jrichmond added on 5/26/2017
Entertainment center with plenty of shelf space and angled sides, designed to fit nicely into the corner of a room.
Follow the steps below to complete this project.
I have learned that it's much easier for me to sand everything and apply the stain and polyurethane as I go, rather than at the end. You can wait until the end if you prefer, but I'll make notes along the way, indicating when I would apply the finish.
You will end up with a few pocket holes that are partially visible from the front, and a lot that are visible from the back. If you want, you can fill them after assembling everything, but that means also leaving at least the polyurethane for the end as well. I did not fill mine since they're not noticeable, especially with the dark stain.
Cut five 1x4's to just over 58", and drill 3/4" pocket holes as shown. Use 1 1/4" screws to attach the boards, forming the top surface of the entertainment center. The locations of the holes are important, especially near each end. You can adjust the locations of your pocket holes, but with these locations, you should avoid any screws running into each other for the rest of the project.
Use a circular saw or table saw to cut the corners off at 45°. The resulting long edge should be 40 1/2", and each angled edge should be about 12 3/8". The longest board in the middle should be 58" from tip to tip.
Measure each side of your new Top Surface, and cut six 1x3's to fit as trim. The approximate lengths of each piece are shown in the image. Always make sure you cut long first, and then shave it down to size. I decided to only create a nice mitered corner for the trim that will be on the front side (facing the room). The rest of the corners don't matter nearly as much, and are much easier to get right without the miter. Drill 3/4" pocket holes as shown. Use 1 1/4" screws to attach the boards. Apply stain and polyurethane.
Cut five 3x3 pieces to 26 1/4" for the legs. Drill 3/4" pocket holes toward the top end of each leg in the locations shown in this top-down image. Arrows indicate where the pocket holes on the legs should be. Apply stain and polyurethane. Make a note of which leg is which and which direction is front by writing it down on one of the ends of each leg.
Cut two pieces of plywood to 24 3/4" x 12 3/4" for the corner back panels. One of the long edges should be cut at a 45 degree angle so that the width of the smaller side is 12" as shown. Drill 3/4" pocket holes along the top edge and the edge opposite the angled edge as shown. This is the inside of the corner back panels. Make a note of which panel is which and which end is up by writing it down on an edge of each piece.
Flip the panels over. I'm sure there are better ways to attach these corner pieces, but this is what I did. Set up your pocket hole jig as if you were going to drill 3/4" pocket holes as shown along the angled edge. But, before you drill the holes, move the jig an extra 1/4" back from the edge to compensate for the angle. Drill the pocket holes. This is the back side of the corner back panels. Apply stain and polyurethane.
Attach the left corner and right corner legs to the corner back panels with 1 1/4" screws. Take special note of the positions of the pocket holes on the legs and the direction of the angled edge on the back panels. The top edge of the back panels should be flush with the top of the leg and 1 1/2" from the bottom of the leg. The back side of the back panels should be flush with the back side of the leg.
Cut a piece of plywood to 42" x 26 1/4". Drill 3/4" pocket holes on the top edge as shown. I placed the pocket holes on the back side to make it easier to get at them during assembly, but they could work on the inside as well. Apply stain and polyurethane.
Cut three pieces of plywood to 24 3/4" x 18 1/4" for the vertical dividers. Drill 3/4" pocket holes as shown. Make a note of which divider is which by writing it down on the top edge of each divider, along with an arrow that points toward the front edge.
Flip the dividers over and drill 3/4" pocket holes as shown. Make sure to keep track of which edge is which for each divider. Apply stain and polyurethane.
Attach the front left, center and right legs to the vertical dividers with 1 1/4" screws. Take special note of the positions of the pocket holes on the legs. The positions of each divider on the legs are shown in the image. Arrows indicate where the pocket holes on the legs should be.
The left and right dividers should be flush with the outside edge of the legs. The center divider should be centered on the leg. The tops of all three legs should be flush with the top edges of the dividers.
Attach the left, center and right vertical dividers to the back panel with 1 1/4" screws. The left and right dividers should be flush with the left and right edges of the back panel. The center divider should be centered on the back panel. The tops of the dividers should be flush with the top of the back panel. For the rest of this project, I found it easiest to assemble everything upside-down on a perfectly flat surface.
Cut four pieces of plywood to 19 7/8" x 18 1/4" for the main center shelves and four 90° triangle pieces to 12" x 12" with about 17" on the long edge. Make sure to plan your cuts so that the grain is going the right directions. Test fit your shelves between the dividers to make sure they'll fit before drilling the pocket holes since you may have to shave a little off some of the shelves to get them to fit.
Drill 3/4" pocket holes as shown. All four of the main shelves are identical, but the two left corner shelves are the exact opposite of the two right corner shelves. Make a note of which shelf is which by writing it down on the edge of each shelf, along with an arrow that points toward the front. Apply stain and polyurethane.
With the main unit still upside-down, attach the main center shelves to the back panel and vertical dividers of the constructed main unit with 1 1/4" screws. The bottom shelves should end up 3/4" above the bottom of the vertical dividers.
You might find a better way, but I found it easier to attach the corner shelves to the corner back panels before attaching the panels to the main unit. Attach the left and right corner shelves to the left and right corner back panels with 1 1/4" screws. The bottom shelves should end up 3/4" above the bottom of the vertical dividers.
With everything still upside-down, carefully line up the corner units with the main unit and attach using 1 1/4" screws. Start by attaching the back panel of the corner to the back panel of the main unit, and then make sure each shelf is level by carefully measuring and nudging each shelf to the correct height before attaching it to the vertical divider of the main unit.
Place the top surface upside-down on clean sheet or drop cloth to prevent scratches, and then set the rest of the constructed unit upside-down on top of that. Line up the top surface with the rest of the unit by measuring the overhang on all sides, and then attach the top surface to the legs, back panels and vertical dividers with 1 1/4" screws.
Cut the 1x2 shelf trim and 2x2 frames slightly larger than the shown sizes, then test fit each piece in the entertainment center to make sure they fit before drilling pocket holes. Make a note of which piece is which and which side is the top by writing it down on the end of each piece.
Drill 1 1/2" pocket holes in the bottom side of each 2x2 frame piece, and 3/4" pocket holes in the bottom side of each 1x2 trim piece as shown. Drill 3/8" diameter countersink holes into the four top frame pieces as shown. I just used the Kreg Jig drill bit, and made sure to not go any deeper than 3/4". Apply stain and polyurethane.
With the entertainment center still upside-down, attach the the top frames to the bottom of the top surface and the bottom frames to the bottom shelves. For the bottom frames, the top edge should be flush with the top surface of the shelves. Attach the four shelf trim pieces flush with the shelves. Use 2 1/2" screws for connecting frame pieces to legs, and 1 1/4" screws for everything else.
If you applied the finish along the way, flip the entertainment center over and you're done! If you notice any wobbling, you may have to do some sanding on some of the legs to get everything even. You might also want to attach some felt furniture glides to the legs and back panel if you're concerned about scratching your floor.
If you haven't already, apply your stain and polyurethane. If you go with the Minwax Wipe-on Poly like I did, make sure the temperature of the room you're in is no more than about 75°F. Anything warmer than that, and you'll likely end up with terrible streaking because the poly will dry too fast in the heat.
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