How to Build a Record Console / Minibar - Video Tutorial

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 -
how to build make DIY mid-century modern cabinet console table vinyl records music player speakers hidden building plans

*This post is sponsored by DAP Products and The Home Depot. I have been compensated for my time and provided with product or payment in exchange. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. 

Are you a music buff? I always have music on, especially when I'm driving or at home. I finally got a record player a few months ago, and have been slowly building up my vinyl collection. The player I have is inexpensive and came with small built-in speakers. They were TERRIBLE! I ended up plugging in a separate portable speaker every time I wanted to listen to an album. I really wanted a dedicated console table or cabinet where I could hook up my record player, have some storage, and hide a pair of bluetooth speakers. 

Everyone loves music. Why don't we have furniture with built-in speakers anymore?

Do you remember the old record console at your Grandmas's house? I thought it would be super cool to revive the mid-century modern look with my design. After making my brass handled cutting board last month, I'm on a major brass kick. I had a set of 6" tall, vintage brass furniture legs that I found at a salvage yard years ago. I decided to use them for this project, and added a simple, straight brass inlay to the doors, to tie everything together. 

If you don't have some retro furniture feet, it's okay. You can use off-the-shelf tapered feet (like the ones I used on this modern dresser) and get a very similar look. 

I made a video of the full build! Check it out, then scroll down for the materials list, cut list, and building plans. 

Materials List:

  • (1) 4' x 8' x 3/4" plywood sheet
  • (1) 4' x 4' x 1/8" hardboard sheet
  • (1) 2' x 4' x 3/4" MDF sheet
  • (2) 1 x 2 x 96"
  • (1) 1 x 3 x 72"
  • (4) 6" furniture feet
  • (1) 1/4" x 1/4" x 48" square brass rod
  • (2) pair of Full Overlay Concealed Hinges
  • (2) pair of Inset Concealed Hinges
  • (1) 2' x 4' x 1/4" Sheet of "sewing foam"
  • Weldwood Carpenter's Glue
  • RapidFuse All Purpose Adhesive
  • Weldwood Contact Cement - Aerosol

Cut List:

  • (2) 3/4" plywood @ 16" x 28-1/2"
  • (1) 3/4" plywood @ 16" x 40"
  • (2) 3/4" plywood @ 16" x 19-7/8"
  • (1) 3/4" plywood @ 15" x 38-1/2"
  • (1) 3/4" plywood @ 15" x 25-1/2"
  • (1) 3/4" plywood @ 15" x 20-1/4"
  • (1) 3/4" plywood @ 15" x 7-1/2"

  • (3) 1 x 2 @ 38-1/2"
  • (1) 1 x 3 @ 38-1/2"
  • (2) 1 x 2 @ 5-1/4"

1. Join the horizontal internal divider to the vertical internal divider. Use glue and 3/8" dowels in pre-drilled holes, or 1-1/4" screws through pocket holes drilled on the underside of the panel.

Whether you are using dowels or pocket hole joinery, it's important to have a good drill/ impact driver combo kit. Having the ability to switch back and forth between a drilling and driving without having to switch bits is LIFE SAVING! Seriously! The time and frustration you save is worth the investment.

I've been using the new brushless 18V combo kit from Ridgid lately. The brushless motor offers up to a 50% longer run time compared to their last models, and will continue to perform longer than traditional motors. 

2. Attach the 16" x 40" bottom panel to cabinet sides, via pre-drilled holes, wood glue and 2-1/2" screws.

3. Prepare the stretcher rails by drilling two, 3/4" pocket holes in both ends of each board. 

Attach front (1 x 2 x 38-1/2"), and back (1 x 3 x 38-1/2") stretchers to cabinet sides, flush to top edge. Secure, using wood glue and 1-1/4" screws through pocket holes on each end.

4. Attach the connected, internal dividers inside cabinet using 3/8" dowels, wood glue, & 2-1/2" screw driven from the underside of the carcass. Alternatively, you could use pocket holes and screws on the underside of the horizontal shelf. 

5. Place the 15" x 38-1/2" horizontal shelf on top of the internal dividers. Secure, using 1-1/4" screws through pocket holes on the underside of both ends, and 2-1/2" screws, driven from the top, downward.

6. Use a jigsaw to notch the top two corners of the 15" x 7-1/2" center shelf divider to accommodate the front and back stretchers. Add the shelf divider between front and back rails. Secure in place using wood glue, 2-1/2" screws driven from underneath and pin nails driven through rails.

Drill a 35mm hole in the divider to allow cords to be run between compartments. 

7. Since this cabinet is designed to hold speakers, I made a couple adaptations that would improve the sound output. The biggest improvement is adding foam baffling to the inside of the upper compartment. This will help prevent reverberation and any rattling sounds the vibration of the speakers could create. 

I found 1/4" thick "sewing foam" sheets at a local fabric store. Attaching it to the cabinet interior was really simple, using Weldwood Contact Cement Spray from DAP. Simply spray a thin coat of cement on the back of the foam as well as the surface you want to cover, wait about 5 minutes and stick the two together. 

8. Align the 38-1/2", 1 x 2 face frame rail under shelf and flush to front edge. Use a jigsaw to notch the backside of the rail to accommodate the vertical internal divider. Attach in place using wood glue and 1-1/4" screws through pocket holes.

9. On the underside of the cabinet box, Attach 6-1/2"  furniture feet using 3/4" wood screws.

10. Attach 40" x 29-1/4" x 1/8" backer panel to the cabinet frame using 1-1/4" brads or staples. Drill a 35mm hole through the backer, accessing the top compartment, allowing you to run power cords out the back. 

11. Attach flip-top doors to the back support rail, using 35mm full-overlay, cup hinges. 

12. I wanted to create an incorporated cabinet door pull into the design. If you want to use separate knobs or pulls, you can skip this next step. 

Using a jigsaw, cut a 3/4" x 6" notch from the inside edge of one door to create a handle. If applying finish to the doors, do so and allow to fully dry before applying the brass inlay. 

13. Using either a router or circular saw with an edge guide, cut a 1/4" x 1/8" groove into front doors. Slide 1/4" square brass rod into groove and secure using all purpose adhesive. The brass rod should sit proud from the surface of the door about 1/8". 

To attach the brass to the MDF door, I used Rapid Fuse All Purpose from DAP. It's my go-to glue whenever I want to join materials like metal or plastic. It bonds to almost anything! And it sets in only 30 seconds, which it great for someone impatient like me. The fact it dries completely clear was also really important since the brass inlays are quite thin and glue squeeze out would be very distracting. 

14. Before applying finish to the cabinet, I cleaned up the carcass and my work area. Like I mention in my "Even Finish When Staining" tutorial, it's important to remove all the sawdust and any residue from your project before adding your stain and finish. 

The new Ridgid 6 Gallon NXT Wet/Dry Vac is my current new obsession. The 3.5 peak horsepower motor is incredible powerful, yet lightweight, so the vacuum easy to maneuver around and suck up every single spec of dust.

With the NXT model, they made several super smart design improvements, like the oversized power button in plain sight and the cord-keeping handle. 

15. Once the finish on the cabinet and doors is fully dry, hang front doors using 35mm, inset cup hinges.

16. Create a 38-1/2" x 8-1/4" frame from 1 x 2 boards. Pre-drill and secure boards together using wood glue and 2-1/2" screws driven from from outside edges. Wrap the frame in speaker cloth and secure the cloth to the frame using 3/8" wide crown staples, driven on the backside. 

17. Place the cloth-wrapped frame in opening in front of speakers. If it doesn't fit tightly, or you would like some more stability, you can drive a few brad nails or finish nails up from the rail below, into the frame. 

18. Install your record player, speakers, and stock the minibar. It's time to party! 

I hardwired the speakers to my record player for best sound quality, but the Bluetooth capability means I can use my sweet new console cabinet to play music from any device I'd like. 

For references, the speaker compartment is 20-1/2" x 15" x 7-1/2" and the record player compartment is 17-1/4" x 15" x 7-1/2". 

Adding the simple inlay in the front doors was very simple, but it amps up the mid-century vibe and gives the cabinet a finished look.

The recessed internal dividers would allow you to add a rack on the back of the cabinet door, or to store extra tall bottles on the bottom shelf (ie: wine bottles). What's cooler than listening to good music? Having a drink while listening to good music.Well... so I've heard. 

*Confession: I actually don't drink alcohol. I had to borrow the glasses and booze for the photo below hahaha!

Make sure to watch the video to pick up a few more tips on the building process. If you have any questions about the audio set-up, feel free to ask me anything. I'm definitely not a speaker expert, but I can tell you more about what I'm using. 

Like this idea? Pin the image below to save these plans for later!

How to build a mid-century vinyl record console cabinet minibar with built-in speakers and plenty of storage FREE Building plans

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