Build an Entertainment Center in One Day

Carter builds a semi-recessed entertainment center for a family room.


You can build an incredible entertainment center in just one day with these easy steps. We’ve chosen an eco-friendly bamboo plywood because it’s a nice, hard wood, it’s a renewable resource and it looks fantastic.


four sheets of 3/4" bamboo plywood
wood glue
3/8" inch wooden dowels
three Euro hinges
3/8" drill bit
nail gun
table saw
biscuit joiner


1. Using a table saw, rip the following pieces down to size. These dimensions will fit a 47-inch flat screen television:

one – 55-1/2" x 28" for your base
four – 54" x 17-3/4" for your shelves
two – 35" x 17" for your sides
one – 52-1/2" x 17" for your middle shelf
six – 17" x 6" for your dividers
four – 17" x 8" for your top dividers
three – 16-1/2" x 8" for your doors
two – 51-1/2" x 3" for the backing

Building the Base (finished piece #1 and #2):

2. On your base, measure and mark a line with a pencil 3/4" from both sides and also one directly in the middle of the piece.


3. Glue the long side of three divider pieces to the base where you’ve made your marks. Use a nail gun to secure the dividers to the base from the underside.


4. Take one 54" x 17-3/4" piece and glue it to the top of the dividers, making sure there is 3/4" on either side. Nail in the top with a nail gun. Drill pilot holes with a countersink bit, then secure the top piece on to the dividers with screws. This is your finished piece #1.

5. Repeat steps 2 and 3, but substitute a 54" x 17-3/4" piece as your base. Let this section dry completely. This is your finished piece #2.

6. Next, stack your finished piece #2 on to your finished piece #1. Using a 3/8" drill bit, make six holes in the top of your finished piece #1 directly over your dividers. Make six holes in the dividers of your finished piece #2. All the holes should be 3/4" from the edge so they line up when piece #2 is stacked on to piece #1.


7. Apply glue into each hole and insert wooden dowels into the holes of finished piece. Connect the two pieces by placing the dowels on finished piece #2 into the holes on finished piece #1. Using a mallet, pound the top to make sure they’re securely fastened together. Set this piece aside for now.

Building the TV section (finished piece #3):


8. With a biscuit joiner, create a biscuit hole toward the upper back and three along the shorter inside edge of the two 35" x 17" side pieces. Create three aligning biscuit holes on the ends of the 52-1/2" x 17" base so that the sides will create 90-degree angles once the three pieces are assembled. Place the biscuits inside the sets of three holes on the side pieces, add wood glue for extra support, and fit the sides to the base. Nail the base and sides together.


9. Create a biscuit hole on each end of one of the two 51-1/2" x 3" back ledgers so they will connect with the top and bottom of the side pieces. This entertainment center does not have a back, so the two ledgers will give us a nice square frame and will provide structural support. Place two biscuits inside the top ledger so that it lines up with the top of the side pieces and the base. Secure the top ledger with a nail gun. Glue and nail the bottom ledger on to place, resting on the base.

10. Glue and nail another 54" x 17-3/4" piece to the top of your sides, making sure it is flush with the matching piece below.

11. Mount finished piece #3 on to the lower portion with glue and nails, and then it’s time to move on to the upper shelves.

Building the cupboards for the top (finished piece #4):

12. The top section will have three cupboards, so we will need four dividers. Attach all four 17" x 8" pieces to a 54" x 17-3/4" piece with glue and wooden dowels. The dividers should be equal distances apart, but the edge pieces should both be 3/4" from either side to keep a consistent overhang. Use a mallet to secure the pieces together if necessary and secure with a clamp until the piece dries.


13. Attach your three 16-1/2" x 8" door pieces to the cupboard with Euro hinges and add hardware so the doors will open.

Attaching finished piece #4 to finished piece #3:

15. Repeat steps 6 and 7 from the "Building the Base" section, but this time, you’re attaching finished piece #4 to the top of finished piece #3.

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