So my current project I'm calling 'The Credenza', it's replacing a too-big-and-awkward-to-work-in entertainment center. There were several requirements of the design:
* Accommodate all of my current home theatre and stereo equipment, with a little room to grow (though after all these years I don't expect that)
* Very good ventilation, I have a few powerful amps (some tubes) that generate heat (fans are not acceptable)
* Ability for the entire loaded cabinet to move easily and smoothly away from the wall so I can get behind to install new gear, work on cabling, etc.
* Have minimal interference with the natural sound propagation of my speakers, and allow the center channel to sit directly under the TV
* Accommodate a minimum screen size of 80"
* Allow for neat and efficient cable management
* Look attractive, fit our home's Craftsman design aesthetic, and hopefully achieve high WAF (she's very tolerant of my hobbies)
A couple years ago I built a system for a friend that I housed in a commercial cabinet that met most of these criteria – if had met all of them I would have bought it. I'm not embarrassed to say my design is a heavily modified copy of that cabinet.
Besides the size requirement of the gear inside, the unit has to handle a lot of weight; between the equipment, wood, and glass, the total is closing in on 800 lbs – that's not including the steel caster base that will allow it to roll.
I use Visio to make drawings of most of my projects, I made plenty in my networking job, designed and made detailed drawings for our house, and for many other projects. I've been using it for almost 25 years and am pretty comfortable with it; while not as powerful as AutoCAD it's much more intuitive and perfect for most projects and work. I do tabs for different aspects like cabling, board cuts, and of course the specific plan and construction details. The picture below is an export of just the credenza itself without equipment, there are many more layers I can add on until it gets pretty close to how it will look sitting in our great room. Any other Visio fans here? I suppose the CNC guys have their own favorites and specific requirements.
I just got started cutting the plywood for the cabinet itself (3/4" Cherry), and have routed the 40 ventilation slots in the base. I drilled a single 1/2" hole and used a fixed router with and edge guide to make the slots. Let's just say it's good these slots are on the bottom and will be underneath equipment, though once I got the hang they came out pretty well.
I have a long way to go, including a difficult door build (for me anyway), and at some point I have to buy the metal for the base, have it cut and welded, and install the wheels. Much to do, I don't plan on tearing out the built-ins until the credenza is ready to go, then some additional wood flooring will be needed. Goal is to be installed before ski season starts in November.
I'll surely have questions along the way I'll post here (hopefully someone will be watching), here are a couple I have so far.
* The other day when I picked up my plywood I covered it with a furniture pad while tied down in my pickup. After a couple stops I got home and noticed the pad had slipped a few inches in the wind, when I took it off I saw that about a 5" strip at the top had become 'sunburned' (darkened). This is an A1 piece so the other side will be the top and outside styles, but I bought A1 because I wanted the inside nice too. Any suggestions for evening out the color? Should I try laying it in the sun for a while? I plan to lacquer it so sanding and that will even some of it, and this blemish will be on the the inside. Any thoughts?
* Also, after slotting the base I'm thinking a chamfer might look nice on the top (more visible) slots (40 slots – 1/2" x 15"). Is this even feasible with plywood? The top cherry layer is about 1/8" so that would probably be the max depth (though hitting the next layer for a light line might look cool). I see chamfer/bevel bits with a lower bearing and 45 deg blades; using these it seems I'd want a bearing less than 1/2", use a shallow depth and I go around the edge of each slot. I also see V grove bits where it seems I could do it with a single pass, but my setup and skill may not be up to the task. Either way if I did this chamfer there are 40 more chances for me to screw up the important top pieces, but a 3/16" chamfer might look nice. Any advice for how to do this, or passing altogether?
So that's what I'm working on, I'll try to not be so wordy in future posts, thanks for reading ...
Edit: I added a plan view showing the credenza and the new flooring
Is it snow yet?