TV Table & Book Shelves




Introduction: TV Table & Book Shelves

For my first Instructable I initially wanted to make a few abstract book shelf 'boxes' that I would hang up on the wall. But after making my first box and realizing how heavy my books were, I thought of another way to incorporate my boxes, thus came forth the 'TV Stand & Book Shelves'.

Step 1: Things You'll Need:

  • The Obvious, Books
  • 9 mm Ply-wood
  • 20 mm Pine
  • Wood Clamps
  • Ruler
  • Right Angle Ruler
  • Tape Measure
  • Paper to Write on
  • Pencil & Eraser
  • Jig Saw
  • Wood Glue
  • Wood Filler
  • Scraper
  • Wood Stain
  • Varnish
  • L-brackets
  • Screws
  • Li-ion Screwdriver

Step 2: Figuring Out Sizes

Arrange your books to similar heights, then try to make equal sized stacks. Measure roughly the sizes you'll need. (For me, my average stack was around 24 cm in width).

Like we all know books come in different shapes and sizes. You can now choose to either make all your four shelves the same height, or make them all different. but, remembering that the pillars you're going to make, needs to equal the same total height.

Make a sketch to help you with measurements (3D). Then what I found works better, is if you sketch the different panels (2D) that you are going to make, individually and write the quantity of each side that you'll cut as well. You will need a total of five panels.

I wanted me back piece to cover my joints and lay 'flat'. So remembering that my ply-wood is 9 mm thick, I added that 9 mm to my total height of my back panel.

Step 3: Cutting

Now that you have all your measurements, take the 9 mm ply-wood and start making your cutting lines. I find it easier to draw one panel, then cut that panel, instead of lining out my whole piece, because my Jig Saw blade is around 1 mm thick and if there was no lee-way between my lines, I would lose around 1 mm with each cut where the lines touch.

Make a star or something on the opposite side of your measured cutting line, so that you cut on the outer side of your panel, otherwise, you'll end up making it smaller. Also, what helps when assembling the panels, is to write the size of it, in pencil, on your panel.

My Jig Saw blade splits the thin top-coat off of the ply-wood, but I just flip it and use the smooth side as the outside when assembling.

Step 4: Gluing & Clamping

Refer back to your sketches (either the ones you made on paper or in your head) and start applying wood glue to the panels that go together. Apply generously, then clamp, making sure your panels are aligned straight.

The wood glue is transparent when it dries, but still remove as much excess as possible with a cloth. Just wash the cloth in water to dissolve the wood glue. Wait approximately 3-4 hours for the wood glue to dry properly.

After 4 hours...

Make another join and prepare yourself for another 4 hour wait. Carry on until your shelf is complete. (Maybe watch a movie or mow the lawn to avoid being bored).

Step 5: Stacking & Filling the Gaps

After making your four shelves, stack them accordingly, making sure that the total height of the stacked shelves equal one another, this is where your top or table piece with lay on top of. All four shelves should have the same width and depth.

Now using the wood glue, glue your shelves together and clamp them. Wait approximately 3-4 hours for it to dry properly.

After the wait, look for any small gaps in the joints, if any, use the wood filler and scraper to even it out. Wait approximately 2 hours for the wood filler to dry.

I used 100 grid sand paper and using my hands, I sanded the wood filler until smooth and less noticeable. But you could use the quicker option, using either a orbital/belt sander.

Step 6: Making the Top/Middle

For the top piece that will be laying op top of my book pillars, I used 20 mm pine.

You can choose how long and wide you want your TV Table to be, for me I chose to make it 1300 mm x 300 mm. Make your cutting lines, then as mentioned Step 3, remember to cut on the outside of your line.

Now glue your top piece onto your pillars with the wood glue, and like always, wait approximately 3-4 hours for it to dry properly.

For more stability I added a middle shelf to my TV Table. You could use either the Pine or Ply-wood. I used the Ply-wood, but glued two pieces on one another, to give me a total thickness of 18 mm.

Measure the inside distance from one pillar to the other and cut your piece of wood. Once cut, use the L-brackets and screws to secure your middle shelf. When deciding how high/low you want your middle shelf to be, consider what you would like to put on it/underneath it. I wanted to put a sub-woofer under my middle shelf, so I first measured the correct height before screwing on the L-brackets.

Step 7: Varnish

You can really do anything you want here, stain, paint or simply just leave it as is.

I used Stain Concentrate and mixed it with clear Varnish to get my desired look. After doing the first coat of Varnish, I waited a day before doing the final, second coat.

Hope you enjoyed my first Instructable and are now in the possession of a beautiful, hand-made TV Table & Book Shelves.

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    5 years ago

    That's a neat open setup :)


    Reply 5 years ago

    Thank you Swansong.