Monday 24 October 2016

Oak Desk with Embedded TV/Monitor part 3 : Fitting the TV

This is a continuation of my build of an oak and glass desk with a 32" TV & computer built into it. The previous parts of the build can be found below.
Step 5: Fitting the TV

The TV that was volunteered for the project is a Samsung 32" LCD.

Removing the bezel revealed the actual dimensions of the panel and the frame which would need to be incorporated into the desk. To allow this whilst keeping the panel near to the glass I had to rout a border into the underside of the desktop - as mentioned in part 2.

Fortunately the frame of the TV included mounting holes. Less fortunately, they were in line with the thinner ledge that held the glass. It didn't seem wise to mount screw the TV to that thin ledge - it had enough weight to support with the glass alone, therefore I created small plywood mounts to go between the TVs mounting holes and the main body of the desktop.

A photo posted by Anthony (@darkmidnight_diy) on

In order to protect the user and the electronics from each other, I decided to keep the plastic back of the TV. This was simply held in place by several "mechanical retention blocks" (a fancy name for small offcuts of wood that wedged the back in place). This held the back securely, while also allowing access should it be required for maintenance/upgrades.

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Step 6: Fitting the CHIP

Rather than have cables trailing to the TV from an input device, I decided to add a small single-board computer. The system I've opted for is the CHIP - a $9 dollar board. I backed their Kickstarter for a couple of CHIP systems and a VGA adapter board. The spare CHIP will surely find it's way to another project, but one of them and the VGA board are being used here.

After setting up the board and configuring it using a spare monitor, it was time to transfer it to the TV. I removed the back of the TV, and sat the CHIP there - there was sufficient space for the board, but I had to cut out a bit of plastic for the cables to run through (the VGA cable into the back of the TV, the power, which went to a phone charger in the desk's extension lead, and a USB extension lead which just runs out to the back of the TV so that I could connect peripherals if needed.)

Once the back was replaced on the TV, there's not really much to indicate it's anything more than a standard TV.

A photo posted by Anthony (@darkmidnight_diy) on

A photo posted by Anthony (@darkmidnight_diy) on

The next (and hopefully final step) will be to get some software on there.

Friday 7 October 2016

Oak Desk with Embedded TV/Monitor part 2

This is a continuation of my build of an oak and glass desk with a 32" TV & computer built into it. The first part of the build is here.

Step 3: Routing the back to fit the TV

Even with the plastic bezel removed from around the front of the TV, there's still a metal frame supporting the screen, which can't be removed.

Just sitting the TV against the back of the desktop would leave a gap of 28mm between the glass and the screen, which is enough to look a bit weird.

I routed the back of the desk to allow the TV to be positioned closer to the glass. This meant removing another 10mm from the desktop thickness, leaving the 'ledge' that the glass sits of at 18mm.

Step 4: Creating the legs

It made sense to use the section that had been removed from the middle of the desktop for the legs. However, I didn't want to just use the flat board, as it would just look lazy and reminiscent of flat-pack furniture, even when cut into 4 for the legs.

I also needed to give consideration to the cabling for the screen, which led me to the idea of splitting the wood into 8 pieces, and pairing them together to create the four legs. This would allow for the cabling to be integrated, and give a more solid leg aesthetic which better suited the style I was aiming for.
The 8 leg parts, ready to pair up and join

To allow for the cable to be run, before joining the last leg, I routed a groove in the joining sides. a hole was drilled through to the outer corner of the leg. This will be tidied up later to incorporate the hole in part of the design so it doesn't look too out of place.

A photo posted by Anthony (@darkmidnight_diy) on

Then the corners of the legs were shaped, and open mortises were cut to attach the desks skirt

A photo posted by Anthony (@darkmidnight_diy) on

A photo posted by Anthony (@darkmidnight_diy) on

A photo posted by Anthony (@darkmidnight_diy) on

With the legs done, I can move onto fitting the TV.