DIY: A Holiday Tech Infused Mantel, on the Cheap

DIY: A Holiday Tech Infused Mantel, on the Cheap

Dec 12, 2008

We showcase a lot of projects from speakers to curtains, back to speakers to tables and back to speakers again… we have something wrong with us. This week we have begun work on a Mantel for the fireplace- just in time for the nondenominational holidays. Read on for our story:

We got a TV not so long ago and discovered what so many hard working, flag waving, 4 hour a day TV watching Americans have been battling for years: Wiring.

First- we put our TV on the hearth…stone…platform…jobber as you will see in the top (p-chopped) photo. Besides blocking the fireplace, we had to run wires in front of it and down the left side to the cable box which has to be on the left because someone thought the cable wire should be located there, in the corner, near nothing that would ever resemble a home for a TV:

yeah... that's a sticky mouse trap in the corner... another story.

Then we had to run audio wires from the TV to the right side to where the stereo is located so we could get some pumping sound from movies… but then the wires needed to come back across the fireplace to the left speaker… ok… officially tired of explaining this; wires, wires everywhere nor any piece of mind (the quote only works with 4 lines... we have two... sorry).

We needed to change a lot of things. Enter the Unplggd Mantel. What makes it so special?
First uh all: While being very well-built, its hollow- so we can run wires through it, put speakers in it (not for a while- just making room for them) and since we are chopping up the wall to mount it, we can relocate outlets and THE CABLE WIRE to completely concealed locations! No more black coiled cablesnake that is too long to put anything close to the wall and too short to lead anywhere useful.

Here is the actual thing that will mount to the wall:

We started with two 8'x 12' pieces of 5/8" ply that we had lying around from other projects and used 2x4's that we salvaged from someone moving out of their apartment; a loft or something…

Add some carpet padding in case we want to put some speakers in later… BTW- check out the "three" chambers in the Mantel; one for the left speaker, center, and right… if/when the time comes. We brutally siliconed and screwed and nailed it all together:

We spent a coupla bucks on a 2" OD PVC pipe from the Orange Depot. White because the whole thing will be painted white later. This is great for constantly changing audio needs since the hole is large enough to slide many wires through WITH their plugs attached.

Here you can see the brackets coming to life. They are designed to hold a decent amount of weight and they have holes in them to allow the PVC pipe through:

Here is where they will mount alongside the fireplace:

And here is the electrical wire we will use to put an outlet directly into the mantel:

There you have it. We have only to make a few more brackets and mount it up to the wall... and a bunch of other stuff. Stay )

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