Chopping Down an Entertainment Center

I’m taking a break from my usual geek content for a woodworking project. Granted, it’s a woodworking project to contain geek stuff, though.

We purchased a nice solid oak entertainment center many years ago. But it’s worthless now in an age of widescreen TVs. I tried to sell it, and then later give it away, with no takers. It had been taking up way too much room in the garage for more than a year.

Before: The original entertainment center.
Before: the original entertainment center.

So rather than turn it into a pile of lumber, I decided to chop it down and make it useful again. I had to remove the trim, cut off the sides, lower the top, and put it back together. Then I added a drawer on the right to hold DVDs, drilled shelf bracket holes in the closed cabinet to move the big shelf down, and added new hardware to freshen the look. I also had to disassemble the large door, learn to cut glass, then put that back together into a smaller door.

Making the drawer front was probably the hardest part. A friend let me borrow his raised panel bit for my shaper. That huge bit turning at 10,000 rpm was one of the most frightening things I’ve ever seen. 🙂

Here’s the finished results loaded up with geeky stuff.

After: Modified entertainment center.
After: Modified entertainment center.

11 thoughts on “Chopping Down an Entertainment Center”

  1. WOW! Looks great – that’s what we need to do with our big thing. Tho for now it is holding our TV – no widescreen yet – and all the dc’s etc on the side pull out door.
    Interesting – and very creative. Great job Doug!! Now that you know how to do this you may have a new career coming up.

  2. Show off!
    Don’t tell Summer about it or I’ll have yet another project on the list of things I should do but don’t.

  3. This is just what I was looking for we have the same entertainment center that I want my husband to cut down, know I wont get the drawer though. Thank you so much for putting this on the computer for others to see!!!!

  4. Great job modifying that cabinet.
    I would also like to modify my cabinet that is similar to yours. How was the top and molding fastened to your cabinet. I am afraid to start wacking on the top to remove it because I am unsure what I am going to run into. Any comments would help.

    1. Everything appeared to have been nailed together with a nail gun. I pried the trim off easily, starting from the back so it wouldn’t leave any marks that might show. There wasn’t even any glue. Then I tapped under the top with a rubber mallet (and a rag to protect the wood more) and it too lifted off easily. I was careful so I only had to fill a few nail holes when I reassembled it.

  5. How did you go with the leadlight glass? Did you have to reassemble the leadlighting? We have a similar cabinet and the glass is one issue for us – would like to reuse it, but the leadlighting needs to be cut down.

    1. I started by carefully taking apart the metal frame and glass panes that I didn’t need, which required unsoldering some of the frame. Then I cut the frame parts to size with a Dremel tool. After practicing on some scrap glass, I cut the glass parts to fit in the frame. It wasn’t too hard because the cuts were all just across the bottom straight part. Then it was a matter of assembling the parts and soldering the metal frame back together.

  6. I have a very nice cherry entertainment center that I paid a lot for. Would like to hire someone to cut it down but don’t know who to call. Any talented carpenter could make big bucks doing just this.

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