I wanted an easy to make a solution that would conceal my hardware; surround receiver, DVD player, front center speaker consoles and paraphernalia. In case I would come to own a front-firing sub (my current one is down-firing), I opted for a BESTÅ TV unit with 3 sections, so I would be able to conceal the sub also and still have space for the mentioned hardware. Instead of installing active cooling behind glass panels and having the problem of having a visible front center surround speaker (and sub), I wanted a TV unit with speaker fabric doors.
Speaker fabric is a good choice as it lets sound pass without (too much) muffling. It also allows IR signals to pass through from the outside, allowing remote controls to function on the devices inside the TV unit.
Wood fillets with the approximate thickness of the glass of the SINDVIK doors
Hack instructions for speaker fabric doors:
1. Assemble the media table following the instructions. Buy any number of shelves that suits your needs.
2. Break the glass of each door. Note that the glass is very strong. I used one of those hammers you can keep in your car for breaking windows in an emergency, to break the glass. I recommend breaking the glass in the cardboard wrapping that the doors come in, to contain most of the shards. Caution:Wear gloves and safety glasses.
3. Remove all glass from the doors. Take care not to scratch the doors, when you remove the glass that is still attached with glue.
4. Cut the wood fillets to size, so they will fit (length and height) in the grooves that held the glass in the doors.
5. Place the door with the front facing down on a clean and/or soft surface, so it won’t be scratched.
6. Measure and cut the speaker fabric to the size of the hole left by the glass, plus a little extra for fastening (5cm or 2,5″).
7. Fasten the speaker fabric by folding the edge evenly around a wood fillet, and squeeze the fillet with the fabric into the bottom “glass”-groove of the first door. Repeat for the sides and top, making sure that the fabric is evenly stretched.
9. Mount the doors. I can recommend installing the hardware in the furniture before mounting the doors, to avoid damaging them.
The price was the “IKEA stock price” of the TV unit, shelves and doors, plus a negligible amount for the wood fillets and speaker fabric. I had the fabric left over from another project, but I guess it would be 5-20 dollars depending on your local prices and availability.
What was hardest:
This hack is very simple, allowing novices like me to end up with a pretty and usable result. Except the breaking of the glass, no irreversible changes have been made to the furniture (and you can replace the doors).
The hardest part of the hack was finding the right wood fillets that allow for just enough tension that the fabric will not come loose over time, while still making it possible to insert and extract by hand.
Pay attention to these particular elements:
Getting proper speaker fabric.
Getting the right thickness (and length) on the wood fillets.
Not scratching the doors when removing the glass.
I considered wrapping the speaker fabric around a metal grille before inserting it into the doors, to make it sturdier to children and a dog’s wagging tail. However, with a metal grille, I would have to disassemble the doors themselves and to me, that added too much complexity. On the bright side of that solution, you might be able to extract the glass without breaking it.