Sunday, July 12, 2009

Things Matt Builds With His Bare Hands!

A few weeks ago, we had Anne, Carlitos, and little Lucy over for dinner. We put on a movie in our downstairs family room for the kids to watch. Little Lucy has learned to crawl and loves to pull herself up on things. She also likes to be right in front of the tv, touching it. So, she decided to pull herself up on the tv. But, our entertainment system is not deep enough for our ginormous tv. So, we put a board under the tv to get it to fit in the entertainment system. This makes for a precariously balanced, front heavy tv. We immediately realized how dangerous this is for small children when Lucy decided that playing with the tv was a fun game. The tv didn't fall when Lucy decided to play with it, but it made us realize that it will not be too long before our little Coley O is crawling around and also trying to pull herself up on the tv. We needed a new solution.

Matt first suggested that we get a new tv (flatscreen of course). I countered that we just needed a new entertainment system because all the dvds, game systems, and satelite were down at kid level where they could grab and destroy. Matt came around to my way of thinking and we decided on a new entertainment system because it is a lot cheaper than buying a new tv. But, Matt wanted to build it himself to save money and so that we could customize it to our needs.

Unfortunately, I neglected to get a before picture of the entertainment system because once we decided that we were going to build it and we had designed on paper what we wanted, Matt immediately started to dismantle our old entertainment center. He used the wood from the old center to help build the new center. The following is a step by step picture montage of the process of building the new system.

(I did none of the work and Matt did it all. He is very skilled and it was his first piece of furniture that he ever made.)

We decided that it would be safest to mount the center piece to the wall so that even if Nicole did climb up on it, it would not fall on her. (Matt is paranoid about this because a few years ago a child was killed at Circuit City from climbing on a tv display.)

He used the bottom of the old system and cut it to fit the size we wanted. He made a frame mounted to the wall and put up backing that would serve as the back of the system.
Then, he was able to salvage wood from the old one for the sides and the top of the system. You will notice the hole in the side there, that is for the computer to go in and out.
He walled off the section for the computer so that the computer can come in and out of that side compartment. We are using the tv as a monitor so that we can watch media online on the tv (like
The side door flips up and out and the bottom slides out like a drawer so that the computer can be slid in and out. Matt came up with this idea and used the drawer rails from the old system to make it work.
Then, he built a bunch of shelves inside to fit all of our components and some dvds. He also built rails out of wood for sliding doors in the front. He used his table saw to build his own rails rather than buying premade rails. Here is a pic with him testing the rails.
Then, he built shelves on each side of the main unit to house our dvds out of the reach of small children. These are also securely mounted to the wall.
Then, he bondoed it all together, caulked, and painted them all for a sleek, clean look. I did nothing of this, but I did watch the baby while he worked on it every day after work for two weeks. So, I feel like I contributed a little. Plus, I helped to design it.
The other day we were at Target and we noticed this 42 inch flat screen on sale for $400. It was a discontinued tv and it was on clearance. Plus, the only one they had left was the display, which they sold to us for an addition 30% off. So, Matt got his wish after all and got his flat screen tv.

Here is the finished product with plexiglass doors and plenty of dvd and storage space. I love it! It turned out better than anything we could buy. And, we did it all (tv included) for about $500. I'm so glad that my husband is handy and willing and able to build things with his hands!


Nate and Annah Butterfield said...

Very nice! Good job Matt!

Krista said...

That is amazing! I want one!

Jasmine said...

Holy cow! I'm so jealous! I want to build things. Matt is awesome! It looks great!

Sarah said...

Yay Matt for having builder/house fixer/amazingness skills.

Jenni Elyse said...

It looks great! The entertainment center looks great, too! ;) Good job, Matt!

Marie said...


Laura said...

Matt, do your talents ever cease? That center is awesome? Becky, good job watching the baby! Seriously, I am proud of you both for how frugal and handy you are. Amazing.