Router Forums banner
1 - 20 of 83 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,371 Posts
Step by step pics are expected. Dave Falkner may even come over and document it all for you. That could be his assignment that comes with his new title.

I'll be watching.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,450 Posts
Very hard to get rid of a line like this. A very light sanding will get some of it, but GO EASY. Cover the already exposed portion and let it even out some. It won't be perfect. Then stain to even it out. Try not to put mismatched sections together. Finish smoothly and then maybe a bit more thinned stain on the lighter sections.

Buy new wood and keep it covered? I generally buy ply a couple layers down so the color is more even.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Credenza? Isn't that an Italian word for a real big piece of furniture?
I guess it is Italian, and seems to have it's origin in dining room sideboards. I'm harkening back to the long low stereo consoles of the 60's, but yes ... very big!
Step by step pics are expected. Dave Falkner may even come over and document it all for you. That could be his assignment that comes with his new title.

I'll be watching.
I'll be taking some pictures, but nothing worth showing off yet, here's an 'art shot' at the end of the day, most of the plywood cut and the bottom slots complete.
Very hard to get rid of a line like this. A very light sanding will get some of it, but GO EASY. Cover the already exposed portion and let it even out some. It won't be perfect. Then stain to even it out. Try not to put mismatched sections together. Finish smoothly and then maybe a bit more thinned stain on the lighter sections.

Buy new wood and keep it covered? I generally buy ply a couple layers down so the color is more even.
Thanks Tom, I'll give the cover and expose a try. I don't plan on staining as all of our cabinets and even speakers are natural cherry, but I use a lacquer that yellows over time (I like the look), that will help some too.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thought I'd post this question again for those who couldn't wade through all my babble above ...

* 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 or conical 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?
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,956 Posts
Thought I'd post this question again for those who couldn't wade through all my babble above ...

* 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 or conical 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?
Bruce I would use a bit like these.
https://www.infinitytools.com/ssearch?q=brass+pilot+chafer+bit

Herb
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
256 Posts
I guess it is Italian, and seems to have it's origin in dining room sideboards. I'm harkening back to the long low stereo consoles of the 60's, but yes ... very big!

I'll be taking some pictures, but nothing worth showing off yet, here's an 'art shot' at the end of the day, most of the plywood cut and the bottom slots complete.

Thanks Tom, I'll give the cover and expose a try. I don't plan on staining as all of our cabinets and even speakers are natural cherry, but I use a lacquer that yellows over time (I like the look), that will help some too.
Cherry is very sensitive to light/heat and will darken no matter what you do. Eventually the rest of the surface will probably "catch" up to the piece that has already been exposed, don't worry to much about the exposed piece. Use one of the bits that @Herb Stoops showed and you will be chamfering away! Just practice, practice, practice on scrap before doing the real thing. I set aside practice pieces in every project I make, this makes tool setup easier, and lets me develop the muscle memory I need so I don't screw up the real thing. By chamfering you will be exposing the substrate on your ply and it will be a different color wood. I like the look of a chamfer in ply, but some don't. Your practice cuts will show you what you will end up with. My go to finish for cherry is multiple coats of sprayed 2# cut of garnet shellac under multiple coats of lacquer. The garnet shellac really "pops" the grain. However, both shellac and lacquer are heat sensitive. My concern would be the heat generated by your equipment, it could cause the lacquer to "ghost" (turn milky). Again a couple of test pieces may be in order.

I really like the design you have chosen and I am looking forward to following along!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
901 Posts
Are you SURE the cherry layer is 1/8'? I have a good bit of 3/4" A1 Cherry Ply. I'd guess the cherry layers on mine are closer to 1/64". I've sanded through it in a few places when trying to match an edge. At any rate, I like the idea of chamfering your slots. The pilot bearing should protect you from overbite.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Herb Stoops

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Cherry is very sensitive to light/heat and will darken no matter what you do. Eventually the rest of the surface will probably "catch" up to the piece that has already been exposed, don't worry to much about the exposed piece. Use one of the bits that @Herb Stoops showed and you will be chamfering away! Just practice, practice, practice on scrap before doing the real thing. I set aside practice pieces in every project I make, this makes tool setup easier, and lets me develop the muscle memory I need so I don't screw up the real thing. By chamfering you will be exposing the substrate on your ply and it will be a different color wood. I like the look of a chamfer in ply, but some don't. Your practice cuts will show you what you will end up with. My go to finish for cherry is multiple coats of sprayed 2# cut of garnet shellac under multiple coats of lacquer. The garnet shellac really "pops" the grain. However, both shellac and lacquer are heat sensitive. My concern would be the heat generated by your equipment, it could cause the lacquer to "ghost" (turn milky). Again a couple of test pieces may be in order.

I really like the design you have chosen and I am looking forward to following along!
I have a few practice pieces going! I've only used lacquer on my cherry so far and it's held up to the equipment heat, but I keep it pretty thin. I'll get a bit and make some tests, I'll try a shallow chamfer just staying in the cherry layer, and another getting into the light section. Thanks
Are you SURE the cherry layer is 1/8'? I have a good bit of 3/4" A1 Cherry Ply. I'd guess the cherry layers on mine are closer to 1/64". I've sanded through it in a few places when trying to match an edge. At any rate, I like the idea of chamfering your slots. The pilot bearing should protect you from overbite.
Here's a shot of my A1 plywood, if you're saying that the dark top layer isn't all cherry that's a surprise to me (but many things are!), my cherry shop looks the same. I've sanded it without noticing any variations, but I'll have to watch for that ... more tests.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Are you SURE the cherry layer is 1/8'? I have a good bit of 3/4" A1 Cherry Ply. I'd guess the cherry layers on mine are closer to 1/64". I've sanded through it in a few places when trying to match an edge. At any rate, I like the idea of chamfering your slots. The pilot bearing should protect you from overbite.
Looks like you're right, I took a test piece and started sanding with 220 and a block, I was able to break through to a lighter layer in a couple minutes. I guess I've just been lucky in the past.

I'll probably do the chamfer anyway, we'll see when I make a test pass. I'm slightly concerned that the bearing will just transfer my slot imperfections and make them more obvious; if I could do a single pass down the middle the chamfer could be straight, even if the slot was imperfect, possibly ameliorating my work.

A side benefit of the chamfer could be airflow, if I did top and bottom I can just see the warm air pushing its way through the slot, and ice forming on my gear! :grin:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,450 Posts
Cutting repetitive slots like that, with varying lengths would be tempting the fates for me. I'd almost certainly make that out of hardwood strips. The tiniest wobble will ruin the entire thing. I can count on wobbling.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Cutting repetitive slots like that, with varying lengths would be tempting the fates for me. I'd almost certainly make that out of hardwood strips. The tiniest wobble will ruin the entire thing. I can count on wobbling.
Just to be clear, these slots are not for the doors you see in the first picture, those will be made out of hardwood strips glued into dados in the door styles.

These slots are for vents in the top and bottom of the cabinet, I hadn't thought of making 'vent inlays', but if things go south I suppose that's still an option.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I wanted to have a single page to keep track of all the pieces, I came up with these. The first is kind of a poor man's exploded view, the red lines show where each piece connects to the other; the second is the same view with some useful dimensions replacing the connection lines (each is a layer I can turn on or off). I'm working mostly off of these drawings at the moment. I consider the doors almost a separate project, they're not shown here.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Soon I will need to drill two holes through all of the styles to accommodate my 'cable trays'; these will actually be 1.5" ABS pipe which will not only route cable, but provide significant lateral structure. I have two challenges:

1) The OD of a 1.5" ABS pipe (schedule 40) is 1.9", for it to provide good structure I'd like it to be a snug fit. A 1-7/8" hole saw is too small (1.875"), a 2" too large. A 49mm would be about perfect at 1.929, but I only see diamond coated glass saws in this size (what's so popular about 49mm holes in glass?). A 50mm (1.96) hole saw would probably be ok and help with problem 2, but I don't find US sources for them.

2) For this to work I'll need to drill two perfectly aligned holes through the 8 styles shown above. The best method I can imagine is marking the boards in their dry fit position, then removing, stacking, and clamping them, then drilling a pilot hole through all the pieces. I'd probably have to remove pieces along the way and continue the hole though. I'd then use the hole for the pilot on the hole saw (if I can find the right size).

Does anyone have suggestions for either of these? If you look at the top of the exploded drawing a couple posts up you can see the two dark cylinders going through the entire unit. I still need to buy the ABS and test it in a 2" hole, but I expect it to be a bit sloppy. Thanks for your thoughts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
256 Posts
I am not much of a metric guy, but if my math is right 1 15/16 =49.21mm. Not sure, it is way to early to think about math! At any rate Grizzly sells both 1 15/16 and 50mm forstner bits. I would not attempt to drill the holes in a stack, too many ways for that to go wrong. I would make a drilling jig from a piece of ply, size it to fit you cabinet, drill the holes in the jig, and then clamp it to your individual pieces for drilling. With bits that size there is going to be a lot of tear out. I don't think I would trust a backing board. I would drill until the point of the bit just penetrated the other side, flip the board and finish the hole.
Not sure this makes sense at 4am, I need another cup coffee.
I like how this is turning out! Are you going to assemble in place, it looks like it will be way to big try and glue up and carry.
 
1 - 20 of 83 Posts
Top