How to Build an Entertainment Centre

Televisions, sound bars, and video game systems are personal entertainment mainstays. If your living room is a jumbled mess of stacked items, 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.

Entertainment unit with multiple shelves and a TV in the middle

What You Need for This Project

Construction Note

To simplify the project, use 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 inches wide, 29 in. high, and 23 in. deep.


Cut List

Cut your boards into the following pieces and arrange them by group so they're easier to use as you move through each step.


  • A: (2) 2x4x45 in. boards for the front and back pieces.
  • B: (2) 2x4x20 1/2 in. boards for the side base pieces.
  • C: (2) 1x24x70 1/2 in. boards for the sides.
  • D: (1) 1x23 1/2x45 in. board for the bottom.
  • E: (2) 1x23 1/2x44 1/4 in. boards for the middle shelves.
  • F: (1) 1x24x46 in. board for the top.
  • G: (2) 1x23 1/2x23 in. boards for the bottom shelf dividers.
  • H: (1) 1x23 1/2x32 in. board for the middle shelf divider.
  • I: (1) 43 1/2x72 in. piece of 1/4 in. 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.

Preglue the Boards

  1. 1

    STEP ONE

    Glue Up the Boards

    Take one of the "B" boards and glue it to one "A" board. Take the other "B" board and glue it to the second "B" board. You should now have one side base piece glued to the front base piece, and another glued to the back base piece.

  2. Steps:

Two pieces of wood glued together

Prepare the Sides & Dividers for Shelves

  1. 1

    STEP ONE

    Cut Dadoes

    Cut dadoes on the inside faces of the "C" side boards so they can receive the "E" middle shelves. The dadoes should measure 3/4 in. wide by 3/8 in. deep. The top of the lower dadoes should be 23 3/4 in. up from the bottom of the side boards. The top of the upper dadoes should be 32 3/4 in. up from the top of the lower dadoes.

  2. Steps:

Dadoes cut into wood pieces and the ends stuck together
  1. 2

    STEP TWO

    Make Shelf Holes

    Use a piece of pegboard as a template to bore 1/4 in. diameter holes in the side boards (C), bottom shelf dividers (G), and middle shelf divider (H). The holes will receive shelf pins for the adjustable shelves.

  2. Steps:

A brown pegboard

Assemble the Pieces

  1. 1

    STEP ONE

    Glue, Drill & Screw the Side Boards

    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. Steps:

A person
  1. 2

    STEP TWO

    Install the Upper & Lower Shelves

    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.

  2. Steps:

Two hands applying a clamp to wood
  1. 3

    STEP THREE

    Install the Middle Shelf

    • Measure in 14 3/4 in. 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 and 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.

  2. Steps:

A piece of wood stuck to another with a copious amount of wood glue
  1. 4

    STEP FOUR

    Attach the Side Boards

    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 in. Bore countersink holes through the top and screw it to the side boards. Clamp the top and allow the glue to dry.

  2. Steps:

A bunch of clamps holding wood
  1. 5

    STEP FIVE

    Set the Base Pieces

    Align the base pieces (A and B) to form a box and screw them together. The A boards should be parallel to each other, with the B boards connecting them.

  2. Steps:

A wood frame with letters indicating various sides
  1. 6

    STEP SIX

    Set the Carcase in Place

    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 in. beyond the back of the base. Bore countersink holes in the bottom and screw it to the base.

  2. Steps:

A person
  1. 7

    STEP SEVEN

    Finish Off With the Base Panel

    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.

  2. Steps:

A person

Add the Shelves & Trim

  1. 1

    STEP ONE

    Cut & Install Shelves

    Cut shelves (K) to fit for each cubbyhole. Install the shelves using shelf pins to support them.

  2. Steps:

Closeup of a wood shelf
  1. 2

    STEP TWO

    Add the Finishing Touches

    • 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.

  2. Steps:

A paint brush applying white paint to a surface

How to Terms

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.

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