Mary's Entertainment Center:
My sister asked if I could build her an entertainment center to hold her new TV and stereo equipment. I asked her what she wanted and she gave me this sketch:
I looked it over and allowed that I could probably do something like that, but I did not know how to make the legs. I also set the condition that she was to do the final finishing. She got some turned maple legs from an online source and so off I went. This was to be my first piece that was not done to a set of plans from some publication or another. I had a little trepidation at the thought that I would have to think about how stuff goes together. Once I got started I found that if I checked any figures that I had to add or subtract at least twice I was OK.
Construction would be a simple dadoed plywood case with thick banding on the plywood edges. The wood of choice would be maple as that is what the turned legs were made from.
As the piece progressed the biggest difference from her sketch was in the leg attachment. I did not think that bolting the legs directly to the bottom of the case would be strong enough. Instead I made a base using mortise and tenon aprons with a lot of reinforcement inside. This also allowed me to add a molding detail between the base and the case. I split the large bottom drawer in the sketch into two drawers to allow me to extend the center support all the way to the bottom. I figured this would give the TV the most support.
One of the magazines had an article on "shop made cove molding" so I gave it a try for this project. I used the table saw and it worked very well - but it did make a large amount of sawdust!
A dry fit let me check out any problems and then it was off to the glue bottle.
Once the glue dried I cleaned it up and touched up the sanding. Then I gave it a spit coat of dewaxed shellac.
At this point I was done! All that was left was the delivery. Mary applied the final finish and it stands in her living room today.