This is an Instructable for a 60s Style TV Console I've been making for the past few months. It was my second big woodworking project and it's great for a beginning woodworker and allows you to learn essential techniques like using machinery, joinery, routing and cabinet hardware installation.
Step 1: Materials
Upon starting this project I took a long time to decide exactly what I wanted. I took inspiration from a few West Elm furniture pieces and started thinking about what exactly I would be storing in the console. I drew up a design on my iPad and made some rough measurements.
I compiled a rough list of materials and measurements needed to construct the piece. All of these materials can be substituted for other types of wood and different measurements. This is just what I used.
Wood - Common pine board:
(4) 1x6x72 in boards - for the top and bottom
(8) 1x6x16 in boards - for the side and inner walls
(4) 1x6x20 in boards -for the shelves.
(2) 2x2x60 in hard wood - for bottom leg support
(4) 2x2x6in wood - for console legs.
(4)1x8x20in Maple boards - For cabinet doors
(8) bracer strips of hard wood for extra corner support
Titebond wood glue
Inset cabinet hinges
Cabinet door handles
Dark Walnut stain
Equipment I used:
KREG Pin Jig
I designed this project myself, so there's a lot of give and take on these materials and measurements depending on how you want your piece to look.
Step 2: Join Your Boards
My first step in this project was to cut the boards to my desired lengths and join them together and sand.
Top and Bottom (1x16x60in)
4 Side Panels (1x16x14 1/2in)
2 Cabinet Doors (1x14x18 1/2in) - Maple
I started out with 1x8x8ft boards for this project and cut them to the measurements I wanted and joined the boards together to get the proper width.
After cutting the boards to size, I used dowel joinery to put them together. I measured and drilled three small dowel holes in the sides of each board and joined them together with Titebond wood glue.
After the glue dried I used a belt sander to sand out any unevenness in the boards.
Step 3: Preparing and Joining the Frame
After the panels were prepped and sanded, I mitered the edges of the top and bottom boards by 45 degrees. I also mitered the two side panels to 45 degree angles.
Before gluing all sides together I routed 3/4 in groves into the top and bottom panels 18 1/2 inches in from the sides where the inside panels will go. Make sure your measurements are consistent on the top and bottom panels so the boards are perfectly straight.
I then used a 90-degree guide and glued each mitered corner and clamped them together.
For extra support I cut 1/2x1/2x12 in strips of hard wood and cut them to 45 degree angles. I screwed these into the inside corners of each joint for extra support while the glue dried.
Once that was dry I inserted the two inside panels with glue, clamped them together and let them dry.
Step 4: Legs
Now that the frame is complete, the next step is to prepare the legs. I wanted to use a hard wood frame to give the entire piece extra support. I started by cutting down 2x4s into roughly (2) 2x3x60in boards. Once these boards were cut I laid them out onto the bottom and marked out where I wanted them. I measured the center and marked where the intersected. I used a router to cut into the wood at 1/2inch for each board so they would intersect. Before joining them together I used the table saw to cut an 8 degree grove into the ends of the frame where the legs would go. I wanted to have slightly angled legs and this added extra support.
I cut (4) 7 inch legs at an 8 degree angle on the ends as well. I placed the legs into the grooves that were previously cut to make sure the fit was secure. I then drilled 3in screws into the top of the frame down into the legs. Once the legs were assembled to the leg frame, I secured it to the bottom of the larger piece with screws.
Step 5: Shelves
Next up I used a KREG shelf pin jig to drill out holes to install the shelves. This is a really easy tool to use, make sure the jig is flush with the top or bottom of the panel you want holes in. Then do the other side of the panel in the same way and the holes should be level. Install the shelf pins and put the shelf on for a test and make sure it's level.
Step 6: Sanding and Staining
After the piece is assembled, it's time to sand down all surfaces. The corners are especially important to sand down and make sure there aren't any gaps or excess glue from joining the mitered edges.
In my case, there were some gaps in a few of the corners and in the grooves that fit the inside panels. I didn't like how the front looked so I measured the front ends and added a trim by cutting thin strips of board and gluing then to the front for a cleaner finish.
Once you have the console sanded and happy with the surfaces, it's time to stain. I used a Minwax Dark Walnut stain. Using a foam brush I put one coat on all surfaces and then wiped it off. After drying I went over all surfaces with a second coat.
While the stain was drying I prepared the cabinet doors...
Step 7: Cabinet Door
I wanted a sharp contrast between the dark body of the console and the natural light cabinet doors. I decided to use maple.
I measured the middle and right openings and cut the maple boards to size, leaving about 1/4 inch gap on all sides between the console and doors. I sanded the doors and then installed the inset door hinges. The hinges come with instructions but the just of it is drilling a 1 in diameter hole on the inside of the door about 1/8-1/4 in from the side of the door(this is dependent on how much gap room you have between the door and the console.) After installing the door side of the hinge, I fitted the door into the console and marked where the hinge should be drilled in the console. The hinge has adjustment screws on it so if you don't get it exactly right you have some wiggle room.
Step 8: Backboard and Finishing
I wanted to add a backboard to the console so you don't see through it and for added support of the frame. I used particle board and cut it to the size of the back of the console and used a staple gun to secure it to the back. I also drilled three holes into the particle board for electronic cords to go through.
After all this was finished I put on three coats of varnish, sanding with 220 grit sand paper in between the first two coats.
The last step was to pick out door handles and install them.
Final measurements for the piece are:
60 inches across
24 in height (16 inch for the console and 8 inches for the legs)
14 1/2 inches deep.
Cabinet doors were 18 1/2 x 14.
I was very happy with the finished console. It's exactly how I pictured it. It was a big learning experience as it was my second big wood working project. I definitely made a few errors and would have done somethings differently, like working with a harder wood, but overall it turned out great. I'm very happy with it!
Hope you enjoyed this tutorial, please let me know if you have any specific questions.
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