6 Day DIY Component Cabinet Build

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by mpompey, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. mpompey

    mpompey HW Reviewer
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    While the site was down I started building a custom made component cabinet for myself. I kept a log of the six day project and photos of my progress.


    I've been wanting to build a new component cabinet for some time now.
    My dream cabinet would be a Sanus CFR2136:

    [​IMG]

    But at $1,100 it is just way too out of my budget. My current
    cabinet is a TechCraft 60 in that I have had for about 8 years
    or so.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see it's getting long in the tooth, not to mention
    it doesn't hold all my gear. Consoles stacked on the
    top and over my turntable. Not to mention I actually
    have a tape deck, Network Switch, & HTPC that I would
    like to get into the new cabinet as well. Like my old
    DVD racks I figured I could build me an upgrade./

    Here is a pic of a rough design of the new cabinet
    I want to build.

    [​IMG]

    I would like it not only to store all
    of my gear, but even have some room at the bottom
    for vinyl, remote controls, etc. As well as have
    room on top for my turntable. In addition I would
    like to be able to have adjustable shelves. For
    easier customization in the event that I need to move
    items around. My current rack didn't ship with enough
    shelves so I've had to make do, per the images above.

    I was originally going to go the Flexy route but the
    cost of the threaded rod was killing me. Someone
    proposed that I build it out of wood to keep the cost
    down. I'm no wood worker, I have a low-end Ryobi miter,
    a Crafstman circular saw, and a 20 year old Black & Decker
    Jigsaw that I found while skipping school way back in
    High School

    I have no idea how long it will take me to finish this,
    but I figured I could take my time, document the journey
    and post it up for everyone to see. So with that in mind,
    enjoy the build...


    My helpers while at Lowes. Come to think of it, I think
    the only reason they came with me was so they could
    stay up late Friday night!

    [​IMG]


    I figured I will have to build this in 3 stages: Bottom & Top/ Sides & Middle/ Shelves.

    Here is the paper layout for the bottom and top pieces. I'm making the bottom double thick
    to hold the weight of not just to components but the wood itself. I originally was going for
    MDF but Lowes won't cut MDF and I don't have a table saw to rip it myself. My skills with
    the Kreg RIP cut need to improve a bit before I'm willing to bring a full sheet of plywood home
    and rip it myself. I'll trim it when I get it home though.

    [​IMG]

    Day 2

    Cutting the pieces for the bottom and top:

    [​IMG]


    Gluing and clamping the bottom pieces:

    [​IMG]


    Made a painting jig out of some scrap wood and cabinet screws to hold the pieces up while
    I paint them:

    [​IMG]

    Picture of the bottom and top pieces on top of the jig. I drilled in some screws in addition to
    the wood glue to made sure the bottom piece was solid.

    [​IMG]


    Wood getting first coat of primer:

    [​IMG]


    After 3 coats of primer:

    [​IMG]


    First coat of flat black:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    The expressions...

    "I see a finger getting cut off"

    and

    "Did you say cheddar or Chuck E?"
     
  3. mpompey

    mpompey HW Reviewer
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    The boys pretty much stayed out of my during the actual build. They love going to Home Depot and Lowes to look at stuff, but when it comes time to use any of the power tools they automatically stay away.

    But when it comes to my tablet or my phone...
     
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  4. mpompey

    mpompey HW Reviewer
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    Day 2's Work Progress:

    Installing 2.5" locking casters on the bottom piece. If nothing else, this cabinet is going to be
    built like a tank!

    [​IMG]


    Another shot with the casters...

    [​IMG]


    Marking up the center support piece...

    [​IMG]


    Good ole KReg Pocket jig doing it's work. I'm hoping that this cordless drill is up to the task of drilling out
    all of the shelf pin holes. I'm half considering buying a corded model just so I don't run out of juice. I only
    have 2 batteries and they are NiCad at that.

    [​IMG]


    Spray painting pocket holes just in case paint can't get in there.

    [​IMG]


    Sides getting their first coat of primer...


    [​IMG]


    Sides after 3 coats of primer. Since the sides are going to be highly visible, like the top, I gave them 3 coats of primer. I actually had to go back and drill pocket holes for the top as I forgot to do that prior to this pic. I don't know what I was thinking.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. mpompey

    mpompey HW Reviewer
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    Day 3's Progress:

    Summary of the day’s accomplishments

    [*]4 coats black on sides (Front & Back)
    [*]3 coats black on middle (Front & Back)
    [/list]
    Nothing too terribly exciting happened yesterday. I got a later start than I had planned. (Woke up late and was out of coffee!)

    So after a mad cap dash to get the boys to school, I stopped by the coffee
    store to pick up some beans and headed back to the homestead to get my
    day started.

    Tuesday was busier than Monday, as I had made previous plans with the family. So I split up
    the task list to just get the middle and sides finished painting. (BORING!!!) With shelf pins, assembly, and shelf painting to happen today. After this project, I want to research HVLP paint systems. This rolling and rolling to make sure I get an even coat just ate up my day.

    Anyway here are some pics...



    Getting ready for first coat of flat black for the sides. I wanted to make sure these look nice as they will be seen the most.

    [​IMG]



    After the first coat...

    [​IMG]



    Then the second....

    [​IMG]



    Then the third...

    [​IMG]



    And finally both sides with four coats...

    [​IMG]



    There really is nothing more boring that watching/or waiting for paint to dry. Glad that part is finally over. The shelf pieces will get 1 coat of primer and maybe and 2 coats black and that is it. But since they are smaller pieces I can paint both sides at once using the jig.
     
  6. mpompey

    mpompey HW Reviewer
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    Day 4's Progress:

    Summary of the day's work:

    [*]Drilled shelf pin holes in middle and sides
    [*]Assembled and squared up unit.
    [*]Painted and installed back supports/wire runs
    [*]Primed and painted shelf pieces
    [*]Installed handles on the front
    [/list]
    Tomorrows’s plan: Start moving some gear into new rack and testing it out.

    Finally some progress!!! Albeit I made a stupid, STUPID, STUPID, STUPID mistake!

    When calculating the width of the cabinet and shelves, I forgot to account for the
    width of the shelf pin inserts. When I cut the shelves to be exactly flush, they wouldn’t fit with the inserts in. I ended up trimming the shelves a bit to get them to work. Thankfully I found out before I painted during the dry run of the assembly. Close call there.

    Anyway let’s see some pics...

    Breaking out my Kreg jig for shelf pin holes. Kinda expensive for only six holes.
    I wish in were twice as long or half as much. Useful little tool though.

    [​IMG]


    One column of shelf inserts done. I had just enough capacity in my cordless 14.4v drill to get these done.
    After about 4 columns of inserts the battery was done. But thankfully I had 2 batteries, so it all
    worked out.

    [​IMG]


    One side finished...

    [​IMG]


    Getting ready to do a dry run of assembly. Here I' using what I call "Squaring Blocks". I've measured
    and cut these boys square to help support the pieces and help me square it up when I put them together.

    [​IMG]


    One side with squaring blocks attached...

    [​IMG]


    Both sides and middle up...

    [​IMG]


    Top on and unpainted shelves installed. Here is where I was "reminded" about accounting for shelf pins.

    [​IMG]


    Now all that is left is to paint those shelf pieces, install back supports for cable management and test this bad boy out. Can't wait!
     
  7. mpompey

    mpompey HW Reviewer
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    Day 5's Progress:

    Summary of day’s work:

    [*]Last touch up paint on some of the last shelves
    [*]Pulled out old rack
    [*]Test fit new rack in old space
    [*]Placed components in new rack
    [/list]
    I’m almost finished! The state of my room is driving me crazy but I’m a day away from being done with this project. Yesterday during a day with my boys we went to Best Buy and while I was there I took a look at their cabinets and racks to compare the prices. They had six component stands that were north of $250! So I feel better with my investment and my abilities. Now I just want my room back.

    Anyway, let’s see some pics.

    Finally finished and painted. I actually have room to add another shelf on both sides
    for future purchases.

    [​IMG]



    Test fit in the old location. There is about ½ inch clearance between DVD racks and side of the cabinet. LIKE A GLOVE!

    [​IMG]



    Getting ready to perform surgery on the old rack...

    [​IMG]



    Taking her for a test drive...

    [​IMG]



    The back with plenty of room now...

    [​IMG]
     
  8. mpompey

    mpompey HW Reviewer
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    And on the 6th day...

    Okay, I’m finally finished. I think I managed to give myself a cold in the process. Probably those late nights burning the midnight oil in order to get this done in a week. That and my germy kids that are always around me!

    Summary of today’s activities:


    Installed rest of the gear
    Wired everything up
    and organized power and signal cables.

    Anyway, here are the last of the pics...

    Here’s what the back of my outgrown rack used to look like...

    [​IMG]

    It didn’t always look like such a rat’s nest. I think over time and with the addition of additional components, it became one of those things that I was always going to get around to. In addition, some of the 1” mounting squares have peeled back from their adhesive backing which allowed some of the wires to droop.


    Back of the new rack with mounting squares installed...

    [​IMG]



    Rack all wired up...

    [​IMG]

    Each component has plenty of space to breath and operate. The depth is 22” which was dictated by the Emotiva more than any other piece. In my old rack it butted right up against the back and I had to cut out holes for the wires with a spade bit to make everything work.


    Rack pushed back in the corner and all powered up. I ended up putting a piece of electrical tape over the LED on the ridiculously huge XBOX power brick.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Adam Gregorich

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  10. mpompey

    mpompey HW Reviewer
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    I really like the way it came out. My wife still can't believe I built it. The overall cost was right under $180 for this build.
     
  11. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    In the spring i build picnic tables. They sell for 2.2-2.8 times the cost of material. I built a 10 person table last year as a special order. Cost me $375, sold for $1000.Usually do 20 tables every spring.
     
  12. mpompey

    mpompey HW Reviewer
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    If I had a real workshop versus a cramped garage with a couple of consumer grade tools I might build some custom cabinets to order. Project wasn't that bad. I'll have to keep that in mind the next time any of my A/V friends mention needing a new rack.
     
  13. Bobofbone

    Bobofbone Stunt Coordinator

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    I find one's custom design beats the redi-made stuff in price and satisfaction. I bet you do as well. Very nice!
     
  14. Brian Dobbs

    Brian Dobbs Ambassador

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    nice pictures. thanks for sharing.
     
  15. mpompey

    mpompey HW Reviewer
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    No problem. I love tinkering with my system. My latest work this weekend is running a second subwoofer run to my front panel now that I have a receiver that can support stereo subs.
     

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