Time for the big unveiling of our new steampunk TV cabinet!
I love all the sunlight in that pic, but later I realized the bright white Wii was TOTALLY showing through the cabinet doors. Boops.
So I threw a black piece of felt over it:
(There's actually a ton of stuff in the lower cabinet, but all the other electronics and DVDs are dark enough that that can't see them. Nice, huh?)
A closer look at the top shelf:
Me: "So do you want just a few things elegantly spaced out, or crammed full of stuff?"
John: "CRAM IT."
I still have to paint the interior silver screwheads (those shiny bits on the "ceiling" of the shelf), but otherwise, it's all done!
And of course John built both pieces completely from scratch. Keep going for build photos and closeups!
First I found an all-metal cabinet online that I loved, and John sketched that same general shape in the size/proportions we needed:
We decided to also add a matching shelf overhead.
We kept bringing in the pieces as he went to double-check the size:
Everything is wood except for the metal grating inside the doors. This is the most complex piece of furniture John's ever made, mostly because of those rounded, inset doors, which had to fit perfectly.
The plywood John used had a dark walnut core, which was so pretty it was almost a shame to paint it!
Here I'm using a template to figure out the door plate size:
Some of you will remember this progress shot, which I posted on FB:
After this John spent several days painting on sandable primer, sanding it down, and repeating. This was to help hide the wood grain and was super tedious. So I'm glad he did it and not me. :D
Once John deemed it smooth enough, we rolled on a coat of black primer and added large furniture nails for "rivets":
Followed by an imperfect coat of Rustoleum's Soft Iron spray paint. The Soft Iron is surprisingly translucent and has terrible coverage, which was great for giving a softly mottled look that passes for old metal:
It's also pretty glittery in direct sunlight - but I've never been one to object to more sparkle. ;)
Next it was my turn to do the fun part: the "rubbed-through" silver aging. You can see that only the top left and very edge of the top right are done in that pic - and see how it gives the whole piece a little more life and dimension?
To add that detail, all you need is a Q-tip and some silver Rub N' Buff. Hit all the edges and anywhere the piece might get extra wear.
Here's a comparison of the doors before & after the Rub n' Buff:
John did a great job on those doors, don't you think? The rounded edges really do look like square metal tubing!
At this point we stalled out for over a week trying to decide how to finish the door grates. The original silver seemed way too bright and shiny, brass was too gold, rust was too ugly, and black just blended in:
We finally reached a compromise by spraying the grates gold and then sanding them back down to silver, leaving the gold only on the inside edges. So now it looks like dull silver straight on, with a warmer gold sheen from the side:
(I'm glad John went through the hassle of mounting the TV on the wall; such a cleaner look!)
[He ran the TV cord inside the wall, so it connects to a power strip inside the cabinet.]
I originally wanted something like antique fishing weights for the handles, but these drop pulls I found on ebay are a little more elegant - and I love them:
After finishing all that, John was able to make the overhead shelf in a matter of hours:
We made it too deep, though, so later he went back and sawed off several inches from the back side.
The hardest part on the shelf was rigging up the 4 small spot lights, which look SO cool at night.
I made John's ray gun stand from a long strip of cardboard - folded into a triangle with a notch cut out - and copper foil tape to cover the edges. Cheapest display hack ever.
And for Songbird, I used a small pocket mirror to reflect the overhead light back into his face:
The lip of the shelf hides the mirror, which is propped up on the "floor."
(It makes me so happy seeing Songbird up there each night, I can't even tell you. Ahhh.)
And finally, here's a look at the whole wall, which you'll notice is still pretty empty under the windows:
We're taking a break from the room now to work on MegaCon stuff, but when we jump back in we're planning to build something like this for under each window:
Just imagine it a little less "industrial fan", and more "airship propeller."