Design, SketchUp, The TV Console
Comments 5

SketchUp design changes – TV Console project

Better. With this updated design, I have worked out a few design issues.

I’m back baby! After taking a very short break from some shop frustrations (see my last post), I got focused on what I needed to accomplish to move the TV console project forward. And I am glad to report that I am back on track. But, before I get to the actual woodworking, I thought I would show how the design of this project has matured.

With the initial design of the TV console project completed, I felt a little uneasy about it. The first thing I was concerned with was the height of the original design. While the balance of the SketchUp illustration was pretty good, I suspected that this project would come off almost like a piece of toy furniture. At 19 3/4 inches, the initial design was was less than two feet tall. So I drew it full size on a piece of MDF and enlarged the design going with a size that simply felt better. First some perspective on how small the initial design was…

Putting it in perspective. Just how small was the first design? I added this beer keg to the original drawing to give some much needed perspective.

Grown up. Note the larger size of the updated design (left).

The new design is only about five inches taller, but this size successfully moves it away from being toy like in appearance. The width remained the same.

Balance and proportion are so important when designing furniture (or anything else, I suppose). With the original design, a few things just seemed to be a little out of whack: the face frame and the bracket feet.

Skinny and small. Note the stile in the face frame. This seemed too skinny for this piece. Also, while I liked the design of the bracket feet, they are too small. Click to enlarge; I should have made the text larger.

When I drew the TV console full size, I went with face frame stiles that looked more appropriate. I also enlarged the bracket feet about an inch. I actually adjusted the size of the feet twice before settling on the final size. I want to start looking at furniture design books to better understand traditional rules of design.

Adjusted. Here, note the before and after alterations: larger overall size, a more appropriate face frame and bracket feet that offer more balance.

With the design nailed down, it was on to the woodworking. I was most frustrated last Saturday; my very strenuous attempts at making my glued up panels flat had failed. By Tuesday, I had located a cabinet shop that could plane my panels. I finished gluing them up, delivered them to the cabinet shop and had them back by Friday afternoon. The cost: $25 – money well spent.

Sizing a nice board. One of the wide mahogany boards from Bell Forest Products. I use my panel cutting jig to bring it to final length.

My favorite method of joinery. I use dados for my case pieces. If I had time, I would have tried dovetails, but I’ll leave that for a future project. I made this dado with repetitive cuts with my standard blade. I thought briefly today about buying an actual dado blade set, but didn’t.

Components. Here are most of the case pieces cut to final size.

A test fit. The “sub-top” is a piece of Aspen. I am running short on my mahogany and the Aspen will not be visible (I plan to stain it to match the mahogany).

The only components missing from the case are the shelf dividers. There are two of them and they will take a little time to fabricate since they are 1/2″ in width. That means I will have to plane down some of my mahogany. I am going to attempt this on my jointer which has been giving me fits lately. It is not adjusted properly – when jointing board edges, it cuts a taper.

I will also need to add a dado to all three cross pieces for these dividers to reside in. All of this should keep me busy during the coming week.

What a difference a week makes. I am now pleased with my progress on this project.

This entry was posted in: Design, SketchUp, The TV Console


During the week, I sell flooring products for The Dixie Group. Weekends, you'll find me in my basement workshop making furniture.


  1. There is a better photo of the jig in this post and a couple of photos of it being constructed in this post”.

    It is just a piece of plywood with a table saw runner and a fence that runs 90 degrees to the saw blade.

    I first saw one years agon on an episode of New Yankee Workshop. I made one at that time, but over the years the plywood warped. I rebuilt it earlier this year and improved on it's design a little.

    I am very pleased with the color of mahogany. I'll have to use it again in the future.

    Thanks for the comment.

  2. Lookin' good Jeff. Glad you got back on the horse and showed it who's running the show. I also like the little design tweaks. It will be beautiful!


  3. Jeff,
    Great progress. Your Sketchup drawings are great and very illustrative of the point you making. Looks like it'll be a great piece.

    As for your jointer headache, I'v been there. If you figure out a solution, please share it. I may need it.

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