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Home > Projects & DIY Toolkit > How-To Articles > Building an Entertainment Centre

Building an Entertainment Centre

Televisions, VCRs, DVDs, cable boxes, satellite receivers, stereos and video games are personal entertainment mainstays. Walk into most homes and you'll find electronic equipment stacked to the ceiling. There will likely be various pieces perched precariously one upon the other and a jumble of wires and cords.

If this sounds like your living room, build yourself an entertainment centre. You can organize your electronics and hone your woodworking skills all at once. Building an entertainment centre is challenging for most beginners and a good confidence builder for intermediate level woodworkers. The project should only take a couple of weekends. Lowe's is happy to provide this information as a service to you.

Tools & Materials


  •   • Circular saw
  •   • Drill/driver with bits
  •   • Bit stop
  •   • Palm sander
  •   • Sandpaper
  •   • Clamps
  •   • Hammer
  •   • Tape measure
  •   • Pegboard
  •   • Table saw (optional)
  •   • Router (optional)
  •   • Dust mask
  •   • Safety goggles
  •   • Hearing protection


  •   • Two 1x24x71" preglued pine boards
  •   • Seven 1x24x47" preglued pine boards
  •   • Two 2x4"x8' boards
  •   • One sheet 1/4" faced plywood
  •   • 10' base moulding
  •   • Wood glue
  •   • 3d finish nails
  •   • 2" wood screws
  •   • 1/4" shelf pins
  •   • Wood filler

Construction Note

To simplify the project, we used preglued pine boards. If you want to make the entertainment centre from a different material, simply glue up boards to match the dimensions of the first two items in the materials list. This will be the first step. An entertainment centre built using these instructions will hold a television up to 33" wide, 29" high and 23" deep.

Cut List

  •   • A: 2- 2x4x45" boards for the front and back base pieces.
  •   • B: 2- 2x4x20 1/2" boards for the side base pieces.
  •   • C: 2- 1x24x70 1/2" boards for the sides.
  •   • D: 1- 1x23 1/2x45" board for the bottom.
  •   • E: 2- 1x23 1/2x 44 1/4" boards for the middle shelves.
  •   • F: 1- 1x24x46" board for the top.
  •   • G: 2- 1x23 1/2x23" boards for the bottom shelf dividers.
  •   • H: 1- 1x23 1/2x 32" board for the middle shelf divider.
  •   • I: 1- 43 1/2x72" piece of 1/4" birch faced plywood for the back panel.
  •   • J: Cut base moulding to fit the bottom of the entertainment centre.
  •   • K: Cut shelves to fit each cubbyhole after the carcase is assembled.

Prepare the Sides and Dividers for Shelves

You can use a router, table saw with a dado blade, or make several passes with a circular saw to make the dadoes.
  •   1. Cut 3/4" wide by 3/8" deep dadoes on the inside faces of the side boards (C) to receive the middle shelves (E). The top of the lower dadoes should be 23 3/4" up from the bottom of the side boards. The top of the upper dadoes should be 32 3/4" up from the top of the lower dadoes.
  •   2. Use a piece of pegboard as a template to bore 1/4" diameter holes in the side boards, bottom shelf dividers (G) and middle shelf divider (H). The holes will receive shelf pins for the adjustable shelves.

Assemble the Pieces

  •   1. Apply wood glue to the bottom of each side board. Align the side boards with the bottom (D) so the front edges of the boards are flush. Drill countersink holes in the bottom board and screw it to the side boards.
  •   2. Apply wood glue to the lower dadoes and install the lower shelf so the front edge is flush with the front edges of the side boards. Drive 3d finish nails through the side boards to secure the shelf. Clamp the assembly. Install the upper shelf the same way as the lower one and allow the glue to dry.

Assembled base.

  •   3. Measure in 14 3/4" from each side and mark the bottom of the lower shelf and the top of the bottom board. Apply wood glue to the top and bottom ends of the bottom shelf dividers. Stand the dividers in place. Align the outside faces of the dividers with the marks and make all front edges flush. Bore countersink holes in the lower shelf and the bottom board and secure the dividers with screws. Install the middle shelf divider (H) 8 3/4" in from the left side between the upper and lower shelves.
  •   4. Apply wood glue to the top ends of the side boards. Align the top (F) on the side boards with the front edges flush. The ends of the top should overhang each side by 1/2". Bore countersink holes through the top and screw it to the side boards. Clamp the top and allow the glue to dry.
  •   5. Align the base pieces (A and B) as shown in the graphic and screw them together.
  •   6. Place the carcase on the base. The front and sides of the carcase and the base should be flush. The back edge of the bottom should be flush with the back of the base and the sideboards should extend 1/2" beyond the back of the base. Bore countersink holes in the bottom and screw it to the base.
  •   7. Square the carcase and screw the back panel in place. The panel should butt tight to the bottom of the top shelf and the inside faces of the side pieces. It should extend past the bottom of the bottom shelf, partially covering the base.

Add the Shelves and Trim

  •   1. Cut shelves (K) to fit for each cubbyhole. Install the shelves using shelf pins to support them.
  •   2. Install base moulding (J) on the front and sides of the entertainment centre. The moulding must be tall enough to cover the seam where the carcase and base meet. Use a router or sand paper to round over all of the front edges on the entertainment centre. Make holes for cords and ventilation as needed. Fill any visible countersink holes, sand and paint or stain the cabinet.

Tools, products, materials, techniques, building codes and local regulations change; therefore, Lowe's assumes no liability for omissions, errors or the outcome of any project. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures. Please visit our terms of use.

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