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How to Make a TV Lift cabinet

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Do you hate walking into your living room or family room and seeing a huge black TV flat screen dominating your view?   Do you wish that you could just make it disappear when you're not watching?  If so, read on.  We will show you how to build a TV lift cabinet that hides your flat screen TV in a nice looking piece of furniture when you're not watching it.  When you're ready to watch, hit a button on a universal remote and it will rise up out of the cabinet like magic.

This Instructable uses birch plywood and a lift by Firgelli Automation to implement the design.   The TV shown here is a 60" Samsung but could be any modern flat screen.  It includes shelving for your components and drawers to store Wii remotes and DVDs/CDs. 

The step by step pictures show key parts and there are over 40 minutes of video with tips and tricks as well.  The total cost is around $1000... not including your TV.

There is also a set of shelves to go above the lift cabinet listed here:  TV Lift Cabinet - Shelves

 
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Step 1: Video of TV Cabinet operation


This is a video showing the TV Lift cabinet in action.


This video shows how to remove the front panel for access to the inside of the TV Lift Cabinet.

 

 
djopole2 months ago

Hello

When the TV is closing down the lid from the cabinet closed after the tv ? What did you use to do it and how did you do it ? Thank you for a quick respond

ihart (author)  djopole2 months ago
I'm not totally sure I understand your question but the lid closes with a piano hinge and gravity. Home Depot sells the piano hinge. See the videos and pictures.
drose256 months ago
I'd love to build something like this but the dang TVs are never off around here so it would be pointless. :D
ihart (author)  drose256 months ago
@drose25:
One of the reasons I built the lift cabinet was to make it a little harder to watch TV. The TV is down most of the time since when you shut the TV off, it drops back down. If you really want to watch something or play the Xbox, it takes 20 seconds for the thing to come up. My kids don't "default" to it. They will consider other options as well as the boob-tube.
BichonWheels7 months ago
This is exactly what I was looking for. You did a wonderful job! Thanks for posting such an excellent project. I only hope my finished product turns out half as well.
ihart (author)  BichonWheels7 months ago
Thank you! Please post pics of your project and let us know how it works out. The lift cabinet we have is still used a few times a day and is going strong.
MartijnD7 months ago
Nice project! Idea: instead of the infrared receiver hide it in the doorknob. I think I will build a similar construction too. I have the old set-up of an electric projector screen, first measure how much it can lift, second measure tv and rig, add counterweight if needed, get 4 telescopic drawer slides and have bottoms facing each other for stability. The motor/tube has adjustable end-stops so you can set min and max depth via wire-thread movements, or add the sensing switches in the top and bottom positions...
ihart (author)  MartijnD7 months ago
Thanks! If you build a lift cabinet, post some pictures.

re: the IR receiver LED, you could hide it somewhere. I'm not sure a knob is a good place.

re: The make vs. buy decision on a TV lift mechanism, we all need to make these tradeoffs when we build something. The lift mentioned in this instructable can reliably lift and lower a 60" TV. It comes with standard brackets that mount to the TV and cabinet. It has a built in limit and over-current sensors. It has a built in top stop limit which is settable through IR command. It has a microprocessor to handle the IR commands and the limit switches.

It sounds like you would have a very popular Instructable if you can reproduce this lift here in a way that would be easy and inexpensive for others to build.
Leevers9 months ago
Fantastic idea!
French8312 months ago
Looks awsome! Doesnt the cabinet vibrate with your sub inside it?

I had thouts about build a cabinet likes this, but than mount the tv in the back of the cabinet ant the stereo equipment in front of it.
You dont find temperature problems with it like this?

tumbs up!
ihart (author)  French8312 months ago
Thanks for your kudos!

The sub woofer doesn't vibrate at all in there. It does a good job with the low frequencies. That said, I don't crank it all the way up for earthquake type bass.

Re: the temperature question, I've had a few comments about that. I've had it running everyday for almost 2 years now with no component failures. I have a thermometer in the cabinet above the components. It stays around 90degs F most of the time, if the wii or xbox are on, it goes higher. These components are certainly designed to run with an ambient temp of 100 deg F. Many people actually live in temps like that in the summer.

Also, there are many companies reducing cooling for their server farms because the cooling is not needed! For example, read this: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=facebook-leadership-reduces-internet-growing-physical-impact
mr.cletus1 year ago
excellent work!!
ihart (author)  mr.cletus1 year ago
Thanks!
Hi, the Word document generate at this moment an error : 403 Forbidden error. I am using Chrome browser on Windows 7.
ihart (author)  pdesjardins1 year ago
It seems like there was a problem with the Instructables link to the doc. I put it here now and listed it in Step4:
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B9NRwEqGVuzmMm1sNkZJdUhRREE/edit?usp=sharing

Let us know if you build something! Post a picture too.
jumpfroggy2 years ago
I love this build! Are there any viable cheaper alternatives for the lift itself? I wouldn't mind a real cheap tv lift for the end of the bed, but at $500 for the lift itself, I don't think I could justify this for a fun project. Are there any cheaper out there?
I found a complete cabinet with the tv lift unit for under $300 once at a discount furniture store. The cabinet was cheap looking and I was shocked at the cost until I saw the price on just the hardware.
The Project looks great, ihart. It'll be high on my list once the sources for the mech expand and the price becomes reasonable.
ihart (author)  jumpfroggy2 years ago
Firgelli automation seems to own the industry for the lift kits. I actually emailed them about their price. I think that they could sell a ton of these lifts if they would lower it to $200 or $300.

You could certainly make your own with a 36" linear actuator, an encoder to feedback the actuator position an IR interface, a micro-controller such as a PIC or arduino and a small remote control.

I did a quick search and it looks like some Chinese companies are starting to compete in this market. I dont know what their specs are but it would be worth checking out:

http://yy-sx.en.alibaba.com/search/product?IndexArea=product_en&SearchText=linear+actuator+for+tv+lift&fl=y&d_pid=327112280&d_type=sp

Let us know what you find if it looks promising.
Geggo1 year ago
really cool :)
ihart (author)  Geggo1 year ago
Thanks.
EET19821 year ago
So awesome! Great job!
That's so cool.
What remote is that you are using? I really like the looks of it.
ihart (author)  Crook_County2 years ago
The universal programmable remote I use is a Philips ProntoPro NG TSU7000. Here's a good place to get templates for the TSU7000 device: http://www.remotecentral.com/tsu7000/

The Pronto can learn your IR commands from your devices also. I've had mine for a few years now. You can buy them used on ebay for ~$100. Programming It takes some getting used to which is why many people now use Harmony remotes.
Yaka072 years ago
this a stunning project, thanks alot for posting it and taking your time to make it so detialed.
ihart (author)  Yaka072 years ago
Thanks for the kudos!   If you have a minute, please vote for this in the furniture challenge.
j.g.kuster2 years ago
Very nice project, Would like to build one my self as soon as I have found a new house.
I see you glued standard Wood Panel molding to the front, if you have a router you could spare some dollars milling the parts. But if you need to buy the router and bits, it isn't really worth it for 1 project.
Your first instructable, very well done, would like to see more of your work!
ihart (author)  j.g.kuster2 years ago
Thanks for your comments.  I used standard panel molding available at most lumberyards and nailed it into place with a finish nailer. I could have used the router table but in my buy vs. make decision process, the molding went into the buy column... ;-)

Please add some pictures here when you make one!
Attmos2 years ago
ohhhh, I see. Really cool.
Attmos2 years ago
This is really awsome, exactly the kind of thing i love. Kind of has that James Bond feel to it. Where have you put your DVD player, does it pop up too?
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