TV Stand

Some pages are still under construction

Since this is a long project I added an index for each page.

Page 1 - Designing, Determining the Angles, Problems with Plywood.
Page 2 - Cutting the case parts, Cutting miter corners, Using with splines.
Page 3 - Face Frame.
Page 4 - Gluing the sides, marking, cutting and attaching the bottom, Circular Saw Cutting Jig, Gluing the face frame to the sides, Attaching the shelf.
Page 5 - Problems with Top, Making Cauls for gluing the top, Deciding on the glue to use, Gluing the top, Cutting the top, Deciding on the edge of the top.
Page 6 - Bottom Molding.
Page 7 - Doors and hinges.
Page 8 - Finishing.
Page 9 - Attaching the top.


What started me on this project was when I helped my parents with their TV stand. They were purchasing a new TV. Their current TV set in a cabinet but the new TV wouldn't fit inside the cabinet. They wanted something similar but lower so they could set the new TV on the top of the cabinet and not inside. I told them I could disassemble it and cut it down to the size they want, and then reassemble it. It worked very well and it also gave me an opportunity to see how the cabinet was constructed. I've needed a TV stand for years but not having the knowledge of how to construct one and not locating any plans for one that I like, I've been putting it off. I've built a lot of cabinets but all the corners have been cut at 90 degrees. This type of project is completely new to me so it’s going along very slow.


When I have almost completely this project, I came across an amazing DVD called "Unlocking the Secrets of Traditional Design". I learned so much from this DVD that I would have proportioned my stand a little bit. I highly recommend this DVD, and the second one, Unlocking the Secrets of Traditional Molding" Every woodworker should have these even if they don't design their own furniture. You can see my review and link to the DVD's here.


Drawing and measurements of the tv stand top


drawing of front and measurements of front

I created a pattern from poster board. It's difficult to see in the photo below but I marked the exact pattern of the top on the poster board.



I had some difficulty determine the angles. I attempted to determine them with a digital protractor. I actually would recommend this protractor to anyone interested in something like this. I since I wasn't sure about the angles, I posted the question on the website. One of the members, Bentlyj, entered the measurements in his sketchup program and provided me with the below angles. The angles I obtained with the protractor were about 2 degrees off one way or another. I decided to use his angles.

angles of top

Miter Saw Angels vs. Table Saw Angles
At first, for some reason I thought I was going to cut these angles on a miter saw, so I was trying to determine the angle of the cut. It was at this point I discovered the miter saw is set up for cuts to be made from a 90 degree angle. I never thought about this but I've never had a problem with it. I read a good article regarding this at this is

Since I realized I was actually going to cutting these on the table saw, all I needed to do was divide the angles in half. I use a Wixey digital angle finder, which I love. I made practice cuts of the angles on several pieces of Baltic Birch. I then placed them on my pattern to verify everything was OK.


test cuts on pattern


Once I was satisfied with the angles, I cut all my 4 side pieces a ½” wider than what the final dimensions would be. I did this so if I messed up cutting the angle, I would have enough extra wood to re cut the angle. All the pieces were cut 19-1/4" high.

After I cut the 4 sides to the required dimensions, I marked the degree and angle on the end corners of each piece.

Problem with the Plywood
After all the angles where cut I noticed I was having a problem with the veneer of the plywood. It cracked and peeled at the point of the angle. I didn't know that much about plywood, but later I learned I had purchased an imported ribbon striped mahogany plywood. It was a combination-core, with an MDF layer between the inner plies. I was the only mahogany plywood the plywood place had and I was surprised it was only $54.00.

problem with veneer

problem with plywood


Since the miter corners looked awful, I stopped the project. I located a different lumber yard and I took a sample of my plywood to them. They explained the problem was caused by the cheap and very thin veneer. He explained that the imported veneer plywood veneer is much thinner than the domestic. He further stated the core is not made as well but the problem I'm having is because the veneer is to thin. He further felt a domestic plywood with the same core would work fine for what I was doing. So the plywood had to be ordered. He stated they don’t carry it in stock because it often gets bumped around in the shop, then it’s worthless. If you saw this lumberyard then you would understand.

The Lumberyard
For the people that live out here in Southern California I'll explain that the first place I went to was Far West Plywood. They are mainly a plywood place with a little bit of surfaced woods. The second place I went to was amazing. It’s called Bohnhoff Lumber Co. Although they don’t have a website, they've been in business since 1910. They are a full lumber and milling yard. They have a large amount of different types of wood with different types of cut. I always wondered where people could purchase the different type of cuts in wood. When I ordered the plywood he had the option of different cores and different type of cuts. I thought all plywood was cut using the rotary cut method but he explained that there are several different methods.

When I returned home I researched Fine Woodworking Magazine and located an article written in 1996 regarding plywood (you need to be a Fine Woodworking member to read the article).The article was good but it still lacked some information.

Lumber Purchased
When I was at Far West Plywood I purchased some African Mahogany because they didn't have any Honduras or Genuine Mahogany. Once I got home I cut it and tried to match the pieces for the top. The wood I purchased was more of a mixed cut. I went to another lumberyard and purchased some Honduras Mahogany but when I got it home I like the way the African Mahogany matched the plywood. While I was at Bohnhoff Lumberyard I explained to the man about the problem with trying to match the table top wood to glue up. He explained that they purchased some 6/4 African Mahogany that is quartersawn so the wood will match easily. Actually it’s the first time I've seen wood in something other than 4/4 or 8/4. I purchase a 6/4 piece of rough lumber that was approximately 11-3/4” wide by 14’ long. This is the first time I've purchased a large piece of completely rough lumber. They would have milled it but I wanted to try to do it myself.

Starting Over

original plywood   new plywood

         (Old) Imported Plywood                              (New) Domestic Plywood


comparing the two plywood ends