We’ve all been through it … upside down, behind the TV, trying to make sense out of an impossible matrix of wires, coaxial cables, power strips and so forth, the flat-screen TV precariously balancing on the cabinet, rocking dangerously to and fro as you plug and replug wires in the hopes of getting both sound and picture from your new system. It seemed like a problem that we would all just have to bear — like crabgrass and taxes. Then editor Rob Johnstone had this idea of making a cabinet that would pull out on enormous slides, bearing the weight of the TV and all the electronic components, making it much easier to get behind the gear and hook up the cable to the DVD or Blu-ray with surround sound and the Game Boy to the — well, you get the idea.
Designing a substantial piece of furniture with moving parts capable of bearing around 500-lb. loads without tipping over and landing on an innocent party became the goal. Designer Jeff Jacobson and publisher Larry Stoiaken noodled through several ideas, after which Jeff came through with CAD drawings. That’s when I got busy and put together a full-size mock-up in MDF — always a good idea when working through a new design. In this case we especially needed to try out the moving parts and determine how best to anchor the cabinet to the wall or floor. (Actually a good idea with any large or tippy cabinet with a 60″ TV, even if it does not have a slide-out section!) At the end of the process, we settled on the configuration you see above, where the entire top glided out with the center console, creating a large, stable surface that presented an unbroken visual line at the top of the cabinet. The center console needed to be large enough to contain most, if not all, sizes of electronic media components, and obviously strong enough to handle the weight of everything. We chose two Accuride glides rated for 500 pounds for the sides of the console and two Accuride 250-pound glides beneath it. These provide around 1,500 pounds of load-bearing strength, allowing us to support not just the TV monitor and components but perhaps even a safe and a boat motor … just in case!
The key to this whole design is access, so we decided not to put a back on any of the casework to help move that goal forward. We also chose a large, double-barrel grommet to fit through the top behind the TV, for cable and wire access. Once we figured all that out, and picked out the drawer glides, pulls and adjustable feet, material selection was a piece of cake!
This cabinet must be attached to the wall and the TV must be secured to the top of the cabinet. Use the locking pin to avoid accidental roll-out.
Before You Get Started
Before you get started on putting the cart together, you’ll need these sometimes difficult to find parts for the finished product.
Heavy-duty Drawer Slides (1 pr.) #31416
Accuride Drawer Slides (5 pr. req.) #32482
Drawer Pulls (4 req.) #23331
Heavy-duty Levelers (2 packs req.) #81239
Oval Grommet (1) #22899
DVD & Audio Cassette Holders (4) #30510
Black 1/4” Pin Support (1) #22781