Apothecary Console

Submitted by Ana White on Thu, 04/29/2010 - 22:59
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This beautiful apothecary console features three open cubbies perfect for storing entertainment controllers, four drawers and two cabinets, all concealed by door fronts that look like an apothecary cabinet. Loved by so many, this console is easy to build and can add that touch of character to your family room.

Dimensions are shown above.


Shopping List

2 – Sheets of 3/4″ MDF or Plywood, cut into 15 1/2″ wide strips, 8′ Long 1 – 1/4″ Plywood or Lauan or MDF (for the back) 1 – 12′ 1×6 AND 1- 8′ 1×6 Boards 2 – 1×2 Boards 2″ Screws 1 1/4″ Screws Wood Glue Wood Filler and Finishing Supplies

Common Materials
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
Cut List

3 – 1×16 @ 61 1/2″ (Shelves) 2 – 1×16 @ 16 1/4″ (Bottom Dividers) 2 – 1×16 @ 14 3/4″ (Drawer Dividers) 2 – 1×16 @ 7″ (Top Dividers) 2- 1×16 @ 27″ (Sides) 1 – 1/4″ Plywood @ 63 x 27″ (Back) 3 – 1×6 @ 65″ (Top) 1 – 1×2 @ 61 1/2″ (Inset front footer) 2 – 1×2 @ 15 1/2″ (Side Footer) 1 – 1×2 @ 64 1/2″ (Front Footer)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
General Instructions

Remember, you can click on images to see a larger view. Work on a clean level surface. Take a square of your project after each step. Use good straight boards. Mark out joints on both sides before fastening. If you are working with MDF, use drywall screws to avoid splitting the MDF and be sure to countersink and predrill the entire length of the screw. Avoid fastening within 1″ of the ends of a board if you are using MDF to prevent splitting. Use glue unless otherwise directed. Use necessary safety precautions and equipment. The box of this cabinet is built with 1x16s (read here on how to get a 1×16). You can also use 1 1×12 width or even a 1×10 width (for a console size, especially if you are using this as a flat panel media console and space is at a premium).


Step 1

Box Partitions Begin by marking out all the joints on both sides of the boards as shown above. Don’t forget that the boards are 3/4″ thick. Then beginning on the bottom partition (yellow) attach the green partition. Now attach the yellow boards to the purple. Finally, attach the blue boards to the purple. Use 2″ screws and glue. Remember, you can click on images to see a full size view.

Step 2

Finish the Box Begin by marking joints on both sides of the boards. Then attach with 2″ screws and glue the top to the top partitions. Then attach the sides to all of the shelves and the top, ash shown above.

Step 3

Back Cut your 1/4″ plywood as shown above. Then use 1 1/4″ nails and glue to attach the back to the box. Don’t forget to fasten to all of the partitions and shelves. Make sure your project is nice and square before attaching the back. The measurements shown here are slightly different from the cut list because I choose to make the cabinet slightly taller for drawer reasons, but either measurement would work just fine.

Step 4

Top Using 1 1/4″ screws and glue, fasten the top boards to the top. Notice that there is a 1″ overhang on the front and the sides, but the back rests flush with the back edge of the sides.

Step 5

Step 6

Footer, Front Using 1 1/4″ Screws or nails and glue, fasten the front footer to the pieces from step 5. Keep outside edges flush.

Step 7

Drawers and Doors: Click here for Part 2 

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The Dafoe Family (not verified)

Fri, 04/30/2010 - 21:21

Thank you so much! I have been trying to rework your "red media cabinet" designs to be more like the photo one of your followers posted but my hubby works at Pogo (I am guessing you know what that means) and I have two kids under 3 = no brain power left! I picked out turquoise stain (to match our living room quilt) but hubby wanted natural so we havent gotten anywhere (I was also turning the bottom part of our bar into a chalkboard, crocheting two fat birdys, hosting a playdate, and cleaning the 1 acre yard) and this popped up tonight! I have this penciled into the calendar in two weeks we are making this (hopefully with my nail gun mothers day present! Hubby is cuttign wood next weekend so I Sat is taken :( Might just get started without him lol!)

Chantelle - Th… (not verified)

Mon, 05/03/2010 - 03:23

As I walked through a museum's antique village setting, they had a vintage apothecary cabinet complete with tiny drawers in their "pharmacy"! I knew I loved the look but found the storage completely impractical - thanks for bringing the best of both the look and the practicality of storage together! I LOVE this, too!

: ) Paula (not verified)

Mon, 05/03/2010 - 18:42

May I suggest another alternative to paying a sitter so you don't need to stay up until 2am? I absolutely love your blog and would continue to love it even if you posted half as often. And I'm quite sure your readership would understand a adjusted publishing pace, especially if it means that you get to both spend time with your daughter AND get to bed before 2am. (Might work?) Best wishes in your blog and family endeavors, Ana! Thanks for being such an inspiration.

bequi (not verified)

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 06:41

I agree with Paula. I would be perfectly content with one project a week, and maybe one bragging board.

Don't wear yourself out! We appreciate everything you do, but don't ruin your health or your time with your daughter just so we can build a table.

By the way, this is GORGEOUS and I think I want to replace the stupid cupboard THING my TV is on right now. THANKS!

Shanna (not verified)

Fri, 05/07/2010 - 08:11

I love this soooo much! It's all I think about now.....I'm having a hard time convincing my husband to let me build this. He likes our ratty torn up console with broken glass doors. I think I might have to kill him if he won't let me replace it. He says I can only build it if I put his favorite football teams' logo on the cabinet doors instead of the false drawer fronts. :( That will just ruin it I think....

ekd (not verified)

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 15:41

I'm about half way through this one. I knew that I wanted to stain and not paint, so I'm sort of on the fence as to my choices of materials. I used mdf for the skeleton. And wood for the exposed parts. But now I'm realizing a few of my mdf ends will be exposed. How difficult will this be to stain? Any pointers?

Ana White (not verified)

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 20:04

What I would use to cover up the exposed ends is edge banding. It's super easy to iron on, and forms a tight bond (it's exactly what they use on kitchen cabinet shelves) and comes in a variety of unfinished wood and is reasonably priced (about $7 for 25 feet 3/4" wide). Good luck!

marguerito (not verified)

Tue, 06/08/2010 - 18:43

I have spent hours over the last few days trying to find a piece like the Andover Media Console or Cabinet to put in my home. This is complicated because we just sold one house, moved to a condo temporarily, while finish building another house. I had mostly built-in in last house and didn't want to pay a lot for a piece that may ultimately not have a visible place in next house. BUT I love the Bailey console and Andover cabinet so much that I have spent untold hours trying to find a piece of similar quality for not quite so much. When I saw these plans immediately got commitment from friend to build it for me!!! Thank-you, Thank-you, Thank-you. Your site is heaven sent!!

*~mandy~* (not verified)

Sun, 06/20/2010 - 17:15

Does anyone know a est. price on how much this would take to make this and the drawers? I love this so much! thank you Ana for posting this.. but i was also wondering if there was a way to do a skinner and taller (35" or 40" height) more profile version for people that are mounting their flat screens? it would just be used for the components? thanks and have a great night!