Making an Armoire into an Entertainment Center

Bob works with carpenter Bob Ryley to construct an insert for an antique cherry armoire to house his bedroom TV and video collection.

Clip Summary

Bob and carpenter Bob Ryley are in the workshop, constructing an insert for Bob's antique cherry armoire to house his bedroom TV and video collection. The insert, made of cherry veneer plywood, is also dressed with some additional cherry trim to match the armoire. Ryley has precut and rabbited out placements for the shelves to make assembly a snap. Vila and Ryley show how the shelves are glued and nailed into place.
Alright our next project is right here in the master bedroom and it involves a fun project.

This is an armoire, probably 80 years old or so. I bought it a long time ago for very little money.

The doors are a little warped and in any case I thought it would be good to use it here not for hanging clothing, but rather as a mini entertainment center in the master bedroom.

I've got this large television set and the idea is to house it in here but if you just put it in it would be too low. So, what we're gonna do is we're gonna design and build an insert that will retrofit this thing to act as a entertainment center.

We'll have the TV up higher room for a VCR and we'll flank it on either side with storage for tapes.

But let's down to the workshop . We'll hook up with Bob Riley who has already got a little bit of a start on the project and we'll show you how to do it. Hey Riley,

Hey Bob.

How its going?


So you've already got a head start on us here, with our set of shelves.

Yes yeah.

Here, lets look at this a minute cause the actual thing that we're building, if you will is composed of four verticals and three or four horizontals. But it's basically a box with shelves that we're going to be fitting together and the key is to fit it and to have the kind of joints that will give you lots of strength.


That's what you've been working on right now is rabbiting out .

Right. We're done with all the rabbiting, and so I think were about ready to dry fit this whole thing.

Ok this is the base. That's the shape of the box.

Where's the other side?

That's it right there

Now that gets glued.
and nails and then this is the one for the other side right. I think we have to finish these off, don't we?

Oh yes right we've got to chisel out where the radial arm wouldn't go through..

Exactly, when you cut with the dado blade you get to a point where you have the blade curvature naturally coming up and if you want that to square off you gotta go at it with a chisel and a hammer so lets gets that cleaned up.

Were gonna put a bit of carpenters glue on the corners of this box if you will. The areas where the shelves themselves go we'll skip the glue and just nail them in.

Ok let's get the other side on.


Now we'll put the top on, and I won't need to hold it anymore.

With the basic box done, we'll assemble the flankers, which will basically give us shelf space.

Here you go.


Shelf space for VCR tapes.

You know what?
I gotta...yeah. There it is. Okay. Go ahead.

Now, because the antique piece is made out of a wood that looks to be cherry, we've invested in a little bit of cherry stock that we're First of all as two decorative gussets, these angles will help to give the piece strength.

Hold it.


OK, now from the side we're actually going to drive a screw into it to tighten everything together.



All the good and square.

Now, we will fit our shelves into the slots and we are going to fasten them also with a nail gun.

Now, can we put in the central shelves?

Yeah, all set for those.

And these are fitting in nice and snug; the little ones.
We don't need to glue them or anything.

You might have to spread that a little bit.


There you go.


One more.

One on the top.
That's strong.

Okay. Now these two do want to get nailed. And in order to do that ...

There we go.

Get Riley around the front there.

Alright now let's lay it down flat on the bench.


And this space is the face that you'll see when the armoire is open. So rather than leave the undressed edge, of the plywood, we are going to take a little bit more of that cherry, rip it down, and dress it up.


Okay, that's ready.
Just put the last piece down in there and we'll

That looks good.

Put in a couple of finished nails.

Okay, well, why don't we take it upstairs and see what it looks like.


Okay , we're just about there, and there should be a little bit of play space. The way this was made and designed, so that there will be lots of air circulation. When you've got electronic equipment you want some air to go around it. What do you think?

That's really nice let's stand back and take a look.

Yea well you know the great thing is it fits in there, but also because it's birch plywood and it's cherry trim we're gonna be able to stain it and put and oil finish on it that will blend it and match really nicely. Now this was designed. for the VCR and the cable box TV will go right here and a little stereo unit goes in the bottom and of course on either side we have got plenty of shelves for favorite movies And when the whole thing is turned off. Shut the doors and it goes away. Thanks a lot Bob. We gotta break for messages don't go away.