Build a Hidden TV Enclosure
My wife and I aren’t big tv watchers, but she likes to watch the food network as she cooks each night, and I like to relax watching a baseball game once in a while. We had a great place to hang a flat screen in the kitchen, but we weren’t willing to move a favorite painting of ours. The solution was to create a recess in the wall and use the painting as a lid. I looked at different mechanical flap stays and upper cabinet
door hinges to hold the lid open, but I couldn’t find one that was just right. I decided to make a hinge out of wood and try using those little soft close dampers to let it close slowly. I drew the hinge layout to scale on a piece of plywood and used that as a guide to figure out how to carve the hinge. The one tricky part was how to get the brass pin in the bottom of the hinge knuckles on the board that would be mounted to the wall. There’s probably a better way to do it, but here’s the sequence I came up with:
1. Carved the hinge into the board that would be mounted to the wall.
2. Re-sawed the board from both ends (stopping at the hinge knuckles).
3. Drilled the holes for the hinge pin through the hinge knuckles from both sides.
4. Drilled the holes for the hinge pin into the two separated board pieces (about 1/2″ deep).
5. Glued the board faces back on with the pin and hinge in place, and hoped everything lined up straight.
It works great overall but I would try to find stronger soft close mechanisms if I built another. That way you could tap the hinge and let it close all by itself as you walk through the room.
Here's a photo of the location of the hidden flat screen. The painting, done by our friend Todd Sinclair is one of our favorites. It adds a bunch of bright color in the kitchen area.
The tv revealed.
The steel arm that attaches the tv to the wall pivots out to the right, to be viewed in the dining room...
...or to the left to be viewed in the kitchen.
The finished hinge open. The weight of the panel and a small flat on the back of the center knuckle holds the lid open at 45 degrees.
A small tap pop's the hinge and it can then be closed.
Tapered hinge leaves allows it to fold flat into the recess.
A rare earth magnet pulls it closed at the bottom...
...and locks it closed into this notch.
In this photo you can see the wires that I still need to organize, but also the single board that makes up the hinge and attaches to the back of the panel.
I started by drawing the hinge full size on a scrap piece of plywood. This worked as a template to check each piece.
Here's a quick sketch of the parts of the hinge and how it goes together.