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Television Media Center DIY Project

22 December 2010

Television Media Center DIY Project 



After upgrading our television, we found it wouldn’t fit in our old tv cabinet.  We put the tv on a desk with a end table underneath for components, but that was just not going to work.  I searched for a new media center for six months until the plans for the apothecary cabinet from Ana White.

http://ana-white.com/2010/04/furniture-plans-apothecary-cabinet-console-part-1.html
http://ana-white.com/2010/05/furniture-plans-doors-for-apothecary.html

I am new to building furniture and this was my second project.  First tip is to make contact with the local Tool Library for access to lots of clamps and the odd tool.  Since I build in solo, I depend on the clamps to set the pieces before I connected the pieces with screw or nail.  Plus they are very helpful in figuring out problems.  The second tip is to use the Kreg Jig system.  The joints made with the pocket hole are AWESOME.  Using the Kreg Jig and screws made construction really fun.  No more striped screws or nails popping out the side.  Yes!

Basically, I went through the construction instructions and took my time to get square angels and straight cuts.  While I did work the cabinet with the pocket holes, the instructions can be followed by anyone with a circular saw, drill and sander.  Just take your time and think everything through before you connect the parts.

The only real drama surrounded the faux doors.  I got the cabinet part complete before I found that the maple for the faux doors were going to be a special order item.  I searched three lumber yards before I found someone that did a state wide search for 1x8 maple.  Well three weeks later and 90 dollars poorer, I had my board.  Only problem was that the 1x8 was not exactly a 1x8.  The width was 1/4 inch shorter than it was supposed to be.  That spiraled into nothing matching the plans and I had to decide if I shift the wood to where it was supposed to be on top or bottom.  I opted to shift them to the top to maintain the ‘look’ and I am happy with the decision.

Well I survived it all with pretty pictures to boot.  Here is the project:



I spent my husband free weekend in the shop working on the media cabinet.  Made a bunch of progress too.  

Last time, I was stuck because I didn't have enough space to get the drill in the side sections.  I was able to get a right angle drill, but it was still too big.  I got a smaller bit, but it was still too big.  So, I had to take apart the one step I had completed.  Darn it.



Next I propped it on the side so I can re-screw in the drawer shelves.


Next I attached the top row divider and top. I opted against the pocket holes because the screws are in hidden spot so why create more work for myself here.


Now it is looking better.  Next step was the sides.  I did go through the effort for pocket joints here and pre-drilled all the pockets before any of the boards were attached to each other.


Next is the bottom trim, back and top section.  The back was an adventure because the guy at Home Depot didn't know what he was doing.  I had to teach him how to use a tape measure properly.  Ha!

I had a lot of thinking going on about the top section.  The instructions call for boards needed for a 16" deep media center, but mine is 12" deep.  Since they don't make 5.33" boards, I had to use some creative juices.  I had so many boards of difference sizes pulled out and on the floor of Home Depot.  It took a while, but I found a good combo.  I decided on 3 - 1x4 plus 2 - 1x2.  It gives a little quarter inch lip on the back, but no one will know the difference.


A close up of the top configuration.


It is looking like a media center now.


I have officially finished the first part of the Apothecary Cabinet Console. Yippee! 



Cabinet Finishing


I started construction on the media center drawers a few weeks back.  The plans are on knock-off-wood, but I did make a few alterations.  My media center is not as deep as the plans and I wanted to use the Kreg Jig system for pocket hole joints.  Here is what I did...

Cut all the boards, pre-drill pocket holes, pre-drill counter-sinks and sand it all.



Attach the back board to the bottom board using the pocket holes.



Attach the two sides using the pocket hole joint on the bottom and pre-drilled 2" screws to connect to back board.


Attach the front board to the bottom board with the pocket hole joints.  Use 2" screws to connect the front to the side boards.


Next iron on the laminate to the rough edges.




Next attach the two faux doors.  I glued mine and hope that it will hold with the pull for support.  Time will only tell.


Lastly, I found the center of the faux doors and pre-drilled the holes so any mistakes can be fixed before staining.  The pencil marks will all come off easily in the final sanding.


Now repeat that three more times, sand and then they will be ready for staining.  I am very happy with the results thus far and can't wait to see them stained and installed.



So the last steps are now complete.  I am so excited to be finished with the biggest woodworking project that I have ever finished.

And this weekend, it was door construction and finishing.  First I cut the doors and fit them to the entertainment center.  I found that doing this as a pre-install, was a lot easier since the doors are lighter and any corrections can be made before you invested in the finishing work.



Then I unscrewed the doors and retreated to the garage to install the faux drawer doors and staining.  Here are a few pictures of the process.





Once they were dry, I installed the knobs and ran back inside to install.  Check out this beauty...





I am so happy with the results.  Big thanks to Ana White's blog that provided plans and instructions.  Biggest lesson learned was importance of a good blade for clean cuts on plywood.  I had to really search for a blade for the inherited circular saw because it is now too small for standard sizes.  After searching for two months, I found a blade and the difference in cut quality is unbelievable.  I should have googled the blade much earlier.

What do you think?

7 comments:

Declutter Your Life December 22, 2010 at 7:33 AM  

You are seriously AMAZING!!! I could never attempt such a project. It looks fabulous!

Merry Christmas!

Handbags*N*Pigtails December 22, 2010 at 7:45 AM  

Holy cow, thats amazing!I would never believe you dont do this for a living. ;)

mmbcreations December 22, 2010 at 8:09 AM  

That is beautiful. I have never attempted a new piece of furniture. You are brave.

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