Thursday, September 19, 2013

The TV console out of red cedar and construction brackets-Comment

Hi Everyone,

For those of you who have been following the TV console project, I've deleted my previous two postings about it and I'll explain why: it turned out that I made a lot of mistakes with it and had to completely re-do the whole thing. Here is a photo of the first effort several days ago:

It looked terrible. The parts didn't fit, the top didn't lay flat on the frame, I screwed up the bottom shelf and tried to improvise a solution. It didn't work.

So the next day I took it apart and completely disassembled it. I cut the legs down by 5 inches and very carefully with assorted wood working clamps and a square, completely re-assembled it. I also replaced the improvised shelf and went and purchased more lumber for the top and re-did that from the original plan I was going to start out with.

Here it is now:

Discussion and Further Plans

I still think the concept of construction brackets for use in household furniture is a good one and I'm going to attempt another console next week. Here are some caveats however before I do this again:

Wood-the cedar looks really nice but it's just too soft for furniture use. It dents and tears easily and if this were a regular table, it would not hold up to daily wear and tear. So next time I'll use pine or poplar. Also, no more construction grade lumber. It's not seasoned so when you get it home, within a day or two it will begin to twist and crack. It's also too rough. Next time I'll use a higher quality wood.

Brackets: the brackets work well. I primed and painted these and they don't look half bad. It does give the piece a more finished look. But next time I'll use smaller brackets so they're not so prominent in the design.

Assembly-the devil is always in the details and very much so with the assembly.  The brackets have to fit the lumber very snugly in order for this entire system to work properly and all the part to fit together correctly. It's imperative that you proceed slowly and carefully and clamp the brackets to the 2x4s before you screw them together. Also check the squareness with a carpenter's square as you proceed. This will give you a much nicer appearing piece at the end and the parts will fit together better.

Design-You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear-remember, this is fundamentally a dressed up construction piece. You can make it look nicer by taking your time and carefully considering just how this will fit inside your home and what it will look like along with all your other furniture. It's never going to be fine furniture no matter what you do. My furniture is a little more rustic in appearance so this will fit in but it's going to reside in my bedroom with a tv, a dvd player, lots of other stuff, and a cat or two on it and for this it's adequate. 

I am going to make another console as I really need some furniture at the moment and I'll carefully post about that. That will probably happen next week so stay tuned.

Now, I need to turn my attention to the fall art show so that's what we'll look at next.

More later,

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