Introduction: Jukebox TV Stand
The beginning of this project was simple; I'd like to try my hand at bending wood. I woodwork as a hobby and became obsessed after just a few videos worth of a technique know as kerf bending. The move to a new house and lack of TV stand wrought my latest project; TheJukebox. I have been an "Instructables' frequent reader, without contributing, for many years...As ashamed as I am for that, I am proud to contribute my first. I welcome all criticism so I may contribute as the people see fit in the future...and hopefully more frequently if they will it!
Planning & Materials
The first step was to design the project and gather raw materials. I have included my preliminary blue prints and approximate sizes for reference. I was limited by a wall, a fire place and the fire place ledge so my sizes were based on that. I will not include exact dimensions for each piece of this furniture but discuss the process and hope you can scale it to your space/needs.
~Qty - 2 - 3/4"x4'x8' Plywood - Smoother finish, whiter veneer = less sanding, less paint
~Qty - 1 - 1/2"x4'x8' Plywood - Smoother finish = less sanding, less paint
~Qty - 2 - 2"x4"x8" White Fir Stud - I recommend lighter wood as it takes less primer/paint to cover
~Qty - 12 Toreador Red "Duplicolor" Spray paint
~Qty - 8 Champagne Pearl "Duplicolor" Spray Paint
~Qty - 6 Clear Coat Spray Paint
~Qty - 6 Matte Black Spray Paint
-Qty - 4 Hinges
-Qty - 1 Sheet of patterned metal sheet
-Qty - 2 Magnetic Push Latches
-Qty - 4 Magnetic Latches
Step 1: Exterior Shell
After planning and purchasing I cut the main piece; a 23" wide and 8' long piece of 3/4" plywood. This will serve as the left, right and top of the jukebox as well as both corners which connect these sides. The corners will be continuous by means of a kerf cut bend to give the jukebox a smooth, flowing look. I have shown the kerf cuts and the bend created in the included images.
My two cents
I am no expert on kerf bending, but I'll share what I know. Kerf bending is the process of making many near full depth cuts in a work piece in order to allow it to flex. I set the depth of my circular saw blade to be 1 Ply + outside veneer away from the outside surface of the bend. I used a straight edge as a guide and spaced the cuts about 3 or 4 blade widths apart. The more consistent the kerf spacing, the more consistent the radius of the bend will be.
Step 2: Cut the Base and Attach
While kerf bending I really had no idea what the final base dimensions would be, so I had to measure. Using painters tape I bent both sides of the exterior piece up and taped them across the top to hold them in place. I used a 12" square and adjusted the tape until the sides were perpendicular to the top. I measured the base and cut it out. To attach the base I used wood glue and 18 gauge brad nails to tack it together. This was followed by counter sunk 1.25" screws.
Step 3: Interior Structure
The interior of the jukebox was designed to fit my particular speakers & sound system equipment. The speakers are supported up near the top and will be behind a grill also made in this instructable. I aligned the speakers such that the subwoofer and the two book shelf speakers all had their centers at the same height. The interior cabinet lower spaces are not equal in width or height due to equipment storage concerns. The lack of symmetry between left and right made every step of the project more difficult from here on out, but the ability to store all of the equipment was worth it. All of the sections are attached via wood glue and brad nails.
Step 4: Front and Back
Time to make the front and back of the jukebox which are both constructed from 1/2" plywood. I started by cutting the pieces to approximate rectangular size, tracing the profile, and then rough cutting on the bandsaw. Once rough cut the pieces are clamped to the jukebox and cut to final size with a flush trim router bit. You will have to flush trim between the clamps and move them to complete the process. Please be careful moving the clamps as the piece may move. Finally, make sure you label front and back as they will likely be unique pieces.
I have also included an image of the holes cut in the front piece. I used a jig saw to cut out three holes; one hole for each cabinet door and one for the grill. Each cabinet door was given a 1" surround of plywood as can be seen. The front is mounted via brad nails and wood glue. Please note the image is taken from the back of the jukebox looking forward.
Unfortunately I do not have an image of the back of the jukebox. It is a solid piece of 1/2" plywood with three holes drilled in it for cable routing. The back was painted with a roller and gloss black paint as I had both laying around.
Step 5: Create the Grill
The grill of the jukebox was made using a wooden die and a shop press. I made the male portion of the die 1/8" smaller than the interior of the female portion of the die. In retrospect this may have been too large of a gap but see what works for you! The patterned metal sheet was cut to size, placed in the die, and slowly formed. The image of the grill in the juke box without a wooden frame shows the grill right out of the die. The press and die achieved the bulk of the shape desired, but much hand forming was still required to shape it to the wooden frame. The hand forming was done with a ball peen hammer which both flattened the mounting flanges and curved the corners. The grill was attached to the wooden frame using a staple gun.
Step 6: Fins, Doors & Attaching the Grill
What would a jukebox be without fins? I used the 2x4s mentioned in the materials list to create the fins. I used the pieces with the fewest knots and produced about 5 more fins than I needed. The extra fins were made in case I messed up while flush trimming to a template or noticed a defect after making it (I messed 2 up for what it's worth). I made a simple template fin, and created all of the others with a flush trim bit on the router table. I attached the fins to the jukebox with glue and brad nails. If you are going to make this, I strongly recommend painting the fins first and then attaching as this will save copious amounts of taping & time as there are 20 fins total. I've included images of different fin configurations I tried in case you'd like something different!
The doors are simple rectangles made from 3/4" plywood. Unlike the holes they cover, the doors are the same size to give the exterior symmetry. I used two brass hinges per door. Three fins were attached to each of the doors with brad nails and glue. The push latch hardware will be aligned and added once the front is attached. I utilized thick washers I had on hand to ensure even spacing/reveal. I chose push latches simply because I think they're cool!
Step 7: Assembled, Taping and Paint
Finally the jukebox is fully assembled, and starting to look like a piece of furniture someone can be proud of! I started by painting the interior of the jukebox with three coats of flat black as the paint was cheap and won't often be seen. Next I covered the grill and the cabinet door openings so I could spray primer of the entirety of the exterior. Three coats of primer, followed by sanding with 220 grit, had the exterior smooth and ready for paint. The dust from sanding was removed with an air compressor and then a lint free cloth.
Next I taped the body of the jukebox so the fins and grill could be painted gold. The fins & grill took more coats of gold than I could possibly remember as the color does not cover very well. In the future I'll try a different primer color to see if this helps. With the gold paint applied, I did even more taping, and got to painting red.
The red paint took less coats to cover than the gold, but many to get a good finish. I accomplished this by painting with vertical, horizontal and diagonal spray patterns. I believe it ended up taking 4 coats of red paint total.
The final step of painting was a clear coat. All masking tape was removed and gold and red were clear coated at the same time. This was nerve racking as it can be easily messed up, but turned out good. Everyone says thins coats, but remember it has to be enough to wet out!
Step 8: Moving Indoors and Final Placement
The project was complete and it was ready to move indoors! My brother helped me move it inside and placed it on the fireplace ledge in our living room. The TV was placed on top but with a protective/decorative cloth between it and the TV legs to prevent scratches. I'm very happy with how it turned out, and I hope this instructable helps inspire you to make one of your own!
Step 9: What I'd Do Different Next Time
As you might imagine I'd do things differently if I built a second jukebox. I felt it would be helpful if any of you should decide to embark on this endeavor!
- Paint parts first and then assemble them when possible
- Spray paint cans of car paint are expensive, I'd buy a can of paint and use a spray gun in the future.
- Consistent spacing of kerf cuts is key to getting a good bend.
- Grill is permanently mounted to the jukebox, I'd make it separable in the future.
- Research primer to paint color compatibility to reduce lighter color paint expenses.
- Reduce plywood end grain exposure to exterior as much as possible. This is for smoothness and would allow for staining of the piece if desired.
- Use more magnetic latches on the back piece or more powerful ones. Since my jukebox is against the wall it works, but if it were free standing it would fall off with loud music on.
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