When life hands you a bundle of unused lumber...

As the old saying goes, "when life hands you a bundle of unused lumber, make a homemade TV stand."  Yep, truly wise words to live by.  And so I did.

Aimee and I were out walking Naya one night when we came upon a pretty decent sized pile of 2x4s, 2x6s, and other random pieces of dimensional lumber sitting by the curb about a block away from our house.  From the looks of it, it was previously a piece of furniture that had been dismantled by the college students who lived in the house and were vacating it for the summer.  My guess is that it was an improvised bunk bed -- there seemed to be a lot of people who lived in that house.

Figuring that, if it was stacked by the curb, it was fair game for whoever wanted it, I went home and got my truck, and Aimee and I loaded up the wood and went on our merry way.  I wasn't sure what I would do with it, but hey, free lumber.

My TV stand was something that I'd inherited when I started college, and while it was certainly functional, it was a bit of an eyesore.  Given that I had a newly acquired pile of wood on my back porch, and flush with the success of my recent coffee table project, I decided to build my own TV stand.

After sketching out a basic shape, and confining myself to just 2x4s, I headed over to the Columbus Idea Foundry and went to work.  I'll spare you the details (also, I once again forgot to take many pictures of the work in progress), but here's basically what I did:

  1. Run the 2x4s through a planer to shave off about a 1/4" of the width (so the 2x4's nominal dimension went from 1.5" x 3.5" to 1.25" x 3.5")
  2. Run the planed 2x4s through a table saw to trim the height so that I ended up with 12 pieces that were 1.25" x 2.5" and 10 pieces that were 1.25" x 2".  The former would end up being horizontal pieces, while the latter would be vertical pieces.
  3. Cut the pieces to length on a miter saw, and angle the ends by making a 24° cut.  The crappy picture above shows the dimensional sketch I was working off of.
  4. Drill a 5/8" hole into both ends of each piece, at the point where the horizontal and vertical pieces would intersect.  To do this, I basically measured precisely where to drill on one piece of each type (upper horizontal, lower horizontal, and vertical), and then used those as templates to drill the remaining pieces.
  5. Assemble the pieces together, pass 1/2" threaded rod through the holes that (hopefully) line up on the four corners of the table, and cap off the ends with washers and nuts.  You can see what everything looked like dry fit together in the second picture.  I tried to get things as close to even as possible, but obviously there was going to be some minor variations in height that would need to be sanded out later.
  6. Take the pieces apart, and re-assemble them, this time putting wood glue between the joints.
  7. Once the wood glue dries, sand the crap out of the table until all unevenness is gone.
  8. Use an 1/8" rounded corner router bit to route around the top edge of the table.  The third picture shows what the table looked like after this step.
  9. Finally, stain and seal the table, and pop some casters on the bottom.  I opted for a red mahogany stain that, in all honesty, I don't think was the best choice for this project.  Nevertheless, the final product is infinitely better than my old TV stand.


And here it is with my old CRT TV (don't judge) sitting on top of it: