Built-In Maple Entertainment Center

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Project by Luke posted 1032 days ago 1719 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A few months ago my neighbor and I embarked on a new project; building his entertainment center. He had submitted some sketches to some builders and they all came back with $4000+ price tags so we decided lets give it a try.

We bought the maple from a local guy who builds cabinets. He has a connection with a long haul trucker that runs through the northern mid states, and he works with some people out there (Amish I believe he said) to get rough sawn lumber from them. He had all sorts or woods, (I even got 3 8’x6”x2” QSWO boards from him for $20).

We saw his add on craigslist and decided to go talk to him, he is a professional cabinet maker, and he gave us some tips and tricks.

All in all the project took us almost 6 months, of a day here and a day there working on it. It cost 1/4 of the original bids, and we learned a ton.

First we learned that if you want a dark entertainment center its easier to pick a darker wood.

Maple is very hard to stain.

Subsequently, we learned how to tone.

We also learned how to spray with a new HVLP sprayer I had to buy to tone.

We also then learned that if you scratch a toner before its been topcoated, your screwed.

We learned how to sand toner off, and re-apply…

It was alot of work, my first Real Wood Finish project other than an occasional table.

There is no caulking for finished wood, you better make it fit.

All in all it was a blast though I learned so much, read Jeff Jewitts book twice over, got a planer, an Earlex HVLP gun, and a brand new set of Makita Drill Driver/Impact Driver’s (courtesy of my neighbor).

We cut the arch on the band saw, ordered the doors from a door manufacturer (as per the recommendation of the cabinet maker) Custom moulding, faux wall behind the TV hides cables and the like, the center door has speaker cloth in it so as to hide the Sub Woofer and allow the IR signal to relay. Build in touch sensitive recessed lighting, and a whole lot of pride!

5 comments so far

View alholstein's profile


163 posts in 2676 days

#1 posted 1032 days ago

Looks very good. I guess that you could say the experience is priceless. That said it is nice to have something that you made yourself and get the satisfaction when you see it every day. And it is nice that expect for the time you were able to save a significant amount of money.
Keep up the work.

-- Al Holstein "I wood do it"

View Ken90712's profile


14878 posts in 1822 days

#2 posted 1031 days ago

Nice job I had built my Entertainment center as well being i was not going to pay the money they wanted. Looks great you both should be proud. I have the Earlex 5500 as well and love it.

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

View JohnMeeley's profile


253 posts in 967 days

#3 posted 946 days ago

From what I see, you can throw out your caulk gun if you own one. The fit is very nice. I have sprayed toned lacquer once, loved the fact that I could make sapwood blend well. Also treated myself to a good buzz, I didn’t shoot water-based. You planned well, and executed. I believe you saved more than you think, pound for pound.

-- "The greatest pleasure in life is doing what others say you cannot do."-Walter Bagehot

View Luke's profile


236 posts in 1321 days

#4 posted 926 days ago

Thanks guys! John, that was one thing I started out from the beginning, knowing that I wouldn’t be calking this beast. My personal entertainment center, calking was my best friend, but this one… no way.

View VaprTral's profile


28 posts in 667 days

#5 posted 667 days ago

Super nice. I don’t know if I’m more jealous of the entertainment center or the education you must have gotten along the way to completing it.

-- "The more we think we know about, the greater the unknown." Neil Peart

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