Building this DIY TV stand produces a sturdy and elegantly simple console that holds a flatscreen TV and provides storage below. Made of solid hardwood, this TV stand requires few cuts and no pocket holes. Fourteen inches high and 12 inches deep, this stand is large enough to hold a TV resting on 10-inch plastic stand legs.
Before You Begin
White ash is less expensive than other solid hardwoods, easy to find, and relatively simple to work with. White ash is strong and has bold streaks and an overall light brown or beige color. Cherry, maple, ash, white oak, and red oak are other solid hardwoods in the same price range.
With solid hardwood, wide boards are expensive and more difficult to find than narrower boards. If you're able to find 12-inch-wide hardwood—and your budget permits—then purchase that. Otherwise, it's more economical to bond two 6-inch-wide boards with wood glue to produce a 12-inch-wide board.
All flatscreen TVs on stand legs are tip hazards. For safety, be sure to attach a TV anti-tip strap after you place the TV on the unit.
Equipment / Tools
- 1 table saw
- 1 push stick
- 4 bar clamps
- 1 oscillating sander
- 1 electric drill
- 1 electric nailer
- 1 set drill bits
- 1 set countersink bits
- 1 pack of tack cloth
- 1 eye and hearing protection
- 4 pieces of solid white ash, 1/2-inch by 6-inch by 48-inch
- 2 pieces of solid white ash, 1/4-inch by 6-inch by 48-inch
- 1 solid white ash, 3/4-inch by 6-inch by 48-inch
- 4 round chrome furniture legs, 2-inch-tall
- 1 strip 18-gauge metal brad nails
- 1 set wood wax filler sticks
- 2 sandpapers, #220 and #320 grits
- 6 wood screws, 1-inch
- 1 TV anti-tip strap
- 1 wood glue
Cut the Side Pieces
On a table saw, cut the 3/4-inch-thick piece of wood into four equal-sized pieces, each piece 12 inches by 6 inches.
Build the Left Side Piece
Lay two of the pieces on the work surface. Run a thin bead of wood glue along the long edge of one of the pieces. Press the other side piece against the first piece. Clamp the pieces with two bar clamps. Wipe off excess glue. Add a full paint can or another heavy item to the center to prevent the boards from bowing.
Build the Right Side Piece
Let the glue on the left side piece cure for about two hours before removing the clamps. Repeat the process of gluing and clamping with the other two pieces to create the right side piece. After the glue has set, you will have two complete side pieces.
Trim the Side Pieces
Stack one side piece on top of the other side piece. Trim the grain-side edges of both side pieces together with the table saw. Not only does this help to bring all edges in line and square but it also cleans up the grain-side edges.
Build the Top Piece
Similar to gluing the side pieces, run a bead of glue along the long edge of one of the 1/2-inch-thick pieces of wood. Place another of the 1/2-inch-thick pieces against the wood and press tightly. Add four bar clamps. Wipe off excess glue. Add a weight to the center to prevent bowing.
Build the Bottom Piece
Repeat the previous step with the remaining two 1/2-inch pieces of wood: glue the wood, clamp the pieces together, clean off the glue, and weigh down the center.
Trim the Top and Bottom Pieces
Stack the top piece on the bottom piece. Run the stack through the table saw to cut off 1/2-inch from each end, producing two pieces each 47 inches by 10 inches.
Sand the Pieces
With #220 grit sandpaper on the oscillating sander, sand both sides of the top, bottom, and side pieces. Do not sand the edges or corners. Sand only the large, flat surfaces. After sanding, clean the wood with tack cloth. Switch to #320 grit sandpaper. Clean once more with tack cloth.
Dry-Fit All Pieces
Place the pieces on edge on the work surface. The top and bottom pieces should be parallel to each other and about 12 inches apart. Next, place the side pieces between and perpendicular to the top and bottom pieces.
Glue the Pieces
If the assembly is satisfactory, glue and join the pieces. Add thin beads of glue to the long edges of the side pieces. Place them back into position. Draw the top and bottom pieces toward each other tightly with the bar clamps, two per side. Clean off any glue that squeezes out.
Join the Top With Brad Nails
With the TV stand on its side, drive eight 18-gauge brads (four per side) to attach the top to the sides.
Join the Bottom With Screws
With the TV stand still on its side, drill six pilot holes (three per side). Countersink the holes with the countersink bit. Drive six 1-inch wood screws to attach the bottom to the sides.
Glue the Back Piece
Glue the two 1/4-inch-thick boards side-to-side. Clamp them together. Clean excess glue. Let the glue dry for several hours, then remove the clamps.
Mark Cut Lines on the Back Piece
Remove the clamps from the TV stand. Ensure the stand is square by measuring from one outside corner to the diagonally opposite one and checking that the measurements match. If not, adjust it by applying firm hand pressure on the corners.
Lay the TV stand centered on top of the back piece. Mark the cut lines on each side of the back piece.
Trim the Back Piece
Run the back piece through the table saw to trim off the excess ends.
Sand the Back Piece
With #220 and #320 sandpaper, sand the front and back (the large flat sides) of the back piece. Clean well with tack cloth.
Attach the Back Piece
Attach the back piece to the back of the TV stand with the electric nailer. The back piece keeps the TV stand in square and stable, so make sure that the back piece is secure.
Attach the Legs
Screw the legs onto the bottom of the TV stand.
Fix Nail Holes
On the top of the TV stand, fill in the nail holes with the wax touch-up sticks. Choose different colors to match color variations. It's also possible to blend colors. Smooth over by rubbing with your finger.
DIY TV Stand Variations
Since this DIY TV stand is so easy to build, it lends itself to a number of variations to suit the room, your home, and your TV viewing needs.
At about 14 inches high, this DIY TV stand is low enough to be stable yet remains within acceptable viewing height for most screens. The optimal viewing height is higher: for 50-inch TVs, it's 20 inches from the floor to the bottom edge of the screen.
You can increase the height of the TV stand by choosing different legs ranging from 2 inches to 16 inches.
- Square or H-Shaped: Chrome or black square-shaped 16-inch furniture legs, one at each end
- Slant: Classic wood mid-century modern 6- to 8-inch slanted legs, often with brass or chrome tips
- Hairpin: U-shaped slanted metal legs in a variety of finishes and ranging from 6-inches to 16-inches tall
- Natural: White ash has a beautiful natural color that you can enhance and protect with penetrating oils like linseed, Danish, cedar, or tung oil.
- Streaked: To accentuate its streaks, apply a coat of clear sealer, let the sealer dry, then wipe a black stain against the grain. Be sure to wipe off all of the excess black stain.
- Pickled: For a pickled wood look, wipe on black stain, let it dry, then apply a white gel stain. Work quickly to wipe off the white stain. The result will be a balanced mixture of white and black stains, reminiscent of a pickled stain.