[jaysen's Build Thread]: Built-in Entertainment Center - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 10-01-2012, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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[jaysen's Build Thread]: Built-in Entertainment Center

Long time lurker, first time poster! I've been admiring some of the projects and craftsmanship on these boards and they are truly a work of art! I felt it was time to take a dive in to the deep end, head first.

So without further adieu... welcome to my build thread! Over the course of the next couple weeks/months - hopefully not too long - I'll be updating my progress with comments, issues, concerns, and most importantly pictures of my built-in.

A little background; home was purchased new in 2007 in sunny Southern California. For the past 5 years, I've been putting off the media niche/entertainment center and taking on other projects. My fiance is finally fed up and ordered me to complete it by years end. Not including the other media niche down below... That'll be another thread.

This will be my first big woodworking project but feel I can easily accomplish it with the right tools, patience and most importantly guidance from this community!

This media niche is located in our Master Bedroom and carries the following dimensions;

Length - 122 1/2"
Depth - 22 1/2"
Height - 83 1/2"

I was planning on creating this in sketchup but it has been a while since I used it, and figured I'd resort to the old fashion way before hand to just get a rough idea of what I want or most importantly what the fiance wants...

Being this is my first build, I wanted to keep the lines as simple as possible, while still looking elegant. Finish is still to be determined, however we are leaning more towards painting (white).

Functionality and organization is my theme. The room is relatively large however due to the size of the entertainment center we wanted to incorporate drawers for clothing/socks/etc... My initial thoughts were to create six boxes/carcass joining with hidden pocket screws.

Looking for input on material - I considered using birch ply with beadboard backing and pine or poplar for the face frame. I haven't taken a trip to my Lumber yard so I am not too sure what's available there and its cost.

To be continued...
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Last edited by jaysen; 10-01-2012 at 07:48 PM.
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post #2 of 33 Old 10-01-2012, 08:42 PM
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You have a lot of space there to work with, looking forward to seeing this come together.
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post #3 of 33 Old 10-02-2012, 02:01 AM
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Since you'll be painting the built in unit there is no need to use hardwood ply. You can use 3/4 inch MDF which is cheap and smooth so it's easy to paint. For the face frame you can use any decorative molding you want. Watch some youtube videos on building builtins and you'll see that although the project is large it is not too difficult.
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post #4 of 33 Old 10-02-2012, 06:36 AM
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Well it looks like you are off to a good start. I believe I would make your faceframe to where it would overlap the opening and just let the box slide into the niche. Then make the box a little less deep so you can run the wires behind the cabinet. The upper section on each side I believe I would make adjustable shelves. Also the center section base instead of making doors I believe I would make large drawers to hold DVD's and CD's. As far as material, poplar is more resistant to damage but if you think it won't be abused pine will be fine. Poplar is cheaper at wholesale lumber companies but more expensive at the box stores. If you are working largely by yourself I would probably use the birch plywood because it is much lighter. Just make sure you don't use Chinese plywood. It is bad to warp and delaminate. MDF when you get it in place works fine but working with it is heavy as lead. You may also experience more problems over time with shelves sagging using MDF than if you used plywood. You could always make the verticle parts with MDF and make the shelves out of plywood. It all paints good but MDF will need to be sanded before it is finished. It normally has a resin on the surface that doesn't paint well but is easily sanded off.
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post #5 of 33 Old 10-02-2012, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ftk View Post
You have a lot of space there to work with, looking forward to seeing this come together.
Yes I do! very eager to get started...

Quote:
Originally Posted by GroovyMambo View Post
Since you'll be painting the built in unit there is no need to use hardwood ply. You can use 3/4 inch MDF which is cheap and smooth so it's easy to paint. For the face frame you can use any decorative molding you want. Watch some youtube videos on building builtins and you'll see that although the project is large it is not too difficult.
Yeah, I've been checking out youtube videos and what not to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
Well it looks like you are off to a good start. I believe I would make your faceframe to where it would overlap the opening and just let the box slide into the niche. Then make the box a little less deep so you can run the wires behind the cabinet. The upper section on each side I believe I would make adjustable shelves. Also the center section base instead of making doors I believe I would make large drawers to hold DVD's and CD's. As far as material, poplar is more resistant to damage but if you think it won't be abused pine will be fine. Poplar is cheaper at wholesale lumber companies but more expensive at the box stores. If you are working largely by yourself I would probably use the birch plywood because it is much lighter. Just make sure you don't use Chinese plywood. It is bad to warp and delaminate. MDF when you get it in place works fine but working with it is heavy as lead. You may also experience more problems over time with shelves sagging using MDF than if you used plywood. You could always make the verticle parts with MDF and make the shelves out of plywood. It all paints good but MDF will need to be sanded before it is finished. It normally has a resin on the surface that doesn't paint well but is easily sanded off.
Thank you for the recommendations... I was thinking the same regarding adjustable and I may just leave the bottom center box doorless as you suggested.


I've got roughly another 2 weeks of planning and material/tools gathering until this thread really comes alive!
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post #6 of 33 Old 10-13-2012, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Small update;


Entertainment center got pushed back a couple weeks - wife wanted me to make a bed and bookshelf for my little one.

Here are some pics - tried a new "technique" I read about online for a driftwood look
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post #7 of 33 Old 10-14-2012, 12:11 AM
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Those look good man!
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post #8 of 33 Old 10-15-2012, 10:22 AM
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Here are some pics - tried a new "technique" I read about online for a driftwood look

Please share this new technique! My SO is wanting our girls to have a beach theme bedroom and this driftwood look would work great!
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post #9 of 33 Old 10-15-2012, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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On my iPhone At the moment but check the finishes forum I've got a thread there
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post #10 of 33 Old 10-15-2012, 02:24 PM
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On my iPhone At the moment but check the finishes forum I've got a thread there
Thanks, will do!
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post #11 of 33 Old 10-15-2012, 03:28 PM
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subscribing, this is going to be great!
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post #12 of 33 Old 10-16-2012, 02:38 AM
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Originally Posted by jaysen View Post
Long time lurker, first time poster! I've been admiring some of the projects and craftsmanship on these boards and they are truly a work of art! I felt it was time to take a dive in to the deep end, head first.

So without further adieu... welcome to my build thread! Over the course of the next couple weeks/months - hopefully not too long - I'll be updating my progress with comments, issues, concerns, and most importantly pictures of my built-in.

A little background; home was purchased new in 2007 in sunny Southern California. For the past 5 years, I've been putting off the media niche/entertainment center and taking on other projects. My fiance is finally fed up and ordered me to complete it by years end. Not including the other media niche down below... That'll be another thread.

This will be my first big woodworking project but feel I can easily accomplish it with the right tools, patience and most importantly guidance from this community!

This media niche is located in our Master Bedroom and carries the following dimensions;

Length - 122 1/2"
Depth - 22 1/2"
Height - 83 1/2"

I was planning on creating this in sketchup but it has been a while since I used it, and figured I'd resort to the old fashion way before hand to just get a rough idea of what I want or most importantly what the fiance wants...

Being this is my first build, I wanted to keep the lines as simple as possible, while still looking elegant. Finish is still to be determined, however we are leaning more towards painting (white).

Functionality and organization is my theme. The room is relatively large however due to the size of the entertainment center we wanted to incorporate drawers for clothing/socks/etc... My initial thoughts were to create six boxes/carcass joining with hidden pocket screws.

Looking for input on material - I considered using birch ply with beadboard backing and pine or poplar for the face frame. I haven't taken a trip to my Lumber yard so I am not too sure what's available there and its cost.

To be continued...
Hi jaysen, You have given great information, According to me this all information are very use for every people who want to make own Entertainment Center in own dream house, So thanks for share this all information.
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post #13 of 33 Old 01-14-2014, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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...I'm back!

Sorry to those that were expecting rapid progress on my build thread... Unfortunately, I got side track early with the bed and other things and kinda forgot about the project completely. With the New Year, my 'revolution' (AT&T commercial) is to complete this build, even if it kills me!

So here's what I've got so far in sketchup. The left and right bottom cabinet will hold 6 dressers - two small sock/underwear drawers and four larger clothing drawers. I originally designed it with two 50" dressers on each side and the center box sitting lower to accommodate my current 56" DLP. I scratched that idea because i couldn't visualize how it would look...

I'm confused right now how to do my face frames and how to calculate the drawer sizes. I've been looking at many ideas and like bits and pieces from different ones. The photo below is probably my favorite out of all that i've viewed.

Any input?

EDIT:
I've added a 2nd model... I've been thinking, maybe I do want taller dressers instead. So here's a model with 50" dressers on the left and right (without backing). Cabinet above and in the center will be adjustable with doors similar to the picture I've attached.
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Last edited by jaysen; 01-15-2014 at 03:55 AM.
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post #14 of 33 Old 01-15-2014, 08:28 AM
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I'm really digging the bed and bookshelf!
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post #15 of 33 Old 01-15-2014, 10:36 AM
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For what it's worth, I much prefer the second design. It's simpler and clean but provides a fair number of options for what can be done with the spaces. It will also require significantly less material and will be easier to build, saving you time and money. Win win.

EDIT: I might suggest adding one layer below the tv spot for components like DVD player, etc. Something that can be closed in but provides easy access (at the right height) should you want that. Also the photograph shows two armoire sections in that built-in that are specifically designed for hanging clothes. If you want that, you're going to need to make some mods to your design.

One last suggestion. Make your drawer carcasses out of aromatic cedar and protect your clothing cheaply and easily.

Last edited by frankp; 01-15-2014 at 10:39 AM.
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post #16 of 33 Old 01-15-2014, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by frankp View Post
For what it's worth, I much prefer the second design. It's simpler and clean but provides a fair number of options for what can be done with the spaces. It will also require significantly less material and will be easier to build, saving you time and money. Win win.

EDIT: I might suggest adding one layer below the tv spot for components like DVD player, etc. Something that can be closed in but provides easy access (at the right height) should you want that. Also the photograph shows two armoire sections in that built-in that are specifically designed for hanging clothes. If you want that, you're going to need to make some mods to your design.

One last suggestion. Make your drawer carcasses out of aromatic cedar and protect your clothing cheaply and easily.
Frank,

Thanks for your opinion! Question for you; is the cedar sold in ply sheets? or planks/boards?

I'll have to see if my local yard carries it, or can order if not.
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post #17 of 33 Old 01-16-2014, 08:57 AM
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jaysen, you can buy it as tongue and groove paneling (even in the big box stores) and you can buy rough cut or finished lumber at some (most??) lumber yards. I've never seen it as sheet goods but I suspect it's out there somewhere.
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post #18 of 33 Old 01-22-2014, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Ok... So I'm a little stumped and have a few questions for the 'pros'


I've decided i'm going to try and replicate the style in the photo I've attached. I do not want to hang clothes since we have a closet already, so I will replace the armoires in the picture with two 50" tall dressers on each side containing 4 drawers in each (similar to the picture). For the center cabinet, I will do adjustable shelving with doors (similar to the cabinet above the armoires). For the center cabinet above the TV I am still undecided, but will figure something out eventually...

With all that said here is what I'm confused on;

What does everyone think the thickness is of the face frame in the picture? 2 1/2" ? The top rail looks to be about 4" but the center rail (dresser) and bottom looks about 2 1/2" ... The Stile to the left and right of the armoire I'm guessing is also 2 1/2"

Now my next question; Which type of wood should I use for the face frame, considering I will be painting?

Thanks everyone so far... It is finally coming along. Once I figure out the above, I will probably have another week or so of fine tuning and then I'm going to take the plunge!
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post #19 of 33 Old 01-22-2014, 03:48 PM
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I can't imagine anyone making a face frame thicker than 3/4 inch. I'd dare say most are 1/2 inch. I think something inexpensive, like poplar would be fine, but ply might be an option as well, I think.
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post #20 of 33 Old 01-22-2014, 03:51 PM
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I would probably make my face frames 2". Only reason being is, its custom built and it keeps math simple. A whole lot easier to subtract 4" from 26.375 than subtracting 4.5 from 26.375.

As for face frames and painting; I would use poplar. Inexpensive and paints up really nice. The carcasses of this project were ply and all of the face frames were poplar. http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f13/b...okcases-47762/ I was really please with how it turned out.
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