Introduction: DIY TV Bracket
My wife and I recently bought a new house (had to say goodbye to our old backyard though) and the previous owners were nice enough (?) to leave a couple of TV mounts installed on the walls. They unfortunately did not include the brackets that connect directly to the back of the actual TV sets...
One of these TV mounts was located outside on the patio and I really didn't want to remove it from the brick wall. After figuring out that the mount was an overpriced Rocketfish model, I also didn't want to buy a replacement bracket, but instead opted to make my own out of some steel and bolts from the local hardware store. If I knew how to weld, I would have done that, but for now that is a skill that I'm lacking. So I built this metal bracket with the mindset of a woodworker. If you can build with wood, you can build this.
Step 1: Plan & Cut
The very first thing I did was draw out exactly how this mount was going to look, figure out its dimensions, and where the bolt holes would be drilled. I gathered all of the necessary dimensions from measuring the TV mount that was currently on the wall and from what materials I could find at my local Home Depot.
-  36" x 2" x 3/16" steel plate (used on top and bottom of bracket)
-  36" x 1" square steel tubing (used on sides of bracket)
-  2" x 1/4" bolts + nuts + washers
-  1.5" x 1/4" bolts + nuts + washers
-  rubber washers
-  M6 x 40mm bolts (screw into TV)
-  Spraypaint (black matte Rustoleum)
- Cut the metal plate and tubing to size. You could use a hacksaw for this, but it would take you forever. I don't have an angle grinder (yet), but I did have a metal cut off wheel (similar to this) for my circular saw. Make your marks using a Sharpie according to your plans, clamp the metal to something sturdy, and cut away. I found it useful to take a large file and grind down any burs that were left over after cutting.
- NOTE: Sparks fly like crazy using this type of cut off wheel, so make sure to have safety glasses, ear plugs, gloves, shoes, pants, and long sleeves. I really need to emphasize the long sleeves - my arm hair is still singed.
- When all is said and done (for this particular design) you should have two identical pieces of the steel plate and steel tubing.
Step 2: Drill Bolt Holes
- Take your Sharpie and label all of your pieces (top, bottom, left, right). Then find the horizontal centers of the left and right square steel tubes. Also find the horizontal centers of the top and bottom flat steel plates.
- Using the measurements from your plans, mark where the centers of each bolt hole will need to be. I found it easier to drill the top and bottom plate holes first, then mark the square tubes where the holes fell.
- NOTE: This design is based off a TV with a VESA mount pattern of 200mm x 200mm, which roughly equates to 7-7/8" x 7-7/8".
- If you have a drill press, I'd use it if I were you to make your life much easier. Unfortunately, I don't have one (yet), but was able to use a nail set, small step drill bit, and a cordless drill just fine. A little WD-40 to cool the bit down every now and again is helpful too. All of the holes I drilled through the steel parts into a piece of scrap 2x4.
- Mark where your hole centers are with a nail set. This will help keep your drill bit from walking.
- On the step drill bit I used some tape to let me know at what diameter of the hole to stop drilling.
Step 3: Test Fit & Paint
Before committing to anything, like paint, it's best to test fit your stuff. The way I built this mount lended itself to being a little imperfect.
Everything came together well when I did my test fit, but the sharp-eyed among you will notice something I did not thing about when looking at the bolts that connect the flat steel to the square tubes. 6 of the bolts were intended to go through both sides of the square tubing and through the flat steel, connecting everything together. 4 of those 6 bolts' heads butt up next to the back of the TV and I didn't include space for them. The solution I came up with was to enlarge one side of the bolt holes in the square tubing to allow the head of the bolt to pass through to the inside of the tubing.
Once I did a second test fit to prove everything would come together correctly, I set up a little paint station and covered all of the exposed steel with a black matte finish of Rustoleum. This will hopefully delay the onset of rust.
Step 4: Bolt Together & Hang It Up!
After a couple coats of spray paint, bolt the mount together and attach it to the TV. The way my bracket worked allowed me to then hang the TV from the new mount, add a bolt to the top and bottom of the mount and bracket, call it a job well done.
- For the bolts connecting the mount to the TV, I placed a rubber washer between the mount and the TV.
All in, the DIY mount cost around $20 and a half a day's work.
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