This is my custom designed and made Zelda Tv cabinet with built in speakers. the top and sides fold in and out to let 2 6x9 speakers and two center speakers blast the lounge room. in total i been working on this on weekends for about 6ish months and a fair few hundred bucks (more than i thought it would). total cost around $300-$500. you dont need much wood working experience as this is probably the 2nd or 3rd time iv ever even made something with wood.
-Lots of time. (and a few spare coins)
Step 1: Designing.
started off with a few ideas and slowly got better and better till I drew it up and decided if i was to built it or not. and as you can see i built it (eventually). i wanted the cabinet to be large enough for future proofing of a bigger tv. needed to be awesome and sound great. and a few breaks in between building to play Zelda on the gameboy.
Step 2: Building the Sides.
I wanted the sides to fold out to either hide or show off the speakers. i started with marine ply. i cut the square sides out and drew up what needed to be cut. took a fair bit of drawing up and playing around to get the dimensions all right to have the whole speakr come through the hole and to be at a good audio angle. once i had the inner part cut i put the hinges on and than choose how large to allow it to open. use a bit of cardboard to get the angles right (easy to keep cutting new bits till the right size). the center part where the speaker comes through. when building make sure the center of the sides has enough clearance for when the material is added to the sides open and close nicely. used cupboard door hinges. take the time. the drawings explain the process better than i can. start with the full size side and draw up the rectangle and use a small size drill bit to get enough room in to get the jigsaw to get a nice rectangle shape. Sand about 3mm off the cutout to make room for the material (if you sand off more its okay it will be hidden)
Step 3: Covering the Sides.
take off the speakers rim to makre a bit more of a better finish. this was one of the most fidlly things of the whole build. the shinny green material is very thin and silky so i needed to use a soft thickish underlayer so that when the shinny stuff is on all the woods imperfections doesnt show through. took about 3 times of redoing to get it right, lots of learning. on the large flat outer surface just needs stables around the rim as it will be covered with the white oak border. use the staplegun with shortish staples. on the flat outside peice you can staple around the front face edges as will be covered with the oak edging.
Step 4: Building Frame
This is a part which takes a little bit of time. start with having the sides made/cut. screw and glue a extra bit of timber to the top side inner of the sides, but not sticking above the edge as the top of cabinet will sit on this. the shelf in the midde can be any height, i made sure gap was bigger on top so my fat Amp would fit in with no worries. make sure all lengths between the sides are square. screw some square wooden length between the two sides. on the back side you can screw them flush on the edge but on the front leave a gap to allow the front door to fit in nicely. once the wooden lengths between sides are on use metal L bracket to ensure stays square (and screw through the sides into aswell). put some extra peices of wood on the side face so the shelf as as much structure as it can. leave enough room so the sides can clear. once thats in you can start sizing up how much room you will need to have to sides open and close (make sure you take into account the size of speakers too. the shelfs can be flush with rear but make sure nothing goes too far forward or the front door wont shut.
Step 5: Center Speaker Hearts Area
simular to the sides. choose a size that wont take up too much room on the top but enough to fold out nicely. use a drill and jigsaw very carefully cut the rectangle shape. best to install hinges on at this point. once hinges are on use some cardboard to size up how far you want the door to open. cut up some sides for the top door and a front. i used cardboard to get the sizes of hearts perfectly. the speakers i used for the front i got from jaycar, they are great for vocals (which is mainly what the center speaker is for) cover the front part the same way as the sides then glue onto the front of the panel. make sure your speakers fit around the hole and not just fall through otherwise you cant secure them. i glued the newly material front with alot and lot of glue, wanted to make sure itll never fall off or move. i had some issues trying to glue the top heart on, never set properly or stuck, ended up having to drill a whole and screw the heart on (accidentally put the screw in too far so the heart has a little bump where the screw started to press against the backside of the paint, it looks worse in the photos).
Step 6: Cutting Out Symbols and Fails AND Paint
Oh now this is a tale and a fail. i started out printing out some templates from the net and glueing onto some wood (for some reason i cut from plywood). i cut all out with a router and jigsaw and started to sand back and get all edges flat and nice, after a fair few hours i realized i would have spent weeks sanding this bits and still never be happy with them, it was only a few weeks until xmas break where i was going back home to see family. luckily a great mate of mine there owns a lasercutting machine/company. over the holidays i got him to cut up everything i needed. they turned out great. although it wasnt until i got home and put the bits on to see size and i may have given him the wrong sizes for all the smaller triangles. so i had to draw up and cut all the small triangles myself. My mate who cut the parts with the lasercutter cut the hyrule symbol so i would use as a template for glueing (his idea but was agreat one, saved so much time)
So Painting! i started off sanding all back smooth, clean up with thinners. i used all automotive paint (spraypaint) not the $3 can of spraypaint. about $25 a can. Then spray everything with a spray on body filler, about $13 a can, needed 2 cans. let cure for at least 24hours before sanding smooth again. then clean with thinners and let that dry (about 5min) spray on with the paint, took about 2-3 coats. after about an hour spray with a clear. i used a good quality crystal clear. bring everything up like glass and gives it a strong cover for the paint.
Step 7: Varnish and Chalking
i used a varnish used for decks. the color i used is cedar and just layered on to get a nice dark rustic look. take apart mostly everything and layer on that varnish, let dry for a few seconds (around 10) then pat down with a clean rag, itll take the heavy wet dark parts and will leave the soaked parts, which will dry very quick, repeat until happy with the color. let dry for a few hours. think i left it overnight before clear coating. i used the same brand deck clear for the varnish, used about 2 layers of clear and used about 4 coats in the top to bring up awesome and smooth.
Lots of the edges between the oak frame will have a gap where the material is. sand back any excess glue and fill with a close color chalk, even though i used cedar varnish the cedar chalk wasnt dark enough so i used a darker brown color. adds to the rustic look. fill in the edges and use a wet finger to smooth out the chalk to get a nice smooth finish.
Step 8: Covering the Sides and Front.
Very easy step, not much explaining needed. put the thicker material over the part needed to cover and staple away. i used HUNDREDS of staples. as long as your stick to parts that get covered with the wooden trim you can put in as many staples as needed. make sure its pulled firm to get rid of all the wrinkles as you staple. do the same with the thinner top material for the front and sides. All the staples will be hidden with the varnished trim if youve stapled right.
Step 9: White Oak Trim.
this stuff comes in lengths of 2400mm. think i used 3 or 4 lengths (stuff is expensive so dont cut to short, each part i cut a few mm longer and cut shorter and shorter until fit perfectly) varnish the edges when perfectly cut to size. dont forget to varnish the underneath of most of it since you'll be able to see it on the front door and sides. i used liquid nals to glue each part on 1 at a time. dont get carried away, dont use too much glue as you dont want the glue all over the material otherwise you'll have to replace it. glue 1 on and hold in place with clamps, once youve clamped it make sure its still where you want it as the clamps tend to move the wood when tightening.
Step 10: Speakers and Glueing Symbols
When yo get to this part it starts to look fantastic. very easy step but make sure to measure measure measure.... MEASURE. if these arent on right your eye will easily tell. i clamped the ruler level right where i needed it so i could use the flat edge to get level and the measurements to ensure its center. wait for glue to dry and addmore triangles. once all on and square (or triangly). screw on those speakers and hook those babys up. pos+ to pos+ and neg- to neg- (but you all know that).
Step 11: Glueing Front Hyrule Symbol.
This is the part where your heart goes crazy making sure you dont stuff up the most important part. sand the inside of the template and place in the dead center spot. luckly the flat bottom of the template was perfectly where i wanted it so made very easy to get level. glue in the triangles in first and make sure they stay in place and remove the template and let dry completely, that will ensure when you put the other parts in theyll fit perfect. although would be easier to glue all parts at the same time but dont! place one peice in with glue at a time than remove template carefully (this is so you can check around to make sure no glue is seeping out under the symbols onto your nice material. also stops your template getting glued in place with it accidentally. slowly youll have every piece in place and let it sit and dry properly. by now youll have a awesome looking front. and assemble everything and you should be DONE! and have a awesome zelda inspired tv cabinet for the ages.