Introduction: Revamped: Chest of Drawers to Audio Hi Fi

About: I love creating almost anything. I am a professional magician and guitarist/singer - so much to do so little time! Follow me on Twitter: @bricabracwizard

This is my very first instructable.  I hope you enjoy it!  I would really appreciate if you could rate it, and comments would really help me to improve future instructables - thanks!

One day as I was fighting with my lowboy to release one of its drawers (a fight I have fought for a good 6 years, despite the soaping of runners etc.), I decided it was time to re-purpose it!  I needed a sound desk so...maybe this was its real destiny!

I didn't take as many photos as I should have, but I figured there are so many creative people on this website that I'm hoping it will give you other ideas.

Step 1: The Earliest Picture I Have of the Low-Boy

Originally the unit was a 12 drawer chest of drawers.  Very sixties!  I first removed the 4 centre drawers and channels that the drawers rested on.  I put in two plywood (6 ply) panels to hide the sides of the drawers on either side of where the stool is stored.  I cut the top section into 3 pieces (the centre piece being twice the width of the side pieces) and hinged the centre part so it could be used as an easel to rest my studio equipment on.  I then sanded the piece all over with 120 grit sandpaper.

This was when I started taking pictures, only just realising that others may appreciate it. In this picture, I have already cut holes in the drawers and put in the 1970's audio equipment (just to see how everything will hang together).

Step 2: Make Sure You Paint on Undercoat!

I have found that the best way to get a good painted result is to use the best undercoat you can afford.  I used a 3 part primer that seals and coats at the same time. Here are some pictures of those results!

Step 3: Adding Trim Around the Equipment.

I bought some 1/4 round wood mold to trim around the edges of holes which allow access to the control panel of each audio equipment piece.  The hardest part was getting nice 45 degree angles on the corners.  To achieve this I used a power mitre saw.  I didn't want to fill in the corners with wood filler so after several attempts, I found the best way to attach them to the drawers was to put each piece of equipment in its own drawer with its control panel proud of the custom hole I had made for it, then nail and glue the trim in place around each equipment piece so that there would be no gaps around the edges.  To nail the molding into place, I first drilled a hole in each corner of the trim, and for the longer pieces a hole in the centre, which allowed the nail to pass through easily except for the head which held the trim firmly to the wood drawer. The nail heads were countersunk in the wood then filled with wood filler and sanded.  I used bullet head nails.

Step 4: Painting Black and Red

I chose to use fire engine red and black, both high gloss paints and oil based.  The beauty of oil based paints is that while they take a while to dry, you generally don't leave brush marks.

Step 5: The Stripes

Painting the stripes takes a long time because of all the masking that you have to do.  For this I used painter's blue masking tape.  It sticks well and if used properly doesn't allow the paint to 'bleed'.

Step 6: Now for the Gold Stripes

Again, painting the gold pinstripes took a long time because of the masking - but was well worth the effort!  For this I used White Knight Metallic Gold - superb!

Step 7: Coat Paintwork With Varnish

The gold paint is not very durable so I had to spray varnish the top of the sound desk.  It was a bit of a tragedy for me because it changed the colour of the gold!!  I couldn't brush varnish on as the mineral turps in the varnish would have taken off the gold,  If anyone has any ideas on how to leave the gold looking very shiny and metallic, I would love to hear from you.

Step 8: Now Paint the Trim on the Drawers

Mask up the drawers only leaving the trim visible.  Spray paint the trim with gold paint.  The reason for painting the gold on the trim after they have been glued to the drawers is because as I mentioned earlier the gold is not very durable and the constant handling of the trim during the sound desk construction would have damaged the gold.

Step 9: Together With Equipment Added

Finally, I get to put in the equipment into the drawers!

Step 10: Speakers to Match Sound Desk

The process of painting the speaker surrounds is the same as the sound desk.

Step 11: The Final Step

Here I have stretched an interesting old street banner (synthetic, robust but slightly see through) which I picked up for $5AUD over frames of both speaker fronts, first removing the old cloth which just peeled off.  I stapled the material around the back of each frame and then put the covers back on the speakers.

Step 12: The Final Step

Now that it is all connected up, I am thoroughly enjoying listening to some great music on my 'new' sound system!

Other thoughts: to try and make each drawer a module so that if I wanted I could swap drawers.  This will be a monster to work out!  The last two drawers cut in a shelf at the front of each drawer for CDs and still use the back of each drawer for odds and ends!

Thanks for reading this and I hope it has inspired you to create great things for yourself.