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Want to build a wooden entertainment stand

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Apr 13, 2014, 07:02 PM
Nathan W
Want to build a wooden entertainment stand
Hello, for my mothers birthday I want to build a new piece of furniture that will be used to hold sound system, Blu-Ray player, and a cable box.
It's not going to be real big, but I would like to add four wheels to the bottom to make it easy to move when cleaning.
I have some experience with woodworking, but not much. It was chosen to use pine-wood as she found a stain she really likes and the sound system(heaviest item) will be on the bottom. The second heaviest item, the cable-box, will be on top.
I have experience with cutting, sanding, and painting as well as building things were purchased from IKIA and other places. Some needed to have holes drilled, and I have done that as well.
In addition, I am aware that I will need at least two grits of sand paper, probably a medium and a fine.
From what I have seen, I should be able to simply use a wood-glue and nail combo to assemble this. I'll either need to put some notches in the side for the shelf or put in some brackets.
The stain I will be using is the Minwax Oil-based chestnut wood finish.
Is there any advise that can be provided for a beginner or anything major I forgot?
Apr 13, 2014, 09:12 PM
The biggest thing I didn't see you mention is how you are going to make your cuts. A circular saw is a must. For tight joints, you'll need some kind of guide to keep cuts straight.

Apr 13, 2014, 09:38 PM
Nathan W
I was planning on using something for a guide, however I was originally planning on using a hand saw.
To use a circular say, I'll have to either buy or rent one.
I don't plan on doing anything else for some time, so I'll probably just rent one.
Apr 13, 2014, 10:39 PM
It's always difficult when you don't have the tools needed. Some questions / comments then;

1. Is the purpose of making this yourself so you can give your mom something that you made? Or are you trying to get her this unit at a lower price?

2. Odds are that making this one item will cost more than finding something already made that is suitable, or finding one that is close that can be modified (like, with wheels).

3. If you are planning more projects like this, then it's easier to justify buying tools. New circular saws start at around $40. Used ones are cheaper.

4. It's very hard to make a clean crosscut across a plank with a hand saw.

5. Any chance that you have a friend who has more tools than you?

Apr 13, 2014, 10:59 PM
Nathan W
The purpose of making it is because otherwise I would be spending a good $300 or more to have something custom made. Modifying something to have it work would cost at least $200. I would have preferred to go that route, but spending around $100 - $150 is cheaper and gives more flexibility.

I don't plan on doing any other projects that would require any power tools.

I understand that using a hand saw would be extremely difficult, however I was planning on marking it two times, one where the the final cut will be and one about half an inch further as a buffer.

I'm already borrowing tools from a friend, but none of my friends have a circular saw. Fortunately I have used a circular saw, as well as a band saw and a table saw.
Apr 14, 2014, 12:02 PM
you want to mark the cuts all the way down with pencil. sands off nicely.

the thing about a hand saw is, if you get even a little bit off once, you go wider and wider and wider off the mark and can't easily get back. if this is what you must do, get some scuzwood (does your yard have a "busted" pile where you can get some creepy stuff for next to nothing?) for practice.

sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
Apr 14, 2014, 03:19 PM
Nathan W
I might be able to do one better, I have some left over scrap wood that I can use to hold the saw in alignment.
I don't have a lot, but I have two pieces that I can strap on to the pine and keep the saw blade straight.
Apr 14, 2014, 06:52 PM
In our city, we have adult education classes that are regularly taught at the High schools, using their wood shop equipment. Check to see if your area has something similar? It allows you to do your own project and get safe instruction on proper techniques.
Apr 15, 2014, 07:32 AM
Clamping a piece to use as a guide works fine for a ciruler saw but will not work with a hand saw.
It's not going to do anything to keep the blade from going off the line and will create friction against one side of the blade making it harder to cut.
Only part that should be nailed on a cabinet like that is possibly the back panel.
Expecting to just nail the shelves in from the ends is another poor plan, going to look like poop and have almost no holding power.
A simple to use Kreg tool would work much better.
To make those notches (there called dados)you would need a router and an over sized straight router bit or a dado blade on a table saw.

Apr 15, 2014, 08:07 PM
should be able to nail and glue face frames.

but I really think this cabinetry project is too soon for you. the Amish even try to get clearance from their Bishop to use appropriate power tools now.

sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
Apr 16, 2014, 01:44 AM
Nathan W
Well I disagree. I figured using a Kreg tool or using dowels was a give-in. Also I was planning on using nails for the back, but every-ware else some light wood glue.
I would only use the dowels for the top shelf and use a dab of wood glue in the holes. For the center shelf I would either cut a pathway for the shelf to be held in place or use a Kreg tool. For the bottom I would use a Kreg tool.
Seeing how my biggest issue is cutting the wood to size, I could always see about having it done at Home Depot, rent the tool, or asking a neighbor if they have a circular saw.
I know I left this out, however I feel this info might help your understanding of where I'm coming from.
My step-father (who passed away a little over a year ago now) would build cabin-kits in the basement. I helped on occasion, but his biological children took the power tools so they could continue the business.
During that time, I used a circle saw, table saw, band saw, hand saw, and a makeshift wooden shingle maker (A piece of wood with a blade held in place by a bar to cut small wooden shingles for the kits). I have also used in many occasions a power drill. On more the one occasion it was to alter some furniture.
It goes without saying I have used more traditional tools in terms of screw-drivers, hammers, and wrenches. I admit I haven't done something to this level, however I have gotten used to the bases of making the assumption that some things will be used no matter what.
Apr 16, 2014, 05:44 PM
a true craftsman could use a pocket knife and a beer can opener to make the Taj Mahal. rather, a family of craftsmen, it would take them 10,000 years. and wastage of material would be some level higher.

if you have that level of craft, go ahead, knock yourself out, and send a picture.

one in thousands can pull it off.

sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
May 10, 2014, 12:16 AM
Sawdust Kathy
I know that I am a little late to the party but a good solution might be to search the local thrift shops like the Salvation Army or Goodwill or resale shops. you might be able to find a sturdy piece that can be modified for not too much money. It will probably be much less than purchasing the wood and tools and.....
Jun 02, 2014, 03:34 PM
Nathan W
I know it's been a while since I posted, however I am taking my time with this, and I wanted to make sure I was getting the right stuff.
Here are the boards I have cut down to size and sanded for the pre-stain.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Nathan W,
Jun 02, 2014, 10:40 PM
Pictures are not very clear.
What is it you bought?
Sure looks like just 1/4" Birch plywood.
Instead of the 3/4" that furniture's made out of.

Jun 03, 2014, 01:04 AM
Nathan W
Ya, sorry about that.
I picked up 3/4" pine. The stain my mother wants fits best with pinewood.
I'm going to use some small wood pieces that I have left over that I'm cutting down to use as support.
I will use a nailgun to keep them in place in the back edges as per a friends suggestion.
Aug 11, 2014, 12:37 AM
Nathan W
Well, it took a long time, but it's finished!
Here are the pictures I took.
Aug 12, 2014, 03:32 PM
not bad at all, considering your lack of power tools. Now you can try your hand at the Taj-Mahal
All that really matters is if the person you built it for likes it, but you have done nothing to be ashamed of, it does look good
Aug 13, 2014, 03:42 PM
Nathan W
Actually, I found a circular saw to cut with, and I had an older power drill. Both need to be plugged in, but they worked.
My mother is EXTREMELY happy with it. There are some little things, but in terms of a first project I'm really happy with how it turned out.
Heck, I used a nail gun to put the back on. I used some cheap panel for the back which I stained as well. It made it easy to cut the holes for the cabling and real easy to secure into place. Four nails on each side and another four going across the center shelf.

Now with what I have left over I'm building a small shelving unit to hold Blu-Rays. Nothing special, just walls, shelves, and some backing.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Nathan W,
Aug 13, 2014, 06:06 PM
looks nice, congratulations.

sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?