Bookcase Entertainment Center Meriden CT
North Haven, CT
West Hartford, CT
Bookcase Entertainment Center
Bookcase Entertainment Center
This eye-catcher uses simple biscuit joinery. Its modular design keeps the cabinets easy to handle and install.
by Randy Johnson
Download the PDF.
If you’re like most people, you’d probably like more storage space for your books and collectibles. If you’ve also been looking for a place to put one of the new wide-screen televisions, then this cabinet has everything you desire. The cherry wood and Craftsman-styled details give it a warm traditional look.
This cabinet makes extensive use of biscuit joinery, which keeps assembly of the cabinets and the miters on the baseboard and on the crown straightforward. It’s built in eight main sections (Fig. A, below), each built separately and then jointed together when all are complete. This approach makes it possible to build the large cabinet even in a fairly small shop, as long as you have a large enough area to do final assembly. In the shop where I worked, I found room along the garage door.
The TV opening in this cabinet is 60 in. wide by 40 in. tall by 21 in. deep. This space is big enough for most of the newer LCD and DLP 50-in. wide-screen projection TVs and even some that are bigger. A word of caution, though: TV dimensions vary widely from model to model. If you plan to build this cabinet, I recommend you buy your TV first or at least get the exact dimensions. Then you can adjust the dimensions of the TV opening, if necessary. Pay particular attention to your TV’s rear ventilation requirements and adjust the dimension on your cabinet as needed.
Lay Out Your Plywood First
Pick the best looking sheets for the sides of the lower side cabinets and sides of the upper side cabinets (C2, D2). These pieces are arranged on the plywood layout (see Fig. M, below), so the grain matches when the cabinets are assembled. I used birch plywood for the inner parts of the lower cabinet rather than cherry plywood and saved about $250 on materials. When stained, the color of the birch plywood becomes very similar to the stained cherry plywood.
Build the Base Assembly
1. Assemble the base frame with biscuits and brads (Fig. B, below). The front and back frames (A1, A2) need to be spliced with patches (A3), because the base is more than 8 ft. long. The double stretcher boards (A4) provide support for the ends of the top panels (A5, A6, Photo 1).
2. When the frame is assembled, add the cherry baseboard (A7, A8, Photo 2).
3. Rout the chamfer on the baseboard (Fig. B, Detail 1, above).
Build the Lower Center Cabinet
4. Cut out the cabinet bottom, top, sides and partitions (B1, B2, B3, Fig. C, below).
5. In the side panels, cut a groove for the back (B4, Fig. C, Detail 2).
6. Cut slots for the biscuit joinery.
7. Edge-band the front edge of the top, bottom and side panels, but not the partitions (see Sources, below).
8. Sand the inside surface...