Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Cheap and Easy DIY TV Stand

Recently my mother asked me to sort out a problem she was having.  On top of a cupboard in the kitchen she has a 26 inch LCD TV she likes to watch.  It's at a height of about 2.5 meters, and when sitting, she's looking up at an angle of about 30 degrees.  At such an extreme viewing angle the image becomes unwatchable.  What she wanted was a way to tilt the TV so that the screen was facing her when she sat down.

I thought this would be easy, the TV has 200mm x 100mm VESA mount points on the back, it's not too heavy (8kg), all that was needed was a stand that allowed it to be tilted down.  The cheapest bracket and stand that met our criteria was over $150 and that was more than we were willing to pay, so it wasn't going to be as easy as I thought.  I decided to just buy a tilting wall mount bracket for $35 and figure out what to do with it when it arrived.  Building my own tilt mechanism would've taken way too long and wouldn't have been as good.
Bracket
B-Tech BT7522B LCD wall mount bracket

After receiving the tilting bracket I went to the local hardware and walked around to see if I could find something to mount it to and make a TV stand.  It wasn't long until I found the post stirrup section.  Just in case you don't know, post stirrups are metal brackets used to keep timber posts of buildings elevated above ground to prevent rotting. They're concreted into the ground or bolted to a concrete base and the post is then attached to the top part.  Perfect, for $7 I get a sturdy metal bracket that can be mounted to a ply base to complete the job.

post stirrup
Post stirrup TV display stand
I just happened to have an offcut of 19mm plywood under my bed that was perfect for the base.

Plywood
Ply base
It always pays to keep large offcuts.  Originally the ply was left over from my removable drawer project.
Drawer Slide Holder
Drawer slide holder
It then became a side of my standing desk experiment.
Standing Desk
Standing desk add-on
As the stand sits on an L shaped cupboard in a corner, I had to cut out a section so there wouldn't be an overhanging bit.  To attach the post stirrup to the base board I used 4 bolts and a metal plate as a washer.  This meant that the bottom was no longer flat and needed to be elevated.  To do this I used a hole saw to cut some circular feet out of the scrap ply section that was removed.  These were glued and screwed in place.  The parts that were going to be visible when installed were then painted white.
TV Stand Base
Base with feet and washer plate attached
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Metal Plate
Washer plate
The tilting bracket was then attached to the post stirrup with some metal screws and lock nuts.  It's not the most attractive piece of furniture, but it's not too hard to imagine how to make it look like more like a professional product.  A new piece of ply the right size and a bit more time planning, painting, and sanding, this wouldn't be out out place in a living room.  Depends how good you are at finishing wood though, I took some shortcuts because I wanted this to be a one day build.  The TV hides all of the ugly stuff anyway.  The only part you can see is the edge that I painted white

The best part however is that it only cost me $50 maybe $65 if you bought everything new.
TV bracket and post stirrup
Tilting bracket attached to post stirrup
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TV bracket and post stirrup
Tilting bracket attached to post stirrup
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TV Stand
Assembled TV stand
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