I am a newbie to this forum and a woodworker. I just bought a Samsung 5063 that I had to have NOW and was forced to buy a retail stand so I could use it. Pathetic. The shelf spacing wouldn't allow me to put my components where I wanted. Also it was particle board which my wife hates. Needless to say, I will be building my own out of cherry. Love the color. Love how it ages.
There has been a lot of discusion about treating edges of plywood. I would like to give you my input.
I realize that everyone does not have a zillion dollars worth of woodworking tools, but here are a few tips that I have found to make edging easier and look better.
1. Whatever wood you use for the case, use the same wood for the edging.. Unless you are going to paint the case, I wouldn't recomend mixing say, birch and poplar because it will be tough to get stain to match. Gel stain, maybe, but it takes some experimenting.
2. If you are going to use solid edging, don't face nail it because it is rare when the filler for the nail holes matches after staining. You can use wax or shellac sticks after finishing but exact matches are rare. Use glue alone or biscuits. Use clamps or masking tape.
3. Iron on edge banding is great if you do it in the right order. Never have had it peel off. Your final finish will also hold it in place. Sorry Ironhorse. It has always been my experience that it is better to edge band all parts (front, side and dividers) before you assemble the case. The banding is wider than 3/4" plywood and doing it after the case is assembled is a nightmare because it is almost impossible to keep it straight when ironing it on (I know from experience) Keep the iron moving while pressing hard and leave an inch extra for each end. The safest way to trim the excess is with an orbital sander with 80-100 grit. It takes a little time but if you use a belt sander then you might sand through the veneer on the plywood and you are screwed if you want to stain.
4. If you are using butt joints then go ahead and assemble the case. If you are using dado joints there are a few more steps. Once you have your parts cut out and edged, but not sanded flush. Cut a piece of scrap of wood to fit the dado or groove on the top and bottom pieces exactly to height and width of the groove or dado Set this piece in the dadoes and sand the edging flush. NOW, dry fit. The sides and dividers should be set slightly behind. Use a razor knife and score the edging on the sides and the dividers at the joint. Take it apart. Cut through the edging with the razor knife at the score. Use the iron to heat up edging and remove the cut piece. Reassemble case and glue. This should give nice perpendicular joints with edge banding.
5. Face frames are great for minimizing racking but they take away from component width and height available from the front but it does give a more traditional look to the furniture. Make it a your stand little wider and a little higher. You could also do one in back so there is no compromise with air circulation.
Sorry to be long winded on my first post.