Build an Entertainment Center - Part 1

Uploaded by FurnitureWorkshop on 25.04.2011

Jeff Schuler: Hi I am Jeff Schuler
Jim Thompson: And I’m Jim Thompson.
JS: Welcome to the furniture workshop.
JT: This month we are going to putting together this tiny entertainment center loosely based
on a project behind me.
JS: But this project doesn’t have all the features that we need to make an entertainment
center work. So we are going upstairs with Jim and he is going to go over some of the
considerations you need to think about.
JT: Let's take a look now.
Okay so here we are in my family room, the new piece I would like to have kind of match,
the décor of the room. So overall style, stand color should obviously fit the base
of the TV so I have got to just be mindful of this width and depth to make sure everything
fits okay. I am going to have the goal for the piece is to get all the electronics in
the room into the media cabinet. So we got the DVD player, the cable box and this old
relic from Bose for my audio so all will be hidden in a case. And finally probably the
most important thing it is my TV has been on milk crate for about a year now, so by
building this piece I get all that stuff out of here. So let's go downstairs and I get
started with this one.
Okay so I want to go over few of the critical dimensions of this project. The most important
is the height. For most media centers if you want to have your height right around 25 inches
and that is a good height for your set to sit on top of the project. The second thing
is you want to make it big enough fit all the electronics that you have. In my case
I have a cable box, standard size DVD player and I also have an audio component thing from
Bose that’s smaller than most.
So all of that will easily fit inside here along with some DVDs. The other thing about
this project since it is matching the piece I already have in the room you want to make
sure or I want make sure that my thicknesses and my feet height are very closely related
to that so they kind look like they are meant to be together even if I built that about
ten years ago.
So I am going to match my feet and width, height, the rails and stiles here in the doors
are also the same and then little details like the routed edge around the doors and
around the top or all those things. The overall is décor is the same as well. So some of
the different things about this project obviously we have got glass doors, I use 1/8th inch
thick pieces of glass here that I have had made special for this. If you work with glass
and you are relatively new like I am with glass I recommend you have the glass guy polish
the edge so it is not sharp any more - it will save your fingers.
And that is pretty much it that is obvious about this piece. One of the things I want
to point out the doors on this one you can't see yet, we will go over later, but they are
attached together with dowels which is kind of non-traditional way to do that. It is the
way I am used to and I will show you how to do that, it is actually very easy.
JS: For this project we basically you have to joint up all the blanks that are going
to make up the main box of the project and this one we are only going to use a couple
pieces that are going to be glued together. It is going to be relatively simple should
go quick. We will do all the gluing of all the blanks first and then we will move on
to assembly later down the road.
JT: Yeah and then just to add to that, I think we have got our two clamps here, we will have
clamps on the bottom too and clamps on the top. I will actually do some clamp pads at
the edge you have just got a couple on the show here. Those go right on the edge here
and that keeps the steel from kind of pinching into your wood so, we have done glue-ups a
million times, but I think there is always a few lessons to be learned each time you
do a different one.
JS: So next thing we have to do after the glue is dry we have to just remove the clamps
and then we are going to scrape off any glue that is left, there is always some that leaks
out. Just show you how we do that, if you don’t have a scraper you should get one
if you need to sharpen, you need something called a burnisher which basically puts a
little tooth on here to make it nice and sharp and get rid of any imperfections for you.
JT: You know well I might need one of those little sharpeners for my glue scraper.
JS: Yeah, this one has gotten dull.
JT: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
JS: That much a little bit better that will help us out it will keep us from using lot
of sand paper on this.
JT: Then the other thing to point out when you, even if you are using little clamp heads
here you will get an indentation on each of your edges so here and here, then the middle,
I don’t think you can see that at home, but this it is a little annoying, it is kind
of, it is kind of thing you misses a new woodworker and then you will see it when your project
get stained. So what I recommend to do and Jeff agrees you just make your boards a little
oversize and then slice them down to or rip them down to finish width and run him on the
joint in that way you will get rid of those clamp marks, right Jeffrey?
JS: Makes sense. Okay what we are going do now is we are going to use a stacked dado
head to cut some dadoes. The reason we use some dadoes is we are going to be attaching
the shelf to the sides, the dado is really the best joint for that, it is very strong,
vertically so you are not going to have worry about your expensive components getting ruined.
What I have set up here is I have a sacrificial piece of wood clamped to the fence and what
that does is it, I have already determined where I want the dado would cut and that is
going to basically it is not going to get in the way as you want across once your miter
gauge starts running across, it’s not going to interfere and make it bind against the
fence, sometimes that will actually make the wood kick back.
So this is a nice little set up a gauge of perfect of dimensions and it stays out of
the way. We are also going to use the dado to do some rabbits on the back, the back of
the piece has a piece of hardboard on the back that basically keeps it from racking
and one more thing I forgot to mention. When you are setting up your dado the blade has
to be the same thickness as the wood that is going to be received in it.
The way a dado blade works if you haven’t used one before it has got two blades on the
sides then it uses these chippers. The chippers go in between the blades and then on some
dado sets they also have little washers that allow you to adjust the thickness so it is
perfectly the same width as the wood is. So now that the dado has been set properly we
are ready to start cutting. One of things I want to mention is I usually run the dado
head a little bit out to the edge to take off a little bit extra and then we will trim
with the chop sawyer after that. So after we have done cutting all the dados we are
going to go and Jim is actually going to show us how to make the kickboard and cut this
curve on it.
JT: Okay so I am going to talk a little bit about setting up the kick plate and making
the cutaways that we need for that so what you want to do first of all is select a clear
piece of stock, the one I am holding has this big knot in the middle but the brilliance
of the kick plate if you can see it on the finished project over there this bottom portion
gets cut right out. So I can get away with having this knot so what the finished piece
will be what you want to do, is leave about an eighth of an inch excess on either edge
and what we are going to do is we will trim route that once this is mounted.
Then we will have a nice clean line that will look real sharp and we are roughing out the
feet here. I don't know if you can see it at home, but we have got 2-1/4 inch marked
feet here to match the 2-1/4 inch feet here. So it is basically pretty straightforward
and the curve radius I use this is very convenient piece of masking tape or masking tape roll
- this fits right on here like so and that gives me the curve I need. So I am going to
go ahead and do the other step right now which is route the top edge here - that kind of
softens up the line where the door meets the kick plate.
Okay so now I am going to go ahead and cut out this portion with the knot and create
my feet and I do that on the band saw pretty straightforward. I am actually going to do
some relief cuts in here and then cut the curve and the little pieces from the relief
cuts will pop up one at a time. So Jeffrey, you mind cleaning this up on a spindle sander
I have got the curve pretty roughed out just needs a little sanding there buddy.
JS: Yeah, let me do the sanding.
JT: That is right. Alright while Jeffrey gets going on that I just want to explain very
similar process for side we are going to use this piece of scrap to simulate the side here.
Again we are using the masking tape as the curve radius for the side. One thing I want
to point out though as we were marking off our feet thicknesses here what we have done
is this one in the front will be 3/4 of an inch narrower than the one in back. The reason
being is we are going to put the kick plate on front of that and now everything is altogether
and set and done these two feet thicknesses will be the same. So that is all I want to
do mention about this. Other than when you are doing these lines, make sure that you
make the lines real dark so as you are sanding it away as Jeffrey is about to do, you can
see those lines so you don’t go over them.
JS: Okay so we are going to do next, we basically have all the blanks cut, basically all the
pieces are going into this so what we are going to do is we are going to start sanding
everything, a couple of things to think about, you want to label everything so you know where
everything goes once it is all sanded. It is lot easier to sand before you assemble
in lot of cases because this is the just the way sanders work. You can run right across
the edge and actually you are not going to have problem with making scratches on another
piece. So always sand everything at a time, start with, I usually start with like to a
120 grit depending on how rough the board is, finish with a 150 grit if it is going
to be stained and pollied and that is pretty much all there is to do it. The only other
thing you may want to talk about or think about is attaching a dust collector while
sanding because if you can keep your shop clean, keep all the dust off everything that
is just going to save, you know save you lot of work down the road trying to clean up after
every project.
JT: Okay just want to spend a minute or two and talk about the staining part of the project.
I recommend when you stain the project use a foam brush, some people use a rag to apply
the stain, I actually prefer the foam brushes - they’re a little cleaner. I would also
recommend that you get some rubber gloves to do that and when you are staining because
the stain really gets in your nails and it is hard to wash to away. So just a recommendation
also before you use your stain make sure you shake it up really well so a lot of pigments
that settle out of the stain and if you don’t shake it up really well before you use it,
you won’t get as dark a color and which is kind of frustrating and has happened to
me a lot, if you are trying to match in other piece, the next piece that you make may be
a little different even though it is the same color stain.
So let me just open this which I have already shaken pretty well, and what I have got here,
is just I want show how the stains obviously would change the color but really bringing
up the grain pattern in the wood so we will stain one of these and just compare to the
other. Normally you would leave this on for five to ten minutes, let that really soak
into the wood, but for the purposes of the demonstration we will just do it for a moment.
One thing I want to point out to - the face of the wood will stain at a certain level
but the end grain just because of the physical properties of the wood will stain a lot quicker
and stain a lot darker. So that is something to keep in mind if you are showing some engrain
like we are on this project on the side.
So let me just wipe this down real quick, this is kind of a crash course and what stain
can do. So you can see on the unstained piece here, you can't really get a good look at
the grain pattern, but you can really see that kind of really pops out at you. So that
is the good news it really enhances the look of the wood, bad news is if you got any marks
from sanding or scrape marks they are going to pop right up on you when you apply the
stain and by then it is almost too late to really do anything about it. So Jeffrey had
done a demonstration on sanding. You really want to take, take your time of sanding and
really sand away all the scrapes and sanding marks from the heavier grip paper.