Introduction: $400 LCD Articulating Bracket on the Cheap
I just bought a Sony Bravia 46" LCD TV & want to mount it to the wall, but can't see spending $400 for the one I need. I scrounged up some spare material, & started cutting. I lucked up & had some left over aluminum & the ability to weld it together. You can use mild steel just the same, it will just be heavier. Also, the sizes & thicknesses I used are mostly overkill, but it is what I had & the price I like (free).
***ubiquitous safety warning***
I am not responsible if your t.v. & or your wall fall into your room & destroy your purrty new bluray player or your kitty or your grandma's 100 yr old oriental rug. Got it? If you can't weld, find someone who can, not someone who says they can, someone who can. If you're using tools, you'll probably get hurt sooner or later, don't come crying to me. Just suck it up & hit the other hand to forget about the first one.
Also, make sure you use the right bolts to go into the right material when you attach it to the wall. Do some research.
Step 1: Tools & Materials
Ironworker (completely optional-makes some of the above easier)
1" OD tube (w/ 1/8 wall thickness)
E (4) 4" long
C (1) 5" long
F (1) 10" long
PLATE 3/8" thick
D (2) 4x5 1/2
A (1) 4x10
B (2) 2x2 1/4
(2) 1x1 3/4
THREADED ROD 3/4" Diameter (each has 2 washers & 2 nuts)
(2) 9 1/2" long
(1) 8 1/4" long
(1) 11 1/2" long
(2) 13" long
Not sure if this is more or less confusing than it should be, but I labeled most of the parts w/ letters above & in the image notes.
Step 2: Drilling, Cutting, Grinding. . .
Now that we've got most of the pieces cut to length, don't forget to cut & grind them into the shapes that you want . . .
I took a large sheet of paper & taped it to the back of the t.v. & colored in the holes to get an approximate length, then matched the holes in the angle to them. Sure beats lugging your t.v. into the shop. . .
The hardest part is making the 2 angles match EXACTLY opposite of each other, but it will work w/ a little patience.
The large holes were 13/16" (just big enough for the threaded rod to go through).
Step 3: Assembly
At this point you weld the plates to the tubes, making sure they're centered.
When you've got them all welded, you can assemble them.
The way it works is the tube is 1" OD (outside diameter), w/ a .120 wall thickness. This is just under 1/8" (.125). That gives us just over 3/4" inside diameter, which allows our 3/4" threaded rod to slide inside & rotate around. One nut is welded to the rod, & the other is left free. When you get everything in place, you can tighten down the loose nut & it will cinch the 2 tubes together so they won't rotate.
Before you weld on the tube that lays horizontal, make sure you attach the angles to the t.v. & measure between them. If that tube is too long, your angles won't fit, & if it's too short, you're probably going to rip the nuts out of the back of your t.v. (not a good thing).
Step 4: Mounting to the Wall
Time to drill some holes in the wall. Before you start this step you HAVE to know what kind of wall you are dealing with. If it is a block wall it will most likely be hollow, so you should get some sleeve anchors (here are the specs for the ones I used) or other hollow anchoring system of your choice. If it's a stud wall, then obviously, something going into wood is needed. DO YOUR RESEARCH!!! You do NOT want these to pull out of the wall.
The basic concept of the sleeve anchor is you drill a hole, hammer the bolt into said hole, & tighten the nut. As the nut tightens, it tries to pull the bolt out through the hole. The back end of the bolt is flared & forces the sleeve to expand & dig into the block. The bolts I used are rated for somewhere between 1150 & 2000 lbs EACH. So, as long as my t.v. doesn't weigh any more than 4 tons, I think I'm okay. NOTE: Sony recommends you figure your bracket & bolts to hold 4x what the t.v. weighs. I'm known @ work to be the king of overkill.
Also, keep in mind, the baseplate I used will not fit on a stud, it's too wide. I did this project @ the same time I was remodeling my living room, so I had access to the block before I replaced the drywall. It's funny, I could have done an instructable on hanging/finishing drywall, but was so amped to get my t.v. on the wall, that I forgot until just now.
Next, I cut out part of the box to make sure I was putting the bracket in the right spot. Much lighter & safer than using the real t.v.
After I drilled my holes & cranked down the bolts, I hung on it. If it holds me, it will hold the t.v. w/o a problem. I also put my 7 year old up on it. I wish I could've gotten a picture of that.
I left the cardboard t.v. up for a few days. . . the carpet guys thought I was crazy.
Step 5: Finishing
Now that it's built, it's time to put some finish on it. I wasn't sure whether I wanted to buff it up & clear coat it for that brushed satin look, or powder coat it, or paint it fancy w/ some automotive paint. Since I was in a hurry to get that t.v. hooked up, I decided spray paint would be the most ideal choice. The bracket mounted to the t.v. looks really red in this picture. That is the primer showing through. My kids helped paint it, so it's not the best job, but it doesn't look nearly this red in real life.
Also, you can't see any part of the bracket unless you stick your head under the t.v. so it really doesn't matter.
Step 6: Installing
One of the great things about hanging the t.v. to the wall is the clean look. So why be forced to look @ all the wires? I cut 2 holes for a cable chase & drilled an extra screw inside the wall to hold the fishing line.
Here's the trick. . . You can use fishing line, cotton string, or anything similar. I used fishing line, b/c that's what I had. If your holes are offset like mine, tie something magnetic like a nut or washer to the end of your line, & drop it down the top hole. Use a magnet to grab it & pull it to the bottom opening. Now you have just fished your line to connect the 2 holes.
Here is the important part. . . Pull enough extra line so that you can tie each end to it's respective screw (that I mentioned earlier) & a loop in the middle that can travel from top to bottom. Basically, it needs to be a little more than twice as long as the hole spacing. If you do this correctly, you just put your cable through the loop & pull the string from the other hole, until you have your wire up. Next time you need to add a wire, repeat. You'll never have to to fight your cables again.
Once you have part of your bracket attached to the wall, & the other part to your t.v., it's time to make your bolts. 3 people is ideal. My wife & I did it by ourselves, & it was nerve racking to say the least. Once you get your bolts connected, move it into place & crank them suckers down!!! Then you can unpucker your. . . oh wait, this is a family site. ;)
Make sure you crank down the bolts. Especially the horizontal bolt that is @ the t.v. It adjusts the vertical tilt of the screen, & I didn't tighten it down quite tight enough the first time & over the course of 15 hrs it slowly sagged until the bottom corner was touching the wall. I pulled it back up & tightened it as much as I could. That fixed it. I still need to tweak some things, but the cool thing about this bracket is that you can rearrange how the pieces connect & raise or lower the t.v. I plan on doing that when the speaker behind the t.v. starts to bother me.
One more thought. I was a lil nervous when I first put it up, b/c the bracket was fully extended & the t.v. wobbled quite a bit. Once I pushed it closer to the wall & folded the plates, they stiffened up A LOT.
I did have to buy the sleeve anchors, so the final cost was a whopping $9 for this bracket that would have cost close to $400. And if you take into acct that I designed it while I was working, I actually probably made money on the deal. . .
I'm done. Enjoying my t.v. This is my first instructable, so be gentle. . .