TV Stand

Postby Dr.Al » 09 Apr 2021, 12:10

AJB Temple wrote:Are you Scottish by any chance? High def Netflix on a big screen is a whopping extra £3 a month on my deal :lol:


That's 50% extra! If I put that money aside for four years or so, I might be able to afford a second-hand router plane at current prices :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Pete Maddex wrote:I think a subtle curve to the top and rounded corners would lift it from a mass produced corner unit.


I've had a play around in the CAD and (assuming I'm understanding what you mean) I agree. Thanks for the suggestion.

novocaine wrote:Id also add a chamfered underside of the front edge for the same reason.


Good point. Just the front edge? For now I've added it all the way round the top in the model. Whether I actually have the skill to make it that way remains to be seen :D

Woodbloke wrote:Tricky one is this. It's clear from your comments Dr. Al that you don't want or desire a bigger televisual unit thingie and fair play to you for that.


We watch at most an hour of TV a day, so having something that dominates our relatively small lounge would seem like a crying shame. I'd rather spend the money that a new TV would cost on something else (for which, read: "more tools").

Woodbloke wrote:Drawers; keep them simple, simple works. Forget corner swivelly things, make them conventionally with or without a centre drawer runner (as I did recently)


I've just gone back to read your thread again. I like the idea of the centre drawer runner.

Woodbloke wrote:Location; it looks slightly awkward to 'shoe horn' a design into that space so I'd go about it very, very carefully and probably make a scale model or even a full size 'lash up' in cheap n'nasty material just to play around with form and function; you and SWIMBO will soon find something that works and more importantly, something that doesn't - Rob


I'm not that worried about this aspect to be honest. I don't think Carolyn will be that fussed exactly what it looks like as long as it's an improvement on what's there at the moment. As I think I mentioned, we're hoping to move house in the not-too-distant future and designing something too specific to that location feels a bit daft in that context.

There's also an unrelated ulterior motive for making this TV stand. In our current house/garage, there's very little space left (we probably should have moved somewhere bigger years ago!) and as I'm trying to improve my ability when it comes to woodwork, I have to consider not just whether I am capable of making something, but where the hell am I going to put the thing when it's finished! Making something that replaces a piece of furniture that we don't like that much seems like a good option.

Woodster wrote:Your CAD drawing looks very similar to the one we bought for one of our TV’s some years ago.

https://www.oakfurnitureland.co.uk/furn ... /5415.html


That looks like a nice unit (probably nicer than whatever I'll end up making by the time I've made lots of mistakes and had to bodge stuff to cover it up :oops: :lol: ). It would probably also be cheaper than making my own (although it would be too big for the space), but where's the fun in that?!

RogerM wrote:Dr Al - Here's a link to a TV stand I made a couple of years ago. Different concept, I know, but there may be some ideas you can pinch, even if it only confirms what you DON'T want.


Thanks, that looks like an interesting thread; I'll have a read through it over the weekend.

RogerM wrote:I tend to agree with Adrian though, in that TV technology is changing all the time and I didn't want to build an heirloom that would be completely redundant in a few years time. However, we don't have a conveniently placed wall on which to hang a TV, and in any event we like the screen to be at head height when seated. I have made the stand so that the TV hangs on a wall bracket mounted on a hollow post above the unit, which contains all the cabling, so that it will be able to take any size of TV, within reason, and being firmly attached, it is also grandchild proof.


I get what you mean about redundancy and heirlooms, but I'm not too worried about either at the moment. I'm not expecting this to be a beautiful work-of-art: it's only my second attempt at a proper bit of furniture after all. I'm doing it as much for the practice and experience as I am for the finished product. I also don't have kids, so who needs heirlooms?!
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Re: TV Stand

Postby Dr.Al » 09 Apr 2021, 12:54

An updated version of the CAD model:

Image


Changes:

  • Rounded top profile rather than 45° angles with fillets.
  • Chamfer under the top edge to make the top look a little lighter.
  • Added chamfer onto two sides of each of the bottom edges of the feet, to match the style of my side table.
  • Set the shelves 10 mm back from the front edge: with wood expansion/contraction, they're never going to be exactly in line, so it seems better to set them back.
  • Filleted (rounded) the side panel joins: this will have to be done by very carefully joining the two boards at just the right angle (and ensuring an accurate edge joint) and then rounding off the join, probably with lots of planing and a bit of sanding.

A few more views of the current version:

Image
Image


Next thing to think about is rails. These are for the shelves and the top to sit on and also to hold the legs square to one another. I need to decide whether they go outside the panels (and are hence on display) - probably not - or inside the panels. If inside the panels, do I move the panels outside (or at least flush with the outside of) the legs (they're currently flush with the inside of the legs) or do I make the rails sit inside the legs?

Alternatively, do I make the rails more of a feature: make them visible around the outside with the panels being shorter sections that go between the rails? All of this also depends on me figuring out what to do with the rails with respect to how they go round the corner in the side panels! One option is to make my life much simpler and make the side panels form a straight line between front and back legs (which might look okay now I've made the top have a curved profile rather than two straight lines). That latter option could make the drawer(s) look a bit odd when they're open though.

Here are a few views of what it might look like with segmented panels and straight rails:

Image


Image
Image


I'm not convinced by this yet to be honest. The rails look a bit weird where they join the back legs (although I could improve this a lot by rotating the back legs by 30°) and to make the panels fit on the (currently 20 mm wide) rails and leave space for the shelves to sit, the panels are only 8 mm thick:

Image
Image
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