A few months ago I picked up a sound bar on a great deal at Amazon. I’m sort of a techie guy so I like to complain about things like the factory speakers in our TV. I’m beginning to learn, though, that if you’re going to look at something all day, you want it to look pretty good too. Our sound bar wirelessly connects to our subwoofer and satellite speakers, so at least there aren’t wires running all around the room. But it presented one minor problem.
Where’s the bottom of the TV? That’s not the biggest deal, right? Well it created an issue because the TV remote sensor was being blocked by the sound bar. That means whenever we tried to turn the TV on or off, or tried to switch inputs so I could play Nintendo, we had to essentially stand up and point the remote over the sound bar. Life is so hard, am I right?
Anyway it was annoying so I came up with a plan. What if there were just another shelf that the TV could sit on, above the sound bar? I figured it’d be pretty easy to build.
After cutting all the wood to size I stained it Varathane’s American Walnut (our TV stand by CB2 is walnut veneer). I had never stained anything before, so this was kind of scary for me. In fact, I had cut all the wood, and then waited about 2 months before I attempted to stain. Turns out it’s pretty easy. I wiped the stain on with a brush and then wiped it off with a rag. It took two coats but I got it to be an almost identical match to our TV stand. Then I sprayed it with a clear coat of sealer (like this one), to give it a sheen similar to our TV stand. I decided to use spray sealer just because we happened to have a can already.
Next up was figuring out how to attach the sides to the top. I could have easily used the nail gun and shot some small brad nails through the top, but I was hoping to not put any sort of blemish in the top. Then I thought about using some brackets on the inside. But after doing some research, I bought a Kreg jig, which allowed me to drill from the inside and attach the sides at a ninety degree angle. It’s a very handy tool that I’ll get a lot of use out of.
After getting all the sides and a middle support piece screwed in, I added a little bit of stain inside the screw holes (since you’ll be able to see those from certain angles) and the whole unit was ready to go.
I brought it into the house and there was one small problem I didn’t really think about: the top piece of wood wasn’t completely flat. When we put it on the TV stand, the sides didn’t really lie flush with the top of the unit, even with the heavy TV on top. See the gap in the picture below? So I needed to fix it somehow.
I initially didn’t want to permanently attach the new shelf to the TV stand, but I decided to attach the back of the new shelf to the existing unit with some brackets. If we ever get rid of the sound bar or get a new one in the future, we can easily remove the back brackets. Then I used a pair of clamps to unwarp the front. After leaving the clamps on for two days, the top board leveled itself out.
Now we have an extension to our TV stand that blends right in. In fact, if I hadn’t built it, I wouldn’t even realize this part wasn’t original. The stain was a perfect match, so we got lucky there.
Have you built anything lately?