Used the Henry Media Console project as a starting point but wanted to change the height of the shelves to better fit my electronics. I put my center speaker on top, so my receiver and DVD player were going to be on the shelf. I measured it all out and decided I would go with a 7" shelf and a 13" shelf. My plan was to have a solid 3/4" back (so I could still use my PHs and screws) with a 1" opening at the top that wouldn't be able to be seen when watching TV. That would be for cable management and allow heat to escape.
Well once it was all built, I realized the shelf was not deep enough for my receiver and that it was going to hang off the front of the shelf...I couldn't have that. So I ripped off the back panel I had on there and went and bought some luan. At that point I came up with a hidden way to allow for a deeper top shelf, allow cables to go down and out instead of up, and also not have any opening be seen. The bottom back is just attached to the shelves, the top back is attached to the back of the entire shelf. That leaves 1.5" of extra depth to the top shelf and allows the same distance for cables to escape to the back. I'm very proud of myself! ha!
Once it was built I put the stain on using a cloth...never again. As you can see, it was way too dark. At that point I decided rustic was the way to go by sanding it all down. It turned out much better than I had ever imagined.
Minwax aerosol poly - Semi gloss