Changing a Side Board into a Media Cabinet with a Drop Down Front… Yes, Kinda like James Bond’s License Plate.

In: Miscellaneous Tutorials
How to change a side-board into a media cabinet
Sideboard Media Cabinet Graphic
Tyler’s Grandfather gave us this sideboard that used to be in his home.  Lovely as it is, we have nowhere to use it as a sideboard, but a media cabinet with a drop down front to hide all of the ugly electronics…  That is perfect for us!  Let me show you how my dad and I did it!
Sideboard Drawer
Here is the drawer.  Luckily, the left side is exactly the right size for our cable box.
Dovetail Joint
These are some really beautiful dove tails, but… they’ve gotta go for my vision to be realized!
Cutting dovetail joint with Japanese saw
Using a Japanese saw, I cut down the joint.
prying trim with chisel
There was trim holding the velvet in place on the right side of my drawer.  We used a chisel to gently pry it out.
removing bracket with chisel
These are the wooden brackets from the bottom of the drawer- they chiseled right off.
drawer with front removed
Down came the front.
gluing side of drawer to bottom
Using some wood glue and little brush, I glued the sides of the drawer to the bottom.  They were pretty flimsy once the front was taken off.
clamped drawer sides while glue dries
I clamped them in place and let them dry for a while.
piano hinge
Here’s the piano hinge that is going to allow the front to open and close.  I need to cut it so that I could keep the separation of the drawer in place.
cutting piano hinge with hacksaw
I clamped it and cut it to length with a hack saw.
sanding cut piano hinge edge
Dad gave it nice sanding so there were no sharp edges.
1" black walnut board
Now we needed a piece of wood to place in the front of the drawer to screw the hinge into.  The bottom of the drawer in only 1/4″ thick, not thick enough to hold the hinge and drawer front when moving.
applying glue to board
applying glue to drawer bottom
Using wood glue, we attached it to the front.
clamped drawer
Using blocks, we clamped it and let it sit overnight.
drawer with no face
Now, we realized, when we attempted to fit the front, that the board stuck out just too much.  It needed to be trimmed down.
drawer with extra board addd and trimmed
About a 1/4″ was taken off using the table saw.  You can see how much we shaved off.
drawer face with channel cut in back
This is the back of the drawer face.  Here you can see the channel where the bottom of the drawer originally fit.  (No picture) We shaved off all of the wood below that channel to make one big channel all the way to the bottom.  So the bottom 1″ or so was thinner than the rest of the face.  This was necessary so that the front had room to open completely and lay flat. We used the table saw for this.
bottom of drawer with piano hinge
Add the piano hinges to the bottom of the drawer and then fit them to the back of the face.
drawer with holes drilled in the back
We drilled some holes in the back to allow for the cables.  I also drilled the same holes into the back of the sideboard.
sideboard with drop down drawer face holding media equipment
Here is how the drawer opens now to allow for using the media equipment and hiding away remotes.
Magnet clasp on drawer face
Probably not the most sophisticated solution, but magnets hold the door shut when not in use.
sideboard with tv on top
Here it is when it’s closed.  No ugly cable box, Apple T.V or remotes around anymore.
Honestly, this job took a little bit of trial and error…Probably more error, but we got it done!
Thanks Dad!
I spy some Dad feet in one of those pics… Do you?