Introduction: Hide Your TV Behind a Rotating Door
I started off with a built-in older style TV cabinet that was designed for a rear projection TV. It was much deeper then needed for a flat panel TV. We wanted to have a system where the TV was not visible all the time for two reasons. One, the morning winter sun hits that location and would damage the screen over time. Two, we wanted the TV out of sight when not in use.
The cabinet opening is 50” tall, 44” wide and 28” deep with a ~1 inch inside lip on the sides and top. I needed to find a way to hide the TV that did not take away any of the width as the TV is nearly as wide as the opening. For this reason, doors that slid in along the side were out, as they would use up about 2 inches per side. I decided to go with a rotating door. (See pictures.) Note: For this type of system to work, the depth of the cabinet must be greater than half the width of the rotating panel.
Step 1: Parts List
2- Ball Bearings – (bolt flange unit - Dayton # 4X730, ordered from Walmart on-line)
1- Stainless steel tube 15/16” od x 49” 11 ga (Discount Steel – It might have been thicker sidewalls than needed)
1- Cabinet door (Panel) with no predrilling
(I ordered the panel from rawdoors.net. After paying shipping it was about the same as being made locally. If I were to do it again I would go local.)
2- Lower cabinet doors
4- 170 degree hidden hinges – for lower cabinet doors. (Blum 170 Degree Face Frame Hinge)
1- 1” X 6”x4’ board (I used poplar and then painted it to match the cabinet)
1- TV wall mount (Must allow TV to sit about 1 inch from wall to allow for tube to run behind.)
8 - 3/4” U-shaped wall pipe clamps
3- 1” X 4” by 4’ board
2- 1” X 4” by 12” board
8- bolts plus wood (flush mount) nuts
3 - Cabinet door handles
2 – Magnet (Stanley National Hardware BB8174 Magnetic Cabinet Catch}
Assorted other fasteners
Step 2: Size the Panel
The width needs to be measured very accurately. You want the panel to be no more than a ¼ inch smaller than width of the opening. The height needs to be about 5 inches less than the height of the opening to allow for wire slot.
My panel came in slightly larger than I had ordered and I planed the edges to fit. I used a wood plane and a straightedge. I wanted only 1/8” clearance on each side. Any more than that and the gap becomes obvious. If your opening is out of true by more than a 1/16 of an inch you may want to correct that before sizing the panel. (The 1/8-inch gap on each side allows room for some expansion in the different seasons.)
Step 3: Adding Rear Supports and Additional Hardware.
You will need three crossbars on the backside for support and to give you something to mount all hardware to.
Use 1 X 4’s for these supports. One support should be the same width as the panel and the other two supports should be 3/4” longer than the panel width. This allows you to use these support boards as a stop in each direction of rotation.
Two of these supports will be used to hold the TV wall mount hardware. Install TV wall mount to two of the support boards using flush nuts on supports as shown. (Flush nuts are used to give minimum clearance between supports and panel.) Make sure the mounts are centered with the panel, not necessarily with the boards. I used 8 bolts instead of the recommended 4 for additional strength. (See picture.)
Decide where you want your TV to be located on the panel. Use this to determine the desired height for these two boards. Remember, you will need to make sure the TV, once mounted, is not too high or low for your needs. The third board will be mounted below where the bottom edge of the TV will be.
Mount supports using both wood glue and wood screws. Align all three supports with the edge of the panel that spins out, toward you. Two of the supports will stick out past the other edge of the panel. These will be used to stop the rotation of the panel.
Once these three supports are in place, two smaller boards are needed to attach the panel to the tube. These boards can be 1 X 4’s cut to about 1 foot long. These two boards are attached to the panel in the center, one at the top and the other at the very bottom of the panel. (See picture.)
I added a small shelf above the small bottom board to hold my Apple TV. Two holes were drilled into this shelf, one for the tube and the other to feed the wires through. (See picture.)
Once all the wood is in place, remove the TV mounting bracket. Paint the wood. I painted both sides of the panel to match the opening.
The rear or TV side of the panel can be painted a dark color to give TV a dark surrounding. This may improve viewing.
Reattach the TV wall mount hardware.
Find center of panel at top and bottom and mount tube, running along center axis. (See picture.) Tube should extend about ½ - ¾ inch above top of panel. Use the u-bracket mounting hardware and make sure it holds the tube very securely.
To hold the panel in the closed position attach a cabinet flush mount magnet to the end of the support board that is not sticking out past the edge of the panel. This magnet is mounted so that it sticks out past the edge of the panel with the magnet facing the front of the panel. A steel plate will be placed on the inside lip of the opening to line up with this magnet after the panel is installed. This magnet makes contact when the panel is in the shut position and holds it in place.
Attach a metal plate to the back side of one of the supports that sticks out past the edge of the panel. This will be used to connect with a magnet mounted on the inside of the cabinet when the panel is in the open position.
Step 4: Installation of Panel (Requires Two People)
You now need to install the bolt flange units (ball bearings). Mark the center axis of the opening at the top and bottom of the cabinet. Attach the bolt flange units to each end of the tube. With one person inside the cabinet and the other one outside, place panel in opening and center it. Align panel with front of opening. This should be how you want the panel to be when it is closed. Once in place, have person on inside mark holes for bolt flange units.
Note: Top of panel needs to be close to upper lip of opening but final adjustments can be made later.
Remove panel and drill holes in center of oval makings. Put panel back in place and install bolts to hold bolt flange units in place.
Check rotation and make needed adjustments.
Panel should be about 1/8 of an inch from each side and top of opening.
To lengthen shaft, loosen hex bolts on flange unit at top or bottom to adjust.
Step 5: Closing Up the Bottom
Once panel is in place, it is time to close up bottom wire slot. (See picture)
Cut a 1 X 6 to the width of the opening in your cabinet. Measure space from bottom of panel to bottom of opening. Subtract 1/16 inch from this measurement. Trim the width of the 1 X 6 to this width. This should give you a 1/16 – 1/8 inch gap between the bottom of the panel and this board when it is installed. Place board in place and make sure panel rotates freely.
Once sized, the board should be mounted flush with front of opening. Use wood putty to fill in all cracks then paint to match the panel. Note: This bottom board is very important to allow an opening for cables and wires to feed up to your TV.
Step 6: Installing Final Hardware
Spin the panel around to the desired open position. This should be where the back side of the panel is parallel to the opening. On the side wall of the cabinet, mark the front edge of each of the two long support boards.
Measure the distance between the inner lip of the cabinet and the mark for the board without the steel plate. Cut a 1 X 4 to this length. Secure this board to the inside of the cabinet wall. This board well keep the panel from rotating too far. The long support will stop the rotation when it comes in contact with this board.
Next mount a magnet on the inside of the cabinet wall with the front of the magnet aligned with the mark made in front of the board with the steel plate. The magnet should be facing the back of the cabinet. This will allow the panel to “lock” in the open position.
On opposite side of opening, install a steel plate on the inside lip of cabinet to line up with the magnet that will be used to keep the panel closed. With the two magnets, one on each side, the panel will stay in the desired position.
Install a handle on the outside of the panel on the side that is to be pulled open. Add a surface mount handle on inside of panel for closing.
Step 7: Install the TV (See Picture)
Mount the TV and any other components to the rear of the panel. Be sure the TV is centered. Make sure the panel rotates freely, without any items hitting lip of opening. Note: TV needs to be near pole, as the farther it sticks out from panel, the more likely it will hit when rotating panel.
Run wires and cables to center, close to the tube. This puts the least amount of wear and tear on the wiring. Bundle wires and cables together.
I also mounted my speakers on the support board just below the TV and placed the receiver on the shelf with the Apple TV.
Step 8: Finishing Cabinet (optional)
I had shelves below the TV cabinet that I wanted to enclose as well. I also wanted to hide the wide board that covered the wire slot. I ordered custom cabinet doors. I measured the door fronts as you would for any other cabinet, except I measured the height to within ~1 inch of the bottom of rotating panel. This covered up the shelves as well as most of the added board. Also I had to have the top hinges located about 7 inches down from the top of the doors in order to be placed inside the open shelf area.
I painted these doors to match the panel. Then mounted the cabinet doors and installed handles.