Building a A/V Cabinet - Need some advice - Router Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-03-2010, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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Default Building a A/V Cabinet - Need some advice

So its been over 10 years since I built any real furniture (Jr. High shop class), so I'm trying to apply knowledge from my past, in addition to learning much more...

I'm looking at building a rack to house my stereo, DVR, video games and such. I was thinking it would be about 2'x2', and just over 4' tall (5 shelves 8-10" apart). The room its going in has a bit of an identity crisis, so I'm not too concerned about matching it to the wood in there as its all getting replaced in the not too distant future.

I really like the look of Baltic Birch and was considering using that plywood with the sides and shelves. I was thinking about assembling the face using pocket screws.

A few questions I'm trying to solve:

Baltic birch seems to be tough to locate in solids. Is there another wood that would go with it to use for the face frame?

It seems every bookcase I've ever had has dug grooves into the carpet from the static load sitting on the carpet over the 1/2"-3/4" sides. Any ideas on how to spread the weight. I'm guessing this will weigh well over 100 lbs once its fully loaded. I was considering maybe putting some crown molding around the bottom with something solid behind the crown to pickup some of the weight.

When I used pocket screws to assemble a face frame in the past, I just tacked the face to the structure. I just saw a mention of using pocket screws to secure the face to the structure. Seems a little different, and I have some concerns about if plywood can handle a screw going in like that. Anyone tried that?

I'm sure I'll have a few more questions as I go, just trying to resolve some issues before I go and waste some wood/money.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-03-2010, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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Oh ya, one other question.

When I've done the face frames in the past, they were just left stock. I kind of feel like that was a bit boring and was thinking about taking a router doing a roundover on them. Anyone done this before? How did it turn out, better, worse, different?
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 03:04 AM
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I cannot speak as to getting BB in solid stock. I've been told that true BB can only be harvested in winter, when the ground is frozen. I was told that last winter it didn't freeze well enough for the lumberjacks to get full access to the trees as the basis for BB plywood skyrocketing (A 5'x5' of 3/4 stock was $70 here in Alaska). I have seen that it's back down this year.

I've used BB plywood for the drawer bases with maple drawer sides in a tool cabinet I've build and, with clear polyurethane over them, they aren't identical but look good together. An alternative would be to use a darker, contrasting wood.

As for a roundover, I'm a big fan of them whenever I'm working on solid stock. Even if I don't want a rounded over look, I'll use a 1/16" radius to break the sharp edge. It reduces splinters and makes the edge less prone to damage. Larger diameters give the wood a "softer" appearance, IMO..

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Jim. I've seen the BB plywood for about $70 on sale (3/4").

Now that I'm thinking about it, I'd probably stain it darker anyway, so maybe using BB is a waste if I'm not going to leave it natural. Back to Menards to investigate some more...
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-09-2010, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, so now I'm leaning towards just using Oak.

I've been to Menards, Home Depot, and a local lumber yard. Menards and the local lumber yard had plywood veneer with fibercore in the center. Home depot had 5ply. Couldn't determine what the ply's were made of. Looked like wood and then something white (glue, fiber?)

From what I've gathered, the fibercore is pretty commonly used now and provides a much more consistent thickness then making something out of actual wood. I was planning to dado the sides to fit the shelves in. I've never worked with MDF or anything like it before, so I'm just concerned about its structure once you cut a chunk of it out... Any advice?
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