Open sided stereo stand

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Project by Michael Donnelly posted 03-28-2013 04:00 PM 1540 views 3 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Until now, the stand I used for my stereo was one I found on the curb. I’d wanted to replace it for years, but lots of the ones I’ve seen for sale weren’t sturdy enough, so I worried the whole thing would vibrate. Ones that are sturdy were expensive, and ones I thought were both attractive and sturdy were really expensive.

I started with a list of requirements in a stand. Besides being sturdy, it needed to be able to hold the components I have and be short enough that I could put a center channel on top of it without blocking the screen on the wall. I decided it was more important that it fit the stuff I have now well than have a lot of room for future expansion. Particularly since I’m new to woodworking, I figured I might want to modify or replace it anyway if I needed something different. It had to be able to hold a tallish integrated amp, a CD player, a DVD player, an Apple TV, and a home network router.

I went with a design that put two units next to each other, both for increased stability and to keep it from getting too tall. The front, sides, and back are open for heat dissipation and so it will be easier to dust in there. The old shelf collected a lot of detritus in the nooks and crannies.

The rails are African padauk, the legs and top shelf are maple, and the lower shelves are Baltic birch plywood. The rails are attached to the legs with pocket screws. The big vertical divider between the sides is also maple. I went with a solid divider to make the whole thing more rigid given the open sides.

The first time I put the legs on, I didn’t have a good enough strategy for clamping them and ended up with gaps between the rails and the legs and with some of the rails not being quite even. I chewed up the legs a bit trying to fix that and had to make a new set of them. The second set worked better, both because I had thought more about how to do it and because I was able to use the first set to hold together the other three sides while installing each leg. That’s why the top of the legs on some of the in progress photos looks different from the finished product.

I wasn’t originally planning to screw down the shelves. I figured they were heavy enough to sit on the bits that hold them up and not go anywhere. When I put them in, though, they didn’t sit as flat as I wanted, so I screwed them down so they would be seated better. Then I was able to sand them down to make them flush with the rails.

It’s finished with Tried and True Danish oil and lacquered.

I’m fairly happy with how it turned out, though there are still a couple of gaps I wish were tighter. In particular, I realized after I’d glued in the biscuits for the top shelf and went to clamp it that I didn’t have a clamp wide enough for the 15 inch shelf.

3 comments so far

View PDK's profile


46 posts in 2171 days

#1 posted 03-28-2013 04:48 PM

Great design…simple, yet elegant. Good summary and description of the project too.

-- - The day I stop learning is the day I stop living.

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2379 days

#2 posted 04-01-2013 02:53 PM

It looks great and well made. Like the simple design and the wood combo. Keep it up!

View Michael Donnelly's profile

Michael Donnelly

25 posts in 2166 days

#3 posted 04-05-2013 12:53 AM

Thanks. :)

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