How to Build a Platform or Stage for a Media Room

If you want to add a special feature to your media room, like a stage or platform, building one yourself, using professional stagecraft techniques, may be easier than you might expect. A stage platform can be used for other kinds of entertainment events, or as a play stage for children. Design and construct a stage to any size or dimensions.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • 1-by-6-inch dimensional lumber
  • ¾-inch plywood sheet(s)
  • Speed square
  • 1-inch wood screws
  • 1½-inch wood screws
  • Paint or carpeting

Instructions

    • 1

      Draw a sketch of the stage and determine its size; in your mind’s eye remove the top surface or “lid” of the stage so the frame underneath the lid can be envisioned. Draw the framing plan, using 1-by-6-inch boards (on edge) to form the frame “rails.” You'll need two long rails (length of the stage) and two shorter end rails (width of the stage), plus support rails inside the frame.

    • 2

      Construct the stage frame. Measure and cut the 1-by-6 boards to the correct lengths and widths. The two long rails should equal the final length of the platform. The two shorter end rails, however, should fit inside the two long rails: Cut these two end rails 1 inch shorter than your overall width measurement to produce a frame that is the correct width for the platform.

    • 3

      Measure and cut boards for the center supports of the frame. Plan to insert a support board every 12 to 16 inches along the length of the frame, inside the long rails. Cut these boards to the same length as the end rails.

    • 4

      Stand all the rails up on their edges in the correct final arrangement of all the “parts” in a kind of “dry run,” before attaching the rails to each other. Make any adjustments necessary. Use a carpenter’s speed square to evaluate the “squareness” of these joints. Adjust the rails as necessary.

    • 5

      Connect all the rails that make up the outer frame, in this on-edge position, being sure to position the two end rails inside the two long rails. Use three 1½-inch-long wood screws for each intersection of rail to rail. Be careful not to split the wood: drill pilot holes if necessary. Be certain none of the rails “stick up” taller than other rails.

    • 6

      Insert and connect all the boards that make up the inner supports. Make sure these support boards are placed inside the frame so the right angles formed where the support board meets the long rail are square.

    • 7

      Measure and cut ¾-inch-thick plywood to create the top “lid” of the platform. Make sure your measurements are very precise and your cuts are very clean. The plywood lid must not be either too short (doesn’t precisely cover the edges of the frame) nor too long (overhangs the edges of the frame).

    • 8

      Lay the plywood lid on top of the frame. The “nicer” side of the plywood should be facing up (if there is a nicer side). Adjust the lid or the frame as necessary to achieve “square.” Make sure the lid is positioned precisely on the frame.

    • 9

      Drive one 1-inch-long wood screw through the lid and down into the frame at one corner of the platform. Use this point as a pivot for final adjustments.

    • 10

      Screw the lid to the frame along the perimeter of the platform, placing a 1-inch-long wood screw approximately every 8 inches around the edge of the platform.

    • 11

      Paint or cover the platform with carpeting as desired.

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References

  • "Stock Scenery Construction;" Bill Raoul; 1998
  • "Structural Design for the Stage;" Alys Holden; 1999

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