I was asked recently if I wanted an old desk from my neighbor.  I am a sucker for old furniture and could not resist.  I am also a sucker for Vinyl and stereo cabinets.  Stereo cabinets are a throw back to a time when electronics were not just functional, but pieces of furniture to add style and elegance to your home.  I have converted a buffet we had into my first stereo cabinet, but did not really like the finished product as a cabinet.  It was more a transformer.  I wanted to try my hand at making something that combined a modern look with a 50’s/60’s straight line elegance.  Here are my pics.  I do not really outline the process much-  but it was fun to do!

The desk had veneer all over it, so it made it a little tough to work on without stripping off too much of the veneer.  It also had a really unsightly border on the desktop that looked like a wooden rope.  It had to go.

First step was to remove the top and get the drawers out.  Then rip off the ugly border.

Once that was done, I stripped off the finish using an elective sander and a hand planer.  This caused an issue down the road with the veneer on the top of the piece, which I originally thought was solid wood.

I then attached a border on the top using a biscuit joiner and glue.  I also had to fill in the holes from the old hardware I removed by using a dowel rod and glue.

I do not have many of the in-progress pics, but basically, I removed the fronts on a couple of the large drawers so they could be held in place.  I also added a based and box into the piece to hold a record player and records.

I had to test the speakers after I installed them as I found issues with rattling of the veneer and drawer.  I had to use MDF to secure the drawer base and shim the veneer internally to keep it from rattling when the volume came up on the speakers.  I also added a couple of speaker wire plugs so a stereo head could easily be installed without having to open the unit to wire the speakers.  I also chose to expose the speakers and purchased Rockford Fosgates as these had a nice style without the covers.

I added a shelf for the stereo unit and made it removable in case it was not necessary and storage was needed under the unit.

I split the top into a 2/3 and 1/3 top, attaching the 1/3 portion to the desk permanently and adding a set of hinges and holder for the top.

All exposed decking was covered in black felt.  New hardware was attached after the entire unit took 3 coats of Minwax water based acrylic.  (I could have used oil based, but I was concerned about yellowing)

And- viola!


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