Last Christmas I built my husband’s parents a coffee table for Christmas. It was the first real piece of furniture I had ever built. This year, I decided to make them a media center that would coordinate with the coffee table and came across an inspiration piece (click to view the original post and download a printable PDF) from Rogue Engineer. The original plan dimensions made the piece 35″ tall, which was a bit too tall for their space, so I decided to eliminate the upper shelf and use 2×8’s for the top instead of 1×8’s for a thicker, more substantial look.
I started by assembling the top. I cut three 2×8’s down to 64″ lengths. Then, using my Kreg jig, I drilled 5 pocket holes into the long end of two boards and attached them to either side of the remaining 2×8.
Next, I assembled the sides. Since I modified the plans to remove the upper shelf, I only cut two 1×2’s at 17 1/2″ lengths. I adjusted my Kreg jig for the 3/4″ board thickness and drilled two pocket holes at both ends of the 1×2. Then, using 1 1/4″ pocket screws, I secured them to the 2×2’s which were cut to a length of 26.75″.
Once the side frames were complete, I used wood glue and my brad nailer to attach the 1×4 slats with 1 1/4″ brad nails. After finishing the slats, it would be a great idea to drill 3 pocket holes along the top to be used in attaching the planked top to the sides of the frame. I forgot this step and had to do it after I attached the sides to the bottom frame. It was a little more challenging doing it that way, but a good learning experience. 😉
Next, I cut down the 3/4″ plywood for the bottom shelf and drilled pocket holes on both of the short sides and one of the long sides. Then, I attached a 1×2 to the front of the same long side using 1 1/4″ pocket screws. I put my scrap wood to good use to prop up the sides while I attached them to the bottom shelf. With only 2 hands, I have to get a little creative sometimes. After the sides were secured to the bottom, I attached the planked top to the frame.
Once the frame was complete, I attached a 1×2 with 1 1/4″ pocket screws for the top of the front face, followed by the “H” shape 1x2s for the remainder of the front face.
This is the exciting part where I started to really see it all come together. Next, I used my circular saw to cut the 3/4″ plywood for the shelf and side panels. Using 1 1/4″ pocket screws, I attached the panels flush with the outer edge of the front face trim and the shelf flush with the top of the trim.
The last step of the main assembly is nailing the backing in place. I chose to stain the front facing side first and then used my brad nailer to attach the 1/4″ plywood to the back with 1 1/4″ brad nails.
After that was completed, I assembled the two doors. Pre-drill and assemble using wood glue and 1 1/4″ wood screws. Don’t drill all the way through your 1×2’s like I did the first time. Rookie mistake and lesson learned. After the doors were assembled, I stained everything and put on couple coats of polyurethane.
After the polyurethane dried, I installed the hardware. My hinges were pretty thick, so I had to notch out 1/2″ into the 1×2 to make the doors fit correctly. The magnetic catches required a few adjustments before catching just right, but well worth the effort.
Assembly of the media center was done in a weekend. The stain and hardware were completed the following weekend. Overall a fairly quick project. I’m very happy with the way in turned out and my in-laws were very surprised and excited to get it home.