Monday, November 11, 2013

0 Swapping the Expedit & Mounting a TV for NES

Ever since we bought the first 5x5 IKEA Expedit, I've wanted to either paint it or get a black/brown version of the same shelving unit.  So when a friend of ours was looking for one, and Becky found a black/brown one for them, I jumped at the chance to swap ours.  Lindsey & Clyde were more than happy to swap, since they would rather have the blonde color anyway.  Now, swapping isn't as simple as it sounds.  A fully assembled Expedit is heavy and awkward (5x5 really means 6ft x 6ft), and we essentially moved one four times in one night.  I first had to take apart the shelving I'd added to the side and unbolt it from the wall.  Then Clyde and I loaded it into our trailer, strapped it down and took it to their house and loaded it into their living room.  Then we went to the seller's house and moved it out of her studio and into the trailer again, and brought it back to the house and unloaded it into our house.  Was it worth all the effort?  Absolutely.

Now that it was in place, I had to stain and poly the shelves I'd built for the components, so I spent a couple days doing that, which included me kicking over what little stain I had left, so I barely completed the job, and had a mess on the garage floor to clean up.  Mineral spirits worked well to dilute it before it soaked into the concrete too much, but there's still a light discoloration on our garage floor.  Better that than somewhere indoors!

I recently acquired a pristine original Nintendo Entertainment System.  It came with all three Super Mario Brothers games.  Now, we have a Wii (that we hardly ever play), with SMB3, but it's just not the same - so I was very excited to get the NES set up.  To top it off, my cousin Tony gave me all of his old games and Nintendo systems, so I added a ton of NES cartridges, plus Super Nintendo, N64 and GameCube to the roster, along with already having Sega Genesis and Dreamcast, and Playstation 1 & 2.  The idea was to get an old school arcade going in this room.  Before I built the shelves to the right of the Expedit, I had at least the NES set up briefly, but with the change in that room, there just wasn't a good way to do it.

So this weekend I got creative.

I have some hinges from the entertainment center project, so I thought about how I could utilize those to create a drop-down screen.  My first thought was to have it swing down from above the turntable, but as I thought more about it, I didn't really want it shoved over in the corner.  Then I thought about having it slide out from behind the speaker, or next to the turntable, but that would require purchasing some drawer slides, and I was determined to complete this task without spending any money on it.  Then I thought, why not just mount it in the middle of the Expedit, and use the hinges just to be able to store things behind the screen?

I pulled out the bag of leftover IKEA hardware and started scheming.  The screws that connect kitchen cabinets together were the perfect machine screw size for the back of the TV, so I didn't have to go buy mounting screws, and I had some leftover rackmount rails from some road cases I had. I used those to create the back mount that would attach to the hinges.

 I used a hacksaw to cut them down to the right height and then screwed them into the back of the TV. I then measured where the hinges would go on the shelving unit. The Expedit is just pressboard, so since I was undermounting the hinges, I didn't want to use wood screws for fear they wouldn't hold the weight of the TV (even though it's a small TV), so I pulled out 4 more kitchen cabinet screws, which are essentially a machine screw with a sleeve instead of a nut, so I drilled a hole the size of the sleeve and threaded the hinges on. I then used some bolts/wingnuts I had to secure the rails to the hinges.

 The result is pretty awesome. Especially for not spending any money on it and still not having it look cobbled together. All the hardware is hidden behind the screen, and the screen lifts up so we can store things behind it. Best of all? I can now add all the video game systems.  But that's for another time!


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