TV Wall Cabinet Shelf Console Thingie.

Monday, January 11, 2016

I can only imagine what it might feel like, ya know, to be a good carpenter.  To know your sh*t, got it all together, you can count on yourself, your math, ya got a swagger groovin', screw guns a-blazin' in side holsters.  Must feel good.

Ok, I admit, I'm getting better but by no stretch of the imagination would I say I'm "good" at it.  Hopefully one day....goals.  Right?  Right.

What is that...is that....is that OSB??
So heh, yeah.  I was expecting this simple Ikea shelf under the television would work out.  My minimalist hopes and wishes and dreams, ahhhh.

Oh yeah, so embarrassed to show you this "before."  What a wreck.
Again, with design desires dashed by real life.  Alas.

The issues?  Heh.

Firstly, its depth is too short for the darn Huge cable box and Mike's game console.  To get the cords behind and through to the power strip below, yep, can't have the shelf all the way against the wall.  And even then, the cable box and game console hang over.  Still.  Plus the shelf keeps inching away from the wall.

Secondly, the shelf acquires things.  Pile ups of candles and stuff and junk.  As we know, I am no fan of surfaces acquiring things.  Sigh and boo.

The worst offender?  The cable catcher thingie underneath holding the power strip and excess cable lengths and gack and who knows what.  Bleech.  Completely ruined the whole effect of a clean simple shelf.  My hopes and wishes and dreams utterly eighty-sixed.

No worries, I'm packin' power tools.

The whole mess really snagged my eye the other day.  Man, that thing has gotten Out.Of.Control, said brain.  Fortuitously, and thankfully, an Ikea email crossed my inbox with inspiration that very same moment and hm, chin scratch, the quest was on.

First was drawing up the idea, figuring it out, planning, scheming, figuring functionality, laying out cuts, deciding materials and its finished look.  Magically the design coasted easily out of my noggin through to the computer screen.

Goals:  hide the cable outlet, hide the electrical outlet, hide the grommet out with the cables and cords, hide the power strip, dammit hide everything!, so height dimensions were key.

Da drawing.
Popped on over to Home Depot to get the OSB since they'll cut it as ya know, we're a table-saw-free zone.

How do I manage life sans table saw?  Easy.  Like this and with all fingers unbroken.
Wait, what? OSB?, you ask.  Eww, you say.

Why OSB?  Did she say OSB?  Ratty, busy, splintery, plain ol' humdrum oriented strand board??

Several reasons.  One, of course, it's inexpensive.  Two, it has texture, pattern, visual variety, and it's still wood.  Three, to use the aesthetic, if you will, of an oft overlooked material.  Four, I knew in this context it wouldn't appear as plain ol' construction throwaway yicky OSB but as a modern material instead.

So the Home Depot guy is super nice, I realize I left my drawing in the car duh, he cuts everything right up chop chop, tells me to take a picture of the tag since he sliced through the sticker.  No prob.

Tag says it's $12.98.  I get to the register and she rings it as $13.08.  Despite the photo of the price.  Right in front of her face.

Normally I'd make mention but the line was looong, grumpy people, it was mere ten cents.  Cutting went up to fifty cents from a quarter, and now only the first two cuts are free.  Or was it always two?  I thought it was four.  Ah Home Depot.

Anywhooooo.....Whatev's.  Got my wood, headed to Menards to get the rest.

Precut wood sure makes for speedier assembly all right.  And easier to maneuver through a yard filled with wanky treacherous frozen footprints into the house then down to the basement.  Full sheet of 3/4" OSB by myself?  Nuh uh.

Sides went on jiffy quick after trimming those to size.

Da sides.  I used my countersink pilot hole bit to bury the screws, fyi.
Next were shelf supports with 1x2.  I cut those a half inch short to leave room for the doors.  Ah, thinking ahead!  Look at me!  Shoulda cut 'em a wee shorter though.

There's the 1x2 support, screwed in from the inside.  Uh huh.
The middle horizontal shelf went in, screwed that to the 1x2.

Aaaannd the shelf on top of the support.  
The dividers came next and of course my math was all which way screwy.  Eyeroll.  I got it right then somehow later it wasn't right.  ??   Heh.  Shaking my head....But again, having forgotten my drawing in the car before cutting, yeah, I had a minor mis-cut on these dividers.  Crisis averted though.

Dividers slash supports.
Flipped the whole thing, getting heavier oy oh dear, over and plopped it over the top piece, attached that.  After flipping it back, oy dear how am I gonna get this upstairs by myself heavier, over right I noticed the middle was a wee saggy so I snuck a centered support in there.  Pause, scratch my head, damn this thang is heavy, brain in mild panic.


Ta da!  And hey, look who showed up, Mr. Work Checker!  "Hi Mommy, s'up, whatcha doin'?"
Once it was all assembled I realize oh.  Duh.  I forgot to make holes for cords inside.  Nice.  Off came the top.  And oh, totally forgot I had purchased a hole saw kit; I attempted to use the hole saw from the first floor bathroom vanity project.  Problem with that?  No drill bit pilot.  Uh huh, go ahead and imagine.  I ended up using the hole saw from the television cord hiding kit which, eh, perfect for drywall, not for OSB.

These are on either side of the centered upper support and over the middle compartment area where all the cords, cables, power strip, junk and mess is going to go.
But yes, I was getting tired and needed a snack and some water.  Thinking got blurry.

I plowed forward though, unsmartly determined.  No, I didn't hurt myself but I know better.  Snacks and water, important.

I cut the MDF doors, drilled out finger holes, slathered on three coats of white paint, left it all to dry, got snack and water.

Doors.  Cut and finger holed.  Yep.
Next day?  Go time.  Cue 80's music montage.

Ok, so yes, it was a challenge to get the thing upstairs, heh.  In the basement I tried to carry it.  Got to the base of the stair.  Nope, not gonna happen.  Hm.  I ended up dragging it up the stairs.  Yes, dragging it, then flipping it end over end to the TV wall.  Don't ever tell me I can't do something, heh, I will find a way!

Paint cans and two scraps of 2x4 per can ended up being the exact perfect height I needed to prop this puppy up.  Exact.  Amazing!  Good thing I bought lottery tickets earlier; I'm rarely that lucky.

Couldn't find any studs in the wall where I needed them of course so I drilled holes into the mounting supports through into the wall.

Doh!!  Figures I'd put in a mounting support and it'd end up right over the cables grommet.  I had to move the support.
Drilled out the wall holes larger, slinked in those screw-in wall anchors,* piloted 1.5" screws into the supports so I could line everything up, and zzzuhwink, attached to wall.

Quite sturdy actually, despite the wall being bowed.  Yes, the wall is bowed.  How does.....??.....aw jeez never mind.

Lastly were the doors.  I hadn't attached them prior as I didn't want to be arguing with them while attaching the whole thing to the wall.

Fits and starts, fits and starts, issues with little hinges, Iiiii dunno, stuff and junk.

Is there a hair pulling 80's music montage?
I guess this is why I'm not a great carpenter too; I lose patience with a project, I'm anxious for it to be done so final nitpicky detaily steps are always the hardest for me.

My initial goal was to not see the hinges at all.  Well, that was a goal unmet.  Eventually I came to the realization that the hinges would have to be seen so I propped the doors in place, called done-for-the-night.  Next morning I ran back to the store to get more visually appealing hinges.

Clear headed, pre-snacked and pre-watered, I wrapped it all up.  And it's cool!  Yay!  I'm really excited about it.  I've never ever built anything like it and wham, there it is!

Yeah, who's got it, yeah, who's got it?  Me, I got it!
Oh so right, here's my purchased supply list:
I had the screws, tools etc. already so...

Total:  excluding round one of failed hinge attempt and tax...$27.90.  Wow.  Cheap!!  Heh, I'm stupefied!  Ha!  Nice.

After the thing was up, I schmeared the OSB in Howard Feed-n-Wax,* edges included.  It deepened the wood and gave it a nice finish.  A second, maybe third coat will be in order indeed.

Oh yeah!  Finn, ever the supervisor looking so blasé in the corner.  Goofball.
Now, heh, somehow...somehow between the time I started making this thing and attaching it to the wall, Mike had not visited the basement.  Therefore he had not seen it.  He had no idea this thing was coming.  Like at all.  None, zero.  Surprise, babe!!  Here's what he said:

"Buh duh buh uh duh dizzzzz buh duh huh??!"  Glance of incredulousness shot my way.  "You just do things."

Yes, I drilled a hole underneath so the lamp could plug in.  Mmm hmm, look at me!  Yes, I used the hole saw kit this time.
After all the usual requisite questions of are you going to stain it, paint it, put knobs on it, the glance around to make sure it fits with everything else, wiggle it for sturdiness, etc., I got a "huh."

Staring at it bewildered from the couch later that evening I said, "huh, wow, I can't believe I built that."  Mike said, "wow, neither can I.  It's the best thing you've done for us, well, maybe aside from the pantry floor but I love it."  Whewwwww!  And awwww!!!


I like it too.  As always, it takes some getting used to, a new piece, especially when it's on the larger side.  But hey, an Ikea knock-off, a custom design for under thirty bucks, less than Ikea?!?  Can't beat that!  Check and mark.


Now onto.............

*The screw in wall anchors, hinges, and Feed-n-Wax are Amazon affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.

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9 comments

  1. dude that looks awesome. this is a definite "piece" right now, and a huge improvement. well done!
    b

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    1. Dude, what an awesome comment! Thank you so much!

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  2. This is fab.. I love anything built by hand. You did a wonderful job! <3

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    1. Oh thank you very much Kim! Thanks for checking it out!

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  3. I love, love, love it! I used osb to make our desk top and some floating shelves in the home office here's a link to it http://lillyshomedesigns.blogspot.com/2015/09/home-office-in-works.html I'm dying to use it in other rooms in the house. I will have to bookmark this!

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    1. Thanks so much! Nice work on the desk and shelves! Great use of space in that little nook for sure. Thanks!

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  4. Liking your work, but Im' not sure about the OSB. I've done a similar thing to keep dvds in. I considered OSB but I went for marine ply after some advice, (nagging) from the other half. He sold me on it as being more durable, still being a wood finish, but structurally stronger. Admittedly its more expensive though.

    Jeanmarie @ RVM

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    1. Thanks Jeanmarie! Yeah, OSB is a tricky fussy material for sure and certainly not the material of choice for more hard-wearing projects. Part of my goal in sharing this project was to help folks see materials in a different light. I'm sure your project in marine ply is fantastic -- I bet it was fun to use that! Thanks for taking the time to comment!

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  5. I enjoyed reading your work. I'll come back for more

    Keep up the good work :) from, Home Buys Plus

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