Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Custom HEMNES Entertainment Center
Materials: HEMNES TV Stand, Bookcases and Shelf Bridge + Assorted As Is parts; table saw or circular saw, drill, hinges and magnetic catches for drawer fronts
Description: We had been looking for an inexpensive way to replace our old, ill-fitting TV stand with a real entertainment center with storage and ample space for books without going for full on built-ins. Last year I had measured out the smaller HEMNES TV stand and determined that the actual dimensions of the stand plus two bookcases and a bridge shelf was basically a perfect fit for the space we needed (the empty space to the right in the pictures is where a back door opens inward with only a couple inches to s pare). However, with the drawers and the dimensions of the various cubbies there wasn't nearly enough room for all of our components nor a good place to put a center channel speaker.
During another visit to the showroom a year later I took another look and was able to map out a solution. The drawers at the bottom of the stand were sacrificed to make false drawer fronts that flip down on hinges for access. Since the bottom of the unit was empty without drawers I picked up a couple of $1 matching boards from the As Is rack and cut them down to size, mounted on standard shelf supports drilled into the frame so the shelves sit flush with the bottom of the front stretcher. Simple utility hinges painted black and magnetic catches up top complete the illusion. One side nicely hides a power strip and various accessories to keep cords corralled and out of the way. The other side holds the receiver with an IR remote control repeater so it can be operated with the "drawer" flipped up. A couple of computer case fans running behind the scenes keeps air flowing to prevent overheating in the enclosed space.
The center speaker is on a stand-alone HEMNES shelf cut down to size and notched to fit the bookcase edge contour; shelf supports are right on the edges without a center bracket. The weight of the speaker is all this has to hold (and maybe a picture frame or two), and there is no flex to the shelf at all.
The final piece was fitting the subwoofer in the bottom of a bookcase. The width was just about perfect out of the box, but the bottom front stretcher had to be moved about a foot higher. Hardware and dowel holes were re-drilled at the correct depth (a dowel center helps greatly for precise positioning here). Since the bookcases are screwed into studs I wasn't too concerned about moving that main support piece a few inches higher. Even before screwing it to the wall there was no additional flex compared to the unmodified tower. Rock solid!
~ Ted, Washington, DC