When I eventually moved into another apartment that had strict rules about mounting things to the walls, I searched the storage room for the box and it was missing.
Was it stolen by someone else looking to replace their lost stand? Maybe it was simply thrown out by someone who thought it was just a useless box, and was too stupid to look inside and realize the contents of the box were of value to the box’s owner. Who knows.
After an angry conversation with the building manager I became resigned to the fact that I would need to purchase a replacement stand. Being a thrifty university student, my main criterion was cost minimization. After all, how could I justify spending a hundred dollars or more on a TV stand while my student loans went unpaid?
Out of curiosity, I contacted Sharp and discovered, like most soulless, big corporations, that the company priced their replacement stands just right so as to extract as much money from people’s misfortune as possible. The stand would have cost me over $350 including shipping and handling—far more than I thought some metal covered with plastic should cost.
So I checked Craigslist and Kijiji and found nothing. I checked E-bay and found a number of after-market stands geared more toward retail businesses. Most of them were designed to go on the floor, not a table, and most of them started at $150-$200—still beyond what I was willing to pay.
It was at this point that I set out to construct my own stand. My decision-making around the design and material selection was simple: it needed to be strong, cheap, and I preferred to minimize waste. As a former carpenter/framer, I considered using wood—the building material I was most used to—but settled on steel angle bar, available at most hardware stores. I got mine from my favorite soulless, big corporation, Home Depot.
I minimized cost and waste by designing a simple yet effective frame stand using a single 10' piece of steel angle bar (with or without holes) and fourteen ¾” length, ½” head bolts, lock washers, and nuts. The tools I required were a pencil, measuring tape, hacksaw, a wrench and a ratchet (two wrenches will do). If you choose to use steel angle bar without holes, you will need a drill and metal drill bit as well.
The total cost was about $35 (including the hacksaw).
The design can be easily adapted to fit any LCD TV. It may not be pretty, but I still consider this to be, in the words of my father the engineer, an 'elegant solution'.
Just follow these three easy steps and you too can free yourself from this conundrum!
Step 1: Preparing the Components
- 1 10’ piece of steel angle bar (with or without holes)
- 14 ¾” long, ½” bolts and nuts
- 28 lock washers (to ensure a tight fit that would not come undone)
- 4 self-adhesive circular felt pads (optional)
Begin by examining the back of your TV to measure the distances between the mounting bolts. All larger LCDs that I've seen have mounting bolts in the TV back for wall mounting. Your TV will need to have mounting bolts for this stand design to work for you.
The screws should line up vertically and will give you the spacing for the holes. I used steel angle bar with holes and found the holes to be sufficiently spaced. The horizontal distance will determine how far apart to space the vertical support. Again, I found that the the holes to be sufficiently spaced.
Use a pencil to mark the angle bar to get the following lengths, ensuring that the the pieces you cut are identical so the holes will line up properly. If you get the steel angle bar without holes, you don't need to worry about this as you will drill them to line up.
- 2 18” lengths for the vertical supports
- 2 10 ½” lengths for the horizontal supports
- 2 7 ½” lengths for the angle (hypotenuse) supports
- 2 16 ¾” lengths for the bottom longitudinal supports (pieces that make contact with the table)
With these measurements, you should end up with a little more than a foot of scrap steel angle bar. If you tweak the measurements, an 8' piece of steel angle bar will suffice (Home Depot only had a 10' piece available).
When you're sure that your measurements are correct, use the hacksaw to cut the pieces to length and you're almost done.
Step 2: Assembling the Components
Now use the 18” lengths for the vertical supports, the 10 ½” lengths for the horizontal supports, and the 7 ½” lengths to form the hypotenuse (angled) brace, and bolt them together. I used lock washers on either side of the steel angle bar to ensure a tight fit that would not come undone.
Below is a photo of what the components should look like when assembled.
Step 3: Final Assembly
To finish it off, you can stick self-adhesive felt pads to the feet to ensure the bolts don't scratch whatever surface you're putting the TV onto.
Et voilà le travail! You're finished and you can now admire your handiwork and thriftiness, and enjoy countless hours of mindless TV viewing like I have been.