Introduction: Building a Hardwood Counter and a Media Stand
This media stand features a beautiful hardwood top, turned tapered legs, matching wooden knobs and a white base. I built this tv stand to house my speakers (on the sides, as well as on the shelf), and hide things behind the doors. There are several different parts to this build, including the top, the body, the doors and the accents. So let's get started!
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Step 1: Preparing the Counter
I have been saving some ipe wood up on the rafters for a year now, so time to bring those down. So these were 4x4 posts, so I resawed them on the table saw into three pieces, just a touch under an inch thick.
Once I had five boards cut up, I brought them inside where I arranged them so they looked good and they butted up tight without any gaps. Then I made some chalk marks, to remind myself which side is up for later. Then just drawing some five straight marks across for where I want the dowels.
Step 2: Doweling the Top
Now I'm using a doweling jig here, and I'm going for 3/8 inch dowels. So lining the jig up on the mark, clamping it in place, and then drilling a hole down, and I also have a stop on the drill bit so I only go down a touch over half the length of the dowel. And then there was just a whole lot of clamping and drilling to do, making sure I'm lining it up right.
And here are all the boards with holes drilled. Now I'm getting ready here to glue and clamp this counter together, putting down some wax paper so it doesn't glue stuck, and then putting the dowels and some glue down. When laminating several boards like this, I always like to clamp each section together before moving on to gluing the next board together. And then just doweling, gluing and clamping the counter together, one board at a time. And love that part when the last board comes together.
Step 3: Finishing the Top
Once the glue had dried, I cut the counter to size using a circular saw.
Next, to create a roundover edge, I decided to use my number 5 smoothing plane. First I was thinking of using the router and a roundover bit, but then ipe tears rather easily so I decided to use the plane instead for a little more control. And that worked out really good.
Then a whole bunch of sanding.
Once the top was smooth, I brought it inside and gave it a seal coat of this gel wipe on urethane product. And I will proceed to give this a couple more coats.
Step 4: The Base
OK, now let's move on to the base. I started with checking over the plywood to mark out my cuts, and it was a little bit of a puzzle to get them it all to fit, and here are the pieces cut up.
Here's the sketch for this media stand - I wanted something that would hold my speakers perfectly, a shelf underneath, and two doors to hide things behind.
So I started with putting together the base here and I'm simply using glue and screws. So after making my marks, I'm predrilling and countersinking, and then clamping the piece in place which really helps to line everything up square. Then just continuing on with the other side.
For some support pieces in the pack, I'm drilling some pocket holes here, and then attaching that, to add some additional rigidity. Also drilling some holes to attach the top through later.
Then priming, spackling and painting the base here.
Step 5: The Doors
Now, let's move on to attaching the doors. So I've got this hinge installing jig which really came in handy here. So I'm using Euro style hinges, and I'm setting the jig up for how much of a gap I want in between the door and the side here. Then marking out where I want the hinges, adding some support underneath, securing the jig in place and then drilling down the rather large hole with the drill.
So I'm using these inset hinges and then marking the same distance as I did the doors, then using this template to mark where my screw holes need to go and attaching the connecting part of the hinge.
and I'm using this really handy self centering interchangeable drill bit kit here, and then just attaching the remaining hinges.
Then screwing down the hinges on the doors too, and clicking them in place, really like these euro style hinges. Then inside the cabinet I have room for a shelf, so drilling some pocket holes here and then I set up some support with some clamps and connected the shelf in place. Then doing a final coat of paint.
Step 6: Legs
Ok, now let's move on to the legs. So since I have an ipe counter, I thought it would be really cool to turn some tapered ipe legs. So that's exactly what I did. I made one leg that I liked that measured 4 1/2 inches in length, and then I replicated three more legs.
Once they were done, I drilled a whole on the drill press, and then I epoxied in some 3/8 inch bolts and let that dry. Now on the bottom shelf of the base, I drilled four holes on the corners, and then I clamped some tee nuts in place, and these bar clamps really worked well for this. Then I could simply screw the legs in place. I also decided to add some shellac for protection on the legs.
Step 7: Knobs & Finishing
Now I also wanted some knobs, and I thought it would be cool to make those out of ipe as well. So I've got a small block of ipe here that I'm drilling a 15/64 inch hole all the way through. Then I'm screwing on a mandrel piece that's attached to a drill chuck on the lather, and then I started turning. I decided I wanted the knobs about 1 1/2 inch in diameter and I went from there.
So I really liked using the parting tool here to create the shape, and these smaller tools were perfect for the size here.
I've got some really neat hardware here which makes it really easy to turn your own knobs. Then I simply replicated the knob I made, put on the hardware and attached it to the doors, and there you go - custom knobs, I really kind of like that.
Now to finish the piece, I of course added some of my beeswax polish, this is the tung oil version, since this is a really nice counter.
And there you have it. A really nice media stand, where the speakers fit quite perfectly on the sides, I have a center speaker on the bottom, and the receiver behind the doors. I really like having the doors there, so you can hide things inside. And I really think it's the little touches that make a big difference here - the turned legs, the custom knobs, and of course the counter, you really can't go wrong with a hardwood counter.
Step 8: Conclusion - Watch the Video
For a much better perspective, make sure to watch the video!