"if you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much room"

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

a little project

When we returned from our camping week end a week ago we had a small misshap. We were going thru the routine if setting things back up after arriving back at the KOA and I was working on the "outside" stuff and Rudee was inside getting things done. I heard the slide outs start out and then heard Rudee yell for me. I went inside and the TV which sits in a cabinet had fallen forward. I was able to support it while she let the slides out the rest of the way and then we both moved it back into it's position in it's slot. The TV's are held into place with drywall screws thru the cabinet and into the case of the TV. It was obvious that they had either pulled thru or had been broken. The TV was a tube style non digital 26" that weighed a ton. I had heard of others replacing them with 32" flat screens and figured one day I would probably do the same. I guess some day arrived sooner than I thought!

We decided to go TV shopping and checked out the local Wal Mart as well as looking on line at Best Buy and some other big box electronic stores. Wal Mart had the best deals so we headed back and finally decided on a 32" Samsung flat screen. They had several brands and they all boasted of having 10,000:1 of this or 50:1 of something else. To tell the truth I had no idea what they were talking about and we just went with the one that had the clearest picture and best looking face :-). We also bought a wall mount for the TV as this seemed like the easiest way to mount it.
I decided that yesterday was the big day and made a stop at the local Home Depot for the needed lumber and screws that I felt like I needed to get the job done. Now I'll be the first to admit that my carpentry skills are almost non existent and I would be over my head in a hurry if this turned out to be more than a simple install.

Back at the 5er I removed the fireplace fascia and then removed the fireplace so I could get to the screws that remained in the TV. Only 1 screw was left intact and it broke in 1/2 while I was taking it out, all the others were already broken or pulled through. I was then able to remove the TV from the cabinet.

I had measured the area where I wanted to mount a cross piece of plywood in the old TV opening which would be a mounting point for the new TVs bracket. The old adage of measure twice and cut once never worked for me, I could measure something 10 times and still come up wrong. This time I was lucky and was about 1" too long on the plywood and was still able to use the piece, I just needed to trim it up some more. I had Home Depot cut the piece to size when I bought it since I had sold my circular saw in one of the garage sales. Now I had a dilemma. I really didn't want to go back to Home Depot and look like a dope so I started making some calls. Mike Kadinger came to my rescue and let me come over and borrow his circular saw. Thanks, Mike.

With the board trimmed to the proper length I ran into another problem. The wall mount for the TV was probably 1/2" too long to fit in the hole in the cabinet. Rats!! I had to give this one some thought but finally came up with a solution. I cut 2 more pieces of plywood about 2" wide and used them as shims between the long piece and the wall of the cabinet. This sits the long piece back an additional 3/4" and allows the bracket to wiggle into place. Worked perfect!

Rudee helped me mount it all into place and get the TV aligned and mounted. There are 2 brackets that mount to the TV and hook into the rail that is mounted on the plywood. The brackets lock into place and have 2 cords that you pull to unlock it so the TV can be removed. Here is the TV all mounted and looking good!

I think we did a pretty good job. The TV is very stable and the mounts are very sturdy. I don't see an issue leaving it mounted while traveling. We can also simply remove the TV and store it on the bed when moving if we wanted. I was pretty proud of myself (and Rudee of course) for getting this accomplished. I like it when a plan works out! :-)

Rudee has a crock pot of vegetable soup/stew on and it smells great. We are just planning on hanging around the 5th wheel tonight and enjoying our "big screen". I'll keep you posted.

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