Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Making Progress

It's past time for an update on our latest building project: the new TV/media stand. We are very close to finishing the major construction work and starting to paint. It's been a fair amount of fun to see it come together. And I'm still hopeful that the final cost will come in close to or just over $200. Of course, it helps that we've got paint already. Thankfully, I was able to layout a cutting plan for the main pieces that allowed us to get the most out of a single 4'x8' sheet of 3/4" MDF. And it also helped our work schedule that Lowes cut the 4'x8' sheet into 5 18" x 4' tall strips. That left us with only having to do the shorter cuts with our electric saw.

I did do a lot of the cuts with a very fine saw and our little miter box. All of the molding and the pieces for the  the two door frames were cut by hand. I felt I had more control and precision that way. Here's my daughter Emily helping out cutting a door frame. Unfortunately, that was one of the short pieces that I measured wrong, so her effort was for naught.
On the bright side, she still has the skills she learned building robots in high school.

There's been several challenges in this project. Figuring out how to evenly space and drill the holes in the sides for the adjustable shelves was one. I found a plan online for a jig, but it was a failure. What did work beautifully was Larry's idea of using a scrap from the pegboard we had in the garage. Another challenge was applying the molding. I originally thought we'd attach it using the brad nailer that is powered by our air compressor. But I decided against that because after testing it on a couple of sample bits, I decided that I didn't want to risk ruining the molding by a brad not going in all the way. So, Ms. Control Freak grabbed finish nails and attached it the old fashioned way with a hammer. I did luck out in how well the mitered corners came together and I discovered a new use for painter's tape. Holding the molding in place while I attached it.

So what does it look like now? Like this:

I'm very pleased as is Larry. Next up is to do a finish sand (need to sand over where I filled various holes and dings with wood putty), then move on to priming it. Then we'll do the finishing touches like finishing and attaching the cabinet doors and attaching the back. I am planning on painting it white, but am thinking of painting the interior of the center section (where we'll have two shelves for the various electronics attached to the TV) a pale aqua blue. The cabinet doors will get white tulle curtains instead of glass or a solid filler mainly because I want to put the woofer for the stereo in one of the cabinets and I don't want to have to open the door every time we turn on the stereo.

For now, we're on hold as the temperature outside has dropped below freezing and I refuse to bring it into the house to paint. Sometime this weekend it will warm up during the day and I'll be able to paint in the garage. It may not be done by the Super Bowl, but we'll definitely have it finished by our next Sunday Supper in February.

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