Once again, please welcome my husband to share a handy demo on how to Convert Buffet table into an entertainment unit. Inside we house our DVD player, cable box, DVDs, remotes, and so on. I love it! This is far prettier than any TV cabinet or entertainment console I could find, and as a thrift store rescue, the price was unbeatable. I am also not necessarily against buying something new, but when I can give new life to something that already exists I feel that reduces our family’s carbon footprint and that makes me feel good about things. In case you have ever wondered how one might convert a buffet table into an entertainment unit, here is Harry, in his own words……
This project is not too difficult but does require some tools. Here is this great buffet table we got at a local thrift store. We used “Restore a finish” to polish it up and got a great finish. The scratches add a great vintage feel so we left them all there.
The idea was to stick our DVD and cable box inside one of the drawers. In order for the remote controls to work, we needed a flip-open drawer front. Here’s how we got it done.
First, use a skill saw and a steady hand to cut off the drawer face. In our case, it is a old unit made of solid wood. The face with 7/8″ thick. Some modern cabinets use thinner materials, so you may have to reinforce the drawer face if yours is thin.
Most drawers use a thin plywood or laminate as the drawer bottom. This is too thin for the weight of the DVD player. I chose to use some oak plywood we had laying around instead of trying to reinforce the bottom of the drawer. This was a lot easier and I had plenty of clearance since it was a deep drawer. Be sure that if you add plywood that your drawer will still close. My plywood did not go all the way back but that was ok. That created some extra space for all the cables.
Line up the plywood with the front edge of the drawer. Use wood glue and a pin/ nail gun (with brads) to secure it in place. If you do not own a pin gun and compressor, you can pre-drill and counter sink holes for screws. You can also use split-stop style screws if you do not want to pre-drill. Option 3 would be to nail it in place.
Shop around for a hinge that opens to a 90 degree angle. There are all kinds of hinges out there. I tried a European hinge, but when installed it did not clear the bottom. The drawer would not flip all the way down. This will be a common problem with most hinges as the hinge point needs to be at the bottom of the drawer not inside.If you find one that will work, use an awl tool to start the screw holes. This make it easier for them to go in.
The European hinge didn’t work so we used a Butt hinge. If your drawer face hangs down below the bottom of the drawer, you can skip this step. In our drawer, the face ended at the bottom of the drawer so we had to use a router to cut out the space for the hinge to sit in. If you do not have a router, use a sharp chisel and hammer. You may have to route out the inside of the drawer face too.
The last thing to fix is the bottom of the drawer. You will need to cut a 45 degree angle on both the face and bottom of the drawer. This allows the drawer to open to a 90 degree angle. Ok, add your screws and test how it opens.
If it works good, add a magnetic catch to hold the drawer closed. We used one, but you can put one on each side if you want. The final step is to drill out holes in the back of the drawer to pass the cables through to connect to your TV.
Put it all back together now. Add your devices, connect the cables and make sure everything closes and opens easily. Tada! You just learned how to Convert Buffet table into an entertainment unit!