Entertainment Center

picture of the entertainment center framework      This picture shows the framework of plywood dividers and pine shelving. Unfortunately, I used 3/4" pine plywood instead of 3/4" oak plywood for the dividers. This mistake became apparent when I realized that the ends could not be stained to match the oak top and trim! A sheet of oak plywood would have cost about $15.00 more than the pine plywood. In order to correct this mistake, I purchased a half sheet of white oak veneer to cover both ends of the furniture. The veneer cost $75.00 (not including contact cement and labor). On the positive side of this screw-up, three good things happened:
  1. I learned that you have to carefully consider the overall appearance of the project when choosing materials.
  2. I learned how to apply wood veneer.
  3. Scrap pieces of this beautiful veneer were used to cover the sliding doors on the bottom center shelf.
     The 3/4" plywood dividers add tremendous load carrying capacity to the entertainment center. This is important when you place a big television on top.

picture of the door installation      This picture shows the oak doors being positioned. I used brass plated butt hinges on this project. It's critical to get the hinges mounted perfectly. A crookedly hung cabinet door is immediately noticeable! Also, I added the glass inserts much later in this project. The rationale should be self-explanatory.

     The doors carry a lot of weight because glass is heavy! I used mortises and tenons in the door corners. I have router bits for making traditional rails and stiles but I prefer mortise and tenon joinery because it is so strong.

     You can also see the exposed pine plywood on the end. 3/4" pine plywood is expensive and has great uses but it's not very attractive.

picture of the rear of the entertainment center      The back of the entertainment center is shown in this picture. The center shelving is designed for components. It is open in the back to improve air circulation. Pine boards were installed vertically at the rear of the compact disc shelving. These pine boards add to the load carrying capacity of the furniture. Note the heavy duty power strip attached to the back. All components plug into this strip. Holes were cut near the rear of the dividers. Component wiring is fed through the holes.

picture of the entertainment center      This picture shows the top of the entertainment center. I used 3/4" thick tongue and groove white oak boards which were glued together. Two inch pieces were attached to each end using biscuit joinery and glue. The top was attached to the dividers with Kreg© pocket screws.

     Note the corbels. These match the settle and coffee table. I couldn't put corbels on the extreme edges on the front because they would have interferred with opening the glass doors. These corbels are not only decorative; they help support the top.

picture showing the end of the completed piece      In this picture, you can see the end of the entertainment center. Note the white oak veneer; isn't it pretty? The white oak base molding is hand made using the router table and a molding bit.

picture of the completed entertainment center      This piece of furniture is heavy! I'm guessing it weighs around 350 pounds.

     Someone remarked that I could have built drawers to store the compact discs but I prefer having the titles displayed. The next owner could always replace the glass with an oak plywood panel.

     One thing which would make the piece more attractive would be to add a black mesh to the back of the center section. I may do that if I ever run out of things to do.

drawing of the entertainment center drawing of the entertainment center

drawing of the entertainment center drawing of the entertainment center

drawing of the entertainment center      Drawings are essential to designing and building this piece of furniture. It was a complicated project but a lot of fun to build.

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Updated 02/14/2018
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