Sunday, November 17, 2013

Rustic Furniture: Entertainment Center

Not long ago I sought out to build a rustic looking coffee table...

...then I built an matching end table...

....and then matching book shelves....

Now it's time to do away with my hideously cheap and ugly TV stand and book shelves and replace it with a matching entertainment center!

I designed the console using SketchUp, and made it match my other rustic furniture.  This piece will be almost the length of my current tv stand and book shelves put together, but it will be slightly deeper and will have more space to hold all my stuff.

My first design was good and then I had a thought before I bought all the wood - would this piece of furniture be able to go in and out of my small apartment?  I have a narrow entryway, and I didn't think it possible, so I redesigned it to be modular.

I color coded the different pieces of wood to make it easier to draw up a lumber list for the hardware store to cut for me.

Then I filled my car with the lumber and brought it home.

Since I am going to assemble this table very much like my coffee table, end table and book shelves, I am not going to be as descriptive as my earlier posts.  For a more thorough explanation of the assembly, please look at my other rustic furniture builds.

Like my matching rustic furniture I started with the table top.  I assembled the top using the three 2x6's held together with pocket holes and screws.  The boards I had were warped, so I clamped them together for a long time to straighten them.

Then I started work on the frame.  For my other Rustic furniture, I assembled the frame mainly using pocket holes and screws.  For this build, I will be mostly drilling holes and screwing them in.

While assembling, I noticed that some of the cuts were uneven.  I wasn't too happy about it.  So I had to get my saw and make adjustments to some of the wood.

After a while I had my new cuts made and I began assembling...again.

All the drill holes were widened using a counter sink.  This will allow the screws to be fully covered later with wood filler.

With the frame done, I started working on the top.  This was assembled using pocket holes and screws.

Then it was time to attach the shelves.  The revised cuts I was forced to make made to the frame pieces meant that the shelves were no longer the correct size.  So I had to cut those as well.

It was at this point that nothing seemed to be aligning correctly.  Frustrated, I stopped and took a break for a few days. I came back refreshed, and decided to redesign.

The revised table have the same dimensions as before, but it's now only 2 pieces - (top and frame).  The reason I made the frame one piece again is because the 2 pieces before would not stand next to each other flush - that would have bothered me a great deal.  The shelf assembly will be done first, and then the frame will be attached to the shelves.  Making things this way was far easier than my other builds.

I should note that in order to make the joints stronger, I screwed a long screw in at an angle.  I did this because I miraculously misplaced my pocket hole Jig.  I spent a long time searching for it and couldn't find it, so I drilled the screws in like so.  I eventually went back and drilled better holes so that the screw heads were beneath the surface of the wood.....a few hours later I found my jig.

Also, to further strengthen the joints, I screwed in some L-brackets in each of the 8 corners.

Next I screwed on cross beams to the side.  I used some of the incorrectly sized wood from earlier, and it actually fit perfectly.

With both cross beams in place, I put the table top on and it looks great.

Then I used my block plane to even out some areas of the frame and shelves....

...followed by some sanding...

...and then some wood filler to fill in some gaps.

Next I added wood filler to the various places on the table top that needed to be filled.

Then I took everything outside and put them onto the saw horses to make it easier to sand.  I also unscrewed the 2 side cross beams to make sanding and staining easier.

After a while all the sanding was done, and I gave everything a good cleaning.  Then I took advantage of the vacant apartment below mine, and moved my furniture there.

Then came the stain.  Like the coffee table, end table and book shelves, I used a stain with polyurethane in it.

The next morning I went downstairs and checked on everything.  The table looks beautiful, but needs a second coat of stain to match the darker color of my other furniture.

So I then took it outside...

...and gave it a second coat.

When it was fully dried, I brought the unit back upstairs.  Like my other builds, I placed cardboard under the legs to make sure any stain that wasn't fully dried won't spread on to the carpet.  The next day these cardboard pieces will be removed.

Then I went about sanding the whole thing.  This smoothed it out further and gave it a more worn look.

I then added the decorative corner hinges and bolts that are common in my other rustic furniture.

I also placed some screws on the back side of the frame so I can hang some power strips.

Then I removed everything from my current TV stand and bookshelves and put my new Entertainment Center in place.

Then I slowly started hooking up all my electronics.

Then I put all the other stuff on it and I'm done!!!!

I enjoyed this project, even though it was frustrating at times.  This is also the last of my Rustic furniture builds, since now all the furniture in my living room has been replaced.  Had I gone out and bought a new coffee table, end table, 2 book shelves and an entertainment center that all match, I honesty believe I would have spent close to $1000 or more.  I think the total amount I spent on the lumber for all my rustic furniture is close to $250.  They look great and they are super strong, and I take great pride in them.  I think everyone should build their own furniture!  Thanks for reading!!!

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