Stereo closet/cabinet advice


This is my first project and I am going to take photos and put on my website when done.
I have a hole in one basement wall specifically for my stereo equipment. Think of it as a 2 foot deep medecine cabinet sort of. What I want to know is what wood to use. I am thinking of using particle board, and laminating black laminate over it. If so, do I laminate the pieces before assembly? Would I glue overtop the laminate? Would particle board require special jointing or is glueing enough?
Should I use hardwood/softwood instead? Im trying to make my basement contemporary in design, thats why I was thinking black cabinet with glass door. but I can do wood if it wont look too traditional.
Just looking for small tips and direction. I will have a light in the top of the cabinet and im not sure if I should put the electrical outlet inside the cabinet, or drill a hole and leave it on the cement wall behind the cabinet. I have access to the cabinet back side through a full size door.
--
Thank you,



"Then said I, Wisdom [is] better than strength: nevertheless the poor
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Don't forget the all important proper ventilation! Absolute necessity. Use fans if necessary.
: This is my first project and I am going to take photos and put on my : website when done. : : I have a hole in one basement wall specifically for my stereo equipment. : Think of it as a 2 foot deep medecine cabinet sort of. What I want to : know is what wood to use. I am thinking of using particle board, and : laminating black laminate over it. If so, do I laminate the pieces : before assembly? Would I glue overtop the laminate? Would particle : board require special jointing or is glueing enough? : : Should I use hardwood/softwood instead? Im trying to make my basement : contemporary in design, thats why I was thinking black cabinet with : glass door. but I can do wood if it wont look too traditional. : : : Just looking for small tips and direction. I will have a light in the : top of the cabinet and im not sure if I should put the electrical outlet : inside the cabinet, or drill a hole and leave it on the cement wall : behind the cabinet. I have access to the cabinet back side through a : full size door. : : : -- : Thank you, : : : : "Then said I, Wisdom [is] better than strength: nevertheless the poor : man's wisdom [is] despised, and his words are not heard." Ecclesiastes 9:16
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Thats an excellent point. I Wonder what effect the heat will have on the glue and laminate? Should I strive to maintain a limited temperature below a certain value?
Pop wrote:

--
Thank you,



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DnoyeB,
I just finished making my stereo/entertainment center. Its painted, so the entire thing is made of MDF. Fine WoodWorking did an article a while back about how if you're going to paint a cabinet anyway, MDF might be the best material to ues. I bring this up only because you could paint it black or whatever, and skip the laminating process. The only thing I've ever laminated is Formica, so I don't know about other thinner laminates, but that requires that use of a router, which if you're new to woodworking you might not have.
MDF is great because it paints well, is very consistent in thickness, and doesn't warp much if at all. The primary concern is that it lacks rigidity, which can be overcome if you design you cabinet properly. That being said, if you're building a 2' x 4' cabinet to put stereo equipment on, it won't be much of a concern. Butt joints and screws probably would be a good fastner with MDF but its not with Particle Board (or plywood for that matter) either. Simple dadoes do the trick as would some sort of a cleat (3/4" strip of wood to support the shelf).
Good Luck
Chuck
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Woodchuck34 wrote:

Ahh, great info thanks. So the MDF is 'done' on both sides? When I put the shelves in, ill have to cut them down to size. So what to do with the cut surfaces?
The front facing cut of the box im not worried aobut since Ill be trimming it out with some kind of painted trim i suppose, as well as a glass door.
So I can do butt joints with screws and no glue?
Did you take any pictures of your work?
--
Thank you,



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No. MDF will not fasten securely with screws in butt joints. It's a compressed material and it has little ability to hold to a screw thread. In fact, it is quite likely to swell around the screw as you drive it in. Unless you support the shelves somehow underneath them, the weight of stero gear is likely to bow the shelf. I used a piece of 3/4 MDF to make an extension on my table saw. It was 27" deep and around 2 feet long. It was set into a cherry frame, rabbited to receive it. I hung a DeWalt 618 router underneath it in a router insert. A year later the weight of the router sagged the MDF.
I don't believe my router is any heavier than the typical stereo receiver, though it is a more concentrated weight than a receiver would present. I don't know if you're thinking of 3/4" MDF or 1/2", but I wouldn't use either. The stuff is nothing more than termite puke and dust pressed under pressure. If you're looking to build something nice, go get some nice plywood and use that. You'll end up using the same techniques to build it, but you'll have something that won't rack apart when it gets bumped or moved, and it will last a lifetime.
Just my opinion, but I find MDF to be a completely useless product.
--

-Mike-
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Mike Marlow wrote:

Thanks for the info/advice/opinoin. This cabinet will be in-wall and never moved. I have created stereo boxes from plywood before though, so thats still a consideration. Though im not sure how to finish plywood. A Black stain perhaps, with some end pieces glued over the front edges of the shelves?
--
Thank you,



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I would be far more worried about the effect of the heat on the electronics, than I would the effect of the heat on the laminate.
scott
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snipped-for-privacy@slp53.sl.home says...

Ditto. Several people have posted to audio/home theatre forums wondering why their receiver in an unventilated cabinet keeps shutting down.
Rick
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I'd lean toward already-laminated ply, with oak/birch/maple skin. With real wood on exposed laminations. Stain to suit- can be made very handsome.
OTOH, I've also made stuff of basic spruce/pine/fir ply with fir strips on exposed edges, with black-walnut stain. Looks great to me. Light, strong, cost pennies so to speak.
Laminate can be tricky to adhere fully and tightly to material with any surface irregularity. DAMHIKT.
J
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Particle board or MDF? I'm not familiar with laminating so won't comment on that. MDF works pretty much the same as wood but there are some different screws that can be used for better holding.

Wood can be painted, lacqured. MDF is more stable for using with laminate though.

There may be some code issues with a mounted receptical in the cabinet. In any case, be sure t hee is venticlatio for the components.
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dnoyeB wrote:

It would be easier and *lots* cheaper to use melamine board. That is particle board with a thin layer of melamine plastic already on it. Available in several colors including black. _______________

Depends on size of pieces, how they are stressed, etc. People often use butt joints with PB (with/without screws) but that plus hardwood glue blocks is stronger. You can also make cut joints such as rabbet/dado either with or without glue blocks.
-- dadiOH ____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.06... ...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
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wrote:

This dosen't address your question about MDF but the following web site has quite a few pictures of "media niches" for stereo and HDTV setups framed in wood (like large medicine cabinets) that might give you some alternate ideas... "http://woodworkcreations.com "
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wrote:

I did a similar thing in my basement a few years ago. The component cabinets were built with the stiles and rails hanging over the outside of the carcass so that they could be slid into a hole in the sheetrock and attached to the framing. These units actually go to the floor but they wouldn't have to. The lower part of each unit has one raised panel door for LPs (yeah I'm that old) and one drawer for CDs or DVDs. The the upper component area has a frameless smoked glass door. The cabinet faces are made of oak and the carcass made of plywood. If I wanted it to be black, I'd probably use a plywood carcass with a poplar front and then paint. I used a 1/4" back on the cabinets and to take care of the heat issue I came in about two inches from the inside of the carcass and cut the back out where the componets are located. This also let me run wires without fishing them around and heat has never been a problem. With the smoked doors, you never see the wires or the fact that the back of the cabinet is open unless the light is on behind the wall. That light is rarely on unless I'm back there trying to figure out how to wire something new or the cable guy needs to test his signal.
Mike O.
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