Projects – TV stand – Part 2

Following on from TV stand – Part 1

I’ve finally knocked up a quick sketch of what I want the TV stand to look like:

Google sketchup plan of TV stand

The shape is similar to the open sided TV stand we have at the moment, but with two rear panels at 90 degrees to each other and two stub side panels.

I’ve tried to ensure the panels fit together nicely when laid out in plan form to ensure efficient use of the 19mm veneered MDF sheets.

Today was nice and sunny and the weather forecast looked better than the rest of the Easter weekend, so I took the opportunity to start cutting the MDF.

I positioned the MDF so that the cut would run between the jaws of a workbenchto ensure it was level and wouldn’t sag or fall during cutting.

It was “interesting” getting the sheet out of the garage and onto both my workbenches and a saw horse on my own! (Edit: I could have done with one of these)

8 x 4 veneered MDF before cutting

As one veneered side was already slightly marked, I put it facing upwards, so that any tear out or scrapes from my circular saw were on the same side.

Using my guide clamp and Bosch PKS46 circular saw with a Faithfull 40t blade I ripped the 8′ x 4′ sheet in half.

Although I heavily scored the veneer before cutting, the cross cut resulted in heavy tear out on the upper face, but the lower face intended to be the visible side has a nice clean cut.

Tearout from cross-cutting veneered MDF

I then ripped a one foot wide strip off the side of one of the 4′ x 4′ (this cut was a lot neater, as it didn’t have to cross the grain of the veneer), then cross cut the 4′ x 3′ into two 3′ x 2′ boards to form the two main uprights of the stand.

The 1′ wide strip was then cross cut with a 17 TPI handsaw to see if that resulted in a neater cut (it did, but I wouldn’t want to cut much longer than that as the blade was starting to wander … poor technique on my part, no doubt)

I’ve decided against biscuits or dowels to join the side and rear panels together. Instead I have cut some rebates on the edges of the side panels which locate into some stopped grooves/housings in the inner faces of the rear panels, rather than a corresponding rebate. The rear panels also use this joint where they meet.

Routed groove - how it should be done

How it should be - straight routed housing

The proximity of the housing to the edge of the panels means I’m unable to clamp a guide clamp either side of the router and there are a couple of rather wobbly cuts where I failed to keep the router pressed against the guide 😦

Wobbly routed rebate

Wood butchery - wobbly routed housing

I’m not very happy with the way the above groove/housing turned out, but since it isn’t visible once the carcass is assembled I’ll probably leave it rather than cutting a replacement panel.

I also cut a rebate into the top edge of all four panels, which will locate into a groove in the underside of the top panel. I’m not looking forward to cutting that, given the issues I had with the other housings …

As the light was fading at this point I did a quick dry fit of the side and rear panels and called it a day.

Carcass dry fitted

It doesn’t look too bad so far, but I think this was the easy bit – next comes the cutting of the top and shelves, which are all pentagonal!

I think some of the housings may need a bit of a shave to give a better fit, but I’ll wait until I’ve applied the veneer to the bare cut ends of the MDF before I do that, otherwise I might end up having to do it twice.

I intend to fit the shelves into housings in the side and rear panels (without rebates this time).

When I cut these housings I will use a guide clamp both sides of the router where possible and where it’s not I’ll ensure the guide is on the side of the housing that’s most likely to be visible.

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5 Responses to Projects – TV stand – Part 2

  1. Pingback: Projects – TV stand – Part 3 | Aggravated Wood Butchery

  2. Pingback: Zero clearance | Aggravated Wood Butchery

  3. Doubled-sided tape should work fine but, you’ll still need to make a cut for the riving knife to slip through, before you make that first ‘zero-clearance’ cut.

    It’s only at the ‘front’ of the blade where the zero-clearance is required though.

    I’ve never been sure of which way to rout when cutting a groove in combination with a guide fence. Sometimes it goes well; at other times, it doesn’t.

  4. Good to see you’re making progress, John.

    Does your router not come with a side fence? If you’re trying to complete the full depth of cut (for the grooves) in a single pass, I’d advise you to take several shallow passes instead (usually, equal no more than half the diameter of the cutter).

    You could also trying placing masking tape over your cut line, which can help to reduce breakout and splintering (it’s usually better but, not always perfect). 60t blades give an even better finish but then, they seem to struggle with 18mm thick MDF, in my experience.

    • John says:

      Hi Olly,

      Thanks for the advice.

      The router does have a fence, but the router moved towards the edge, in the direction of the fence, so I don’t think using it would have made any difference.

      I must confess I was being a bit lazy (I was impressed the router made such light work of the cut, but I think accuracy was what suffered).

      I think I probably made the worst cut in the wrong direction (the fence on the right of the direction of travel instead of the left). I know about going anti clockwise round a piece, but had a bit of a brain fart and thought it wouldn’t matter if both sides of the blade were cutting.

      I think if the side against the guide clamp had been cutting in the direction of travel it might not have wandered so badly (although at least one other wander was the result of me rotating the router until one of the wing nuts pushed it away from the fence, so it wasn’t always incorrect direction to blame)

      I probably should have used the plunge base instead of the fixed one to make it easier to do multiple passes at different depths – I’ll give it a try when I do the next cuts.

      I’m considering making a zero clearance insert for my circular saw from some thin ply (although I’m not sure how I’d fix it other than double sided tape), or clamping a length of sacrificial MDF on top of the cut line.

      I couldn’t find anything finer than a 40T for my saw, which has a maximum blade diameter of about 150mm.

      I’m currently pondering how I want the top and shelves to look (in particular how much overhang) and am playing about with some cardboard templates.


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