Intro: Home Media Center for Pennies!
These days we have a lot of technology in our homes, a great deal of this is used for entertainment; DVD players, TV's, Games machines, even home media computers wired into our TV. It seems only fitting then that there should be a way to safely store this a) Where it is most used. b)Away from the prying eyes of burglars, I read somewhere that the blue light given out by Wii charging stations, is guaranteed to get these undesirables peering in your window. We were at a friends house when we noted a large lacquered cupboard in the corner of the room, this turned out to be a very expensive home media centre, where all of the aforementioned items where securely stored. This got me to thinking. We are by no means rich, so I decided to build my own. Don't worry folks, it really isn't that hard!
Thought I'd better add a tool list!
A jig saw or hole saw
2" chipboard screws for chipboard shelves 11/2" wood screws for wooden shelves
drill for pilot holes and countersinks
Screwdriver or cordless drill and a selection of bits
Step 1: Finding a Donor..
Looking through the local stores at large cupboards, lead me to looking at wardrobes, I thought that the size and dimension of these would easily accommodate all of our media equipment and perhaps the kids games as-well. It soon became apparent that even wardrobes these days are not cheap, so we turned to our local Freecycle. For those who haven’t heard of Freecycle, it is a way for folk to advertise through Yahoo Groups, items that they no longer want/need, but are too good to be thrown into the landfill! Check it out, I bet there's one in your area. After a week of searching, we managed to get a solid pine wardrobe that someone had already fitted with shelves. I had intended to do this anyway using wood recycled from old pallets, so this was a real bonus! Another place to try might be local 'thrift stores' or charity shops, we have several in the area and have come up trumps a few times using them.
Step 2: Adaptations
I carefully removed the (Chipboard) shelves and (using a jig-saw) cut out a section in the rear of each one, large enough to comfortably pass a plug and wires through, I also cut a hole into the back of the unit to allow a plug out. As the shelves had only been fitted with wood glue and shelf supports, I found some good long Chipboard screws and used these to reattach them, hey I don't want my TV falling out of the cupboard!
Step 3: Finishing Up
When all of the shelves were re-fitted, I removed the centre spar which the doors used to close against and re-sited the magnetic catches at the top and bottom of the unit so that the doors would still stay shut when closed. Then with a lot of help from my wife, fitted all of our home entertainment gear into it, threading the power leads and connecting wires through the holes I created. The power leads were passed through the back into a surge protected tower; this is important to note as you don't want your equipment to be fried if there is a power surge! Once fitted, I added a surround sound system into the mix and we were good to go. Those of you who are very security minded, may wish to add a lock to the unit, but we have a dog sleeping next to ours who I think would let us know if there was someone around who shouldn't be. Total cost of the project, a few pounds for fuel and a days work and tadaa! You too can have a home media centre.