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Discussion Starter #1
I am in the design phase of a built-in entertainment center. I need help!

I have included pics of the display shelf that I removed and the resulting space that I have. I was able to save the top and side trim pieces and plan to reuse them.

I also included very rough sketches of my current plan. The first file is a before/after of the general design and the second is slightly more detailed of the bottom portion.

The top part will house the flat-panel TV using a wall mount. I think I'm ok there.

The bottom portion will house the other electronics (DVD player, cable box, game systems) and DVDs/games. I plan to put the DVD player and cable box in the open area in the middle for air flow and remote usage. I hope to have everything else hidden away.

The white pieces in the sketch are raised panel doors. I want them to match another built-in visible from the room. I plan to have them made for me. I feel like that is cheating a bit, but by the time I buy all the tools to make them correctly, it will be cheaper to buy them premade.

This will be my first time to use face frames and that is throwing me off in the design process a little. Any help here would be appreciated.

Right now, I have the design done so that 1" of face frame is shown between each door. Is that enough or will it look silly?

I plan to have the raised panel doors have a 1/2" overlap on all sides. Reasonable?

I'm currently looking at KV TT100 side-mounted drawer slides. I want my drawers in the middle to measure 15.5" across on the inside and make the box from 1/2" ply. Based on this, I have figured on an opening of 17 9/16" and a drawer front of 18 9/16". Am I doing these figures correctly?

OK. That was very long-winded and I hope it all makes since. I have lots more questions to come. I'd really like to complete my design this weekend so I can start building early next week. It's Spring Break and my best chance to really knock out some work.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
2D drawings

Cabinetman,

Thanks for the quick reply - as always. I sure wish I lived in So FL so I could glean knowledge from you. I guess I'll have to settle for the virtual advice.

I exported my sketchup file to jpgs. Hopefully you can see them now.

I forgot to mention a few things:

I am planning on a 2" base - like a toe-kick area except the whole think is already raised up on 1' of bricks. I thought a base wold help me in getting everything level on the bricks. Is this the way to go and is 2" the right amount?

I am currently planning to use plywood for the basic box. I think the face frames should be solid wood as well as the doors. The thing I am most unsure about is the large horizontal piece that make up the top of the base cabinet. Should that be hardwood or ply with a veneer edging or trim piece?

Again, I am open to any advice. Thanks!!!
 

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I believe you could use more open spaces for some of your electronic equipment. You don't want to have to have a door open to use the clicker with your dvd player or cable box. There are hideaway door systems that you could get the door out of the way but they are inset and I think they look really bad on a unit with overlay doors. If you were using all inset doors it would look fine. I also recommend several drawers on a unit like that to store DVD's and game cartridges. I usually make some drawers for DVD's with dividers or there are many storage devices you can purchase to put inside the drawers.

On the picture the reason the doors are so large is because they are the hideaway type. When open it has a section below the TV that has open spaces for the electronic equipment. The drawers below are large because the cabinet was done about the time they invented DVD's so my customer had mostly VHS tapes.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Steve,

I think I've accounted for all the electronics. The one open space should house the DVD player and the cable box stacked on top of one another.

The reason I want the middle drawers to be 15.5" inside is so that they will hold two columns of dvds plus a divider. My drawers will be almost 2' deep. By my calculations, each drawer will hold 74 dvds.

The sides are going to house the gaming systems and additional paraphernalia (remotes etc). We are ok with them being open during use.

It I have miscalculated anything, please let me know. I am done with my cutlist and ready to go buy my wood!
 

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Steve,

I think I've accounted for all the electronics. The one open space should house the DVD player and the cable box stacked on top of one another.

The reason I want the middle drawers to be 15.5" inside is so that they will hold two columns of dvds plus a divider. My drawers will be almost 2' deep. By my calculations, each drawer will hold 74 dvds.

The sides are going to house the gaming systems and additional paraphernalia (remotes etc). We are ok with them being open during use.

It I have miscalculated anything, please let me know. I am done with my cutlist and ready to go buy my wood!
I'm on dial-up internet so I can never open links. All I can see is what is in you posts here. The only miscalculation I can maybe see is making your drawer ends 2 1/16" smaller than the opening. I normally make the finished drawer box 1" to 1 1/32" smaller than the opening. The 1/2" plywood I use comes closer to 15/32". If you put two sheets of my stuff together it would be 15/16" so if I were to make the drawer ends 2 1/16" smaller than the opening I would end up with a box 1 1/8" smaller than the opening. Then I would have to shim the drawer guides to make it fit. If your plywood is oversized you may be entirely correct. I nearly always put two sheets of plywood together and measure the thickness together before I determine the size of the box ends because if I assume my plywood is 15/32" and it's a full 1/2" the boxes would be too big to fit.
 

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I'm on dial-up internet so I can never open links. All I can see is what is in you posts here. The only miscalculation I can maybe see is making your drawer ends 2 1/16" smaller than the opening. I normally make the finished drawer box 1" to 1 1/32" smaller than the opening. The 1/2" plywood I use comes closer to 15/32". If you put two sheets of my stuff together it would be 15/16" so if I were to make the drawer ends 2 1/16" smaller than the opening I would end up with a box 1 1/8" smaller than the opening. Then I would have to shim the drawer guides to make it fit. If your plywood is oversized you may be entirely correct. I nearly always put two sheets of plywood together and measure the thickness together before I determine the size of the box ends because if I assume my plywood is 15/32" and it's a full 1/2" the boxes would be too big to fit.
Excellent! Thanks for the tip. I won't start cutting my boxes until I have all the pieces and measure carefully. :thumbup1:
 

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Completed this project less than a month behind schedule! Thanks again for all the tips and advice. I am pleased with the results. More importantly, my husband is VERY pleased with the results.

This project took me about 3 months but saved over $2K from the quote we received for having it done for us.

I have posted pics in my albums. You may notice that there are still pocket holes visible inside the doors. I do plan to fill those in, but I am so excited to have it functional that I wanted to post it now.
 
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