Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Old 60's t.v. and radio console, to funky fish tank stand...

It seems that every Christmas I end up making my son Jense something. One year I built a toy box. Just a plain Jane box for his toys. The next year I elaborated on the toy box theme and built a fire truck toy box. with storage in the front and 2 shelves and a book shelf on the back. (I'll post pics of my other projects later.) This year we are in California and I hadn't really planned on building anything, what with all my other projects and things to do at my MIL's house, but when I say this for FREE on craigslist I couldn't pass it up.
OH YEAH BABY, that's right this sucker is most likely from the late 60's early 70's. So once I saw it I knew exactly what I was going to do with it. Its like it spoke to me and said, "This is what I want to be."
It didn't come with the TV, but that's ok I was going to take it out any way. But it came with the radio,. record player ( in the drawer), the speaker box below the TV and a cubbie for records.
You gotta have a few of the what kind of Junk is in the trunk.
This is where the record player went

When I said that the TV spoke to me, I meant it, and this is what it said, "Make me into a groovy fresh fish tank." I saw fish tank sitting where the TV would usually go, and using the rest of the space as storage for my son's toys and books.

WARNING: This was not an easy overnight project. I worked on this for almost 2 weeks solid, and I don't have a job right now.

I started off by taking it all apart. removing the glass and metal around the TV and getting rid of the record player. I wanted to some how incorporate the radio into the final product, so I saved it. I then sanded it all down to bare wood, removing some very deep gouges in the finish and wood. I then primed it with the ever amazing Krylon 2x primer.

As part of the building and re-construction I had to build 2 drawers, and cut a new screen where the speaker was.

The biggest conundrum that I had to figure out was; how am I going to access the fish tank with relative ease 2 times a day? When I began re-construction, I guess that I had a major brain fart and didn't realize that I wasn't going to want to pull the entire console out from the wall twice a day to feed the fish. Then it came to me, I'll pull the tank out the front using drawer slides.

After a lot of love and some frustration, we have the final product...

You can see the drawer pulls in this photo pretty well. I painted all the surfaces with Behr high gloss paint so it will have a very durable surface for many years to come.
This is the right side of the console. The radio pulls out and is a fully functional drawer. I used that awesome tangerine orange to really make this baby pop!

This is the record player drawer. I made it extra special with a false bottom in it for hiding what ever it is a 4 year old wants to hide. (The hole in the back of the drawer is for your finger to go in and remove the false bottom.) Along with the false bottom, I had to make some sides for this drawer which wasn't all that much trouble.

So this is the right side with the slider open.

And this is how the TV will look 90% of the time. A few things to note here; the painted wire mesh on the bottom, that folds down and is additional storage now. I mounted some orange fabric on a piece of 1/4" MDF and stapled the wire to it. Also, in order to access the fish tank, you simply pull the TV screen out. I'll be uploading pictures once the fish are in there home.

All in all I am very pleased with the way this turned out. It was a great challenge that I really enjoyed doing. Now my son will have another awesome piece of furniture to add to his room, and us to our home.

Here is the stand with the fish tank in it. I decided to just put a 10 gallon tank in it for now, it fits nicely, works for my son.

After using the tank like this for a few weeks, I realized that I made a major mistake in design. Instead of pulling the tank out through the front, which was a pain to design to begin with, I need to mount the front perminantly and cut access to the top. I also want to build a cutom tank to go in it so all you see is the tank. We'll see when and if I do that.


  1. Amazing! I love it and can't wait to see it in a room for Jense.

  2. This is so cool, you did an awesome job!I am sure your son is thrilled!

  3. I think it is absolutely awesome. I like how you made the drawers and was able to use the radio. And the colors are terrific! HIGHLY IMPRESSED!!!!

  4. That's the coolest makeover ever. Love the colors, the fish tank, the radio - everything about it.