We've been toying with the idea of building an entertainment centre for a while - to buy something like we'd want would be prohibitively expensive. We bought two cheap flat-pack shelves to flank the unit and then set about designing what we wanted.

I decided to build at least a prototype (rebuilding if necessary) out of MDF, and figured that I'd get Bunnings to cut the longer cuts for me with the panel saw in their cut shop. That proved to be the first problem: Horsham's Bunnings doesn't have a cut shop.

As it turned out we were heading into Maryborough for Sabriena's dentist appointment, and that's close enough to Ballarat and they definitely have one, Dad's used it before. We decided to check out Masters (Woolworth's utterly unsuccessful competitor to Bunnings) first, but the terribly depressing store had no MDF or plywood or any sheet wood to speak of. On to Bunnings, where we learned that their cutshop is out of commission.

In the end I decided to just borrow a trailer and pick up full sheets, and do my best to cut it straight myself. Not the greatest of decisions but thus far all the cuts are at least acceptable. We're using square fabric baskets for the drawers in the bottom of it - a little cliche as far as gaming stations go but I like how it's turned out so far. 7 equally spaced drawers across the bottom, 10 cubbyholes for active consoles, and a C-channel up the back to obscure the cables and mount the TV on is the eventual plan.

The drawers themselves are only 270mm deep, while the unit itself is 450mm - this provides a nice channel along the back where a couple of power boards are run. Accessing the power boards to plug in different units is as simple as pulling out one or more drawers.

We've still got a ton more work to do but so far I'm pretty happy with the results. I used up an old can of black spraypaint I had laying around to see what the end result would come up like, and now I'm really looking forward to the ability to paint it.

Update: So all but the top shelf is completed. I was going to make the channel for the TV to hang off of out of wood, but finding wood that would be structurally sound and still fit the dimensions didn't sound like much fun, so I went to see about some metal C-channel in an appropriate dimension. Nowhere in town sold it outright, but the local engineering bloke had some scrap steel in 1.5mm thickness that he cut and folded for me. It's 150mm wide, 50mm deep, with about a 5mm radius. Used a jigsaw to cut out the holes in the desired locations, put ovalized holes in and bolted the VESA mount to it and then bolted it to the back of the centre.

Now all that's left (structurally) to do is the top shelf, which might have to wait until after our trip. I also want to do some sort of fabric cover for the cable holes, because in certain places you can see the white wall behind the black cabinet. It also looks like the PS4 will need some sort of cooling fan in it's cubby hole, it runs a good bit hotter in there than on top, though I may just move it on top instead.

Horsham, VIC, Australia fwaggle

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