ANOTHER PROJECT: Retro Stereo Cabinet and Book Case
This Christmas, we got a special request, “Will you build us something to hold our stereo and books?”. My son, Ryan and his girlfriend Emily, live in a tiny apartment in Brooklyn.
They had been shopping for a stereo cabinet/bookcase, but were having a hard time finding anything that would fit well in the space that they have. So, they figured that their best option was to go custom. So of course we said “Yes!”, another fun project!
I’ve decided to share this project with you from start to finish, as we work on it …..so progress will be slow and steady, like on the Green Room. You will definitely get a feel for how long it actually takes to accomplish things! Plus, Ryan and Emily can make sure we aren’t slacking. It would be really bad if they didn’t get their Christmas present before their lease runs out!
THE DESIGN OPTIONS
So what did I actually put under the Christmas tree? A notebook. In the notebook, I put sketches of different cabinets and leg styles for them to pick from. To help get me started in the right design direction, Emily pinned photos of some styles that they likes on a Pinterest board for me to check out. Oh, technology, I love Pinterest! I put in some info to help them select a wood type and a stain or paint.
The notebook went to Brooklyn for them to make decisions and to scribble notes about any ideas or questions they came up with. This is the part where I admit to the first stupid thing I did. I didn’t make copies of any of the drawings I gave them. So when they called me with their questions and ideas, I had nothing to look at. Luckily, we live a technologically advanced era, So Ryan could snap a couple of shots of the drawings with his phone and text them to me. Did I mention how much I love technology.
Here is what he sent back. I’ll have to get him to send snapshots of the options that they didn’t select, so I can share those too.
WHAT’S IN THE DESIGN
To understand the design, you first need to understand Ryan and Emily. They are both serious book lovers and fast readers, so the books pile up fast. They love music and have a nice collection – on vinyl. That means they need space for a turntable and tuner, in addition to the books and albums. Something they don’t have is a tv, so when they “watch tv”, they are actually streaming on a laptop. Which means they need a place to put the computer while they watch. I also though it would be nice to figure out a way to fit in a charging station, so they can charge that laptop and their phones, Ipods and whatever comes next. The style they like is what I’d call a modern mid-century. So that’s what we are going to try to capture.
THE NEXT STEP
After Brad worked up a rough estimate of the amount of lumber we needed and we got to go shopping. Oh boy, this part was fun! We took a little road trip to Hearne Hardwoods in Oxford, PA. If you love wood, this is a wonderful place to go. Their website is pretty sweet too. They have every type of wood you can imagine. You can even buy a whole tree, cut into long vertical slices. We had decided to go with maple because Ryan and Emily wanted a more subtle grain.
Here’s Brad’s lumber picks – all rough sawn.
I think my new favorite wood is Italian Olive. Really, look at that grain!
BRAD GETS TO WORK
The first step is planing all the lumber so that the surfaces are no longer rough, but nice and smooth and pretty. Brad is almost done that step. He got a little behind schedule because the motor on his ancient planer burnt out and he had to stop and go get a new one. But the wood is looking prettier and Brad has a new toy! One more pass through the planer and I’ll have pics for you.
Next post, I’ll have some of the more detailed sketches for you that we will use to build from. Stay tuned!