Television Cabinet

Television Cabinet

Hide the electronics behind ingenious double-hinged doors

by Dave Munkittrick

I love my new 36-in. TV but my wife hates what the glass and plastic
monolith does to the look and feel of our family room. To avoid marital
strife we went looking for something to house the behemoth. No luck.
Sounds like a job for the family woodworker! I love it when I get a
chance to justify my sometimes-controversial investment in the shop.

A cabinet large enough to accommodate a 36-in. TV could look like an
oversized shipping crate. But I used a design with angled corners to
ease the big-box look.

Note: There are a few extra-deep 36-in. TVs that may require you to
cut a hole in the back for the TV to poke through. You could make a
deeper cabinet but you’d have to buy an additional sheet of plywood.
Play it safe; buy your TV first, then adjust the depth if necessary.

The double-hinged doors fold flat against the sides to open up the
cabinet for unobstructed viewing. Plus, they’re a whole lot cheaper and
easier to install than pocket doors. The adjustable, no- mortise,
partial-wrap hinges (see Sources, below) make these doors a snap to
hang.

1. Make all the shelves identical by using one shelf as a
template. Cut the angled corners on the other shelves a bit oversize.
Clamp the rough-cut shelves to the template, and trim flush with a
router.

Click on any image to see a larger version.

2. Glue edging to the cabinet parts. The angled corner edging
on the shelves is done first. Use a notched block to apply clamping
pressure. Let the edging overhang along the front. Then trim it flush
to the plywood on the tablesaw.

3. Assemble the cabinet with cauls and shims. The shims help
put pressure in the center of the cabinet sides. Fasten the center
divider to the two center shelves before assembly. Use screws for the
bottom shelf; molding will cover them later.

4. Create a ledge below the doors with solid wood fastened to
the underside of the component shelf. Use a 7/8-in. spacer block to
keep an even reveal.

5. Add a row of nailers below the ledge to create a surface
to nail moldings to. The nailer is flush with the ledge in front but is
recessed at the angled corner where the column base fits. Determine the
setback for the recessed nailer by holding the column base in place and
tracing the back edge onto the ledge above.

6. Screw dividers into the case to create the drawer opening.
A 33-1/2 in. long spacer board keeps the dividers parallel as they are
screwed into position. Tip: Mount the drawer slides to the dividers
before they’re fastened to the cabinet.

7. Attach the moldings with nails and glue. We used special
molding glue instead of traditional yellow glue. The thick-bodied
molding glue won’t drip or run while positioning the molding.

8. Fasten nailer boards on top of the cabinet. These nailer
boards create an overhang above the doors and provide a surface for
applying the cove molding. Start with the angled corner nailer. Use a
1-1/4-in. spacer block to set the overhang. Attach the remaining
nailers and screw them down securely.

9. Rout the ogee edge on the top. Just glue on the edging,
sand flush and rout. Then screw the finished top onto the cabinet.

10. Apply cove molding under the top and against the edge of
the nailers. Hold the molding in place with spring clamps as you go.
Fasten the molding with glue and pin nails.

11. Rip the 45-degree bevels on the columns. To avoid
kickback, make sure the blade tilts away from the fence. That’s easy on
a left-tilt saw; on a right-tilt, move the fence to the left side of
the blade.

12. Hang the column on the cabinet. First, fasten the hinges
to the column. Then use shims to position the column door on the
cabinet. The half-wrap, no-mortise hinges wrap around the inside
surface of the cabinet; all you have to do is screw them in place.
Remove the columns after you’re satisfied with the fit.

13. Attach the door to the column. Make sure the column and
door frame are even at the top by butting both pieces against a board
clamped to your bench. Put some short 2x4s under the hinged joint so
you can get to the screw holes.

14. Nail panel molding to the back of the door frame to hold
the 1/4-in. panel in place. Miter the corners of the molding to give
your door a finished look inside and out.

15. Cut the door trim on the bandsaw. Tilt the table to 20
degrees and secure a guide fence. Use a sharp, high-tooth-count blade
(6 to 8 teeth per inch) for a cleaner cut that won’t require a lot of
sanding.

16. Nail the drawer front to the drawer box. Shim the drawer
front so the gaps will be even. A piece of duct tape stuck to the
inside of the drawer acts as a temporary pull. Open the drawer and
screw on the drawer front from inside the box. The holes left by brad
nails are tiny and easy to disguise with filler.

17. Cut the bun feet on a bandsaw using a circle-cutting jig.
Set the blank onto the pivot point of the jig. Then slide the jig onto
the bandsaw and cut halfway through the blank. Clamp the jig in place
and spin the blank to cut the bun foot.

18. Shape the bun foot on a router table with a 1-in.
round-over bit. With the subfences wide open, set the fence over the
bit so the blank just makes contact with the bearing and the subfences
are just shy of the blank. This will minimize bit exposure.

19. Measure how much your floor dips away from the wall. This
cabinet must be level so the doors will stay open. Simply subtract an
amount equal to the dip in your floor from the thickness of the foot
blocks for the back feet. Now there’ll be no unsightly shims under the
feet after your cabinet’s installed.

20. Screw the bun feet to the foot blocks. The thinner foot
block in back allows the cabinet to sit level on a sagging floor.

Sources

(Source information may have changed since the original publication date.)

Lee Valley & Veritas, leevalley.com, 800-871-8158, Two Iron Pendant Pulls, 01A60.30, $6 ea.; Two Iron Oval Pulls, 01A60.40, $7 ea.; Twelve Part Wrap Iron Hinges with Minaret Tips, 01H31.50, $4 ea.; One 18" Black Full-Extension Drawer Slide, 02K11.18, $16 ea.; Four 3/8" x 1/10" Rare Earth Magnets, 99K32.03, $0.50 ea.;
Four 3/8" Cup for Magnets, 99K32.52, $0.50 ea.; Four 3/8" Washers,99K3262, $0.40 ea.; One 1/2"-high Roman Ogee Bit, 16J33.51 (16J33.01 for 1/4" shank), $27;
One 1/2" radius Cove Bit, 16J29.58 (16J29.08 for 1/4" shank), $29; One 1/2" radius round-over bit, 16J27.58 (16J27.08 for 1/4" shank), $28; One 1" radius round-over bit, 16J27.66, $57; One 1/2" flush-trimming bit, 16J09.58, $12; One 45-deg. chamfer bit, 16J30-58 (16J3008 for 1/4" shank), $21.

Public Lumber Company, publiclumber.com, 313-891-7125, Two 3/4" birch plywood, $50 ea.; Two 3/4" clear or knotty pine plywood, $70 ea.; One 1/4" clear or knotty pine plywood, $40 ea.; 50 bd. ft. pine, $4 per bd. ft.

Adams Wood Products, adamswoodproducts.com, 423-587-2942,
Four 5" Maple Bun Feet, A0554-DS, $8 ea.

Woodworker's Supply, woodworker.com, 800-645-9292, One pint Titebond wood molding glue, 921-971, $7; One gal. sealcoat (shellac), 119-459, $23.

Woodcraft, woodcraft.com, 800-225-1153, One Trans Tint Golden Brown Dye, 128482, $17.

This story originally appeared in American Woodworker July 2003, issue #101.

July 2003, issue #101

Purchase this back issue.