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How to make an entertainment centre with MDF boards

Your dream home cinema is easier to make than you think!

Gone are the days when the sitting room or living room used to have just a TV in a unit or on a table. Nowadays, as technology has advanced a great deal, most people are investing in a home entertainment system, complete with at least five speakers, a subwoofer, a dvd player, a set top box, and probably even a gaming console. All of these devices inevitably take up space, and so an entertainment center has become a common piece of furniture in many living rooms. Considering that there are so many electronic devices to place, it is important to make sure that the entertainment center is big enough to accommodate them all, along with a television, which is often a big screen. Sometimes buying a readymade entertainment center tends to be rather expensive. So, you might want to consider building one yourself. With the right plan and some basic tools, you will be able to do it with a very affordable price.

First of all you can easily build an entertainment center using MDF cut to size. MDF is generally denser than plywood, and even though it is not one of the strongest building materials around, it is affordable and ideal for a DIY project such as this. You can find different thicknesses, and it is also easy to increase the thickness of the board by attaching two boards face to face. This is mostly important for the top part of the cabinet where the television will be placed.

Tangled Cables. Image credit: Forbes
Tangled Cables. Image credit: Forbes

To buy the MDF boards you need you will first need to decide on the dimensions of your entertainment center. Consider the space where it will be placed, and all the devicesĀ that it will be accommodating. Taking measurements is very important so as to help you design the cabinet accordingly. You do not want to end up with a finished entertainment center where you cannot place all your devices. It is also important that you take into account the places where you will need to drill enough holes for cables to be housed. All of your electronic devices need to be plugged in, and you should try to minimise the hassleĀ of tangling wires by making sure that you plan their positioning in advance. Considering this, you may wish to think about the possibility of including adjustable shelves, for more convenience.

Once all the panels and shelves have been cut in the right sizes you can move on to the assembly process. The center section of the case should be assembled first. Most probably you will be including shelves above the base, so apply glue to the end of the center shelves and then drive the screws to attach them. Make sure to align the front edges well. Then add the bottom part of the center section, which will need to be flush to the back edge of the dividers but centered too. Glue the dividers and then apply clamps to attach them well. Afterwards flip the unit over so as to be able to add the top part. Again, make sure the back edges are flush. Using glue and pocket holes screws should do the trick. Lastly, install the shelves.

If you are going to leave the entertainment center open, you may as well say that you are done. But if you want to include doors, this is the point where you will need to cut the door panels, so as to install the doors to the unit. If you are going to include any drawers you will need to make the necessary adjustments to ensure that they fit well and achieve a smooth slide.

Wherever you had to cut, make sure to sand well so as to get a smooth finish. Depending on the preferred color, you will need to apply more than one coating to make sure that it is well coated. It is often best to apply a third layer for the top boards for additional protection.

Entertainment Centre. Image credit: Houzz
Entertainment Centre. Image credit: Houzz

Many entertainment centers are flush against the floor. This guarantees more stability. If however you prefer to install legs, make sure to go for something that is sturdy enough, and that is well secured into the unit.

Finally you can load up all your electronic stuff, and of course, the TV, onto the entertainment center. Now, all that remains is sitting back on your sofa so as to start watching TV or play a game while everything is neatly organized in your newly built DIY entertainment center!