Rustic Media Center

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.


First side panel attached.


Attaching the shelf.  I didn’t need the pocket holes on the back side.  Whoopsie!


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.


Media CenterHappy building!


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