After the Oak bookcase was complete, I started the next weekend on an oak entertainment unit/fireplace mantel. The design process for this started at the beginning of this year. We knew we wanted to build one, and we knew we wanted a fireplace in that location for ambiance. After looking around and watching for year-end clearance sales on electric fireplace inserts, we stumbled upon a clearance sale on a fairly large electric fireplace. It was a floor model that we managed to get for around $120. It was a bit higher, but missing the remote and mounting bracket, so I got another $50-75 off the clearance price. When I got home I found out my Logitech Harmony remote supported the fireplace, so no need to look for a remote!

Now that I had the electric fireplace dimensions, I can finalize my design. Originally I had planned on 2 top shelves and no cabinet underneath, but the larger size of the fireplace meant I had to make some changes. Overall I am very happy with my new design. This was also an excuse to upgrade my entertainment unit. Over the course of a few months we bought a new TV, sub woofer and home theatre receiver. Each piece being measured to make sure it will fit.

Early on in the build process I noticed that things were getting HEAVY. This unit spans the entire wall, which means a lot of oak, which also means a lot of weight. I decided to alter my design again and build the unit using break-down fasteners so I can take it apart to move it into the house. In the end, I left the main internals together and took off the back, top and sides for moving it into the house. It JUST fit through the door as we have a tight corner leading into the living room.

I tried to copy the overall design of the bookcase and added 30 degree bevels on the top and bottom, as well as use 1 1/2″ oak for the top, sides and bottom.

This was also the first time I got to make frame and panel cabinet doors! After a couple hours of set up and test pieces I carefully made my doors. Carefully because I didn’t have any extra pieces milled for “oopsies”. 🙂 This was also my first big project where I got to use my new shaper. 🙂

The entertainment unit is very large. It is 48″ tall, with the TV being 48 3/4″ off the floor. 🙂 It is also around 70″ wide. This is the largest project I have made to date. I had a lot of fun making it, but didn’t enjoy the 3-4 days of sanding I needed to do before finishing.

Finish was sprayed on as with the bookcase.

I am very happy with the finished product. I estimate that I spent around 90 hours making this. It weighs almost 200 pounds.