How to Build a DIY TV Lift Cabinet

Introduction: How to Build a DIY TV Lift Cabinet

About: We are a family of six who left the city to live and grow on 20 acres. We like to make things and reuse things and build from the land. Enjoy!

This project plan describes step-by-step how to build a custom TV Lift Cabinet with an integrated lift mechanism to lift the TV from the cabinet.

Before building this project be sure to watch our companion video for this build along with several other "YouTube Maker" TV Lift Build videos at Be sure to measure your TV and purchase the correct size lift mechanism (available at

In terms of woodworking projects
this is a fairly simply project without drawers or shelves. You could customize it to fit your design preference, for example you could use nicer hard woods and stain it, you could dress it up with reclaimed wood instead of MDF. There are countless ways you could build on this design foundation to make a custom design of your own.


32.5" TV Lift Mechanism (available at

Poplar 1"x6"x96" - 2 each

1/4" Plywood 4x8 - 1 Sheet

3/4" Plywood 4x8 - 2 Sheets

1/2" MDF 4x8 - 1 Sheet

3/4" Larger than 17" x 50 3/4" (lid board)

3/8" Stop Molding 8' lengths - 6 each

1 5/8" Construction Screws, 1 1/2" Pocket Screws

1" & 1 5/8" Brad Nails

Wood Glue, Paintable Wood Filler

Piano Hinge

White Primer/Paint and Wood Stain

Step 1: Go Through the Cut List

It will give you a clear idea about what to expect in this project. The cut list does not include the dimensions for the 3/8" stop molding used alongside all styles and rails (pictured below). We suggest you measure each for a nice fit. You could optionally use 3/8" quarter round.

Step 2: Build the Face Frame

The face frame is built with poplar cut to size. Our cabinet will be painted so poplar is a fair choice.

The frame rails and styles are joined with glue and pocket screws.

Tip: If you plan to instead stain your cabinet, consider using a harder wood.

Step 3: Build the Cabinet Body

The body of the cabinet is built with 3/4" plywood cut to size and attached with glue and construction screws.

Step 4: Attach the Face Frame to the Cabinet Body

Attach the face frame to the inside of the cabinet body (front) using glue and construction screws. Consider using some nailing brads to temporarily hold it in place before you drill, glue and install construction screws.

Step 5: Attach Side Rails and Styles

Rip and cut the MDF down to size.

Note: The side styles are 3 inches wide. All other styles and rails are 3 1/2". The front and back styles will overlap the side styles by 1/2". Once painted, the side styles will appear to be 3 1/2" wide with this overlap. The styles are attached with glue and 1" brad nails.

Step 6: Attach Front and Back Rails and Styles

Rip and cut the MDF down to size.

Notice part J is an inside panel holder which needs to be attached to hold the front panel in place. The rails and styles are attached with glue and 1" brad nails.

Step 7: Attach Base Trim

Rip and cut the 1/4" plywood to size for the base trim (N). Optionally you could use a decorative trim board or hardwood here depending on your design preference.

Step 8: Build the Front Panel

First cut the large insert part of the panel (K) and make sure it fits inside the front frame. Then use the edge of a metal square (or a 1/8" spacer) to mark a pencil line all the way around the opening. This will give you a gap and exact location to attach the faux doors with a nice reveal.

Step 9: Panel Holder Grabs

Cut two small pieces of wood and drill oversized screw holes in each. These will rotate around and allow the front panel to be secured into place.

Step 10: Attach Stop Trim Mold

Measure to fit and miter cut stop trim molding for the inside of each MDF style and rail. Optionally you could use 3/8" quarter round or another style 3/8" trim of your choice.

Step 11: Attach Top Trim Mold

Rip down the poplar to 1 3/4" and cut to size. Glue and attached with brad nails. We miter cut the corners.

Step 12: Install Lift Mechanism

Reference the lift mechanism installation directions. In our case we simply mounted the lift mechanism's bottom and top screws and ensured a 1/8" gap between the lift and lid, on the top.

Step 13: Stain the Lid

We stained a large edge glued pine board for the lid but we'd suggest a harder wood or a laminated lid. The lid overhangs the front and sides but is flush with the rear cabinet wall where the hinge is installed.

Step 14: Optional Reversible Face Panel and Legs

Optionally you could create a secondary design on the inside of your face panel. Be sure to watch the full video at to see how we built our reversible face panel. We also optionally added 1.5" tall legs cut from 4x4 lumber. We cut a 1.5" hole for the cord with a hole saw.

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    2 years ago

    Nice advert. Perhaps be a little more subtle next time.


    2 years ago

    Very nice, looks super useful too!