Because this piece is going to be used as a buffet, server and warming area, I wanted a top that would withstand heat, and I wanted it flush with the wood, so that meant routing out the area where the slate tiles would be placed.
After I gutted the cabinet, I installed shelf bracers 5" below the top of the cabinet. Hubby cut a 1/2" piece of plywood to act as a shelf and another piece of slate tile was inserted as a heat barrier.
Hubby stepped in and helped by routing out the panels on either side and cutting the tiles to fit. His task was a bit harder than mine as jigs had to be made up to ensure that the edges remained straight. The tiles were set in place with tile cement, and a black vinyl grout was used to fill small gaps around the tiles for cleaning and sanitary purposes.
Spring hinges were added to the speaker panel, allowing it to become a drop down door, giving easy access. A piece of 1/4" plywood was cut to size and placed behind the decorative wood for support.
Swivel wheels were attached to the cabinet, making it easier to move it from one room to another when entertaining. It's really quite versatile.
A little cleaning of the wood and a coat of Briwax Dark Brown Polish and it looks like new!
I found a picture of a French Cafe on the internet that I liked and printed that out on printable iron-on cloth that I attached to a piece of heavy fabric. I placed that where the speaker cloth was and placed it between the fascia and the backer board. I selected 2 areas of the first picture as focal points for the doors on either side and painted a cluster of grapes on each using water colors so that they would be the same texture as the printed piece. Once attached to their backing cloth, I used a spray adhesive to mount them on the door front.
So what do you think? Does my hubby like it? Yea or Nay