Friday, December 18, 2009

Entertainment Center ReSkinned for HDTV

The End of Analog

The End of Analog

Here's the image I took when TV went digital. And that's pretty much the image we've had since. Well, that's not quite true. We did discover high on the dial we still get RetroTV over analog, a couple religious channels, a shopping channel and Univision.

Of the five, RetroTV is by far the most entertaining. They have two low-budget morning shows one local, one out of Florida almost entirely serving content from Southern Living Magazine and corporations. It's pretty painful. The rest of the day is old shows like The Incredible Hulk, Gun Smoke and Ironsides. The A-Team in the afternoons is sweet.

For Christmas we decided to hop on the HDTV bandwagon, so it was time to look at the entertainment center. The new TV just wouldn't fit and all the stores wanted several hundred for a new stand. I decided I could hack the current stand into a new one.

Here we go.

Upgrading your old Entertainment Center to Entertainment Center 2.0
  1. Detach top and sides
  2. Measure height of components and mark new height
  3. Cut to new height
  4. Reattach sides and center support
  5. Take extra material, cut another center support to match since TV now on top
  6. Reassemble

Entertainment Center ReSkinned
I'm pretty happy with the result. (Sorry picture quality is so horrible... I'll get something better when the TV arrives)

If you are considering a similar project here's Brent's quick tips for hacking particle board furniture:
  • To reduce chips make sure you tape with masking tape where you'll be cutting.
  • Put the visible face up when making cuts.
  • Start cuts from the face that will be visible.
  • For straight cuts with a circular saw clamp a board to the board you are cutting so that it can act as a fence for the saw.
  • If possible use existing square edges for edges that will be visible and hide your cuts behind overhangs and on top where in shadows. No matter how good of a job you do, particle board will chip a little, especially on the back side.
  • Lay particle board on a soft surface for cutting (like a towel or blanket) so vibrations don't scratch the surface
  • Use a new(ish) saw blade for best results
  • Predrill all new screw holes to avoid splitting