Built-In Maple Entertainment Center

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Project by Luke posted 11-01-2011 07:54 PM 2567 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A few months ago my neighbor and I embarked on a new project; building his entertainment center. He had submitted some sketches to some builders and they all came back with $4000+ price tags so we decided lets give it a try.

We bought the maple from a local guy who builds cabinets. He has a connection with a long haul trucker that runs through the northern mid states, and he works with some people out there (Amish I believe he said) to get rough sawn lumber from them. He had all sorts or woods, (I even got 3 8’x6”x2” QSWO boards from him for $20).

We saw his add on craigslist and decided to go talk to him, he is a professional cabinet maker, and he gave us some tips and tricks.

All in all the project took us almost 6 months, of a day here and a day there working on it. It cost 1/4 of the original bids, and we learned a ton.

First we learned that if you want a dark entertainment center its easier to pick a darker wood.

Maple is very hard to stain.

Subsequently, we learned how to tone.

We also learned how to spray with a new HVLP sprayer I had to buy to tone.

We also then learned that if you scratch a toner before its been topcoated, your screwed.

We learned how to sand toner off, and re-apply…

It was alot of work, my first Real Wood Finish project other than an occasional table.

There is no caulking for finished wood, you better make it fit.

All in all it was a blast though I learned so much, read Jeff Jewitts book twice over, got a planer, an Earlex HVLP gun, and a brand new set of Makita Drill Driver/Impact Driver’s (courtesy of my neighbor).

We cut the arch on the band saw, ordered the doors from a door manufacturer (as per the recommendation of the cabinet maker) Custom moulding, faux wall behind the TV hides cables and the like, the center door has speaker cloth in it so as to hide the Sub Woofer and allow the IR signal to relay. Build in touch sensitive recessed lighting, and a whole lot of pride!

5 comments so far

View alholstein's profile


240 posts in 5008 days

#1 posted 11-01-2011 08:27 PM

Looks very good. I guess that you could say the experience is priceless. That said it is nice to have something that you made yourself and get the satisfaction when you see it every day. And it is nice that expect for the time you were able to save a significant amount of money.
Keep up the work.

-- Al Holstein "I wood do it"

View Ken90712's profile


17919 posts in 4155 days

#2 posted 11-02-2011 10:39 AM

Nice job I had built my Entertainment center as well being i was not going to pay the money they wanted. Looks great you both should be proud. I have the Earlex 5500 as well and love it.

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

View JohnMeeley's profile


255 posts in 3299 days

#3 posted 01-26-2012 11:41 AM

From what I see, you can throw out your caulk gun if you own one. The fit is very nice. I have sprayed toned lacquer once, loved the fact that I could make sapwood blend well. Also treated myself to a good buzz, I didn’t shoot water-based. You planned well, and executed. I believe you saved more than you think, pound for pound.

-- "The greatest pleasure in life is doing what others say you cannot do."-Walter Bagehot

View Luke's profile


290 posts in 3653 days

#4 posted 02-15-2012 08:28 PM

Thanks guys! John, that was one thing I started out from the beginning, knowing that I wouldn’t be calking this beast. My personal entertainment center, calking was my best friend, but this one… no way.

View VaprTral's profile


29 posts in 2999 days

#5 posted 10-31-2012 09:52 PM

Super nice. I don’t know if I’m more jealous of the entertainment center or the education you must have gotten along the way to completing it.

-- "The more we think we know about, the greater the unknown." Neil Peart

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