Cherry & Maple Entertainment Center

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Project by jcwalleye posted 09-27-2013 01:15 AM 1798 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is a cherry and maple entertainment center I recently finished. My design which was drawn in SketchUp is a frame and panel construction consisting of two cabinets, bolted together and a top.

The front doors have maple lathe panels which look good and provide good ventilation for the equipment. The outside panels are a veneered quilted maple over 1/2” plywood. The remaining back and inside panels are 3/4” cherry plywood with large cutouts for ventilation and cable runs.

The drawers, or actually trays, are again cherry with 3/4” plywood bottom. The drawer slide hardware is full extension, undermount soft close and operate very smoothly. The doors are mounted with 170 deg soft close euro hinge. It was a bit of a challenge, particularly during the design, ensuring I had the right clearances and dimensions for the trays, equipment, and doors.

The top started as 8/4 maple and ended up at about 1 5/8”. A good friend graciously machined those pieces down and ran them through his timesaver. He also loaned me a domino mortiser which after using I have to say is a great tool albeit expensive. I can see how a professional could easily recoup the cost of it through reduced time when building panels.

All in all, the project fought me from start to end. But ultimately did turn out pretty good. I’ve got lots of pictures of the process and hope to write a few blogs about various aspects of it.

Thanks for looking.

-- Trees, a wonderful gift --Joe--

7 comments so far

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4046 days

#1 posted 09-27-2013 02:42 AM

That’s a beauty. I like that wood combo. Nice design also

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View cerviking's profile


6 posts in 3530 days

#2 posted 09-27-2013 03:41 AM

Great Job Joe!
Don’t crowd me

View Albe's profile


228 posts in 3253 days

#3 posted 09-27-2013 05:46 AM

Very nice job. I like the way you did the back panel. I am currently make an enterainment center and may incorpate you backplane style.

-- Be yourself everyone else is already taken.

View MontanaBob's profile


874 posts in 3926 days

#4 posted 09-29-2013 09:30 PM

Very nice entertainment center jc….

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 3417 days

#5 posted 09-30-2013 03:01 PM

It looks great, well designed and well executed. Like the sliding shelves and the door panels. Great job!

View cerviking's profile


6 posts in 3530 days

#6 posted 07-29-2014 08:21 PM

Hey Joe,

How did you finish the maple?
I’m making some shelving out of nice maple and I want
to show off the wood.

View jcwalleye's profile


306 posts in 4315 days

#7 posted 07-29-2014 09:36 PM

I sanded the top down through 320 grit. Then flooded the surface with natural (no stain) Watco Danish oil according to the directions. Watco is a polymerized tung oil. They say to flood the surface and allow to penetrate for 30 minutes, covering with more oil wherever it dries out. For me, it was a constant flooding. I used a clean cotton rag. After 30 minutes, apply another coat of Watco, let penetrate for 15 minutes, and then wipe any excess off the surface. Get any wet areas, otherwise it will become gummy. To many people, that’s good enough. The oil finish doesn’t offer much protection, but it looks good and feels good to the hand and is so easy and foolproof.

On the entertainment center I then put 5 or 6 coats of thinned glossy ‘General Finishes’ polyurethane, again wiping it on with a clean rag. Be sure to let the Watco dry (72 hours, maybe more in Seattle) before putting on any poly. I thinned the poly with about 40% mineral spirits. It doesn’t build up very fast, but sure ends up with a nice finish. I tried to do one coat of poly a day, but you may want to take a little longer if it is real humid.

They say a good finish comes from one coat a day for a week, followed by one coat a week for a month, followed by one coat a month for a year, followed by one coat a year for a lifetime. I’ve never made it to one coat a week for a month. It’s been a year now and I can feel , but not see, where I glued the panels together. A light sanding and another coat would get rid of that, but I doubt it will get done.

-- Trees, a wonderful gift --Joe--

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