Arts & Crafts Carved Entertainment Center with Hammered Copper Door Handles

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Project by Mark A. DeCou posted 06-05-2006 01:34 AM 12737 views 3 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was a commissioned art-furniture piece, and so it has been “SOLD”.

Please email me if you would like pricing information for something similar.

email: [email protected]

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To see more of this project go to website

Copper Hardware: I have received questions about where I found these Copper Music Note Door handles. I made them! They are a design based on a David Mark’s project. I fashioned them out of copper plate and hammered and soldered it together.

If you would like to have me make you a handle, email me. For the right size order, we can also have them cast in pewter, or bronze, email me for more information. I will do my best to encourage you to try building your own, but if that fails, I will be glad to build some for you.

Here is a list of the Arts & Crafts Projects I have posted that were part of this commission:
  1. Sectioned Entertainment Center
  2. Orchid Stand/Wine Storage http
  3. End Tables
  4. Coffee Table
  5. Table Lamps
  6. Prairie Couch
  7. Morris Chairs & Ottomans

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Project Story:

Quartersawn White Oak
Entertainment Center with Curio Cabinet
Walnut Drawers in lower sections
Carved front doors with the raised relief style notes to the hymn “Amazing Grace”
Hammered Copper Door Handle of a quarter note (by M.DeCou)

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Want to See More of my Furniture Work?:
If you go to my Mark DeCou Website you will find that I have not updated my website in quite some time. I realize that I need to invest in improving my website, but until that is accomplished, here are some more Lumberjocks related lilnks with updated postings of my furniture work, sorted into categories. Thanks for your interest in my work, and your patience with my website.

Arts and Crafts, Mission Style Related Projects:
  1. Arts & Crafts Entry Table; with Carved Oak Leaves
  2. Arts & Crafts Orchid Stand w/ Wine Bottle Storage
  3. Arts & Crafts Style Morris Inspired Chairs
  4. Arts & Crafts Display Top Coffee Table
  5. Arts & Crafts Style Inspired End Table Set
  6. Arts & Crafts Style Inspired Prairie Couch
  7. Table Lamps
  8. Arts & Crafts Carved Entertainment Center
  9. Mission Entertainment Center
Church & Worship-Art Related Projects:
  1. Carved Communion Table
  2. Carved Roll Top Sound Equipment Cabinet
  3. Fancy Chuch Altars
  4. Processional Cross
  5. Fancy Speaker's Lectern
  6. Church Hymn Number Board
  7. Communion Chalice (Cup) and Paten
Art-Furniture Related Projects:
  1. Sam Maloof Inspired Walnut Rocker
  2. Original Art Carved Tilt Front Desk, inspired by Birger Sandzen
  3. Natural Edge; Nakashima Inspired Coffee Table
  4. Decoratively Painted Box End Tables
  5. Birch China Cabinet for Cut Glass Collection
Rustic, Western, Cedar Log, and Cowboy Related Projects:
  1. Naughty (Knotty) Refined Rustic White Oak & Black Walnut China Hutch
  2. A Kansa Indian and Buffalo Accent Art-Chair
  3. Refined Rustic Dining Chairs
  4. Refined Rustic Dining Table
  5. Cowboy-Western Style Suitcase/Luggage Support Racks
  6. Fun With Cedar Logs #1; Sitting Stool
  7. Fun With Cedar Logs #2; Coat/Hat/Spur Rack
  8. Fun With Cedar Logs #3; Western Style Hat/Coat Rack
  9. Fun With Cedar Logs #4; Entryway Stool
Outdoor Furniture Related:
  1. Kennebunkport Style Adirondack Chair
  2. Outdoor Garden Wedding Arbor
  3. Outdoor Project: Cedar Wood Double Settee

(Note: This project design, photos, and story, are protected by copyright 2008 by the Author, M.A. DeCou. No unauthorized use of this material in whole, or part, is allowed without the expressed written consent of the Author. Weblinks to this page are permitted without permission.)

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

11 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35224 posts in 5206 days

#1 posted 03-10-2007 02:00 AM

Mark: very nice entertainment center.

Good job as always.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4982 days

#2 posted 03-10-2007 06:28 AM

Mark, I just love your work. It’s exceptional.

I have a question about the ‘through-tenon’. Is this decorative or functional. I appears to come through the style below the rail width.

I like the butterfly keys. Are these hand made, or do you use this jig from American Furniture Design?

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4966 days

#3 posted 03-10-2007 01:21 PM

I’m not showing my daughter this one—she’ll be wanting me to try carving something like that and she definitely will be wanting some handles made.
Gosh this is beautiful .

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 5211 days

#4 posted 03-10-2007 04:23 PM

Don: the through tenon is both decorative and functional. The tenons have glue area that really holds a project snug. The end of the tenon sticks out about 1/4” outside of the frame, and then the square plug on the front face keeps it from ever coming apart. Even if the glue failed, the snug fit of the tenon in the mortise and the peg would hold the cabinet together better than factory furniture.

I would be concerned shipping a big cabinet that was biscuit jointed, or pocket screwed, but not after pegging a through tenon. I hauled a lot of my work 2000 miles in a rental truck to the show in Cody, WY last September. After loading, traveling, unloading, loading, traveling, and unloading all of it, not even a door hinge had to be adjusted to get the inset door gaps equal. That was after 2000 miles of interstate bumps, and a few quick stops for traffic around Denver. I was thoroughly convinced that the tenon is a solid joint after I got it all back to the owners of the work after the show was over. Hauling $100K worth of my work I couldn’t afford to replace in a single truck had me nervous, but not because of the joinery.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 5132 days

#5 posted 03-10-2007 04:28 PM

I love all the little details you put into your project. The butterflies, pegs and so forth are great… but the music notes subtly playing amazing grace – that elevates this to another level!

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 5211 days

#6 posted 03-10-2007 04:34 PM

The butterflies are walnut wood about 1/4” thick. The bookmatched solid panels that I reinforce with the butterflies are 1/4” thick, so the inlayed butterflies are just a little under that thickness. I wanted to have a flat bottom for glue area, so I did not take the butteflies all the way through the wood panels. I used the router/bushing method of making the butteflies and holes. I think in this piece there was something like 72 butterflies, but after so many, I may have forgotten a few.

I built these pieces to stand as a grouping together, or as individual curio cabinets. I also did the backs of the cabinets as nice as the front, so that they could be used as room dividers.

The backs have bridal tenon frame doors with 1/4” flat panels on hinges. Basically the backs of the cabinets are doors on hinges. Since I used doors on the back, I wouldn’t have any back plywood to keep the cabinets square over the years, I used a wide stretcher with through tenons on both ends of it to stretch across the cabinet back. This back middle stretcher piece works to keep the back square, and the rest of the stretchers on the front and back also help as they are through tenons.

I don’t think this free standing style with doors on the front and back would work so well with a weaker joint than the mortise and tenon. You can tilt one of these cabinets up on one leg and “walk-it” away from the wall, and the cabinet doesn’t even flex. I can’t do that on my factory bought entertainment center I have in my house (I hope to replace some day).

For the design, I was trying to come up with something that wouldn’t be obsolete as the electronics change over 100 years. I see so many nice entertainment centers being built, but in 100 years, what will the heirs do with them? Using that concept, I tried to make these three cabinets have an extended life as Curio cabinets.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 5211 days

#7 posted 03-10-2007 04:56 PM

Oh, looking at the photos again, I did notice the “stepped” or “angled end” tenon I used on the top of the cabinets underneath the top for the top stretcher. I wouldn’t do this process again, but I didn’t know that then.

I was trying to make a wide tenon for glue area, without making a wide stretcher that reduced the size of the door anymore than I had to. Also, I didn’t want the mortise to breakout above the tenon, so I tried to leave at least a 1/2” of wood above the tenon. The only way to do that, was to step cut the tenon. Looking back on it, it was a lot of wasted time, and something I wouldn’t do again. I think on the work that followed this project, I cut my top mortise all the way to the top of the corner post, and then just used a straight through tenon with a peg. Much easier, and a better looking joint.

This iprocess is hard to explain in writing. I think I will get my project book out and scan and a post a detail sketch of the corner post joinery that will make it easier to understand what I did.

I designed a style of corner post for this work that was different than I had seen before. I dado cut a 3/4” groove up the inside face of each corner post, that I glued in a board that I attached my hinges to. This gave me an easier place to mortise the hinges than on the side of a post, and it also gave the door a little more room to open up before the door bumps into the corner post as it hinges open. This gives the door about a 120 degree opening, which helps when loading and unloading electronic equipment into the cabinet.

This trim board that is glued in the dado of the corner post also hides the stepped tenon joinery bottom side. I learned a lot on this project, mostly that I didn’t bid as many hours as it took to do what I envisioned at the start.

Handles: They are easy to build Debbie. Just cut out on the bandsaw and hammer the texture, then drill/solder pins in the back and drill/solder them on a back plate. I would make a few changes to it now that I know better, but it is an easier process than it might appear.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4966 days

#8 posted 03-11-2007 12:09 AM

oh yah.. easy Mark.. easy. huh huh

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4982 days

#9 posted 03-11-2007 03:29 AM

Mark, thanks for the additional information. I look forward to viewing a detail sketch of the through mortise if you are able to do so.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View lclashley's profile


244 posts in 4920 days

#10 posted 04-15-2007 04:58 PM

“Amazing Grace” looks good as a carving. Beautiful piece.

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 4572 days

#11 posted 06-15-2008 03:25 PM

I love the hammered copper.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

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