Friday, August 17, 2012

DIY Industrial TV Console

When it came time to shop for a TV console for my friend's new home, there were so many beautiful options- from mid century credenzas to sleek and modern tv units. However the prices were not in our favour...
So of course we decided to make one!
Since we are not furniture makers, we went with a simple design that matched the bar cart I made for her.
Initially I wanted to used stacked plywood for the shelves but at 6 feet long and with the weight of their massive TV, we didn't want to risk sagging or bowing that would probably occur over time.
Stacked plywood? Probably doesn't sound appealing right? But it is!
I love the look of this. The layers provide a beautiful detail.

I remember one of my instructors mentioned doing this to plywood but I didn't fully appreciate it until I saw it in person at Zebra Club- a clothing store designed by one of my favourite architecture/interior design firms: MGB Architects (which has recently split into two different firms).
I lost pictures that I had of some of their fixtures when my hard drive died but here's a black and white picture I found online:
The black and white image is cool but it doesn't do the plywood justice. It's beautiful. Just trust me. =)
I also LOVE the look of stacking plywood vertically. 
This is of course a lot more time consuming! One day I'll make something using this stacked plywood method. I just love it!
Wow that was a major tangent. Sorry. Back to the TV console.
For stability, we ended up going with a slab of 2x12x12 pine that we got cut in half to give us two 6 feet pieces.
Life Designed
After a good sanding, we stained it with MinWax's dark walnut- which has been my go to stain colour for a while now.
Life Designed
They wanted to keep the unit low and the TV at eye level so for each leg we used two 6" pipes, one coupler and then the base which would be fastened to the bottom shelf and the underside of the top shelf.
This is pretty easy to make - even for us amateurs!

The order in which you attach the pieces is important for the pipe pieces to attach together. So we took the top shelf, flipped it on it's back and placed the bases in position. We had 2 on either ends and then 2 in the center for support.
Life Designed
I liked the look of the legs being a bit inset so placed them 3" in from the edge.
Then we drilled pilot holes and then drilled the bases in place. (We were working fast so I'm improvising on the pictures)
Life Designed
(I should mention, before we did this, we spray painted the pipes, parts and screws matte black)
We attached all the pipe pieces together including the other base. This part is important! If you attach the 2nd base onto the upper shelf before hand, the pipes won't attached together! Start from one shelf and work your way to the second shelf.
Once all the screws are in place and the pipes are attached together, flip it over on top of the bottom shelf:
Life Designed
Make sure everything is algined and then screw the fasteners in place.

Life Designed
That's one beautiful masculine piece!

We didn't get a chance to clean up all the wires and put everything in place as we had other errands to run, but you get the idea!
(We might add chunky industrial casters to it if we can find some at a reasonable price)

The beauty of this piece is that it's modular. You can easily add more shelves to it, make it higher, lower, etc.
It doesn't break the bank either.  My friend paid about $100 for the shelves, dark walnut stain, 12ea 6" pipes, 6ea couplers, 12ea bases. A great price for a 6 foot long piece of furniture! And the best part? We made it together! =)


  1. Looks great! I love the pipes. Totally matches the bar cart.

  2. we can you find those bases for that cheap? they're actually called flanges. in every home depot, lowes, and hardware stores, they're about $8/piece. For 12 of them that's $96 just for the bases.

    Were you able to find them some place else for cheaper? thanks!

    1. Hi Stephen! That's strange...I got them from Home Depot. They're the galvanized steel ones. They were only a dollar or two and then I spray painted them. I haven't been to HD lately but they should be there! Good luck!

  3. can you provide a link for buying those galvanized steel flanges and pipes??
    thank you. i loove it!