DVD Side Table #2: Construction Begins and Already Worried About Finishing

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Blog entry by Alan S posted 06-01-2011 04:49 AM 1890 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Design to Match Entertainment Center Part 2 of DVD Side Table series no next part

So a few months ago, I posted some close ups of my entertainment center to try and determine what wood was used. Here’s one of the photos:

The consensus was that it is probably alder. So knowing that alder is somewhat difficult to color and finish, I order 20 bd ft, about half of what I need. I glued up panels for the sides, bottom and back. The back is a 3/8” panel that slides into dados in the sides and two slats at the top and bottom. The top of the carcase is two narrow slats. The solid top will then be screwed down through those slats. I’ve made most of those pieces and here they are:

So in parallel, I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to make this match the original entertainment center. Knowing that alder has blotch problems, you can probably guess how this is going to go. I zeroed in on a blend of two General Finishes Dye Stains. Here are some results I just got by spraying the dye on alder:

And here’s how great it can look on mahogany:

So what should I do? I’m not very happy with the alder. I almost want to scrap the $90 worth of alder I bought and redo it all in mahogany. The other option is gel stain, which I tried a while ago, and I am remembering it looking a lot better. What do you think?


4 comments so far

View jerrells's profile


918 posts in 3058 days

#1 posted 06-01-2011 05:06 AM

Alan – no opinion on the adler or stain but the construction details look great

and great looking flip-flops

-- Just learning the craft my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ practiced.

View Alan S's profile

Alan S

181 posts in 3490 days

#2 posted 06-01-2011 05:24 AM

Thanks Jerrell! I’ve since gotten some new flip flops and those are in the trash.


View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 3233 days

#3 posted 06-01-2011 06:28 AM

Matching a color is never easy to thing.

View Ken90712's profile


17592 posts in 3362 days

#4 posted 06-02-2011 11:27 AM

I’m in the process of building an Entertainment Center out of Knotty Alder. I used General Finish Dye Stain as well. 7 parts Orange & 4 parts Med Brown. I used blotch conrol before applying the stain and sprayed it on to prevent streaking. One thing to note, as I don’t know if you are aware of or not. The dye looks dull when dry. To get a true color and if you plan on using Water Based finish on this you’ll need to spray two light coats of Seal coat or shellac. This will give you not only a better idea of the color & brighten it up but prevent to water based dye from Orange peeling or being pulled off.
I used seal coat 100% wax free and like the way it came out I have a blog as you can look at the change during the steps.

Hope this helps and good luck!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

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