Everything should float

Materials: BESTA Shelf unit/height extension unit, black-brown 2 polished stainless steel boat hand rails, 1″ x 4′ 1/2″ plywood, 24″ x 36″ 3/4″ x 4″ plywood planks bolts & bolt backing plates Wall TV mount wood glue

I assembled the BESTA… unit completely, knowing I would have to remove the top of the unit, but I wanted to get the spacing of the shelves properly measured. With those, I calculated the size for the frame of the TV mount to have it the proper distance to allow me to put the center channel speaker on top of the finished stand. The stainless steel hand rails are available from any marine supply store – I ordered mine from a place called Defender Marine, based on a recommendation from a coworker who owns a boat.

I cut the 1/2″ plywood down to 24×30, from the 24×48 piece I’d bought at Lowes. I already had some 3/4″ x 3″ planks left over from another project. I drilled the holes for the top and bottom of the framed unit clamped together, using the drill press to get perfect alignment. I think this is important, because this is a TIGHT FIT. It took two people working together to get these pipes into place. The forstner bit is important for drilling a perfect, smooth hole, without any burring or chips.

With the TV mount created, I measured and drilled the holes to mount the TV wall mount to my assembly, put in the bolt backing plates, and painted it flat black. I left the bolts in, so I didn’t get paint gumming up the threads from the bolt backing plates. Yes, I could have waited until it was painted, but I don’t think about these things when I’m playing in the garage. With everything painted and the paint dry, it was time to mate this thing to my BESTA… cabinet. I removed the top, carefully measured to find the center of the cabinet top, then marked where I needed the holes drilled to pass the steel pipes through. Note: the blue tape went all over the drilling area, and I could mark it up as much as I needed, then remove my marks as I removed the tape. Also note the top “board” of the cabinet is paper. Don’t go nuts with the drill and press too hard or you’ll break it. Slow and steady wins the race.

With these things mated together, it was time to put the top back on the BESTA cabinet. I made the bottom two shelves equal height – they have to be, to support the pipes. Fortunately for me, the height I needed was exactly right to hold DVD/Bluray discs. With the upper shelves out of the unit, I put the top back on, then used scraps of wood to support the bottom of the pipes. I stacked two pieces, the top was drilled with the Forstner bit, to keep the pipe from shifting left/right/front/back, and the bottom was not drilled, to keep the pipes from shifting down. I probably could have gotten away without the bottom block of wood, but after seeing the top was made from paper, I opted not to.

Last thing was to cut a notch out of the top shelves to accommodate the pipes, cutting openings out of the back sheet to pass cables through, and stocking the cabinet. Again, the blue tape allowed me to mark up where I needed cuts, and helped protect the finish while I was cutting. Removing the tape removed all my marks and left me the pristine surface. End result: the cabinet I wanted, without paying a fortune for it. This is with my 50″ plasma television, in place in my new bedroom.

~ Scott C, Southern California


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