TV Lift Cabinet - Shelves




Introduction: TV Lift Cabinet - Shelves

About: I'm an Electrical Engineer with "engineer disease." I need to always be making, fixing or learning about something.
Our TV Lift Cabinet listed here is still working great.   I wanted to add shelves above the lift cabinet so that when the TV is in the down position, we can see our family pictures and display our book collection.   The shelves also will serve as a place for our center channel speaker and an IR sensor which is used to repeat the IR signal from our remotes to the electronics buried inside the TV Lift Cabinet.

Because of the situation in our room, I chose to put the shelves flush to the right side of the TV cabinet.  The design might actually look better with the shelves centered on the TV Lift Cabinet.  You can easily modify the plans to do this. 

The shelves are all constructed of birch plywood.  There is 1x poplar trim used on the front of the vertical boards.   They are glued and nailed.   There is a crown molding applied to the top.  The plywood, poplar, base cap and crown molding was purchased at the Home Depot.  The 1" x 1/4" trim molding is the same as what was used in the TV lift cabinet and is from a local lumber store.

Some of the equipment needed to build this:
  • Titebond wood glue
  • A framer nail gun and compressor
  • Table saw, compound miter saw, scroll saw

Step 1: The Plans

I'm not doing a detailed word document set of plans here because well...these are just shelves and don't have moving parts like the TV Lift Cabinet base unit did.  These are the sketches I used to build it.    All that time in high school drafting classes led to this.

Step 2: Build the Carcass

This is the parts list and cut sizes:

# of pieces  Part# CommentsSize
2                      A             Vertical               51" x 11.25" (3/4" Birch Ply)
1                      H             Top                     76" x 11"
3                      B             Horizontal          76" x 9.5"
1                      D             Stile#1               47" x 2"
2                      E             Rail                     1.25" x 2"
1                      F             Stile#2                47" x 1.25"
1                      G             MidRail              8" x 2"
8                      J             MidShelfSupport 12"" x 8.75"

2                      -              Recessed Left panels  8.5" x 25" (1/4" birch ply, check this)
2                      -              Backer boards     76.5" x 25" (1/4" birch ply, check this)

3                      C             Face                   51" x 1.5" x 3/4" (Poplar)
4                      K             MidShelfFace     12" x 1.5" x 3/4" (Poplar)

-                      -             Crown Molding    4" x ~96"
-                      -              panel Trim molding           1" x 1/4" x ~135"
-                     -               Shelf Base Cap molding  1.25" x 3/4" x ~320"

Step 3: Build the Recessed Panel

We'll start out by building the left side recessed panel.

Get pieces, D, E,F and G.   Assemble them as you did the big front panel in the TV lift cabinet.  This involves cutting 1/8" wide Dados in all the pieces so they can hold 1/4" plywood.  After the Dados are cut, slide in the 1/4" plywood pieces.   Glue and nail all the joints and let it dry.

Cut the 1/4" x 1" trim molding to trim the recessed panel openings as we did in the TV lift cabinet.   So, there would be a total of 8 pieces of this small trim cut and glued into the recessed panels. For some reason, I forgot to take a good picture of the molding but it looks like the painted one below from the TV Lift Cabinet.

Glue and nail this panel assembly to one of the A pieces.

Glue and nail on the front poplar piece C.

Step 4: Scribe the Left Recessed Panel to the Wall

If the wall behind the shelves is irregular, you will need to scribe and trim  the back piece of the recessed left door panel.   To do this, hold the panel to the wall near where it will go.   Use the scribe tool shown to mark a line along the back of the piece.   Cut this piece out and sand to make the piece line up with he back wall.

Step 5: Install the RIght Side Poplar Trim

Our Shelves go in the corner.   We needed to trim them to the wall on the right side.  If there are irregularities in your wall, you need to scribe the right side poplar piece to match the irregularity and then cut it on a scroll or jig saw.   To do this, Bring the shelving unit up and place it on the TV Lift cabinet. 

Hold the poplar piece to the wall so it is plumb vertiacally and aligned witht he vertical shelf member on the left.

Use the scribe tool like the one I show in the picture to make your line.

Cut the scrap out, sand and test.

When it is right, glue and nail the right poplar piece on.

Step 6: Build the Shelves

Make sure to dry fit everything.    Remember that there is a 1/4" thick backer board going in.  There is a 3/4" deep shelf molding on the front of each shelf.  Look at the pictures and mock everything up.

After you've made your cuts, it's time to assemble, glue and nail.  Start with the shelves.  Put together parts A, B, H.

Next assemble the mid shelf support units.  Each one includes 2 J pieces and 1 piece of K (Poplar).   These are attached between the shelves and centered.

Step 7: Apply the Shelf Molding Trim

The basecap shelf molding will be applied to the front of the 3 shelves.   It will also be applied to the underside of the top as shown in the picture.

Cut and apply the shelf 1.25" x 3/4" basecap molding as shown in the pictures.  Remember to cut it slightly long and snap it into place by pulling it out in the center as you insert the long pieces in.  

Step 8: Install the Backing Board

We can add the backing boards now.  since the dimensions of this shelving unit are 79" x 51" I had to use 2 sheets of 1/4" plywood.   If yours is less than 48" high, you can use 1 piece.

Install the backing boards.  They should be recessed into the cabinet back to allow room for the wires to travel down the "false" back.  Glue and nail.

Step 9: Apply the Crown Molding

Find the instructions that came with your  compound miter saw and find the part that describes how to cut crown molding.  Read up on this and test some cuts to make sure you know how to properly cut the crown molding with your saw.

Cut the crown molding and make sure it will be flush to the back left edge and flush to the right edge walls. 

Take the crown molding pieces, apply glue to the joints and nail the joint.   While they are still drying but nailed, apply them  to the front of your shelving unit with glue and nail them into place.   It should look like the picture below.

Step 10:

The finish: 

Spackle all holes.   Sand all surfaces with 100 grit sandpaper.  Lay down plastic and newspaper.   Apply 2 coats of a paint with primer.  Apply 2 coats of MinWax water based polyurethane.  See picture.

When this is dry, install your shelves.  Placed them on top of the TV Lift cabinet.  Drill a hole for your center speaker and IR repeater in the backer board.   I picked a high shelf bottom corner.  Snake the wires down through the back of the shelf and into the TV Lift Cabinet.

to prevent the shelves from ever falling over, I put a screw through the backing board of a high shelf to secure it into a stud on the wall. See picture.

I hope you enjoy building this.  Again the original TV Lift Cabinet is here.

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    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks Penelope! More Instructables to come.

    broken board
    broken board

    9 years ago on Introduction

    Wow, now that is a really fine job. Are you a cabinetmaker by trade? I'm going to have to look up your lift tv segment and make one.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! No, I enjoy woodworking as a hobby. I have great respect for real cabinet makers. I'm lazy and I only build something if I cant buy it . ;-) If you build one, please post your pictures and tips here.