In this instructable I will show you how to create an AV tower (i.e. a piece of furniture to hold home theater components) out of industrial metal products like sheet metal, steel tubing, and gable louvers.

This AV tower was created for a private movie screening room at the California Institute of Technology. It is designed around the principle that the furniture for the screening room should be relatively tamper-proof, sturdy, and really cool looking.

I hope you enjoy this instructable, and better yet, I hope you are inspired to make even more awesome metal creations. I'd like to note that before building this I had absolutely zero metal-working experience, so you don't need a lot of skill--just determination. If you have worked with basic power tools and you have a metal supply shop near by, you'll be good to go.

Also, note that if you know how to weld, welding is preferable to the corner braces I used; but this obviously requires skills that not everyone has.

Thanks for reading this instructable! If you enjoy reading about this tower as much as I enjoyed making it, please rate this instructable 5 :)

Step 1: What You'll Need

Here is an exhaustive list of the things you'll need for this project.

Saw for cutting steel (I used a miter saw with a metal cutting blade)
Jigsaw for creating the steel panels (optional)
Hand Riveter (optional, can use screws, but rivets look cool)


1/2" to 1" steel tubing (I used 3/4"). You'll need 4 5' lengths and 8 2' lengths
1/2" steel angle (basically just an L-shaped right angle. You'll need 2 2ft lengths for each shelf. (I had 4 shelves, so 8 lengths of 2ft)
4ft. x 1" piano hinge
Cost: $95

16ga galvanized sheet metal. You'll need 1 2ft by 2ft sheet, one 4ft by 2ft sheet, 2 1ft by 2ft sheets, and a 2.5ft by 2ft sheet cut into smaller pieces depending on how many shelves you want and their relative heights.
Cost: $70

36 1"x1/2" corner braces (20 for the structure, 4 for each shelf)
8 "Heavy Duty" 2" corner braces
(pics below of both)
Cost: $30

4 2ft by 2ft gable louvers
1 2.5ft by 2ft gable louver
(pic below)
Cost: $170 (note: This includes $55 of shipping. If you can get it locally, you may be able to save a lot)

4 Custom pieces of glass ~2ftx1.75ft (I based the dimensions on these after I had built everything else to get the closest fit possible. I would recommend this)
Cost: $150... again, includes $80 of shipping. Try to get this locally.

A bunch of Screws, washers and Rivets (I used #8 1/2 and 3/4 inch screws with 1/8" rivets)
At least two or three metal cutting blades
Extra drill bits
Foam Tape (for cushioning the glass shelves and metal door), so get about 20-25ft
Cost: ~$40

Lock and Hasp (Optional)
Cost: ~$15

Total Cost: ~$600, although you may be able to do it considerably cheaper depending on resources and time.
What projector is that?
Sorry, I built this setup in 2008 as a job, haven't seen it since so I honestly don't remember.
is that jack black?
Haha, no, sorry.
Cool Stuff!!
Thanks guys, appreciate the nice words :)
Someone needs to build a Dalek with this equipment in it(?) I tell you one thing though, it's not going to be me. Nice build. L
One word. Hardcore. Great job.

About This Instructable




More by tgwinn:Industrial Metal AV Tower (no welding required!) 
Add instructable to: