Thursday, December 28, 2017

Small Stereo Stand

For Christmas my father wanted a new, taller stand to hold his stereo.  I made him a small one a few years back, but he says it's too short.

(it's that teenie stand in the back)

So I took some measurements and designed something new for him.

What I like about my design here is how the bottom and middle shelves 'hug' the legs.  It's a look I haven't done before and I think it'll turn out looking nice.

This stand should only require 3 pieces of .75" plywood, and 2 pieces of 2x2 studs.

I bought the material (plus wood for another project).

I started by cutting the legs on the miter saw.  A stop block helps make all the cuts the same size.

Next I trimmed the plywood top and shelves on the table saw.  All 3 pieces are the same size.

Using a speed square and pencil, I marked a 1-1/8" line from each edge.

These lines tell me where to cut the edge off of each corner of the plywood.  Again I used a stop block so I can easily cut the same amount from each side.

The cuts were perfect on the first board, so I repeated the process on the remaining 2 boards.

Next I used a cut off piece of 2x2 to mark where to cut out from the corners of the middle and lower shelves.

I cut out the pieces with my jigsaw.

This cut out is where each leg and shelf will be supported.

I have a love/hate relationship with the jigsaw.  Not all the cuts went exactly where I wanted them to go, and there were a few blow outs with the plywood.  But for the most part it went well.

Next I cut out four pieces of 2x2 at 2 inches.

These pieces will be spacers to keep the bottom shelf 2 inches off the ground.

I then began gluing and screwing the legs into each notch of the shelf.  I tried my best to keep everything square, but unfortunately it's really difficult getting perfectly square and straight wood from the big box stores.

After a while all the legs were attached.

Then I cut four more spacers - this time at 16 inches long.

I clamped each spacer to the legs to keep them in place.  These spacers helped get the middle shelf level - which then I glued and screwed on.

To get the middle shelf on, I had to use my mallet to hammer it in place.  For the most part it went well, except for this one spot where the plywood chipped off.  I saved the piece that chipped off and I'll glue it back on later.

Next I glued and screwed the top on, making sure each leg was lined up correctly.

Then I glued on and clamped that chipped piece.

Next I started working on the trim for the top of this stand.  I cut the ends of a 1x2 piece of wood at 45 degree angles.

Then I glued it and nailed it on.  For the corner pieces I cut straight 90 degree pieces, and again glued and nailed it on.  This left a little piece sticking out at each of the 45-degree ends.

Using a flush cut saw, I trimmed off the piece sticking out.

I repeated the process until the top edge was complete.

Next I used some wood filler to fill in the screw holes, and other small gaps and imperfections.

And it's looking pretty good so far!

Once the wood filler dried on the top, I flipped it over and applied more filler to the bottoms.

On the bottom of one part of the trim was a hole from a knot that had fallen out.

To fill in this hole I simply used a wood pocket hole plug...

...and glued it in place.

After that I called it a night, as it was late and I was tired.  The next morning I trimmed the plug with the trim saw, and filled it with a little more wood filler.

Next it was time to work on the middle and bottom shelves.  To make the edges of these shelves look better I'll be using edge banding with an adhesive backing to cover up the sides of the plywood.

An iron is needed to adhere the banding to the plywood.

I would cut each strip of banding to size and then tape it on with blue painters tape to help keep it in place while I iron.

The result is a side that doesn't look like plywood.

The banding is great but it is wider than the thickness of the plywood... I used a sharp utility blade to trim the excess banding.

Then it was time for round 1 of sanding.  I used course grit sandpaper on my orbital sander.

When sanding was done, there were still many spots that needed additional filling, so I added more wood filler and let dry.

Then round 2 of sanding, this time with medium grit sandpaper.

I've said it once, and I'll say it again:  Find your Zen in sanding.

Third round of sanding involved very fine sandpaper - making sure to get every spot.

Once sanding was finally done I cleaned off all the dust with a damp rag and let dry.

My father wanted a mahogany stain.

So I started with the top, wiped away excess stain and let dry for a few hours.

Then I repeated the process for the bottom.

I then let everything dry overnight. The next day I prepped for adding polyurethane.  Since I was working on another project at the same time as this one, some dust accumulated onto this stand.

A damp cloth cleaned it up easily.
At the time I was making this stand, it was mid-November and the weather was beginning to cool off.  Polyurethane will take longer to dry, so I did a 50/50 mix of polyurethane and lacquer thinner, essentially making wipe-on polyurethane.

I applied 2 coats of the wipe-on poly.  Each coat dried in about 20 minutes.

Once dry I would sand everything using a fine sanding sponge.

Then I would clean up the dust with a damp rag and let it dry.

Subsequent coats received a 75/25 ratio of poly, thus thickening it up a bit, but still allowing it to dry in a reasonable amount of time (about and hour and a half).

I repeated the process of poly-sand-clean-poly-sand-clean...

At the end of the day I felt that the tops/sides only needed another 2 coats or so, but I let it dry overnight.  The next morning I flipped the stand over to work on the bottom first.

The bottoms only need 1 or 2 coats since no one will ever see it.

Once the bottom was dry, I flipped over the stand again and finished the tops.

I let the last coat of polyurethane dry the entire day.

By nighttime, the stand was looking nice and glossy.

I let it sit overnight, and the next morning I did my last round of sanding and cleaning.

This little table or stand turned out very nice.

It's simple and strong and I hope my father likes it.  I gave it to him on Christmas, and set it up in his house.

My father loves the new stand for his stereo.  It's at a much better height, and he likes having space to put his CDs, headphones and nic-nacs.  

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