Building entertainment console

Old 07-20-08, 09:52 PM
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Building entertainment console

This is pretty much the look i'm going for:

It's pretty much just a box with 3 doors. Dimensions I want are 96x18x20. I was thinking about just using 3/4" MDF. I'm kind of new at this, so I have two main concerns. First, I'm trying to figure out how the front should open. There will be 3 doors on the front (I don't really want drawers), so I was thinking of just using hinges and have them fold out from the top down. Second, how should I approach the joinery in general? Most of the furniture I've bought in the past that needed assembly had dowel and cam locks which doesn't really seem practical. I want it to look very clean so I don't want screws or nails visible on the outside.

My general plan is a 96x18 piece for top and bottom, 17x19 for the two sides and also for the two dividers going inside, and two 32x18 pieces for the back. One of my other concerns is air/heat since there's electronics inside, so I was going to cover the left and right thirds on the back and leave the center open, and then cut a square in the two dividers inside the box to get some air in there.

I've never done this before and this is the general idea. Hopefully some veterans out there can help me out and point out some mistakes before I make them. I'll post some pictures once I get going.
Old 08-10-08, 08:31 AM
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entertainment center

The picture didn't post. But I think I get the general idea.

Do you have a table saw and a small nail gun? maybe even a router? How are you going to finish the piece?

To hide your seams you are going to have to cut joints (like an L) in the top and bottom piece. Then use the nail gun to attach the sides. Next put a back on the cabinet to give to structure. Then nail in your vertical dividers and shelves.

Fill nail holes and seams with putty before you paint. Wood glue in the joints as you assemble will help too. You know like the put together furniture directions.

Screws may hold better than nails, but you would need to predrill holes and countersink them. Then putty over them. nails are probably easier.

Here is a trick I have used with putty. Apply with putty knife and smooth out. Wipe wood with slightly damp rag to remove excess putty. You will still have to sand when putty is dry, but it won't be as hard.

Try hidden hinges for the doors. Folding out will take up more space when open than a traditional door. And you will need a stop, like a small chain, so the doors don't flop.

Painting will take 3-4 coats. A cabinet guy told me not to spend money on primer. Just use an extra coat of paint.

Honestly, unless you just want to say, "i did it myself" it might be cheaper to buy something since you are just planning on using MDF.
Old 02-09-09, 11:57 AM
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Entertainment console

In general I don't favor these as the manufactured ones tend to lag one generation behind the equipment you wish to instal and often provide little ventilation and holes for cables to exit the back. And some are very cumbersome.

If you do want to build one, be sure you allow for access to the equipment--some need access to the top as well as the front. If there are little plastic doors that swing out, up, down--will there be room? Leave a little room for growth; there's no limit to the proliferation of new gadgets.

If ventilation proves to be a problem later you can instal a small (and quiet) vent fan but that won't be necessary if the electronics are modern and you allow a big opening in the rear (as you already plan to do).

Keep in mind that some cables can't be cut to thread through a small hole and the plugs may be fairly large (more than an inch).

It is very convenient to store a few disks, cassettes, etc. in the cabinet. If you do, keep them below heat-generating components or magnetic fields if they are magnetic media (cassettes, old floppy disks, etc.). Have a spot to store a small flashlight for reading tiny black controls.

Good luck!

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