How to Make a Homemade TV Stand

Written by beau keyes
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Making a TV stand yourself is a good way to make an economical but also utilitarian piece of furniture. This also allows for customisation to match existing furniture or decor. It takes only a few hours to build a simple stand that includes one shelf and some cubby holes for video components or extra storage. Plywood is best for construction if staining or painting the stand, but medium-density fiberboard, or MDF, is an acceptable alternative.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • 1-inch thick plywood or medium-density fiberboard panels
  • Carpenter’s square
  • Pencil
  • Circular saw
  • Sawhorses
  • Medium-grit sandpaper
  • Wood glue
  • Drill and 1/4-inch bit
  • 1 1/2-inch wood screws
  • Wood fill
  • Putty knife
  • Light-grit sandpaper
  • Paint or stain
  • Paintbrush

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  1. 1

    Measure the area for the new TV stand with a tape measure. Determine the overall length, width and height of the stand. Ensure that the size is large enough for the size of the TV you want to house.

  2. 2

    Mark the dimensions for the top and bottom panels onto the plywood or MDF boards. Subtract 2-inches from the bottom panel length. Draw cut lines using a carpenter’s square and pencil. Measure and draw lines for the side panels on another piece of wood. Measure for a shelf board the same length as the bottom panel, and then three small 5-inch high boards that are as long as the top panel is wide.

  3. 3

    Cut all pieces using a circular saw. Place each board on sawhorses and have an assistant hold one end while cutting so that the wood doesn’t splinter as the cut is made. Cut slowly and evenly to avoid uneven edges. Lightly sand all cut ends with medium-grit sandpaper until smooth.

  4. 4

    Lay out all pieces in an open work space. Place the top panel face down on the sawhorses. Take one of the side panels and apply a bead of wood glue along the leading edge that connects to the top panel. Position it along one of the inside short edges of the top panel. Repeat this step with the second end piece and allow the glue to dry for 2 hours.

  5. 5

    Upend the top section onto the ground so it rests on the side panels. Drill three holes down through the top and into the legs using a 1/4-inch drill bit. Place the first two holes 1 1/2-inch from the end and then the third centred between those. Insert 1 1/2-inch screws and tighten them down just below the surface of the wood.

  6. 6

    Place the assembled piece on the ground so it resembles the letter “C” with the sides and top panel supported on end. Measure up from the bottom edge of each side a height of 3-inches and make a pencil mark. Glue the two long ends of the bottom board and position it inside the two legs. Have an assistant hold the board steady at the pencil mark and drill pilot holes through both side panels and into the bottom piece edges. Insert 1 1/2-inch screws to secure it.

  7. 7

    Measure the bottom of the shelf board from side to side and draw a centre line. Apply glue to the edge of one of the small 5-inch panels and lay it across the centre line to form a T-shaped leg. Glue and place the other two small support pieces at the ends of the shelf. Drill pilot holes and mount with the screws to properly secure them.

  8. 8

    Fill all holes with wood fill and smooth it with a putty knife. After it is dry, use light-grit sandpaper to get the holes smooth with the rest of the wood face. Paint or stain the TV stand as desired and allow it to dry thoroughly. Place the shelf board on its legs on top of the bottom panel to create a shelf with two small cubby holes beneath.

Tips and warnings

  • Make additional shelves if desired, and keep stacking them the same as the first.
  • Use caution and wear eye protection when using the circular saw to avoid injury.

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