An upcycled set of windows are a great way to create the front for this TV concealment unit. Start by sourcing two divided-lite wood windows that are larger than your TV when they are set side by side. In our case, these two windows were the perfect for a 55-inch TV. We had a window handpainted for a custom look.
For the concealment box start with a plan. This project will vary according to your own TV and window sizes so it’s best to draw it out in advance for cut lists and clearances. Our TV has a depth of only 1" so the total depth of the box is going to be pretty shallow. Make sure to consider the depth of the TV, the mounting plate, and the thickness of the windows when sizing the box depth.
Take a look at the perimeter of the window. Chances are old windows may not have solid sides if they were recessed for the original counterbalance.
Cut and route a filler piece of wood as necessary and then set in a bed of construction adhesive.
Clamp and allow to dry overnight. While those are drying, start working on the frame.
Cut the ends at a 45-degree angle corresponding to the plan you made previously. In general, the two side pieces should be a 1/4" taller than the windows. The longer top and bottom pieces should be 3/8" wider than the windows. This will allow clearance for the hinges and operation of the windows.
Remove the 1x pieces and drill the screw holes using a pocket hole jig.
Apply wood glue and use ratchet clamps to temporarily hold the boards in place.
Double check the whole assembly for square and use a rubber mallet to adjust any pieces as necessary.
Then install the pocket screws.
If your salvaged windows are not perfectly square, flip the box over and set the windows in checking your clearance around the perimeter.
If you need to adjust the frame, loosen the strap clamp and readjust as required.
When all the pieces are square, nail the corners with 1-1/2" 15-gauge finish nails and allow the glue to dry for 24 hours.
We wanted to make these windows feel real by giving them a back light during the day. And we also needed a piece of stop for the windows to close against. So we decided to cut a groove into the stop piece so LED could be integrated. We cut some salvaged heart pine into 3/4" square stock size but you could use almost any spare wood.
Because the LED tape is 9mm wide, use a 3/8" router bit to cut in a 1/8" deep groove in one side of each of the four pieces.
To install the LED tape, start with the powered end wherever is easiest to conceal the cord behind the TV. Then continue pulling off the backing tape and pressing it firmly in the grooved wood.
Continue around the frame until you end up back where you started. A standard 16' roll should be enough for up to a 60" TV. The nice thing about LED tape is that you can cut it anywhere you see the scissor icon.
Set the windows in the frame on a table top. Then space them 1/8" apart in every direction. We found paint stirrers to be the perfect size.
Next, drill pilot holes for the hinge screws. Install one screw in the frame and one in the window for the four locations. Then double check the window operation before installing the remaining screws.
Before installing the frame, double check the LED operation.
To mount the frame, remove the hinge pins and windows. Then use a stud finder to locate as many studs as possible behind the frame. The mounting screws will be going through the 1x interior perimeter. If there are no studs at the short vertical sections, use metal toggle anchors here. We were able to install three 1/4" x 4" wood screws along the horizontals and two in the verticals. As these support the entire weight of the finished box, you need to make sure to take your time on this step. Finally mount the TV on the wall plate and plug everything in.