Introduction: Entertainment Center and Side Table
My fiancé wanted a entertainment center with barn doors and fixed shelves. Also a top to surround the tv with fixed shelves as well. In the picture above is our previous store bought tv stand with a 42" flat screen resting on top. In this picture you can see how much room there is to work with between windows on center of our living room, just over 7' long and just under 8 foot tall. The new entertainment center would end up being 7-1'2" long and 6'8" tall. I hope you all enjoy.
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Step 1: Building the Bottom: Part 1
4 - 2x4 's make up the length of the frame. The sides are 2x4's that have been rabbited in order to accept 1x4's from the back to give a recessed look. More 2x4's have been grooved and placed in the "middle" for bracing purposes. The sides have been glued and nailed while the bracing has mostly Kreg Jig corner screws in place for hiding and bracing along with glued joints. The bracing/separator is made from 3/4" board the has been cut to fit from top (to help brace top where tv will sit) and slides between the grooves in the 2x4 bracing on the front and back. The base, or bottom shelf, is made up of 1x4's that have also been routed to give the round edge look for the front. The center shelf is actually 3 different pieces made to look like one. They all have braces underneath that are out of sight. The middle shelves are also 2- 1x10x8 and 1x12x8 doweled and glued together to make 1 single wide shelf. The doors are half lapped on all four sides with a receded backing to accept the X look on the front. You can also see that the very bottom has a 1x4 border to hide the 2x4 connections.
Step 2: Building the Bottom: Part 2
Finishing touches included 2x4 bracing from front to back underneath the top portion (hidden from view for practical purposes), finishing the X look on the doors, adding the rail (amazon.com) and paint. The top is attached to the hidden bracing with Kreg Jig corner screws and glue and hangs off each side about 1/2". Finished with a 1/4" piece of sheeting (unpainted) for the backing and holes cut to accept electronics.
Step 3: Building the Surround
Building the surround sides was much like building the bottom sides, Started with 2 2x4's rabbited to accept the 1x4 planks to give the recessed look. after that was glued, I attached a bottom brace/shelf and a side wall to complete the box part. The repeated to make the other side. Cutting a dado in both the side wall and the "bottom" shelf, to make a dado joint where the 2 boxes come together to make one whole piece. After making the top shelf, much like the middle shelf on the bottom piece, 2 wood planks doweled and glued together, the fixed shelves were added. To go ahead and toot my own horn, I did not have a large tv when building the surround. I took measurements off of friends and family's tv's and looked up specs on multiple brands to come up with the final building measurements of the surround. As you can see there was way to much room between the 42" tv and the surrounds inner walls. So a 65" was bought the next day and fit like a glove, with about 1/8" around the outer edge, sliding in nicely. A little paint and a backing, like the bottom (not added in these photos), you can see what the finish product looks like. Thank you for looking!
Step 4: Side Table
This has every piece of the entertainment center built into it. The bottom shelf is made to look like the sides of the inner pieces made from the 1x4 slats. The frame is made of 2x4's. The X is on the side from the front of the doors and the top is 1x4 slats glued together to form the bottom base shelf with the routed edges for the finished look. I have only some school knowledge from a shop class I took in high school. Some things I learned from my Dad and friends. I do not have a nice shop, I build most everything on my truck tailgate and a cardboard 4-person card table. Imagination and tools are really all you need. I hope you enjoyed this and I plan to put more up in the future. Be safe and smart woodworking! I typed this with all 10 fingers still attached.
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