As usual, click any photo to bring up a larger version.
About thirty years ago, my dad built this simple plywood cabinet for me to hold my stereo when I went to college. Since then it has served many purposes: stereo stand, bookcase, junk holder, TV stand, etc...
But the time had come for something bigger and better. In particular, after building the Under Stairs Storage Cart, this squat little cabinet is too wide for that location.
These were my design goals:
I was pretty sure that the I could build this stand from the pine table top -- or at least build most of it. It's always good to use free wood! An extra bonus is that the cabinet beside the media stand is also a pine cabinet, so this would go well with it, versus using some other hardwood.
Next two shots show the table disassembled, and the two tops ready for cutting.
And yes, this of course means that I can honestly state that this is made with "Reclaimed Pine Boards"... :-)
Step two was to plane those down to get rid of the old finish, as well as numerous dents and gouges. The table top was bit over 1" thick, so I was aiming for 7/8" thick for the top and sides, and 3/4" thick (roughly) for the shelves and drawer fronts.
But there was a slight problem when I tried to feed the 14" wide side panels through my 13" planer... Oops!
To make that process as painless as possible, I used my dowelmax jig to drill a couple alignment holes in the pieces before gluing them back together. People often use a biscuit joiner for this sort of thing, but I find the dowel jig to be quick and easy, and I'm just used to it. It makes alignment very easy, as the panels simply CAN'T slip when they're glued back together, so the joints stay perfectly flat.
Here I am using a dado bade in an embedded fence to cut a rabbet just halfway in one of the sides. To do this, I run the panel halfway (to a mark) and then back it out of the cut. However the other piece is a mirror image cut, so I need to lower the blade (first taking careful note of the height!) then position the piece halfway over the blade, then turn on the saw and raise the blade up into the piece -- back to that same height setting!! -- and then finish the cut.
As a side note, If you have a pocket hole jig I urge you to get a dust collection attachment. I have one that clips onto the front of my Kreg jig and the vacuum attachment keeps the jig clear of chips, and makes this a very quick process. I used to not have this attachment, and I would have to stop every three or four holes to clear dust out of the pocket hole jig drilling holes, as they would pack with chips.
I designed this project such that the top two shelves were not the full depth of the sides. In this way I could mount a powerbar along the inside edge of the back, to keep all the cords nicely tucked away.
BUT... during the installation I accidentaly lined up the shelf with the back instead of the front. Fortunately I caught this before I got too far, and could just back out the screws and break the shelf free before the glue set up. No one needs to know about that little goof!
(Note, this works best with 3/4" stock... I have done pocket holes in 1/2" stock, but then the screwheads can protrude. Not recommended.)
On another side note... if you do use pocket hole joinery, then I highly recommend that you get one of these clamps. It is known as a right-angle clamp. I had a pocket hole jig for many years before buying this, and yes you can just use regular clamps. However this clamp is much quicker and makes the process just easier.
In the next shot I'm screwing hardwood runners inside the cabinet -- no glue, as this is a crossgrain joint. I then test-fitted the drawers. I then moved on to working on the drawer fronts.
I wanted to add a bead along the top and bottom edge of the drawer, but I don't have the right router bit. So I looked through my bits and was pretty sure I could get something similar with two operations, first using a small roundover bit, and then using a Small Drawer Lock Bit.
They of course went through in the reverse order, since the router table was now set up with the Small Drawer Lock Bit, so I first made that groove, and then swapped back to the roundover bit. I am beginning to see the attraction of having multiple router tables as some others have done...
I started with a coat of blonde shellac to seal the pine and add a slight amber colour. I then brushes on three coats of waterbased polyurethane. Between each coat I gave a very light sanding with 400 grit sandpaper. After the final coat had hardened for a few days I buffed with some 3M pads (equivalent to #0000 steel wool, but you never use steel wool on Waterbased finish!) lubricated with a few drops of water.