Entertainment center design help

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Forum topic by LarryD posted 01-03-2012 09:54 PM 1345 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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17 posts in 2809 days

01-03-2012 09:54 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I am trying to design an entertainment center for my wife. The basic design is a 60”W x 18D x 22 1/2”H with the center section divided in to a top and bottom section. The top section will have open shelves for electronics and the bottom section will be drawers for CD/DVD storage and the misc. stuff that goes in there. I know without a picture this may a little bit more difficult, however I am pretty sure you all can probably picture in your head what I am talking about…the center section will be divided horizontally by an ~3/4” board and vertically by an ~3/4” dividers. My question to you all is, what is the best (read strongest and most visually appealing) way to mount the vertical dividers in the case. I have thought about egg crate design with the vertical dividers sliding into the horizontal shelf or vice-versa and, I have thought about cutting shallow dados in the shelf and running the dividers that way. My worry with the egg crate is the sides will be seen and make the design seem slipshod…the worry with the latter is the vertical dividers will be supporting the top which is set up for a flat screen not too heavy, but I don’t want the top to sag either and I want to make sure there is enough material between top divider dado and the bottom divider dado. Any other thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated.


7 replies so far

View StumpyNubs's profile


7696 posts in 3065 days

#1 posted 01-03-2012 11:56 PM

Sliding dovetails. They are very strong, they make assembly easy, and people are always impressed with them!

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3248 days

#2 posted 01-04-2012 05:05 AM

The Dados will work and hold up well for this project. I have done this for heavier items and not have a problem with any sagging. As for visual appeal if you use stopped dados they will make the joint clean and neat looking even during expansion and contraction changes.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6371 posts in 3459 days

#3 posted 01-04-2012 09:10 AM

Hi Larry,

I got an idea of what you want to build…Go to my “projects” page and look at the e.c. I built w/ full descriptions and details… might be close to what you’re after…..

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....!!

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3912 days

#4 posted 01-04-2012 09:16 AM

Solid wood or ply?

View LarryD's profile


17 posts in 2809 days

#5 posted 01-04-2012 07:04 PM

Rick, the EC is very similar to the project I am going to build. What I couldn’t tell was did you dado the horizontal pieces in the vertical or other way? I think I am going to go with the dados though…Stumpy sliding dovetails would be awesome, however I have limited access to dovetail equipment unless I cut them by hand. @Greg I was thinking if I did dado's I would use stopped dado's so you couldn't see the cross grain protruding through the front. Loren I am doing it out of solid wood…I am in Germany and the wood supply I have access to has very limited good ply so will gluing panels for this…will let you guys know how it turns out. Thanks for the info and assistance!

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6371 posts in 3459 days

#6 posted 01-04-2012 07:25 PM


The top and bottom shelves are set in 3/4” rabbits on the ends, and the two middle shelves are set in 3/4” dados on the ends. The uprights that divide the openings for the components are dadoed, as well as the dividers down below for the subwolfer…..I used 3/4” Oak ply for all the parts, and solid oak for all the trim to cover the raw plywood edges.

I just cut the dados all the way across the shelves, then used trim to cover them up…no stopped dados.

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....!!

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2634 days

#7 posted 01-04-2012 07:39 PM


I just completed a similar project over the holiday break (hoping to get pictures posted up tonight), and I have a 46” flatscreen TV sitting on the top shelf (will soon be wall-mounted) with no issues.

The variation between mine and yours appears to be that my lower shelf is 72” long, and the upper pieces is only 48” long. The lower is split by vertical dividers into 3 sections and the top is two sections, so the dividers for the top don’t line up with the dividers for the bottom. I used stopped dadoes for some of my vertical dividers because there is a lip on the front, but others were straight through and covered up by trim, like Rick mentioned above. It would seem that you would not need a substantial amount of horizontal material between the dadoes, as long as your vertical dividers fit tightly (no up/down movement) as the load would be transferred down and not out to the sides. I used trim on the front edges of my vertical dividers since I used 1/2” for the dividers and wanted to give it a more solid look. Construction for all shelves/dividers was done from hard maple panels I made up.

One thing that I did for mine, that may help you, was to add a support block in the middle under the bottom shelf, where it rests on the floor. You don’t see it, but it helps distribute the load better and prevent any sagging.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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