I wanted the clean look of having my TV and shelves floating on the wall without supports/cordage being visible, but since I was moving into an apartment building, and wanted as much as my deposit back as possible, I couldn't just mount the a TV and shelves to the wall. So instead I decided to use a low profile steel frame to support the protruding shelving and TV and hide the cordage behind the steel frame.
Step 1: What You'll Need
In total this project came in at about $80 but depending on where you get the wood and what kind of wood you use it could vary. With pine wood I would be surprised if it came out much over $100.
- 10ft 1x12 boards @ 3
- I used pine, but any wood could be used.
- Only ~25 feet of wood is needed but the extra wood is nice incase of an incorrect angle cut.
- This could probably go without saying but make sure the boards are straight, it will make construction much easier.
- Drill Gun
- Philips head
- 3/8 drill bit
- 1/8 drill bit
Step 2: Design
I've had lengthy projects before that didn't come out like I had visualized in my mind, and so, to combat the same dilemma, I decided to build it on a 3D modeling software, allowing me to not only visually see the finished product before starting construction, but more importantly, see if my girlfriend (interior designer) approved. Building the computer model first also allowed me to encounter and solve issues I hadn't mentally foreseen before even cutting a single piece of wood or making an accidental weld.
Note: I don't have a picture of the final computer dimension drawing of the TV stand but the only difference in the dimension drawing shown and the final is the braces under the upper shelves. I realized I didn't need additional bracing due to the strength of the 1" square tube frame. I also didn't include spacers in the computer drawing.
Step 3: Building the Steel Backbone
I found an abundance of 1" square steel tubing and decided that it would be strong enough to hold my TV with several cross-bars.
If the steel tube chosen is beginning to rust and needs to be cleaned, a bench grinder with a wire brush attachment or just a wire brush and elbow grease will do the trick. After cleaning the square tube, cut it to length with a chop saw or other metal saw.
Cut Lengths -
- 1" square tube (yellow)
- 5 @ 7"
- 2 @ 35"
- 2 @ 47.5"
- 0.75" square tube (red)
- 2 @ 3.5"
- 2 @ 4"
- 2 @ 35"
- 1 @ 15" (both sides angled - crossbar)
- 2 @ 7" (both sides angled - crossbar)
For the cross-bars and the two protruding braces I used .75" square tubing so the steel wouldn't be noticeable behind the wood (since 1" wood is actually only .75").
After the frame is welded and cooled, cleaning with a rag dampened with cleaner such as break cleaner, carb cleaner or paint thinner is necessary to get any grime that is on the steel tubing off. Some steel tubing comes with an oil-like substance on it (to prevent rusting I believe) that will stop paint from bonding very well; or if the tubing does not have an oily film, there is still residue from welding that will inhibit the paint from making a lifelong bond.
Note: Try to weld only on 3 sides or make the side that will come in contact with the wood very minimal. Otherwise if there is a large weld on the side contacting the wood, the wood won't make flush contact with the entire steel frame.
Step 4: Cutting the Wood & Building the Shelving
Wood Cuts: All with 1x12 wood
- 1 @ 63" (at the widest point with both sides angled at 45 degrees so it looks like this \___/ )
- 1 @ 61.5"
- 2 @ 20" (one side angled at 45 degrees)
- 1 @ 9"
- 1 @ 9.5"
- 4 @ 16" at the widest point (with both sides angled at 45 degrees \___/ )
- 4 @ 10.5" at the widest point (with both sides angled at 45 degrees \___/ )
After cutting the wood, the wood assembly begins. I chose to use 'L shaped' iron pieces or 'corner pieces', which can be bought or fabricated (I made minef because I though it would be easy) to hold the smaller shelves together. I used 16 corner pieces in total (2 on each corner of the upper shelves)
After building the upper shelves, assemble the lower shelf, which did not need corner pieces, although they could be used if desired.
Step 5: Sanding and Staining
After building all the wood parts, sand them with a medium-course grit sandpaper, ~60-100 grit, and then prepare the surface for stain by blowing the dust off with compressed air, and wiping everything down with a damp cloth to remove the remaining dust.
After sanding everything I hung the upper shelves from the ceiling to be able to stain the top, bottom, and side without having to move them.
I chose "natural" stain so it would bring the wood grain out but only darken the wood slightly.
After staining all of the wood and waiting over night, apply a coat of polyurethane, wait 2- 3 hrs, sand the dry poly lightly with 400 grit sand paper to smooth the now coarse stained wood, clean the surface with compressed air and a damp cloth, let the wood dry, and lay down another coat of poly. In total I put down 3 coats of polyurethane, lightly sanding with 400 grit sand paper and cleaning the wood before applying the next coat.
*Note: Sanding in-between polyurethane coats is imperative to make the surface smooth; applying stain and or polyurethane causes the fibers in the wood (which were smoothed down during sanding) to rise back up in the same way a piece of paper wrinkles after it becomes wet.
Note: My preferred method of applying polyurethane is using "wipe on poly" and an old rag. Easiest polyurethane method I've used so far and looks great!
Step 6: Assembling the TV Stand
Now the best part, assembling the TV stand. From this point on its nearly as easy as if you had bought the TV stand from IKEA and just needed to assemble it. Not quite, but just as fun.
On the back of the TV to be mounted there are four (or more) mounting holes, measure the distance between the bolt holes, mine was about 7.8 inches horizontally and 7.8" vertically, mark and drill holes that will line up with the TV bolt holes on the metal frame.
Now strategically drill 12 holes on the bottom of the metal frame where the frame will screw into the wooden bottom shelf. The drilled holes should be slightly smaller than the 4" screw head (so the screw head won't protrude from the back but will nearly be 'countersunk').
Line up the metal frame to its appropriate position on the wooden bottom shelf, mark where to drill the holes into the wooden bottom shelf, remove the metal frame and pre-drill into the wood at the marked spots (where the 4" screws will be going) with a 1/8" drill bit (to prevent the wood from cracking when screwing in the long screws). Mount the metal frame to the wooden bottom shelf with 12 screws.
The top shelves can be tricky to mount because of leveling; if you only drill and tightly screw one hole to the metal frame, the shelf can be moved around until it is level. Once its level, mark, pre-drill, and put the other 3 screws in. The last shelf can be done exactly like the top shelf was.
Step 7: Mounting the TV
The TV will need small spacers in between the metal frame and TV to center the weight of the TV stand, otherwise it will want to tip backwards.
I used 1" pieces of extra bamboo as spacers but any tube can be used. In the future I intend to replace the 1" spacers with 2" spacers because the TV stand still leans back slightly when placed on soft carpet.
Place the spacers in-between the back of the TV and the TV stand and then screw in long metric (M8) bolts though the metal frames 4 drilled TV mounting holes.
And you're done! Route your cables so they aren't visible and enjoy your Hovering TV Stand!