DIY TV stand overview: Benefits, tools and materials
Looking at TV stands,
I felt like Goldilocks:
Some models were too
expensive, some were too
flimsy, and others were
too modern for a traditional
home. None of them
were just right. So I
designed and built this
one. It accommodates a
flat screen up to 55 in. and
has plenty of space for
For speed and simplicity,
I assembled this TV stand
with pocket screws. It took
just one day to build and
another to finish. The
materials for our oak
stand cost about $125 at
the home center. If you
choose cherry, birch or
maple, expect to spend
about $100 more. You’ll find a complete Materials List in "Additional Information" below.
What it takes in a nutshell:
Time: One weekend
Tools: Table saw, drill,
jigsaw, pocket screw jig,
sander. Though not essential,
a brad nailer is
Just-Right DIY TV Stand
This handsome TV stand will organize all your electronic clutter and DVDs. It's an ideal project for a DIYer, and you can complete in just one weekend.
Get a Pocket Screw Jig for the DIY TV Stand
If you're an aspiring woodworker and don't
yet have a pocket screw jig, buy one now.
Once you have it, you’ll find yourself reaching
for it nearly every time you assemble a
project. There are a lot of models available,
ranging from about $30 up to $200.
Kregtool.com is a good place to start browsing.
With pocket screw joinery you don’t need an arsenal of expensive clamps.
For detailed instruction on pocket screw techniques read How to Use Pocket Screws. You’ll also find other pocket screw projects if you search for screws in the search box at the top of the page.
Step 1: Cut out the pieces and glue up the legs
Cut out the pieces to the dimensions given in the Cutting List that you’ll find in "Additional Information" below. I built a deluxe table saw sled to cut the
tapered legs (Photo 1), but any
jig that slides along the table
saw fence on one side and holds
the board at the correct angle on
the other side will do the job. To
find the angle, just measure and
mark 3 in. in at the top and 5 in.
in at the bottom of your 23-in.-
long 1x6 blank. Align these marks
with the saw kerf in the jig and
tack your cleats to the jig. With
this setup, you can cut exact
repeats all day long.
To add a bit of extra rigidity to
the front frame, the lower rail has
curved braces at the bottom. To
make this bracket shape, just cut
blocks from scrap and glue them
to the ends of the lower rail.
Once the glue is dry, sand the
joint smooth and trace the curve.
The exact shape isn’t a must; I
used a flexible steel ruler and
bent it to make a smooth curve
along the block from bottom to
top. Next cut the shape (Photo
2) and smooth it with a drum
sander or a sanding block.
Figure A: DIY TV Stand Details
TV Stand Overall Dimensions:
54" wide x 23-3/4" high x 16-1/2" deep
You can download and enlarge Figure A in "Additional Information" below.
Step 2: Assemble the face frame and back
Drill the pocket holes in the back side
of the rail ends and the edges of
the plywood back (Photo 3).
Assemble the face frame (Photo
4) with the legs tapering to the
outside. The back is constructed
in virtually the same manner as
the face frame. But instead of
having an upper and a lower rail
like the front frame, the back
frame has a solid panel fastened
between the outer legs.
Step 3: Assemble the cabinet
Cut the sides and the three
shelves from 3/4-in. plywood following
the Cutting List in "Additional Information" below.
Drill all pocket holes into the shelf,
the subtop and the base (E). The
subtop and the base have the
same drilling pattern. For the
shelf, don’t drill holes in the
lengthwise edges, only on the
ends. Also drill pocket holes in the
sides to attach the face frame and
back later (see Photo 6). Position
the subtop and the base against
the sides. Make sure the top of the
base (E) is 4-1/2 in. from the lower
edge of the sides. Screw the
subtop, the base and the shelf to
the sides (Photo 5).
Set the cabinet on 1/2-in. spacers
and drive pocket screws into
the legs (Photo 6). Next attach the
front face frame in the same
manner, then align and screw the
subtop to the face frame. Then
carefully flip the assembly upside
down and attach the base to the
front and back frames as well.
Alignment is critical at the base,
so measure to prevent any
Step 4: Install the shelf and dividers
With the cabinet upside down,
cut 9-1/2-in. spacers and install
the shelf (Photo 7). Then add the
dividers, nailing them into place
through the base and on the
underside through the shelf. Be
sure the dividers are evenly
spaced in the opening. Glue and
nail the shelf face (J) and the
divider faces (K2) in place. Cut the
plywood top (H) and glue and nail
the edging to the top. With the
cabinet still inverted, position the
top under the assembly, and
screw it to the subtop with 1-1/4-
Step 5: Build and mount the drawers
The drawers are just simple boxes
made from 1/2-in. plywood with
1/4-in. plywood bottoms. To size
the drawer width, measure the
openings between the divider
faces. Subtract 1 in. from this
width to determine the drawer
widths (1/2-in. clearance for each
drawer slide). Make sure the
drawer height is at least 3/4 in.
shorter than the opening height.
In order to fasten the drawer
slides to the cabinet, you’ll need
to add 1-1/2-in. x 1-in. x 13-1/2-in.
cleats onto the base (E)
between the front and back legs.
You’ll also need to cut 1/8-in. x
1-1/2-in. x 13-1/2-in. spacers and
glue them to the sides of the
dividers (K1). These cleats and
spacers will allow the drawer
glides to align with the faces of
the shelves and the legs.
Fasten the drawer slides to
the drawer bottoms (Photo 8)
and to the cabinet. Position the
front of the slide so the drawer
sits back 3/4 in. from the face of
the cabinet. To finish the drawers,
measure the opening of
each drawer, subtract 1/4 in.
from the height and width and
cut the plywood drawer faces to
that dimension. Attach iron-on
edge banding to the drawer
front and trim and sand the
edges. For a detailed instructions, read Edge Banding With Iron on Veneer Edging.
With the drawers placed in
the cabinet, apply double-stick
tape to the front of the drawer
assembly. Carefully align the
drawer face to the drawer with
1/8-in. spacers resting between
the faces and the lower rail.
Press the drawer fronts (M) into
place and then screw them
from inside the drawer box.
Check the fit and then drill the
holes for the drawer pulls.
Back to Top
Step 6: Finishing
Sand the project with 150-grit
sandpaper. Be sure to blend the
edge banding and ease any
sharp edges. Vacuum the project
and then wipe it down with a
clean cloth moistened with mineral
spirits to remove any residue.
I finished the stand with
stain, plus three coats of Minwax
Wipe-On Poly, and let it cure for
a full week before installing
components. I then positioned
the components, planned the
cable routes and drilled generous
2-in. holes in the back of the
stand for wiring.
David Radtke, DIY TV stand designer and author
Meet the Author
David Radtke is a Field
Editor from Minneapolis.
A professional remodeler
and cabinetmaker, he also
restores vehicles on the