Entertainment Unit #1: Design

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Blog entry by agianni posted 01-30-2011 03:06 AM 941 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Entertainment Unit series Part 2: Building the Doors »

A few weeks back, my sister-in-law asked if I would build then an entertainment unit. Currently they have shelves below their wall-mounted flat-panel, but their little one is just starting to walk, and keeping components on the shelves is no longer a reasonable option. The space is very shallow (about 12”) due to an archway on the adjoining wall and moderately wide (about 36”). They just couldn’t find anything that would work, even if they were willing to spend big bucks. So they asked if I could help. Here’s the design I put together in sketchup:

A few design comments:

1. The top enclosure is intended for their main components, the only have a couple, so they don’t need much space. I’m making the cabinet tall enough (about 40” high) that little hands won’t be able to reach that space for a while. Since the unit is so shallow, I’m leaving the back completely open. I have about 12” to work with but having a little extra space in the back due to baseboard spacing from the wall will allow for cables plugged into the back.

2. Since child safety is a concern, I wanted to integrate some cable management into the design. If you look, there’s a small enclosure below the top compartment that’s four inches by four inches and the width of the unit. The front of this will be hinged and will open from the inside. It should be plenty big to hold a power strip and a mess of coiled up cables. The backs of all of the shelves have a small cutout for cables to travel through.

3. This will be built out of maple lumber and maple ply (except the door panels, which are 1/4” birch ply). I was going to use birch ply all around, but veneer on the 3/4” birch at my local lumber supplier was so lousy I decided to spend the extra money on the maple ply.

I actually just started work on this today, so hopefully I’ll be back with some actual construction pictures shortly.

-- Andrew

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