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254 posts

Ultimate Geek

# 201587 25-Aug-2016 16:27
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I want to replace my current TV cabinet for a floating shelf, and would like it to have a nice rimu veneer top and front which I'll put a two-pot epoxy varnish over to keep shiny.


The shelf itself will be a triangular design with the corners cut off and it needs to fit a not-quite-90-degree corner. I notice the gib board it will abut is slightly wavy as well, so that will require a gentle touch.


The question is- do I build it myself out of pine cross beams and hardboard and take it to a "place" to veneer, or do I buy pre-veneered MDF (ugh!) panels and make that work? Or veneer it all myself? Or, do I just give the design to a decent cabinetmaker and pay lots of $$$ for it?


I rate myself to build a shelf out of beams and hardboard, and I can varnish it no problem either. But I have no experience in veneering and want it done right. So for a piece of built-in furniture that will be in plain sight do I just bite the bullet and give it to someone to add that bit extra?


I should add that I don't have a bench or mitre saw, just a trusty circular saw so this would be mainly hand sawn. I'm not sure if that will be accurate enough anyway!


Your thoughts, etc.







I reject your reality and substitute my own!
- Adam Savage, Mythbuster

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4088 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1617470 25-Aug-2016 16:56
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If you are mounting it in the corner you should be able to do away with the cross beam and use concealed supports through to studs in the walls, what sort of load are you planning to hold up?

15158 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1617472 25-Aug-2016 16:59
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How big is it going to be? You could buy rimu second hand, wither solid or as a veneer on MDF. Something like an old door or desk. To do it from new timber will be pricey.


254 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 1617488 25-Aug-2016 17:16
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The shelf will be about 900x1600 with a diagonal of about 1800. It needs to match some other solid heart rimu furniture (coffee table etc).
The load is a 42" plasma TV and speakers, shall we say 30kg?
I did consider re-purposing a rimu veneer door but those chamfered acute corners plus the installation of cable ports would be a headache. Whether the same headache as construction from scratch, I don't know.
I'd like it to be fully floating if I can. I saw a design at and quite liked the idea. I don't want the shelf to sag or twist and I want to do it as cost-effectively as possible. If that means spending more to get it right first time then that's ok(ish) but I also like the satisfaction of DIY.

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
- Adam Savage, Mythbuster

1846 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1617663 26-Aug-2016 08:31
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If I was going to make that this is how I would do it.


- min. 85mm thick (2x18mm ply with 45mm internal frame)
- The rimu surface would be thin so probably not a perfect match for other furniture


I'd make a timber subframe from 45x45 SG8 gauged pine. Id use this process to test fit the frame to ensure a good fit in the corner. I'd use SG8 gauged timber as I find it generally straighter. You could use pine clears for this though and you'll possibly get an even straighter frame. *shrug*


I'd then buy two sheets of 1200x2400 18mm poplar core, rimu veneered plywood. Poplar core because it's lighter. I'd probably try and order this directly from a ply supplier like BBI or Plytech as buying sheets of veneer and gluing them myself would not be a job I'd want to do. There's no way i'd get as good of a finish. There's no guarantee they have this in stock (unlikely) so it would cost a bit. As an alternative you could buy second hand floorboards and laminate them together to get a solid shelf. Fixing to the wall is still an issue, and it'll weight a whole lot more.


I'd then glue this ply to the frame top and bottom, and finally trim the shape to match the frame (which you've test fit into the corner).


Finally i'd clash the visible front of the frame with some thicker piece of rimu. I'd probably try and buy some second hand floorboard for this as it'll be nice and thick so could take some bashing. This would be about 20mm thick so i'd have to make sure to allow for this extra size when measuring the frame.


As for fixing the whole thing to the wall, the shelf itself will be pretty heavy, so in addition to a plasma TV (upwards of 30-40kg i'd allow) you'll need to find a fixing solution that would take 80kg minimum. Keep in mind you don't want it to sag over time, nor do you want to never put anything else on the shelf. Add in a drunk stumble or someone leaning on it for whatever reason, and you'll need the extra weight allowance. You could look at a simple french rail, or just some supports under the shelf. Putting in hidden fixings on a corner unit are a little more difficult and would require building a frame onto the wall and then mounting the shelf to the frame from the underside.


Long story short, if you're building it yourself, be prepared and do your research.

2996 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1617707 26-Aug-2016 09:35
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Considering that you'll have a TV covering most of the top I wouldn't get too worried about veneering. I've built a book shelf that had the horizontal surfaces just pine with a Rimu stain. The front edge was Rimu and that is really the only bit noticed.

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