Zach’s Alder Gaming Console

Viewer Project - By Zach
Added on December 8, 2009

I’m happy to say that I have just finished the first project that I am truly proud of. I built it to hold my video games and Blu-Ray movies and my PS3 will sit on top. My wood of choice was alder. It was a new wood for me and the price was good. Everything was made from 4/4 stock aside from the legs which are from 8/4 material. I didn’t want to mess around with laminating boards together to get the thickness I wanted.

After everything was all milled up and cut to size, I constructed two identical side pieces made up of two legs and what is essentially a case side. Those were both joined together with glue and some dowels to help with alignment. The case sides have a dado routed about a half an inch up from the bottom where the shelf fits into to join the two sides together. The shelf piece has two dadoes for the divider pieces to fit into and those were glued in next. I milled up some pieces that were about 1″ x 3/4″ and were as long as the case is wide and set those into notches that were cut out in the upper corners of the side and divider pieces. I felt this would give the case more rigidity and it would also allow me to use some table top fasteners for the top. The back is made of solid wood. I resawed some alder on my tablesaw so it was just over a 1/4″ thick then used my thickness planer to bring it to exactly a 1/4″. Then at the router table, I routed some rabbets on opposite sides of the pieces which created a sort of lap joint. The pieces were attached with only two brads, one on top and one on the bottom, both located in the center. Finally the top was attached with table top fasteners. The top was made up of two boards and I used a router to put a chamfered edge all the way around.

Obviously, I spent some time doing some finishing work on this piece. I have to thank Marc for how well the finish came out! Prior to finishing, I reviewed Simple Varnish Finish DVD and his podcast about coloring blotchy woods to make sure I wouldn’t mess anything up. The first step was to sand everything up to 150 grit, which works for me. I then proceeded to apply a coat of shellac that was diluted with equal parts of denatured alcohol. Next was the stain. I used General Finishes Gel Stain in the Antique Walnut color. It was applied with a foam brush and one coat was all I needed to get the color I wanted. Finally, I applied the top coat. I decided to try out some Arm-R-Seal for the first time and ended up choosing the satin sheen. I wiped on three coats and I love the way it came out. This is the first piece I’ve completed that I can’t keep my hands off of because it feels so smooth.

Well, that’s it. It’s nothing fancy, but it was a big project for me and I’m actually pleased with the final product. I couldn’t have done it without The Wood Whisperer’s awesome videos. Thanks Marc, for all you do!


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