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I am about to start building new living room furniture, and want to start with the TV stand. I designed the stand on sketch up, but I have a couple of questions before I really get started.

1st. What would be the best way to attach the shelf (solid wood) to the legs. I am worried that WHEN it expands, it will break apart the table leg joinery.

2nd. The table top length is 60”. Would it be in my best interest to use breadboard ends? And do you think the table would actually look BETTER with breadboard ends?

3rd. The back panel will be able 21” wide and 53” long. I planned on making it out of solid cherry, but I know that if I just used a long mortise and tenon, or dado that the wood expansion and contraction would eventually break the glue joint. Should I just glue the center and cut the mortises longer than the tenons to allow for wood expansion? Or would I just be best served using plywood?

4th. If you were build this, what would you change about the design?
 

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To attach the shelf to the legs, I would make a dado that cut across the inside corner of each leg to the depth of the center of the leg. This would require making a sled to hold the legs on that inside corner as you passed them over the dado blade. Once you have the dadoes, you would cut a 45 degree corner on the 4 shelf corners to match and fit into the dadoes.

Instead of making the shelf solid and worrying about expansion, I would make an outside frame and inside panel held in a dado slot in the frame inside edge...just like a raised panel cabinet door. That way the panel will expand within the outside frame and not affect the cabinet.

I would not use breadboard ends. If you put a routed profile around the edge and sand the end grain, the finished edge will look better than the breadboard. One exception...If you made the top with a frame and panel design like I suggested for the shelf, then it would look like a breadboard on the ends. At least it would not be end grain. The center panel would be able to expand within the frame. You would put a tenon on the panel and fit it into a dado on the inside edge of the frame.

I would use 1/4" cherry plywood for the back.

For changes, I would put a skirt board under the bottom shelf because you will probably have a lot of weight in the bottom compartments and there is no support. That will cause sag, which will rack the doors out of line so they will not open. Otherwise, the design looks good.
 

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Cord access

I purchased a nice T.V. stand similar to yours. My first shelf, the one right below the table top is not as tall a space as what looks like yours is but I have a heck of a time with cords and speaker wire connections.

There's a small hole in the back panel on mine but it's not near large enough for me to see or get my big hands in there.

If I were you, I'd factor in someway to have both easy back side access to stereo receivers and such but also a way to vent wires and such out the back.

Given the hassle I have now, I'd build one that just opens up, like a cabinet door, on the back side to where ever electronics might be located.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Instead of making the shelf solid and worrying about expansion, I would make an outside frame and inside panel held in a dado slot in the frame inside edge...just like a raised panel cabinet door. That way the panel will expand within the outside frame and not affect the cabinet.
I am thinking about doing the dados for the shelf. But was wondering how a frame and panel shelf would look. It would solve my wood movement problem. But I'm not sure if I could get a nice flat top with the frame and panel approach.

I also think I am just going to use plywood for the back. Just seems like the smartest way to go.
 

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bottom swing out door on the back? Put a hing towards the top so that you can swing open the panel to work on things easier. Also put a 2" hole in the back for wires etc?
 

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Making a frame and panel top or shelf is just like making a raised panel cabinet door, except you would a tiny bevel or round over on the joining edges between the frame and the panel. You would make the dadoes in the frame and the tenons in the panel at the same settings so that when assembled, the whole surface would be in the same plane (flat). Have a look at the gate leg table in this link. You will see the small edge profile where the frame meets the panels, that I was describing. You do not glue the panel into the frame. It slides in the dado to allow for expansion. If you build the project in winter or with kiln dried wood at 6-8% moisture, you will need to allow about 1/16 gap between the panel and frame on each side so the panel can expand in the summer. One note...I would make your panel with long boards, the length of the shelf, not short boards.

Look at this link...the gate leg table, and also browse through the other pictures to get some ideas....

https://www.google.com/search?q=pic...2Fwww.emmeswoodshop.com%2Ftables.html;600;618

Here is a close up of the small gap at the joint...

https://www.google.com/search?q=pic...tsingfurniture.com%2Fthe-furniture%2F;350;261
 
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