Home Theater Personal Computers, or HTPC, are a huge advancement in home entertainment. The central amplifier unit, however, may be unsightly. This is especially true if your entertainment room has a colonial or period look, but the electronics look very modern. The solution is to use your woodworking skills to build a cabinet around the HTPC unit. By doing so, you can "tailor" the cabinet to the style of the room.
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Internal Size Criteria
Before you design the outside, the internal dimensions must be determined. Measure your HTPC, and add at least 3 inches to all the dimensions. This is to allow for proper air circulation in the cabinet. HTPC units get warm with use and must be sufficiently ventilated. The back of the cabinet should be left open, or have venting slots so warm air can escape. A case is really a box, with a height, width, and depth. You must first think about the inside dimensions of the box.
Outside Style Criteria
Start designing the outside after the internal dimensions have been established. Think about how you want the outside to look. If your room has a very traditional colonial era look, look at pictures of period furniture and duplicate the style. If you want modern European, again look at pictures and design the case accordingly. You can build doors in the front so the electronics are hidden. You have to become a furniture designer and draft some preliminary drawings first.
Final Drawing and Making
After you draw up some preliminary sketches, draft the final plans and begin making the case. You will need an advanced knowledge of woodworking and a shop complete with tools. If you do not have the required tools to make a cabinet, any qualified cabinetmaker can make one from your drawings. Pick the finish you want and finish the case accordingly.
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