Introduction: Custom TV Speaker, Streaming Device, Power Strip, Shelf & Cable Hider

About: I am an explorer and hacker, using my scientific curiosity to understand the "how" of customer and business challenges. I apply 20 years of business strategy, entrepreneurship, digital media and pate…

I have been looking for a way to mount my TV to the wall while hiding all the various components and cables. I wanted a swing mount that had a shelf attached, but those were nearly nowhere to be found. I also wanted to get my speakers up and out of the way. The various mounts and shelving systems were all pretty expensive while not really giving me what I wanted (not too mention my VESA mount size was not widely available). I resolved to stand my TV on a shelf in our basement, but I still had the same shelf, mount, hiding components and cables issues to contend with. I decided that I could probably design and build my own, simple mounting and organization system for less than buying various ill-designed components. I would imagine that anyone who has a TV with mount holes on the back could replicate a similar solution as mine.

Step 1: Get Your Measurements, Parts & Tools

Take Some Measures:

  • Determine the thread type for your mount holes by referring to the owner's manual (search for your model online and you'll probably find it).
    • I used a caliper to measure the depth of the hole to where the thread started and made a note of this, since we'll later need to add about the same amount for thread depth and some additional length to account for mountain bar/bracket thickness.
  • Measure the distance between holes
  • Estimate the approximate length of the top bar spanning across the rear of your TV for speaker mounts
  • Measure the length of another cross bar on the rear mounted to the bottom holes, long enough so they cross bar will not be visible
  • Measure the approximate height of the back of the TV where shelf mount brackets would be positioned. I wasn't positive how I would mount a shelf, but knew there a variety of hardware options I would need to check out.
  • I have an older Harman Kardon Soundstick speaker set, but they are simply amazing and I wanted to keep them. They have no mounting holes but a movable base ring. I was able to find another user online who used a pipe mount to hold the ring in a mounted position and used this ideas as inspiration. I measured the ring diameter and the size of the tweeters themselves, in case I could find a better alternative mounting method.

Get the Parts:

  • (1 to 2) 90 degree Angle Perforated Zinc bar - I knew these existed and the variety of holes would be super flexible for what I needed. I purchased a 72 inch piece and cut it to accommodate the 2 horizontal lengths I needed on the back of my TV.
  • (2) Slotted metal shelving brackets - I knew these existed too, for mounting shelving to walls. I was lucky enough that Rubbermaid made the exact length and black color I needed.
  • (2) shelving supports - for use with the brackets. Buy the kind with holes for using screws to mount.
  • (1) Shelf - I needed at least 9 inches to accommodate my sub woofer. (not pictured)
  • (4) Rear TV mount bolts - I bought various lengths since I wasn't positive what would be ideal. Bring your caliper to the store if you want to measure and purchase the precise length.
  • (2) Clamps - I needed 2 clamps to hold my speakers and the exact size wasn't available, so I bought a few styles and sizes in the electrical department.
  • (2) Bolts & Nuts - To mount the speakers. Size depends on your speakers requirements.
  • (6) Washers - I purchased these to accommodate the various hole and bolt sizes used for mounting the brackets and speakers.
  • (4) Sheet metal screws - to attach your shelf to the supports; the length you need will vary, but the store suggested sheet metal over wood screws for my use.
  • Variety of zip ties or velcro to attach everything.
  • I have a variety of cable covers and outlet boxes because I wanted to recess the plug to prevent my kids from pulling on while hiding everything.

Gather the Tools:

  • Tin snips - to cut the slotted bar
  • Metal file to smooth the cut and corners (not pictured)
  • Drill and various bits to modify the four bars on the rear
  • Marker to estimate hole and cut locations
  • Wrench and/or screwdriver to tighten bolts

Step 2: Prep & Modify Your Materials

  • Hold the zinc flat bar up horizontally to the back of your TV with speakers attached on one end and use a bolt to mount the hole closest to the speaker so your speaker is positioned where desired.
    • Note that my holes were not a perfect match, so I needed to mark where to widen the hole with a drill.
    • I also noted where I'd like to mount my other speaker and marked the point where to cut the bar

My cuts and holes were pretty rough, so I used a file to smooth the edges for safety.

  • For the vertical shelving, I followed a similar approach and lined up the top hole of the bar with the TV hole, positioning it for the desired shelf height.
    • I marked the bottom hole for drilling as well.
    • I did not need to cut the vertical mounting brackets because they were purchased at the proper size.

Step 3: Assemble the Support Structure

  • Because I used a 90 degree flat bar, it made the most sense to mount the shelving brackets under the flat bar closest to the TV.
  • I simply started at the top and mounted both pieces with the two bolts. Because I modified the holes, I used a larger washer as well to ensure a snug hold.
  • The bottom bracket was attached in a similar fashion.

Step 4: Attach Speakers

  • Mounting my Soundstick speakers was quite simple. The rubber coated ring worked the best for holding the speakers tightly in place.
  • I used some simple bolts, washers and nuts to mount on each end.

Step 5: Attach the Shelf

  • My support brackets each came with 2 holes which required 2 differing screw lengths.
  • Holding the shelf positioned where I wanted it, I was able to insert the drill and make a small mark (the holes were quite small and deep).
  • After drilling the marks, I completed the drilling half way through the board.
  • I then removed the shelf support brackets and screwed them onto the board before reattaching the shelf.

Step 6: Attach and Plug Everything In

I attached all the other devices: Chromecast, Roku, power strip and subwoofer. Then I coiled up the cables for each and used zip ties to attach. You could easily use velcro straps or something similar to secure cables.

I also had some safety supports on hand that "attach" the TV to the wall, so no one knocks it off.

Finally, you'll note that these two pictures differ only in the power strip used. I started with the larger unit on the left, which easily accommodated the varied plug sizes and directions. However, when I placed the TV on my shelf, the plugs hit the wall, preventing the TV from sitting flush. I swapped out the power strip so the plugs pointed down and allowed full use of the shelf with minimal overhang.

While I still have plenty of room to attach other items to the rig, it was surprisingly heavy with everything attached.

I've been using it for a week now and love it!

Shelving Contest 2016

Participated in the
Shelving Contest 2016