Building Corner Entertainment Center

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  #1  
Old 02-07-05, 09:30 AM
deanae25
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Talking Building Corner Entertainment Center

My husband and I are in the process of some serious home improvement/remodeling. We have just completed the closing in of our garage and have converted that space to a home office/den. We knocked out the wall between the garage and what is our living room, leaving 4 feet of wall on either side for built-in bookshelves on both sides of the wall (kinda back-to-back bookshelves there). We have also lowered the wall between our kitchen and living room, except for 4 feet that is behind our refrigerator, so there is basically a bar in what is left there. My question is - instead of a bookshelf on the last wall space inside the living room, I would like to build a corner entertainment center for our tv, dvd, stereo and all the junk that goes with them. The entertainment center would take up the 4 feet of wall between the new office and living room as well as the 4 feet of wall between the living room and the kitchen. My television is 32", so that is the largest space I would need in the center, and I would like the bottom half to be enclosed with doors for storage. It seems relatively simple to me, but wanted to find out if anyone knew of any plans available so that I'm not having to make up any of my own. My husband and I are pretty handy and have already tackled MUCH harder and more complicated projects than this already, but that was after making sure we had the best guidance and assistance we could get. Once we know what to do, it'll be no problem. But I would feel more confident if I had some sort of plans to follow rather than drawing up my own. Don't know if I really want to put those 2 years of carpentry to the test! LOL

Any help from you guys would be GREATLY appreciated!!! I've already gotten so much great advice and help from this site already, I LOVE IT!!!
 
  #2  
Old 02-07-05, 09:50 AM
Sawdustguy
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It seems relatively simple to me, It's always easier until someone gets into it.

but wanted to find out if anyone knew of any plans available so that I'm not having to make up any of my own. It will be difficult to find plans for such an item, so you might want to look into your own drawings.

My husband and I are pretty handy and have already tackled MUCH harder and more complicated projects than this already, but that was after making sure we had the best guidance and assistance we could get.
You seem to have the know-how to do any home improvements, so go for it!

Once we know what to do, it'll be no problem. Do you have the proper tools necessary to do Custom Cabinetry? What tools would those be? Are you familar with making 45 or 22.5 deg angles on a table saw with big, long pieces? Just to begin with, you'll need a table saw, routers, files, sanders, screw guns, countersinks, contact cement and or glue, nail gun, compressor, and much more.

But I would feel more confident if I had some sort of plans to follow rather than drawing up my own. Don't know if I really want to put those 2 years of carpentry to the test! LOL 2 years of what exact skills may I ask? Carpentry skils and cabinetmaking skills are two different worlds entirely. Don't let them confuse you. If you're unsure of how to make a square cabinet, your project could and will become a nightmare. One unsquare or out of whack item will only compound itsself and lead the others to be out too.

Even with the proper tools, plans, advice, and "confident thinking" will not give you the skills necessary to make a cabinet the proper way. If you can't see how deep the water is, you might not want to step in it with such high hopes of not falling in.
 
  #3  
Old 02-07-05, 10:00 AM
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My only advise is don't limit yourself to a 32in TV area. You may want to upgrade that someday. Also consider the possibilty of fitting a wide screen in there in the future. It won't be long before the majority of TVs will be that format. My wife and I are approaching a simlar decision in our basement.
Good Luck!
 
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Old 02-07-05, 11:26 AM
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Have you looked through the very first "sticky" thread in this forum entitled Free woodworking plans and DIY projects? There are a lot of plans there, and maybe there would be something you can use. You can access the thread by clicking on the link below...

http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t=163601

Knowing basic cabinet making techniques is essential for a project like this. If you have techniques down (and have the necessary tools), you can draw up your own plans as previously stated. If your looking to learn cabinet making techniques with plans, you may not find what you're looking for.

Don't mean to scare you, but it's not as easy as it looks.
 
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Old 02-07-05, 05:55 PM
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Mike said it pretty well. Cabinet making ain't carpentry. I'm a pretty good cabinet designer/builder (if I do say so myself ), but a lousy carpenter. I even try to do rough framing square and plumb - and framers have been fired for doing stuff like that.

I would reiterate Mikes comment about your 32" TV. I've done beaucoup entertainment centers and I really emphasize to my customers that they have to be sure of the TV size before I start the saw. It can get really expensive if they suddenly decide that they just gotta have that 50" flatscreen.

That even cost me a job last month 'cause the guy wasn't sure he wouldn't want to scale up someday.
 
  #6  
Old 02-07-05, 06:30 PM
Sawdustguy
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Agreed,

You can always downsize a tv, but never upsize in the same opening if you get a Tv that's "Just Right"

There are so many things to take into consideration when doing corner units that people don't even realize. I'm quite sure Dave and Herm know what I'm talking about. If this trade was so easy and anyone could do it with some advice and high confidence, everyone would be a cabinetmaker. Unfortunately, there still are people that would be better off doing something else for a living.

Everything looks so simple, until you start to get into the project and then it's "Well, how should I do this, or how should I do that, or even how do I even make that piece and keep my fingers when I'm done."

If you have enough confidence to make a corner entertainment center and believe that all you need is advice and a little know-how, then I'd say "Start er up" and being the design phase. Good luck.
 
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Old 02-07-05, 07:57 PM
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Corner Entertainment Center

I once helped a friend put in a built in entertainment center. I am definitely not a cabinet maker, but I have some carpentry experience. We started by measuring and laying out the dimensions we wanted on the drywall, then built frames out of 2x4's for the shelves and face of the entertainment center. Once all that was attached to the studs, we put drywall over the whole thing. In my opinion, it is much easier to make something look good with drywall than cabinetry. The end product is not quite as beautiful, but very functional. If you do this, remember to run your electric to the corner before finishing it out, and plan where the power and component cords to your stereo equipment will be run, also.
 
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Old 02-08-05, 07:08 AM
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kpm -

Yeah, drywall compound can hide lots of boo-boos, but it's another skill I haven't really mastered. I'm reasonably competent but I've seen guys who were absolute masters.

I hope your built-in unit allowed for good air flow around the electronics. Adequate cooling can be an issue.
 
 

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