Low Console for Home Theater from FWW

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Project by gerrym526 posted 09-24-2010 10:41 PM 4093 views 4 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built this cabinet from an article in Sept/Oct 2008 Fine Woodworking of the same title. The only major dimension changed from the plan show is that the width of the cabinet was reduced from 6 feet to 5 feet, since I’m not planning on buying the largest flat screen TV made. Materials are cherry ply, cherry hardwood, baltic birch drawer stock and black 1/4 melamine. Finish is 6 coats of General Gel Topcoat, sanded between coats with 1200 grit paper, and finished with paste wax. Drawer pulls were from a local cabinet hardware supllier, and I have my wife to thank for finding these economically priced ones (there were others that ran about $30 each, but these we got for $8 apiece, with no discernable difference in quality from the expensive ones).
Some highlights/learning experiences from the project-
1) Really learned how to use my biscut joiner on this project, and will use it for cabinet carcases going forward.
2) Joinery=biscuits, screws, and glue. The author of the article used only biscuits and screws, claiming they held forever. I didn’t believe him, so used glue as well. However LJ’s take note-I only applied glue to the slots and the biscuits-NOT THE ENTIRE EDGE OF THE PANEL LIKE MOST OF YOU RECOMMEND. The result was the same amount of strength (I’m 190, and stood on the carcass after glue-up), with no huge glue squeeze out mess.
3) If I did the project again, would modify the face frame design. What the plan called for was the fitting of lots of individual pieces of face frame with biscuits-a huge amount of labor added to the project.
4) Liked using baltic birch drawer stock with simple drawer joints-here I saved time over building dovetailed drawers and still liked the way the drawers came out.
5) Had all carcass components pre-cut at the hardwood lumber yard-only added $20 to the cost of the lumber, and saved a huge amount of time. Will employ this approach on future cabinet projects.
6) Black melamine for drawer bottoms and back panel-liked the look of this material.
7) Accuride drawer slides-1st time I used these on a project (used Blum until now)-definitely sold on their quality.
8) Finishing-it takes a long time to wipe on 6 coats of Gel Topcoat! Thank you Charles Neill for suggesting 1200grit sanding between coats-what a difference in the finish quality.

This was to be my wife’s 2009 Xmas present, but turned out to take longer than I planned (my wife is used to waiting for me to finish projects-LOL!). She’s ecstatic about how it turned out, so I’m happy too.

-- Gerry

6 comments so far

View Skylark53's profile


2862 posts in 4122 days

#1 posted 09-25-2010 02:35 AM

A nice job on a project that will be appreciated and enjoyed for many years.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View kw193's profile


48 posts in 3877 days

#2 posted 09-25-2010 04:48 AM

I went back and looked at the FWW article. You are spot in the reproduction. Nice job…

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5309 days

#3 posted 09-25-2010 12:02 PM

Very nice, something I have to make.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Ken90712's profile


17985 posts in 4251 days

#4 posted 09-25-2010 06:58 PM

Looks great!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View KayBee's profile


1083 posts in 4308 days

#5 posted 09-25-2010 09:09 PM

I’ve been thinking about making this. Guess now it’s getting moved further up the list. Thanks for the tips. It looks great.

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

View EthanC's profile


35 posts in 4333 days

#6 posted 09-26-2010 12:07 AM

Looks alot like mine:

Where did you find the black melanine? I could not find it.

I agree on the face frames. The two most inner verticle face frames are a little strange in how they screw on, leaving the screws visible. After I cut them I was thinking I should just cut a 1.5 inch thick face frame to attached to the two inner verticle panels, but I think I got lazy. Maybe they are screwed on in case you something really wide you need to fit in there, like a speaker or something.

To make the frame and panel end pieces I used stub tenons. That was my only real variance.

But it was a fun project and make all my carcases that way now, and also add glue. If you’re making just one, why not.

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