DIY: Tech Infused Mantel, on the Cheap… Part 3

DIY: Tech Infused Mantel, on the Cheap… Part 3

Jan 23, 2009

Well, lots of stuff going on but we can now relay the final report on the mantel that we built over the holidays. If you recall, we had started building a mantel with a bunch of leftovers we had from thanksgiving. Really patchy looking in it's raw form but now we have the final coat of paint on it and can call it done.

Firstly, if you remember from last time, we wanted to put outlets and cable wires closer to the TV so there would be less mess to deal with. Sure we could have opted for some nice cables like these, but looking at where the cable outlet was, you can see why we wanted to get it next to the mantel.

We mismeasured some stuff which was kind of a pain, but we added some wood to make up for it. It sometimes happens even when you measure four or five times, which we did. Our point of reference was just not what we thought it was.

Here is where the new (white) cable comes out now. Why aren't more cables white, anyway? We actually drilled a hole from outside the house after rerouting the cable right behind the mantel.

This is what the outlet on the back of the mantel looks like now... after reboxing it in plastic as a reader suggested (we had shown it encased in raw wood before... apparently against code! *edit- SO WE LISTENED TO THAT READER AND RE-ENCLOSED THE OUTLET IN A BLUE BOX THAT IS UP TO CODE* ). The blue box is covered by the plate here, but IT"S THERE!

Here is the other outlet on the right side of the mantel- this one houses a switch to turn on the lights we mentioned before:

Next; we picked up 3 "lack" shelves from IKEA and promptly started cutting them so they would fit next to the mantel. We wrapped them with tape to protect them while cuttin':

We also had to redrill the holes in the metal to have them line up with studs in the walls. These shelves may look easy to deal with but they are really difficult to make stable- don't buy them unless you know what you are doing or are not putting much on them:

Here they are lined up on the right side. The outlets are under the top shelf so cords don't have to travel far to their destinations. The cut edges face the wall so we didn't have to paint or glue or anything. You can also see the little switch on the top left of the box- that's fer the lights:

And this is one of the lights all lit up like Christmas (a little extra lense flair added for class):

This is where all the dust ended up... our little buddy managed to get into the Christmas spirit:

Finally: The TV is on the mantel, as promised! And you thought this thing wouldn't be strong enough!

We later found a larger TV to place upon our finished mantel:

Whew! Done. This was a big project and frankly took up too much time. We may one day put speakers into it, but for now, we don't want to touch it. We are pooling our dough here at Unplggd to do a place up like this. Only a few dollars away.

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