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Scaffold Plank TV Unit - Advice Required for Newbie Please!

Discussion in 'Wood / Woodwork / Carpentry' started by robjal123, 22 Feb 2012.

  1. robjal123

    robjal123

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    Ok, so I am a complete novice to woodworking but am determined to make a tv unit out of old scaffold boards, stain them down to make them look a bit rustic etc. I hope to end up with soomething like this:

    http://www.tomrobinsonfurniture.co.uk/#Recycled-Scaffold-Shelves

    ...but about twice the width, and maybe deeper.


    1) Joints - In the pic opn the link above the joints appear to be hidden i.e. there are no screws visible on the outside, how to I achieve this?

    2) Stain finish - I'd like a waxed finish. Any idea what would get me from a sanded (but used) scaffold plank to something like in the photo on the link above?

    3) Tools - What will i need? I've got the basics like a drill, would a jigsaw be a good investment for a project like this?

    Any advice greatly appreciated!
     
  2. StephenW

    StephenW

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    1) You can see the joints if you look carefully. They are plugged. You drill a hole through the side into the shelf to take a longish screw. Using a plug cutter set you drill a larger hole part way into the side to sink the screw head and make a plug from a bit of scrap and tap/glue it into the hole and then smooth off the outside.
    2) you can use a wood stain of your colour choice and then some matt or sheen varnish. Or use a combination stain/varnish.
    3) A drill and handsaw would be all you need.

    Also consider using a piece of thin ply or hardboard to make a back and this will hold the whole thing rigid.
     
  3. Alphanumeric86789

    Alphanumeric86789

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    Through the wonders of Google Analytics I have found your post. I actually made that unit so am probably fairly well placed to tell you how I made it. Also I thought I would put my oar in before people starting badmouthing it and hurt my feelings without realising it (I'm very sensitive).

    1) Actually, this is just nailed together. It's quite small and won't be subject to a lot of movement, so nails were the most suitable choice here. If you get 'annular' nails (with grippy ridges on) they'll hold better in the end-grain. If the unit is going to be much larger then you may consider screwing, as Stephen suggested. A length of board nailed along the back somewhere will help stop it flapping around. All nails are hidden by using a nail-punch to drive them under the wood.

    2) This has a coat of Liberon Black Bison liquid wax. Really easy to use, you just wipe it on, leave to dry and then buff it up.

    3) To make them deeper you need you'll need to be edge-joining planks of wood together. This is probably going to be the trickiest part for a beginner, but it is perfectly do-able by hand with a sharp handplane and some clamps.

    Cut the wood with a handsaw (buy a nice new panel saw for about a tenner), then once it is assembled you'll be sanding it all flush, so you don't have to worry about getting a perfectly neat cut. Rub some candle wax on the saw to make it cut more easily.

    If you want a rustic look to the unit then I'd recommend getting a round sponge for your drill and some belts for the sanding. I'm pretty sure Axminster sell them. If you really want to keep the weathered look of old scaff boards then a worn out sanding belt will do a good job. It's a horrible messy job though.

    Have fun!
     
  4. robjal123

    robjal123

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    Alphanumeric86789

    First off complements on the unit!

    Thanks for your advice, and very i'm impressed you found this on tinterweb!

    1) I think i'll screw as the unit is going to be about 120cm wide, and 50cm high and 43cm deep. I want to keep the back open for the plethora of cables there always is at the back of the telly! I guess i could have it partially open if i need some extra strength.

    2) Which colour wax is it? I see they do a clear, antique pine, medium oak and dark oak.

    3) I need the unit to be roughly 50cm deep so I guess it'll have to be two boards deep (i think standard scaffold boards are 22.5cm deep). You mention edge joining the 2 planks - after a bit of googling this is just planing the long edges nice and flat so they but up against each other right?

    4) Assuming the whole thing is 2 planks deep, how is it best to join what will effectively be two separate units, both of which a re 1 plank deep? Sorry, i just can't visualise how best to make the unit 2 planks deep.
     
  5. Alphanumeric86789

    Alphanumeric86789

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    Thanks for the compliment! You've chosen the perfect project for a beginner, because it's all about that 'reclaimed' sort of look, so you don't need to fuss over the details as much as with nice clean wood. Also that stain covers a multitude of sins...


    1) You'd only really need a rail of about 15cm or so to add enough rigidity, I would say, so go ahead and leave plenty of room for the cables.

    2) It's the dark oak stuff.

    3) Yep, edge joining at its simplest is glueing together two clean, straight, parallel edges. The scaffold boards you'll be using will likely not be nice and flat, so think about how you'd like the edges to meet in order for the panels to be flat-ish when they're glued up and plane them accordingly.

    As the wood is so soft you can get away with murder with regards to edge joining if you just clamp them nice and tightly. As long as you have glue squeezing out along the length of the join then your joint is straight enough. It would be a different matter with a harder wood, where getting the edges square and straight is more critical.

    4) I would go about making this by joining panels that are two boards deep, then once they're roughly cleaned up, just screwing the unit together. Alternatively, you could try and avoid the whole edge joining palava by making two single-board units then joining them with battens or something.


    Don't go too far down the reclaimed wood rabbit hole, it's hard to get out of.
     
  6. robjal123

    robjal123

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    Thanks. Next daft questions....

    1) Assuming the planks are 22.5cm wide when i glue them together they'll be about 50cm wide, so i'll need a couple of pretty big clamps to hold them together...just had a quick look and didn't realise there are so many different sorts. Assuming i'll be buying a couple of planks, what would be the best sort, both for this project and any future general use?

    2) Whats the best sort of glue to use?
     
  7. Alphanumeric86789

    Alphanumeric86789

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    1) For clamping up panels I always use sash clamps. For something 150cm long you would want at least four, and with enough reach for your two panels. If you're planning on more wood excursions then it would probably be worth getting some that can clamp together a panel of at least 100cm. Have a think about what you might be building in the future.

    You can get simple sash clamps which are single bars of metal, or you can get beefier ones which are T-section. These are much stronger and you can really crank them up if you need to. Axminster.co.uk has a good selection, of course. You might find you outgrow the thinner sash clamps quite quickly. Also, some are made in such a way that they stand up on the bench without falling over, which doesn't sound like such a big deal until you have to cope with ones that don't.

    2) I use PVA, like the Evo-stick stuff that comes in little blue or green bottles. You could also try Titebond. It's all much of a muchness in this case.
     
  8. foxhole

    foxhole

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  9. Chrisuk44

    Chrisuk44

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    hiya, just joined site.
    Excellent discussion ,exactly what advice i needed for making my tv cabinet which has to fit around a large radiator..
    Never thought about using scaffolding boards but will be now.
    Ill post pictures of completed project .
    Thanks
     
  10. foxhole

    foxhole

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    Scaffold boards will shrink in the home especially around a rad, you would need top a acclimatise them for at least a few weeks to prevent gaps appearing.
     
  11. Chrisuk44

    Chrisuk44

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    Got the boards, you were totally correct, they were freezing cold and needed drying out, so have been sitting in the front room for a week.. You can easily see the shapes have changed, shrunk etc.. One has now got a massive crack, so glad I waited.
    .
    I got boards from www.dartfordscaffoldboards.co.uk
    Cheapest in the area I found.
     
  12. Hi robjal123. Did you ever complete the scaffold plank TV bench that you started this post for, 5 years ago? :)

    I'm contemplating embarking on a very similar project for a TV/AV unit specific to our room and needs and just wondered if you had any tips if you completed the project?

    I'm looking at building something about 170cm long, 45cm (2 planks) deep and 50cm high, divided vertically into 3 sections with a couple of shelves in the middle section.

    As you were 5 years ago I'm very much going into this without much knowledge but I'm willing to give it a go for the cost of a few boards from the local yard!

    Thanks!
     
  13. DIYnot Local

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