Built-in cabinetry

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by JasonS, May 12, 2003.

  1. JasonS

    JasonS Stunt Coordinator

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    My wife and I are finishing our basement, and are thinking of building in a shelving unit/entertainment center across our entire wall. We want to build the middle large enough to house a 40-50in. widescreen tv, and have approximately 12in. wide sheves on either side. Have anyone here built something like this, or know where I can find detailed instructions?
     
  2. Erik Farstad

    Erik Farstad Supporting Actor

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    Jason, I did basically what you're talking about, except for only one shelf on the side of the TV. [​IMG] If you click on the link in my sig...you'll see the whole process documented.

    E-mail me if you have any specific questions. Good luck! [​IMG]

    E
     
  3. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Jason,


    Twelve inch-wide shelves is a pretty peculiar number, considering that many home theater components are right at 17” wide.

    Perhaps you meant shelves 12” deep? If the back is to be closed off – and I assume it will in this case – 12” depth won’t cut it. You’ll need more than that to allow for the depth of most component’s chassis, and clearance for the connectors. Our store-bought entertainment center has 15” shelves, and it has been fine for most of our components. However, even that was not near enough for our receiver, and I expect some other components – a carousel changer comes to mind – would also need even more.

    Also, make sure the shelves are thick enough to support your components. If not they will eventually sag in the middle, and that looks really unattractive.

    Bottom line, if you’re going to build custom, make sure it will accommodate your present and future needs.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  4. sean_pecor

    sean_pecor Stunt Coordinator

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    JasonS, what are the dimensions for the space you'll be using? How high? Wide? Deep?

    I just bought a fantastic hardcover book on cabinetmaking, for my own upcoming project. Here is an Amazon link:
    Rodele's Illustrated Cabinetmaking

    If your width is indeed limited to two sets of 12" wide shelves, then you will either want to:

    A) Design the in-wall unit with a single column of 24" wide shelves instead.

    or

    B) Keep the side shelves for media storage, and build component shelves ABOVE the TV.

    Here is my most recent design, rendered in 3D:

    http://extranet.digitalspinner.com/ht/ecenter.jpg

    The TV is a 46" Sony (sans original stand). The cabinet doors that will hide the TV are flipper doors (see rockler.com - search for flipper door). They open and slide into a 2" space on either side of the TV. This hides the TV when not in use.

    The two drawers below the TV are 24" deep and will utilize 45 degree media storage shelves (also found at rockler.com) that will accept about 75-100 DVDs, VHS, etc.

    The tapered shelves on either side of the TV start at 24" deep and taper to 12" deep. This looks nice, and makes room for speaker stands at our ideal l/r main positions.

    The 6 component shelves above the TV are > 6" high, and 18" wide. The center channel is placed vertically, and there is upgrade room for a Newton Series MC400 (9" wide, 19" high, 10" deep) [​IMG]

    The whole unit is about 6 feet tall.

    Hope this helps.

    Sean.
     
  5. JasonS

    JasonS Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey guys, thanks for the responses. I guess my original post wasn't nearly detailed enough. Anyway, this will be built on a 12ft. wide wall. I will obviously need 2-3ft for the TV area. I figured this could be in the center, and will stick out farther than the other shelves. I was hoping to build shelving either above or below the TV for my components. Also, Would it be a bad idea to put the speakers on the side shelves?
     
  6. RonnieT

    RonnieT Stunt Coordinator

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    well, there's not much more advice I can give you here that others didn't already say, but just wanted to point out that 12" is not going to work for components. My last shelving unit was about 15" without a back and most components were hanging out the back. I didn't like that at all. so this time i went with a rack 20" x 20". Unlike you guys, i am framing it into the wall with an access door on the back similar to Eriks above.

    edit: i was just a tad bit late posting the above.

    I have a 43in tv and made my tv shelf 47 in wide. so i think you will have plenty of room. I would go to the members page and look at everyones theaters. I got a lot of good ideas from doing that when i was in the planning stage.
     
  7. Mike_Bauer

    Mike_Bauer Extra

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    Just a cautionary note from my own experience. Doing a built-in is often pretty final, and sizes change, what is a big set today may not be so big in a few years. I did a built in for a 36" CRT at the time a good choice, now it isn't. Building a flexible entertainment center, that will allow you to accommodate changes in screen size and/or technology might be a good way to go?

    just my $.02 worth[​IMG]
     
  8. sean_pecor

    sean_pecor Stunt Coordinator

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    If you buy a 50" 16:9 widescreen television then the opening will need to be at least 46" wide, and, depending on the model, at least 44" high. Planning on a 26" deep opening is a good idea. More if you can spare it, to allow some room for wiring and some space for heat dissipation.

    Check out Tracy_L's wall unit. The TV center sticks out from the side shelves. It looks nice. Ask him for updated pics - his old ones were on Avsforum.com before that site's gallery was shut down. Look about halfway down the thread:

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...hreadid=128796

    Sean.
     
  9. sean_pecor

    sean_pecor Stunt Coordinator

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    Mike is right, you should have a 5+ year plan for the TV opening [​IMG]. Eventually you will replace the TV. Here is one way to fit future TVs into your design:

    Assuming you buy a 50" TV now that requires an opening 46" wide.... Provide a 60" wide opening. Then, use 7" boards to cover both gaps between the edges of your opening and the edges of the TV. Cover the gap above the 50" TV in the same way. Down the road, if you decide to upgrade to a 65" TV, then you would remove these boards and the 60" wide opening would fit the new TV. This is a better alternative to gutting the wall unit and building a new one in several years.

    Of course, if you decide to go bigger down the road, you might want to keep the current 50" TV, and add a front projection setup for movies and special events. Then you could ceiling mount the retractable screen in front of the wall-unit, like many folks on this forum do.

    Sean.
     
  10. JasonS

    JasonS Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm thinking of something similar, except with shelves that continue all the way across the side. I'd like it all to be whatever height the TV ends up at when raised to the appropriate level.
     
  11. Erik Farstad

    Erik Farstad Supporting Actor

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    Uh, sorry Jason...I thought you meant "literally" built into the front wall...not a "cabinet" that would basically be the front wall! :b Looks like you're getting good advice!

    Have fun! [​IMG]

    E
     
  12. Jesse P

    Jesse P Extra

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    I built my cabinets into my wall with pockets for the tower speakers and TV (large enough for my speakers and a 57" widescreen). The wall size was just short of 12' (11'8" I believe). I made the cabinets 23" deep (my wires coming off of my receiver don't have to have a 90 degree bend) and the TV pocket is 30" deep. I'm really happy with the results, it's flexible enough for me to add componets if I decide to in the future. My link has pictures if your intrested.
     
  13. JasonS

    JasonS Stunt Coordinator

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    Everyone, thanks for the help. There are some terrific ideas out there. I actually had not considered a larger TV in the future. My wife is the type to not want to replace until you actually have to. It puts a slight damper on things. Anyway, I will definately try to build it for a larger set.
     
  14. Timon Russo

    Timon Russo Stunt Coordinator

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    http://www.sover.net/~patrusso/page3.html

    My dad built this to my specs. It houses our 65" widescreen, and is flush with the front, but doesn't go all the way back to the wall. I left a space for access, and so that years from now when I have a flat panel TV, I can slide the whole thing back and put the flat TV on the wall. The gap is hidden with curtains.

    DVD storage is along the top. The unit was actually about 6 parts which we screwed together around the TV. You can see the speaker enclosures, component rack with adjustable shelves, etc.

    He made it with butternut, which he had laying around his shop.

    It's much bigger than it seems in the picture.
     
  15. sean_pecor

    sean_pecor Stunt Coordinator

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  16. Timon Russo

    Timon Russo Stunt Coordinator

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    Sean, that is some farm! Your site is bookmarked. As for my dad's site, it's actually my doing - I set that up to show off the things he made for me and my wife. As you probably guessed, he has no interest in any promotion. He's closing in on retirement and mainly makes spinning wheels now.
     

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