Entertainment Center

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Project by Hoosierdaddy posted 11-24-2013 02:35 AM 1898 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well, two years in the making, thru a couple of major house projects this entertainment center finally reached it’s conclusion today.

Based loosely on the above shown cabinet from the website I customized this for the end user to accommodate specific pieces of equipment, speakers, etc.

I learned something valuable in this project, actually a couple of things….
1. Never work in birch again unless I plan on NOT staining. What a blotchy mess this was thru and thru. The plywood carcass turned out fine but all the birch hardwood that made up the face frame, base, top and doors were just a huge disappointment. I come from an drafting/engineering background so I sweat the details, and the blotches from staining this just eat at me every time I think about it.
2. I still haven’t learned the trick for jointing boards for the top. It was a struggle getting decent straight edges especially without the benefit of a bench to do this on. (That’s the next project, planning on a Roubo)

It was my first go at doors and drawers, but if I had my druthers I’d do both different. For the doors I slotted all the door frames to receive the glass, instead of doing a traditional frame where the glass is laid in from the back and then pinned or glazed in place. The drawers were not dovetail jointed.

Suffice it to say I fell out of love with this project early on but I think I was able to improve on the basic “glue only” process the details called for. A lot of pocket screws, traditional screwing and gluing made this extremely strong. One unintended side effect of making this so long (a tad over 7’) was that the dang thing sagged in the middle, almost to the tune of a 1/4”!!! Discovered that when I was fitting up the back and noticed the bow in the assembly. Had to fabricate a center support sturdy enough to withstand the occasional moving of the piece. Over the course of about two weeks most of the bow went away.

Thanks for looking and God Bless America!

-- I don't know what this is going to be like, but there's only one way to find out..........

6 comments so far

View Mark's profile


1066 posts in 2984 days

#1 posted 11-24-2013 03:27 AM

I dunno HD. Pic #3 shows a damned fine lookin’ piece of furniture in the living room. If it’s one thing I’ve learned in the last yr or so, it every thing is a bit of a learning curve. Keeps the old gray matter workin’. Well done I say. Keep up the good work.

-- Mark

View BusterB's profile


2300 posts in 3017 days

#2 posted 11-24-2013 01:39 PM

Even with the challenges you mentioned, I think it turned out well hoosier. Nice job sir

-- Buster, Ocoee TN (Critics are men who watch a battle from a high place then come down and shoot the survivors - Hemingway)

View lotsaglue's profile


34 posts in 4078 days

#3 posted 11-24-2013 03:58 PM

Nice design. I agree with you on the comment on Birch. I have had success using Minwax wood conditioner when working with the softer woods. I built a similar entertainment center out of Maple and had similar issues with staining. However, the Minwax wood conditioner prior to staining cured most of those problems. Project is well done….congratulations on completion…a lot of projects never get finished when the builder falls out of love with them.

-- Karl

View TheDane's profile


5939 posts in 4672 days

#4 posted 11-24-2013 04:35 PM

Hoosierdaddy—If you ever tackle another project with a lumber like birch, you might try Charles Neil’s Pre-Color Conditioner – Blotch Control ( ) ... I have used it on many projects with birch, poplar, and pine with very good results.

Your project turned out great, so whatever the frustrations along the way, you got a darned fine result.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Hoosierdaddy's profile


81 posts in 3651 days

#5 posted 11-24-2013 06:05 PM

Thanks folks….the one thing that sticks in my mind was the future owners request for “dark” as the only color. I experimented with multiple applications of dark walnut, ebony and kona and never really seemed to get it where I wanted it but did get it to the point he wanted it….I guess that should be good enough. I did experiment with trying to condition the wood, process escapes me but it was a mix of lacquer thinner and poly? That was early on when I discovered the monumental mistake working with birch was but I was in too deep to turn back. That mixture did not do anything but prevent the stain from really soaking in, so the end result was too light of a look. I thank you guys for the suggestions for the alternatives, I’ll see if I can find that stuff and do some experimenting, maybe birch isn’t off the table afterall!

-- I don't know what this is going to be like, but there's only one way to find out..........

View Oldtool's profile


3165 posts in 3200 days

#6 posted 11-24-2013 07:21 PM

It wouldn’t be a good project if you didn’t learn something from it’s build. That’s part of the fun in woodworking, creativity & learning.
As for the e-center, looks pretty good to me. Nice work on this. I understand your frustration with blotching though, been there – done that. I now prefer to stick to natural wood with an oil finish, and I prefer cherry.
Thanks for showing.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

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