Instructables

Make A TV Cabinet Fit Its Electronics

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Picture of Make A TV Cabinet Fit Its Electronics
This is the only TV cabinet my wife could find to match the other furniture in our living room. She wants all of the electronics components behind the doors on the front, but the DISH receiver is too wide for the shelves inside. This Instructable will show how I moved the center divider to one side and changed the sizes of the shelves.
 
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Step 1: Materials and tools

Picture of Materials and tools
This photo further illustrates the problem. The shelves are a bit less than 16 inches in width. The DVD player in this photo is almost 17 inches in width.

Materials
  • 3/4 inch oak veneer plywood 2 feet x 4 feet
  • solid oak sliced thin for a finished edge treatment
  • yellow wood glue
  • drywall screws
  • stain and varnish
  • masking tape
  • old newspaper
Tools
  • Phillips screwdrivers
  • a block of wood for hammering on finished surfaces
  • hammer
  • chisel
  • table saw
  • electric drill
  • 7 1/4 inch circular saw
  • straightedge
  • "C" clamps
  • squares
  • lead pencil
  • tape measure
  • masking tape
  • hole saw
  • hot glue gun
  • router and veneer trim bit
  • workmate
  • belt sander
  • sandpaper

Step 2: Remove hindrances

Picture of Remove hindrances
I began by laying the cabinet on its back. I wanted to open the two doors completely, but the pulls on the DVD storage drawers would press against the glass in the doors and could break it. Remove the drawer pulls and set them aside.

Step 3: Remove the shelving hardware

Picture of Remove the shelving hardware
The shelving support hardware has a post 5mm in diameter, which is just a few thousandths of an inch larger than 3/16 of an inch. These have a couple of ridges, which make them difficult to remove. I had to run a screwdriver shank through the screw hole and pull with both hands. I needed more shelving hardware, so I bought more conventional 5mm hardware.

Step 4: Remove screws securing the center divider

Picture of Remove screws securing the center divider
The photo shows a view inside the cabinet looking at the underside of the cabinet top. The center divider is attached to a cleat by three short drywall screws. I removed them, but left the cleat in place.
Great Instructable! Very thorough and you end up with something that seems like it came off the showroom floor.
Very nice job Phil.
caarntedd1 year ago
Great solution to a common problem. Furniture not keeping pace with technology. I'll bet there are plenty of people out there who discarded their old cabinets designed for CRT TVs when they purchased huge flat screens. Nice work.
I got a flat screen and did not want to throw out the pretty cabinet my old console was in. I gutted it and put storage for all my dvd's and dvd player and power strip inside. I put the new TV on top, I also needed a sturdy base for the TV. I did not make an instructable sad to say.
Phil B (author)  caarntedd1 year ago
Thank you. We had a CRT TV until very recently. We moved to a new house and got a TV made for digital signals. The cabinet we used might accomodate a small flat screen set, but it would have been impossible to modify that cabinet. This cabinet was much easier because the TV rests on top of the cabinet, not within the cabinet. I simply wanted to present an option some may not have considered. Thank you for looking.
Do you know about Make magazine and makezine.com? You would like. And a great project. Thanks for sharing.
Phil B (author)  Ricardo Furioso1 year ago
I have seen them. Thank you.
bluecor1 year ago
This "bench saw improvised from a lathe" is really interesting. Please post an instructable for making one!
Phil B (author)  bluecor1 year ago
I already did, and you can click on the orange letters in the sentence above that mentions it. You will immediately be taken to that Instructable. But, I have to warn you. I made the first version of that lathe/saw back in the late 1960s and have used it intermittently since without even a scratch, but a number of people were after my skin for presenting a horribly dangerous machine. Most of these are people who have never published an Instructable of their own, but are keenly aware of what is wrong with those published by other people.
BearDown1 year ago
I did something similar a few years ago. From experience: If any of your AV components put out a lot of heat (notably your receiver, power amp, or supplemental surround sound amplifier), you should plan for & add good airflow throughout the cabinet interior, and at least one quiet fan.
Phil B (author)  BearDown1 year ago
Thank you for the comment. The DISH receiver is the most likely source of heat. We have no special sound system components. Thank you for the suggestion about the fan. I plan to monitor conditions as we make use of the TV and the components in the cabinet. (We are out of town for a few weeks.)

I expect a number of people have done something like this. I am also surprised how often a number of readers are completely surprised by something that should have seemed so simple everyone would think of it. You never know who will find benefit in something.
A temperature-controlled fan would be a great Arduino project.
Overkill for an Arduino, when all you need is a simple thermally controlled fan.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/SilverStone-SUSCOOL81-80mm-Ultra-Quiet-Computer-Case-Fan-w-Auto-Thermal-control-/270963665897?pt=US_Computer_Case_Fans&hash=item3f16b16be9#ht_2048wt_1396

Or something similar. Just stick the sensor to the top of the cabinet, and then the fan at the back of the unit near the top blowing out. Pull the heat out the back, and cold air will suck in from the sides. If you want to get fancy...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Cabcool1201-Single-120mm-Fan-Cooling-w-LED-Thermal-Control-for-Home-Theaters-/280917376788?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4167faff14#ht_702wt_1396

(and yes, I realize that this is Instructables and that we like to make things here--but if you are making things that cost more than something that is already made... Might want to re-think the idea of making something.)
Phil B (author)  Spokehedz1 year ago
I think about commercially available cable modems and wireless routers. Those I have seen all use a passive convection cooling by which vent holes at the bottom allow cool air to enter, pick up heat, rise, and exit at vent holes in the top. I did mention I will think seriously about some carefully placed holes in the shelves that allow air to enter through the holes in the back and pass upward through the compartments and out the upper holes in the back. Experience tells me things exhibit quirky behavior when they are too warm, so that should be a good warning.
onemoroni11 year ago
Nice insturctable for repurposing. I see loads of old entertainment centers in the thrift store and many are beautiful pieces of furniture. It is a shame they are not being repurposed and selling so cheap. Peace
rimar20001 year ago
Congratulations, Phil, you always find solutions.

Perhaps I would have cut the dish receiver...!
Phil B (author)  rimar20001 year ago
My wife uses television the way other people use music in the background. I call it video wallpaper. She would get rid of me before she would get rid of her television running in the background while she works. ;-) Thank you, Osvaldo.
You and me are twins, Phil. My wife is equal in that, her excuse is that DirecTV shows the number of an incoming telephone call. Then, all the day the TV is on, with or without audio.
Phil B (author)  rimar20001 year ago
We say, "Women--you cannot live with them, you cannot live without them."
Dezri1 year ago
Nicely done! I am afraid that it would be a much harder job with a cabinet I had built.
Phil B (author)  Dezri1 year ago
Thank you. You must build your cabinets in a very sturdy fashion.
Dezri Phil B1 year ago
Yes, I had a great teacher!! He expected a lot as did our customers!
chobbs19571 year ago
Keep 'em coming, Phil! This is very practical.
Phil B (author)  chobbs19571 year ago
Thank you. I like practical Instructables.
Very nicely executed project my friend, well done!
Thank you, Steli.
iceng1 year ago
I concur Well Done,  and far beyond my framing abilities...

A
Phil B (author)  iceng1 year ago
Thank you.
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