Newbie in Cheltenham, interested in building a small amp

Hi All, Im very pleased to have chanced over this forum which seems to be exactly what I have been looking for for some time.
I have had a requirement for a small integrated amplifier to use in my dining room (where I can escape from the wife!). A full size amp wont fit in the space I have available.
SO after months of looking for one to buy on ebay I found this forum and cant beleive my eyes as to what some of you guys are producing.
This now has led me into thinking about building some small monitors to match the amp, thanks to the postings and images.
Keep up the good work you guys.
Im pretty confident about chassis mods and soldering the components onto pcb's, its the tuning sections that I get lost in. Is this required and are there any how-to's for a beginner?
Any advice on a first build amp project?
Andy Burlow