The quality of affordable furniture available these days seems to be getting worse. The use of chipboard coated with a thin laminate definitely does not make for lasting furniture, so it seemed appropriate to show you how to make this solid cottage style TV or media cabinet.
Nowadays, if you want furniture that is going to last you should make your own. Making furniture only requires a few basic tools and materials that you can buy at your local home depot or board and timber supplier. Invest in a quality Drill / Driver, Orbital Sander and Jigsaw. If your budget allows or you want to add more tools to your collection, you can't go wrong with a router to add decorative touches to your projects.
The cabinet is made using 16mm MDF and is designed to be sturdy and strong. Rather than have a flimsy laminate finish the unit is painted and sealed for a surface that can be wiped clean or polished. For the top we used a piece of laminated pine that was stained with gel stain in antique oak and sealed with varnish.
YOU WILL NEED:
1 of 500 x 1500mm x 16mm MDF - base
2 of 380 x 468mm x 16mm MDF - sides
3 of 468 x 1404mm x 16mm MDF - shelves / frame top
2 of 364 x 468mm x 16mm MDF - uprights
1 of 50 x 1468mm x 16mm MDF - front apron
2 of 50 x 468mm x 16mm MDF - side aprons
1 of 84 x 1500mm x 16mm MDF - base front panel
2 of 84 x 484mm x 16mm MDF - base side panels
1 of 84 x 1000mm x 16mm MDF - cabinet support centre
3 of 84 x 266mm x 16mm MDF - cabinet support cross pieces
8 of 138 x 297mm x 12mm MDF - drawer front / back
10 of 138 x 444mm x 12mm MDF - drawer sides
4 of 273 x 444mm x 12mm MDF - drawer base
2 of 138 x 768mm x 12mm MDF - large drawer front / back
1 of 444 x 740mm x 12mm MDF - large drawer base
1 of 500 x 1500mm laminated pine - top
1 of 406 x 1426mm 3mm white masonite - backing
Strips of pine moulding
3.5 x 40mm screws
5 x 50mm screws
25mm panel pins
Paint and equipment for finishing
Drill / Driver plus assorted bits
Orbital sander plus 120- and 240-grit sanding pads
Jigsaw and clean-cut blades
Tape measure and pencil
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Step 1: Make the Cabinet
1. Before assembly you need to cut slots in the two shelves and uprights. Measure and mark as shown below and cut out with a jigsaw.
2. Slot the uprights into the shelves. Use a rubber mallet if the sections do not fit together easily.
3. On the both sides of the frame top measure in 300mm and 316mm from both ends. Use this as a guide for mounting the frame top onto the centre Drill 3mm countersunk pilots holes and drive in 40mm screws.
4. Attach the sides to the top and shelves by drilling 3mm countersunk pilot holes and using 40mm screws.
5. Attach the front and side aprons to the bottom of the centre frame.
Step 2: Make the Support and Base
6. Cut the pieces for the cabinet support. This will ensure that the cabinet does not bow, no matter what the weight of your TV. Use a jigsaw to cut slots for fitting the pieces together. The slots are 16mm wide and 42mm deep. Cut a slot at either end of the centre piece approximately 20mm in from the end and a slot in the centre. Slot the pieces together.
7. Measure and mark to mount the support underneath the base. Drill 3mm countersunk pilot holes through the base and attach the support with 40mm screws.
8. Draw out a design on the base front and sides and cut out with a jigsaw. It's also easier to sand this section before attaching.
9. Drill 3mm countersunk pilot holes through the base and secure the pieces with 40mm screws. Also drill pilot holes through the front of the panel into the sides and secure.
10. Secure the base onto the completed centre section by drilling two 3mm pilot holes through the base and into the side and upright sections. Secure with 50mm screws.
Step 3: Add Top and Finishing
Fill all holes with wood filler and leave to dry.
Cut moulding to fit and attach with wood glue and a few panel pins along the lengths.
Sand the entire cabinet using 120-grit to remove any uneven edges and 240-grit to sand smooth. Wipe clean with a slightly damp cloth.
Use pieces of cardboard and masking tape to close off the openings for the drawers. You don't want paint inside these sections as this will cause the drawers to stick.
We painted the media cabinet using acrylic PVA and a Bosch PFS spray system. If you are serious about making your own furniture, buying one of these spray guns is a worthwhile investment.
The laminated pine top was routed around the edge for a decorative touch. We use a skil router and roundover bit The top was stained with gel stain (antique oak) and then given two coats of varnish, clear suede.
The drawers were assembled by attaching the front and back to the sides, inserting the base and securing through the back and sides and adding moulding around the drawer front. Test fit the drawers and sand if necessary before painting.
You can choose from a selection of handles and knobs at your local hardware store. We went for an antique pewter knob and cup handle.
Don't forget to pop on over to www.Home-Dzine.co.za for more of my DIY projects.