OK. Where's the remote control!? Did you have it last? Is the cat sitting on it again?! No one has any idea! We all start frantically searching insanely when, say, the new season of Stranger Things 3, or Los Espookys has just been posted and our remote is nowhere to be found. It's small. It's black. It constantly deep dives down into the recesses of our dark brown, velveteen sofa. It's a relentless, daily problem in our favorite room of the house that needs a quick and easy solution!
We figured out that the remote is made of a magnetic friendly substance. So, using some scrap hardwood from our Polychrome LED Filament Lamp project, we decided to make a quick and easy solution for holding our remote controller, easily accessible above our comfy, remote-hungry couch.
*PS - This Remote Holder can be easily adapted for almost any magnet friendly remote you might have.
Step 1: Tools + Materials
• Table Saw
• Miter Saw
• Orbital Sander
• Cordless Drill
• 1/2 Straight Router Bit
• Speed Square
• Small Level
•1' x 3/4 x 3" S4S Hardwood
• Cyanoacrylate Glue (Super Glue)
• 120 + 200 Grit Sand Paper
• 6x 1-3/4" Wood screws
Step 2: Measurements + Design Overview
We wanted a sleek, simple design that would be intuitive and elegant. We mulled over options. Freestanding remote holders? These stands seemed bulky, cumbersome and awkward. Worst of all... They are prone to being easily lost as the remote (or worse, withe the remote!) in the shuffle of Taco Night on the coffee table or on a side table with after dinner drinks and a movie. A wall mount seemed to the the way to go. We found the answer where we find a lot of our answers; our refrigerator. We realized the remote would stick exceptionally well to magnets we regularly used to post pictures (or messages, drawings, etc..) to the fridge door. We opted to make a wall mounted holder with small, rare earth magnets sunk below the surface to effortlessly, yet securely hold the remote in place to our crafted crib.
First, we measured the remote and settled upon the overall size of the frame, 1-3/4" x 7" x 3/4" **. This will make it just slightly larger than our FireTV Remote and deep enough to hide the strong magnets within the wood base. Because the remote has a rounded back, we are going to route a similar indent into the wood so that the remote is gracefully cradled and has somewhere to register when you efficiently glide it into its new home. We will also be adding two attachment points on the back of the frame that we will use to mount the unit to the wall. Once the frame is made, we will then insert the rare earth bar magnets into the unit's back channel and install hardware on the the wall for mounting.
**If your remote is not a FireTV remote, specifically a remote of another size, you will need to alter the measurement for both 1) The overall unit size, and 2) The size and shape of the channel you route into the face of the unit - possibly the thickness of the unit as well.
Step 3: Cutting the Unit Frame
This step is simple and straightforward.
We are using a small, beautiful off cut of walnut for our frame that we had leftover from our last project... But you could really use any hardwood you might fancy. We settled on a section of the wood that had intriguing, bold grain and drafted the design on the wood in pencil. We then cut this to length using our Miter saw, and to width on our Table saw.
You are now ready to route the front indent for the remote's new bed.
Step 4: Routing the Front
Routing the unit's front indent is the tricky part. Be sure to read through the whole section and make sure you are clear on what to do before you start.
First, we measured for the center line of the wood block and, using a ruler and pencil, marked a line down the length of the unit face stopping the line 1/4" away from each end of the wood. This is where we will end both lengths of the routed channel.
To secure the work piece while routing we used carpet tape to hold it to a work surface. For this step we made a simple jig to make routing easier. For the jig we used two lengths of 3/4" scrap wood, stacked and screwed down parallel to the work piece as a guide for the router to run along. To decided the spacing between the edge of the guide and the center of the work piece we measured from the center of the routers collet (the part that holds the Router bit) to the outer edge of the router base. For our DeWalt Trim Router this was 2". We drew two parallel lines on the work surface, two inches apart, and lined up the center lines on the walnut with either one. We pressed it down firmly to adhere it. Next we lined up the edge of the scrap with the other line and screwed it down. We loaded the round nose bit into my router, set the depth to around 3/16" and routed the channel slowly in one pass. Being extra careful to stop on the end marks made earlier.
In preparation for aligning work on the back side, we made a mark around the work piece on the surface. You might want use a chisel to gently pry the unit free. Peel off the remaining tape.
NOTE: If you have a router table, use it instead of the guide we described for the above steps, it'll make your life easier!
Lessons learnt the hard way:
- I found that my router bit caused a lot of surface burning towards the end, to combat this i would make shallower passes and let the bit cool between each pass.
- When you're done routing, turn the router off and hold it in place until the bit has stopped. This will help prevent any mistakes on the routing.
- If your indent has any wobbles, don't worry you can blend these in when sanding later!!
Step 5: Routing the Back
Now for the back channel, where the magnets will live.
After this was finished we flipped the piece over, applied double sided tape to the side just routed and stuck it back down using the marks on the surface to get it back in the same place.
Swap the router bit for a 1/2" Straight bit and set the depth to 1/4". Route a 3-1/2" long channel centered in the middle of the piece. Set the router to the maximum depth you can without breaking into the indent on the other face, somewhere around 1/2". Now swap the router bit for a 3/8 Keyhole bit and set the depth according to the directions for your bit but not so deep that it will break through to opposite side. Cut a keyhole at the top and another at the bottom of the piece. These slotted hollows will be for attaching your holder to the wall.
Step 6: Glue + Apply Finish
We now pried the unit carefully from the surface and removed the carpet tape. Next we temporarily slotted the Rare Earth Magnet in the channel and the remote on the face where we wanted it held. Testing that their placement will securely hold the remote through the wood, we marked where the magnets were and remove the magnets. We now apply some super glue to the walnut bottom of the channel where we just marked. Now we applied a spray of Zip Kicker to the magnets. This will instantly set the glue upon contact. (If you've never used zip kicker before you should, it is amazing and useful stuff!)
To finish the unit surface we gave a sand all over the ultimately visible surfaces first with 120 and then with 220 sandpaper. Be sure to wipe away the dust with a clean dry cloth. Lastly we give it a coat of Polyurethane and let it dry.
Lessons learnt the hard way:
- If you have any left over sticky bits when you remove the carpet tape, get a small piece of new tape from the roll and dab it on the surface to remove them.
Step 7: Mounting the Unit & Enjoy!
Measure the distance between the top of your two keyholes. Select the optimal wall placement where you will mark this same distance, preferably over a stud. Make sure your two marks are level and then screw two wood screws into the wall, leaving around 1/4" of the screw heads sticking out. Place the remote holder onto these screw heads and then slide it down to secure the unit to the wall surface.
Now - train your Husband/Wife/Mate/Lover/Guests/Roommates to always return the remote to its new cradle so everyone can sit back and enjoy watching TV always knowing exactly where the remote is!
Writing by my lovely husband Shane
Second Prize in the
1 Hour Challenge