How to Build an AV Cabinet

Photograph of a home entertainment centre, by jsmgr

AV cabinets help keep a room tidy.

Audio-visual, or “AV”, cabinets combine storage space, shelving and somewhere to put your television. They help keep a room tidy by packaging the TV, DVD player and even some DVDs together in one place. Buying a sturdy AV cabinet can be costly and the cheaper alternatives don’t always last. As an alternative, you can make your own DIY AV cabinet and save yourself some cash while ensuring the cabinet fits with the décor of your room at the same time.

Thing You Will Need

  • 5 pieces of 3/4 inch thick hard wood
  • Circular saw
  • Wood glue
  • 12 Long screws
  • Hammer drill
  • 1 MDF sheet
  • Jigsaw
  • Nails
  • Hammer

The Process

  1. Cut 2 pieces of 3/4 inch thick hard wood to a length of 2 feet and a width of 1 foot, using a circular saw.
  2. Cut 2 pieces of 3/4 inch thick hard wood to a length of 2 foot 10 1/2 inches and a width of 1 foot.
  3. Cut 1 piece of 3/4 inch thick hard wood to a length of 2 foot 11 1/2 inches and a width of 1 foot.
  4. Cut a 3/4 inch wide, 1/2 inch deep rabbet horizontally along the middle of the first 2 foot long hard wood piece, using a router and ball bearing rabbet bit. The rabbet should be cut horizontally along the width of the piece.
  5. Cut another 3/4 inch wide, 1/2 inch deep rabbet along the width of the second 2 foot long hard wood piece.
  6. Glue the 1 foot wide edges of the two 2 foot 10 1/2 inch pieces.
  7. Stick one piece at a right angle to the bottom of the 2 foot long pieces and the other piece at a right angle to the top of the 2 foot long pieces, to form a rectangle 2 foot tall and 3 foot wide.
  8. Glue the 1 foot wide edges of the final hard wood piece.
  9. Slide the piece into the rectangle through the rabbets you cut earlier, to form a shelf in the cabinet.
  10. Screw 1 countersunk long screw through each corner of the 2 foot long pieces using a hammer drill, to reinforce the joints.
  11. Screw countersunk long screws through the middle of both 2 foot long edges of each side piece to reinforce the shelf.
  12. Cut a piece of MDF 3 foot long and 2 foot wide.
  13. Cut a rectangle 6 inches wide and 3 inches high in the middle of the MDF, 2 inches up from one of the long edges, using a jigsaw.
  14. Nail the MDF to the back of the cabinet with 1 nail in each corner and 1 nail every 6 inches between the corners.
  15. Ensure the rectangular hole is at the bottom of the cabinet.

Optional Additions

Consider adding doors to the front of the cabinet, or even to half the cabinet. These will not only make the cabinet more of a feature in the room rather than a utility piece but you can close the doors on all your AV equipment when it is not in use and thus keep the room looking more tidy.

Please Note

Always wear hand and eye protection when cutting wood, especially particle board like MDF. Sawdust causes skin and eye irritations, while splinters are painful when they embed in the skin and wood particles that are thrown off into the eye can lead to blindness. Hand and eye protection will stop any accidents like these happening.

Photograph by jsmjr via Flickr

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