This project can be made in a few hours out of $40 of furniture grade plywood. The entire console is made from strips of plywood that are stacked and screwed together. This is an easy way to construct a media cabinet since there are no right angles to connect. By cutting and arranging different strips of plywood you can make a series of openings for odd sized media equipment such as cable boxes and internet routers.
Step 1: Supplies + Tools
Purchase at Home Depot
There are many types of plywood with different laminations and surfaces. I used 3/4" furniture grade plywood with a sanded finish. You could mix and match the types if you wanted different stripe patterns in the laminations. I had 12" wide scraps left over from another project but if you are going to buy plywood, I would recommend doing it at Home Depot and having them cut it into strips that are the width you want. A single 4' by 8' sheet of plywood cut into 12" strips would be more than enough to build this project.
Purchase at Home Depot
1 ¼" wood screws are ideal. It is possible to use longer screws and connect multiple pieces at a time but you have to be careful to avoid gaps.
RYOBI 18 Volt Combo Kit
RYOBI 18 Volt Circular Saw
To cut the strips.
RYOBI 18 Volt Cordless Drill
To screw together the pieces.
Step 2: Plan your layout and mark out the cuts
You can arrange strips of plywood in all sorts of different ways; making this technique a nice way to neatly house randomly sized media components. Once you have established your layout, use a pencil and a ruler to mark out the cuts.
Step 3: Cut strips
The laser guide on my RYOBI circular saw made cutting straight easy!
Step 4: Assemble
Start with the top piece down so that no screws will show on the top. 2 screws are enough for a smaller 2 ½" wide strips but 3 is better for the wider strips. Just screw one layer at a time and slowly build up the layers.
Step 5: Finished! Customize by adding legs and color
This console works just fine flat on the ground or up on a pair of concrete blocks. I used some pre-made legs from hairpinlegsforless.com.
¼" plywood can be used to make a back for the shelves. Painting the back could add a nice contrast to the layered plywood.
Good luck making your own media console, and please email or tweet photos to @benuyeda or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more detailed instructions, dimensioned drawings and different variations of the project, check out our soon-to-be-released book.