After searching fruitlessly for a TV unit and finding nothing like
what I want, I've been considering building my own.
I'm guessing the cheapest way will be to use chipboard covered in that
fake wood effect veneer. What is this called? Is it Contiboard? I know
Contiboard is a specific brand name, can you get the same stuff called
Where's the best (cheapest) place to buy it?
I'd still class myself as a bare amateur at woodwork, so If I'm going
to make furniture then it needs to be good. As the cuts will need to
be very straight and accurate I think I'm going to have to invest in a
circular saw, or a table saw.
Would a (hand held) circular saw be ok for cutting straight, or am I
going to have to shell out a wad for a decent table saw?
Bollocks. It had a series of articles (spread over several issues) on how
to build a colour TV which of course was 625 lines. I started collecting
some of the components to build it but realised it would take a spare
lifetime and then some (and end up with a pile of sh1t: they used some
pretty cheap & nasty components in the design).
None of which is of the least relevance to the OP who wanted something
shelfey to put his telly on. :-)
Probably. But I hate the stuff. I'd always use one of real wood, blockboard
or plywood, depending on what I was doing.
I'm pretty useless at woodwork too, and even I can make a fairly straight
and accurate cut with a hand saw - good enough for most stuff that I do.
Just get a new hardpoint one, something like
I make allowances for my skills in the design - eg no attempting
of dovetails :-)
(the TV is currently sitting on a stand mostly made of 2x2" and 3x2", with
an old floorboard for a shelf. Nothing needed cutting to sub-millimetre
accuracy, since there are no butted edges. It may not be elegant, but it
works :-) )
Furniture board, fair faced ply (or MDF), veneered ply / MDF /
Blockboard might all be suitable.
Conti do make some veneered chipboards - although most of the stuff you
usually find in the sheds is the melamine faced version.
Local timber merchant probably.
A circular saw and a saw board will get you started.
Heh! why buy when someone will be giving away a wardrobe or two? on
freecycle thats if you have transport? now we know you cant get a wardrobe
in the car but most modern day wardrobes can be dismantled and can be packed
into a hatchback this way. :-)
Contiboard is one make, and has become a "hoover" word, so only the most
precious will correct you if you ask for it at a place that sells other
it can have an outer
face of a real wood veneer, which will need lightly rubbing down,
probably staining, and some form of protective surface, such as a
varnish; or it can have a printed film surface, which is immediately
usable and surprisingly realistic these days. Some of the film-surfaced
types have a rather poor edging on their long edges - a rather brittle
plastic strip, plain colour on one edge and printed to match the face on
the other. You can buy matching strip to glue on to any ends you have
to leave exposed.
The advantage of buying from B&Q or a similar outlet is that you can
select your own piece from the rack, and talk to the man who is cutting
it (see below). It is often badly stored and found damaged.
Try to design it round the panel widths and then have it cut to length
at the place you buy it. They will cut to width also, but you then have
exposed chipboard to deal with. Contrary to the experience of others,
and to the views of some of our purer contributors, I have found B&Q to
be capable of accurate, well-finished cuts. The man on the machine
appreciates it if you give him your dimensions accurately (to the mm),
and sort your list so he does all the cuts to a particular length
together, i.e. at the same setting of his saw. Allow 5mm waste per cut
when working out what you'll get from each board.
I'd suggest waiting till you've had some experience designing and
assembling from pieces cut by others before you splash out on / invest
in expensive tools. There are many methods of joining panels for simple
furniture construction, but some are best suited to series production as
they require jigs of various sorts. Simple plastic blocks and brackets
can work very well, and can be found in B&Q or Screwfix. Brace simple
cabinets against "lozenging" by using a back panel rather than relying
on timber joints.
Disclaimer: I have tried to make suggestions appropriate to the OP: all
you purists with hundreds of hours of experience and thousands of
pounds-worth of equipment may sneer to your hearts' content. My guess
is that the OP will be happier with an imperfect, but complete and
usable, piece of simple furniture than a spare bedroom full of
quarter-sawn oak, half-made sawing jigs, and Wadkin's finest. bicbw.
In article ,
If you clamp a straight batten to the board and use that to run the saw
along you'll get a near perfect cut with a hand held circular saw. Lay the
sheet on the floor and space off with lengths of wood so the saw doesn't
damage the floor. A table saw capable of handling large sheets of board
will be expensive and need a lot of space.
it can have an outer
Good advice. Have sheet materials cut to size (unless you have an empty
double garage and a pile of money to get rid of).
I don't think I'd consider conti for a tv cabinet unless it's a
lightweight LCD type.
In an earlier contribution to this discussion,
In addition, it's very difficult handling large sheets of material on a
table saw, and far easier to take a hand-held saw to the material.
A circular saw will give a good straight cut - especially if guided by a
batten, as suggested above - *but* you will almost inevitably get some
slight chipping of the melamine surface or wood veneer on the side where the
saw breaks through. [This will be the top side when using a hand-held
circular saw, so make sure that the edge which matters most is
You will need to get some matching iron-on edging to cover any exposed edges
of chipboard - and the chips in the melamine tend to prevent you from
getting as good a result as you would like. The way round this - which I
have only just discovered, but I'm sure is 'old hat' to many contributers
here - is to cut the board a couple of mm oversize with the circular saw,
and then use a router with a long straight cutter to remove the remaining
material. This gives a near-perfect surface on which to apply the edging