Saturday, January 12, 2013

Entertainment Console - Design Phase

Sometime last year, Sylvia and I were having dinner at my friend Ken's place.  He'd recently got a copy of The House That Sam Built. Sam is one of my favorite designers.  I love his simple, elegant and organic sense of design.  This hall table was the piece that most captured my eye.
At that time, I jotted a couple ideas down and  when I got home I did some really rough sketches, until I found something I really liked.  I let it stew a bit and after awhile came back to it and did this sketch.  This was something I added to the list of projects I wanted to do.  I planned to do this as a veneer piece with solid edging that I could sculpt round in a bow to Maloof.

The order of things changed recently when Sylvia got fed up with our present couch and decided to get new living room furniture, which meant I had to actually hang the TV and build a console.  I also decided to tweak the hall table design.

I sketched these two perspectives while Sylvia and I were watching something, so she could see what I was thinking and give some buy off before I started scale drawings.

Based on the single point perspective and the actual measurement of the wall and all the components of the entertainment center, I produced this first drawing.
At this point I put it out to my woodworking community on Facebook and Twitter.  I got some really good feedback.  Mark Cherry, a buddy on Facebook and @woodshaver101 on Twitter, has done a lot of cabinet style furniture and suggested, due to the length, I employ a torsion box in the design.  Earl Kelly, again a Facebook buddy, thought the piece looked a bit stretched and after stepping back, I thought so, too.  This is the final single point perspective with 5" trimmed from each side, all from the panels.
The center section will sit just back enough for each front panel to bypass.  The bottom-middle is for the surround sound's bass reflex speaker, the center speaker will be directly above and the left and right front channels on each of the respective shelves in the curves.  The choice for the material center panels is still up in the air.  I was originally thinking metal and may still go that route.  I just need to consider vibration.  I'm planning on building this as a veneer piece.  Under the right circumstance, I don't mind solid wood, but if the piece will benefit from man made materials, I'd rather go that way.  I'm thinking the shop made veneer will be ~ 1/8 inch thick.  The dark wood is Wenge and the top and panels will be Black Limba.  
I've still got some logistics to figure out, one being to find some good plywood.  I'm looking forward to the build!


Unknown said...

Hey Vic. I think it's a really cool idea and like your sketches. One initial comment is that I first heard and then found from personal experience that the bass reflex speaker works best when flat on the floor, especially if you can get one of its largest surfaces in contact with the floor. I have mine this way and find that deep bass sounds actually become more of a sensation than a sound as the vibrations are delivered through the floor and, to some degree, the house.

The detached curves on the ends are what really catch my eye on this design. Your sketch also seems to indicate contrasting woods for the main frame and the panels. I think it'll work really well.

Vic Hubbard said...

Thanks for the feedback, Martin! I totally agree and have had the same experience with a bass reflex speaker. I'm still planning on housing it in the cabinet for several reasons, the most crucial being cleaning. We have dogs and anything on the floor become a dust bunny magnet.