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Medium Density Fibre also known as MDF or Supawood was the choice of wood for this TV cabinet. MDF is made from fine wood fibres coated in synthetic resin and then consolidated under high heat and pressure. The end result is a board with the properties of solid wood only cheaper.

DIFFICULTY: Beginner
ESTIMATED TIME: A weekend.
COST: R800.00
MATERIALS:

  • 16mm MDF
  • 3.5mm x 30mm wood screws
  • Wood glue
  • Wood filler
  • Wood primer
  • Topcoat of your choice

CUTTING LIST:

  • Out of a 16mm thick 2750mm x 1830mm sheet of MDF, cut the following pieces.
  • Two times 300mm x 500mm
  • Two times 354mm x 500mm
  • Two times 384mm x 500mm
  • Two times 500mm x 500mm
  • Two times 1532mm x 500mm
  • One 900mm x 500mm
  • One 450mm x 500mm


Step 1:
When MDF is manufactured, it is sealed to prevent it from soaking up the paint when it is applied. Because the sheet is cut into the different pieces for the TV cabinet, the edges are no longer sealed which means when paint is applied, the MDF will soak it up. Therefore make a solution of 50 percent wood glue and 50 percent water. Apply this to the edges to seal the MDF. Once dry it can be painted over.


16mm MDF was used to make the TV cabinet.

Step 2:
To build the TV cabinet, start with the outer framework. The cabinet will be 1532mm long, 500mm high and 500mm wide. The outer framework consists of the two 1532mm x 500mm pieces for top and bottom and the two 500mm x 500mm pieces for the sides. The sides of the cabinet go between the top and bottom pieces. On both sides of the top and bottom pieces, drill three 3mm holes, one hole in the centre of each piece and the other two holes on the edges. Drill them about 30mm from the edge to prevent the MDF from splitting when you screw in the screws. The holes are 3mm big because the screws that were used are 3.5mm. The screws are a bit bigger than the holes, but everything will then be screwed together nice and tight. Use a countersink drill bit to counter sink the holes so the heads of the screws do not protrude from the wood. Before you screw the pieces together, apply some wood glue. The outer framework needs to look like a rectangular box and the measurements on the inside of the box should be 1500mm x 500mm.

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First build the rectangular outer framework of the cabinet.
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Before you screw the pieces together, apply some wood glue for a stronger hold.
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Counter sink all the screw holes.

Step 3:
Next up are the two 300mm x 500mm and two 384mm x 500mm pieces. From these you need to make two L-shaped pieces. The 300mm x 500mm pieces need to be screwed onto the 384mm x 500mm pieces. Drill the three holes on the edge of the two 300mm x 500mm pieces.

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The 300mm x 500mm and 384mm x 500mm pieces make the two L-shaped pieces.

Step 4:

From the two 354mm x 500mm pieces and the 450mm x 500mm piece make an H-shaped piece. Determine the centre of both the 354mm x 500mm pieces. Screw the 354mm x 500mm piece onto the 450mm x 500mm piece so that the distance between them is 450mm.

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The two 354mm x 500mm pieces screwed to the 450mm x 500mm piece.

Step 5:
Now you fasten the 900mm x 500mm piece to the H-shaped piece you made in the previous step. From each side on 900mm length, measure 209mm inwards to get the position where you need to screw this piece to the H-shaped piece.

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Screw the 900mm x 500mm piece to the H-shaped piece.

Step 6:
Now you need to fasten the shape of step five and the two L-shaped pieces to the inside of the framework. Start with the L-shaped pieces. The 300mm ends are fastened to the sides of the cabinet and the 384mm pieces to the bottom. Make sure everything is perfectly 90 degrees before you fasten it. Remember the wood glue. The distance on the inside between the top of the cabinet and the 300mm piece should be 100mm. With this done, you will have two upright rectangles inside the rectangular framework.

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Fix the L-shaped pieces to the side and bottom of the cabinet.

Step 7:
Take the piece from step five and place it inside between the two L-shapes pieces. Place it against the inside of the top of the cabinet. Secure it by screwing it to the top of the cabinet as well as the L-shaped pieces inserted earlier.

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Insert this piece between the L-shapes and screw it to them and the top of the cabinet.

Step 8:
Fill all the countersunk screw holes with wood filler. This will ensure none of the screws are visible and all the holes are filled leaving you with a smooth surface.

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Fill all the holes with wood filler.

Step 9:
Once the wood filler has dried, sand it nice and smooth with an orbital sander or by hand.

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Once the wood filler is dry, sand it smooth.

Step 10:
With the TV cabinet constructed, you can now start painting it. The first layer of paint is the wood primer. Dulux wood primer was used to prime the cabinet. You can also use universal undercoat which is suitable for wood and metal. Here you must not be in any rush to finish the cabinet because the wood primer takes 18 hours to dry. It would be a good idea to prime the cabinet the one day and let it stand until the next morning before you paint the topcoat.

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Apply the primer.
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This primer from Dulux was pink.
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Allow the primer 18 hours to dry and then you can apply the topcoat.

Step 11:
After 18 hours the primer is sufficiently dry and the topcoat can then applied. For the topcoat Dulux Pearlglo pebble black, which has a satin finish, was used. Apply at least two coats of the topcoat to ensure full coverage.

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Apply two coats to ensure the cabinet is completely covered.

Extras
You can add some legs to the underside of the cabinet which will make it a bit higher. This is maybe a good idea because the legs will lift the cabinet off the ground, keeping the wood out of reach of water if for some reason large amounts of water end up on the floor close to the cabinet. If you prefer, you can also close the backside of the cabinet. 3mm thick masonite will be fine.

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