Electronic Design and Family Site

A Stereo Cabinet for Our Living Room

The home we bought had floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room. While not particularly ugly, this was impractical for two reasons: The room was very small and we needed the space in front of the windows for furniture, and we had small-ish children at the time, and viewed this as a safety hazard. Thus, it became important for me to replace those windows. The upper glass was simply replaced with drop-in replacement windows, but the lower was a bit tougher. I removed the windows and frames and covered the holes with plywood, but the inner frame of the window was flush with the wallboard of the room. Short of major surgery, we needed something to cover the resultant hole. Add to that the fact that there was a heating duct on the floor directly under the window, and purchasing a simple piece of furniture to cover the wall became impossible. Thus was born the stereo cabinet:
The Installed Stereo Cabinet
The stereo and its various components were at least 18" deep. Simple dimension lumber doesn't come that deep, so I had to pair several 1" x 12" and 1" x 8" pieces side by side. I used dowels and a healthy dose of wood glue to attach these pieces together, then when assembling the pieces, I varied which piece would be in front (the 1 x 12 or the 1 x 8), so that when they were attached, they would support each other; preventing the entire piece from splitting in half lengthwise.
Bill Lazure's method of constructing sturdy wood products

The sides are routed 1/4" deep to support the shelves, and the shelves are both screwed and glued into the side supports. That makes the shelves incredibly strong...able to conceivably hold hundreds of pounds each!

The grate in the center-bottom is the heating vent! That vent directed the warm air into the room and its interior was insulated to prevent the interior of the cabinet from getting too warm. The unit was wired for Power, Cable Television, and Telephone. It also had ample storage for all of our media.

In March 2012, we decided we needed more floor-space and, since we rarely used the old stereo any more, decided it was time for it to go. I removed the piece and put it out to the street for someone else to use. We covered the gaping hole with 1/4" luaun plywood and trimmed the protruding edge with 1" x 3" stock...giving it an almost tudor-style look. The cabinet provided us with 15 years of service and was, without a doubt, my best piece to date!

-Bill Lazure