Media Center: Bridge
Cut all of the solid wood pieces according to the cut list. Make the marks for how you are going to join each piece together according to the diagram. For face frame joints, I use a biscuit cutter. Other common methods to join are 2 dowels (with a doweling jig) or mortise and tenon. You could also do a kreg pocket jig, however you need to be careful when using screws and dado grooves. You don’t want to hit a screw with your saw or router. You could install the screws after you dado cut the boards.
Apply glue to each joint and clamp the face frame together. Check to make sure your face frame is square. An easy way to check that is measuring diagonally corner to corner & the other corner to corner, they should measure the same if your rectangles/squares are square. Adjust as necessary. Allow the glue to dry.
Once the glue is sufficiently dry, the next step is to make dado cuts. If your face frame has a better side, keep that for the front. The dado cut is a groove we cut out to fit the plywood sides onto the face frame, it makes a strong joint. Each dado is going to be 1/4″ deep. Make a dado cut 1/2″ wide for the sides of the bridge, flush with the outside of the face frame. Make a dado cut 1/2″ wide at 1″ to 1 1/2″ from the bottom for the bottom shelf. Make a dado cut 1/2″ wide along the top of the face frame. Make a dado cut 3/4″ wide on the top face frame piece that is between 18 1/4″ to 19″ from the side of the face frame. Make another 3/4″ dado cut from the other side of the face frame, as shown.
Cut 2 pieces of 1/2″ plywood that are 61 1/2″ x 15 3/4″ for the top and bottom. Make a dado that is 3/4″ wide and 1/4″ deep between 18″ and 18 3/4″ from the side. Make another 3/4″ dado between 18″ 18 3/4″ from the other side, as shown.
Cut 2 pieces from 1/2″ plywood that are 15 3/4″ x 14″ for the sides. Each dado is going to be 1/4″ deep. Make a dado cut 1/2″ wide at 1″ to 1 1/2″ from the bottom. Make a dado cut 1/2″ wide along the top of the face frame.
It may be easier to drill counter sink holes in the bridge top before assembly.
When I assemble cabinets, I like to glue the joints and put them together then use a 1″ – 1 1/4″ brad nail or finish nail to go through the plywood into the face frame where we dado’d. I also use clamps to hold it together while the glue dries.
Assemble the bridge by applying glue in the joints, clamp together and allow to dry. Add nails as necessary. Cut to fit and glue a piece of molding to the front face of each divider. After the glue has sufficiently dried, use 3 or 4 grabber screws and mount the bridge supports onto the top of the bridge. Screw through the top of the bridge into the supports.
If you’d like, add a piece of molding along the front top of the bridge. Make sure it’ll line up with the top molding on the bookshelves.
Next fill any holes or gaps with filler. If you are painting, go ahead and use spackle or joint compound (for your walls). If you are staining, use the proper wood filler. Let the filler dry then sand the bridge, make sure to get any excess glue and filler smooth. End sanding your project with 120 -150 grit sand paper. Remove excess dust. If painting, prime the bridge and allow to dry. If staining, use wood preconditioner and stain as you like.
Once the primer is dry, apply the paint and let dry.
For the finish coat, coat with 1-2 coats of polycrylic (it dries crystal clear). And let dry sufficiently.
We are done with the bridge!
Happy Building! I hope you enjoy building this media center plan.
Click for plans to the other components of the media center: