I’m sharing plans for office furniture this week as part of the Madison Avenue Collection. These plans will be great for office and craft rooms as the base cabinets are 28 3/4″ heigh, perfect for using for a desk configuration. You can line your wall with base cabinets, spaced perfectly for you. Leave space between two cabinets to create a work station or simply use two cabinets to create a single desk as shown below. Use my tutorials for building drawers and make any configuration of drawers you want. You can make a large bottom filing cabinet drawer and two small drawers, or two filing cabinets. Use this tutorial for building drawer fronts and this one for attaching drawer fronts.
Build a Large Desk Cabinet
- 1×2 poplar (for painted cabinet) other hardwood (for stained cabinet)
- 3/4″ plywood (cabinet case and top)
- 1/2″ plywood (back panel)
- 1 1/4″ pocket screws (for 3/4″ plywood)
- 1″ pocket screws (for 1/2″ plywood)
- jig for drilling pocket holes (like the Kreg Jig)
Step 1: Build Cabinet Case
- Use 3/4″ plywood for the cabinet case.
- Use 1 1/4″ pocket screws with all screws on the inside of the case.
- Refer to how to build a cabinet using pocket hole screws for more details and help with this method if you are new to it.
Step 2: Secure Cabinet Back
- 1/2″ plywood back panel added INSIDE the cabinet box
- Secure with 1″ pocket screws — holes can be on back or front (if you plan on the back of the cabinet being visible while in use)
Step 3: Build and Secure Faceframe
- Use 1×2 hardwood for the faceframe
- Poplar (not truly a hardwood but good choice for painted furniture)
- Hardwood that matches your plywood for stained furniture
- Use 1 1/4″ pocket screws to build and attach.
- Refer to How to Build and attach a Faceframe tutorial for more details and help with this step if you need it.
Step 4: Build Drawers
- Use width and depth dimensions below to build drawers using my How to build a Drawer tutorial
- If you want to make a hanging file drawer here is a tutorial showing you how.
Step 5: Install Drawers
- Install 1/2″ cleats behind face frame where you plan to install drawer glides
- Use my How to install Drawers with Glides tutorial for more help
- You can install your drawers flush with the front of the face frame if you plan on adding overlay drawer fronts or behind the face frame for inset drawers.
- I like full extension, soft close 22″ drawer slides
Step 6: Build and Install Drawer fronts
- If doing inset drawers, you’ll want to leave yourself about 1/8″ clearance on all sides
- If doing overlay, decide how far you want the drawer front to “lay over” your face frame. 1/2″ is common but you can do the full width of your face frame or anything in between.
- Refer to my tutorials for more details and help
- How to Build a Drawer Front
- How to Attach Drawer Fronts
Step 7: Add trim
- Use trim to cover raw plywood edges
Alternate Step 4: Build Door
- Build a door using my How to Build a Cabinet Door tutorial for help
- For help choosing which kind of hinge to use, refer to my post on Choosing Hinges
I used two cabinets this size with two large drawers in My IL House — Craft Room. I build in a toe kick to mine. If you want to do that too you can refer to my Cabinet and Built-in Building Basics tutorial.
Paint or stain and configure your optimal office or craft room.