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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, in the next couple of weeks I will begin building my "Dennis Erskine" Designer columns :) . Dennis, I hope you see my request as a compliment to your design techniques and not an act analogous to someone who steals lunch money from school children.


I have a few questions about how forum members have constructed these?


1. I have seen most use MDF 1/2" or 3/4" for the lower base, and then 1" x 1" strip for the upper half. This of course depends on the function of your columns, i.e. decorative or speaker. What column dimensions do most people go with?


2. After choosing the exterior finished/unfinished plywood, how are you installing it on the MDF? In other words, do you place the outer plywood sections so that they extend to the depth of the column plus 3/4"(if using this thickness), and then place the facia section inside the two?


2a. If so, how do you contend with the exposed rough edge of the plywood?


3. Finally, how are you finishing the obvious corner seams? I have heard some people use a wood veneer tape, others cut the meeting edges at 45 degrees.


Thanks in advance,


Scott
 

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Scott, Here is a description of how I did my columns.


The column bases are ¾ inch oak veneered plywood, roughly 12" x 12". That are mitered at 45s and glued together. I them burnished the edges of the miters with a round screwdriver to finish of the corners. My front 2 columns don’t contain speakers are just 3 pieces of mdf that are mitered and glued together, wrapped in acoustic fabric and the oak bases fit around the mdf. They were then screwed to the wall and trimmed in oak to hide the seams. The back 4 columns have speakers and have a “frame†of mdf that is wrapped in acoustic fabric that sits on top of the oak bases and they are trimmed in oak to hide the seam where the base and frame meet.


Take a look at my construction picks for a better idea of how they go together.


Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Matt, your Home Theater looks great! You obviously put a lot of thought into the design and the quality of work is quite impressive.


Thanks for the response. The information you provided finally puts all the pieces together for me.


My theater is in the drywall stage - starting tomorrow. I'll send images to the post shortly.



Regards
 

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Scott, Thanks. It took us a while to finish but was well worth the effort. Watching a movie in the room is very cool! I can't take credit for the "thought" in the design that was all Dennis. I just got to bring the design to life.


I remember being at the drywall stage. I never though I'd see a finished room. :)
 

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We constructed our columns by using MDF. We built a rectangular box that is open on the back side. We then cut openings in the front and sides of the MFD for the speakers (in columns where there will be a speaker). A picture of these columns is shown at http://photos.yahoo.com/bc/sylaw1984...iew=t&.hires=t and http://photos.yahoo.com/bc/sylaw1984...iew=t&.hires=t


The darker, bottom part of the column is veneer that is stained in a cherry wood color. The top part is painted the color of the ceiling because the crown molding will extend down about 4 inches from the top of the column. The cloth will cover the space between the crown molding and the veneer. A chair rail will cover the line where the cloth and the veneer meet. The columns are pushed into slots build from 2X2s on the wall. You can see one of the mounted dipole speakers in the photograph below that will be hidden by one of the columns. http://photos.yahoo.com/bc/sylaw1984...iew=t&.hires=t


The space below the speaker is filled with fiberglass batting. For columns where there is no speaker, the entire column is filled with fiberglass batting. The columns are attached with screws into the 1X2 board on the inside of the column. I drilled a hole through the MDF first. The screws are placed so that they are hidden under the chair rail when it is installed.


The finished columns look like this:
http://photos.yahoo.com/bc/sylaw1984...iew=t&.hires=t and
http://photos.yahoo.com/bc/sylaw1984...iew=t&.hires=t


Chris
 

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Chris,


That is exactly how I had planned on doing my columns, although I had originally thought about the top part being made of 2x2"s, but I like your idea of just cutting out the MDF much better. I followed your description, upto the point about attaching to the firring strips that you have on your drywall. If I understand correctly, you attached by drilling holes in the MDF and screwing them to the 2x2s on the drywall from the outside. I imagine you probably countersunk these to make them flush, and then covered them with railing. So, you would have three attachment points. Crown, chair and baseboard? Is this correct?
 

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Quote:
you attached by drilling holes in the MDF and screwing them to the 2x2s on the drywall from the outside. I imagine you probably countersunk these to make them flush, and then covered them with railing. So, you would have three attachment points. Crown, chair and baseboard? Is this correct?
That is generally correct. The edges of the column fit into a slot created by a 1 inch thick strip of plywood on the outside edge and a 2X2 board on the inside of the column. The screw goes at an angle through the MDF in the column where the chair rail will go into the 2X2. The 1" strip of plywood on the outside of the column is used as part of the frame to stretch the fabric over. The photographs show the fabric already stretched over the frames. The fabric is then stretched over the column, and the column is inserted into the slot created by the 1" plywood strip and the 2X2 board. This helps hide the staples used to attach the fabric and gives a clean look where the column meets the wall.


I only attached the column at the chair rail level. The column was sandwiched between the ceiling and the floor and really didn't need much assistance to hold it in place.


If I were to do this again, I might consider dividing the column into two pieces that would split at the chair rail level, just to make it easier to move around than a full column. Then, it might make sense to attach it at the base and the crown molding.


In looking at Matt's pictures, I see that he ran his column up to the crown molding with a gap between the column and the ceiling. This is probably easier than what I did, which was to run the column all the way to the ceiling. I'm not sure what looks better in terms of the lights placed in the crown molding (I'm very happy with the way it looks in my theatre), but its something to think about before you build your columns.


Chris
 

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scottatl, Out ceiling is Flat Moonlight Drive Blue from Home Depot.


As Chris pointed out our columns only run up to the crown molding and are in two pieces. The front 2 columns are one piece and were difficult to move down stairs not to mention being very heavy.


To attach the columns to the wall I drilled pocket holes in the surrounding furring strips and screwed the columns to the strips.
 
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