Classic Storage Wall Side Base Units

Submitted by Ana White on Wed, 01/20/2010 - 22:18
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All the beauty and functionality of expensive built-ins, but none of the cost or limitations. Build this base cabinet to keep your media center both beautiful and organized. Features optional shelf and pullout drawer, two doors, and simple moulding details. Works with the rest of the Classic Storage Collection.

24" Wide x 25" Deep x 30" High


Shopping List

1 Sheet of 3/4″ MDF or Plywood, cut into 23 1/2″ Strips, 8′ long 

1 – 1×6 (for the optional pull out drawer) 
1 Sheet of 3/8″ MDF or Plywood for backs and doors 
1 – 1×2 
1- 1×3 (you will only need 24″) 
at least 24″ of 2 1/2″ high base moulding 
2 – Sets of either butterfly hinges or Face Frame Euro Hinges 
2 – Pulls or Knobs 
4 - Shelf Pins 
21″ Undermount Drawer Slides if you are building pullout drawers. 
Edge Banding (If you are staining the project)
Common Materials
1 1/4 inch screws
2 inch screws
1 1/4 inch finish nails
2 inch finish nails
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
Cut List

A) 2 – 1×24 @ 29 1/4″ (Sides) 

B) 1 – 1×24 @ 22 1/2″ (Bottom) 
C) 2 – 1×24 @ 24″ (Top) 
D) 1- 3/8″ Plywood or MDF @ 24″ x 30″ (Back) 
E) 1- 1×3 @ 24″ (Bottom Trim) 
F) 2 – 1×2 @ 24″ (Top Trim and Top Edge Trim) 
G) 2 – 1×2 @ 25 1/4″ (Side Trim) 
H) 1 - 1x 24 @ 22 1/2″ (Shelves)
Optional Base Moulding, 2 1/2″ overall height, 24″ Long

Door Cut List – Recommend measuring the opening in the drawer and building the drawer 1/4″ smaller thean the overall opening. Remember that the door will cover the middle partitions, as shown in the diagrams. These dimensions give are the ideal door dimensions. 

 I) 2 – 3/8″ Plywood or MDF @ 10 1/4″ x 25″ (Backs of Doors) 
J) 4 – 3/8″ Plywood or MDF @ 1 1/2″ x 10 1/4″ (Rails on the Doors) 
K) 4 – 3/8″ Plywood or MDF @ 1 1/2″ x 22″ (Stiles on the Doors)

Optional Pull Out Drawer Cut List – Again, measure your opening and build your drawer to fit. These measurements are the ideal measurements. 

 L) 1 – 3/4″ Plywood or MDF @ 17 1/2″ x 22″ (Bottom of pull out drawer) 
M) 2- 1×6 @ 22″ (Sides) 
N) 2 – 1×6 @ 19″ (Front and Back)
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
General Instructions

Cut your 3/4″ Plywood or MDF into strips 23 1/2″ wide by 8′ long. These strips become 1×24 boards. From 2 of the 1×24 boards, cut the the top and a shelf, and the bottom and a shelf. Then cut the remaining sides and middle partitions out of a third 1×24. You will have one 1×24 leftover for future projects.

Work on a clean level surface. You can fasten with nails or screws, depending on your tools and the use of this piece. Screws will hold better, nails are easier. My general rule is screw anything that will be “used” like chairs and benches, and nail sedentary pieces like bookcases and hutches. I will leave this up to you. If you are screwing, make sure you predrill and countersink your screws. If you are using MDF, avoid fastening within 1″ of the edge of the MDF. Do not use wood screws on MDF. Wood screws do not have a straight shaft and will split your MDF. I have had luck with drywall screws (after all, drywall is very similar to MDF). Make sure you predrill the entire distance of the screws. It’s going to screeech, so wear hearing protection. And glue, glue, glue.

My favorite option is to screw the “box” together, and then use finish nails to add the frame. That way the frame does not have blemishes, but the piece is built sturdy.

Make sure you take a square of the project after each step. Measure and mark out any joints before fastening. Be safe, have fun.


Step 1

Build the box. Start by fastening the bottom to the sides. Make note that the top of the bottom is 2 1/2″ high, so there will be a 1 3/4″ clearance under the bottom shelf. Then add the top, shown in purple, fastening to the sides. Use 2″ fasteners.

Step 2

Back. TAKE A SQUARE of the project (see HOW-TO section). Then fasten the 3/8″ plywood to the back, as shown above. You can use 1 1/4″ fasteners.

Step 3

Footer. TAKE A SQUARE. Then add the footer to the front, as shown above. Use the 2″ fasteners.

Step 4

Top Trim. Again, make sure everything is square. Then fasten the top trim in place, as shown above. Keep outside edges flush. Use the 2″ fasteners.

Step 5

Step 6

Side Trim. Fasten the side trim, as shown above. Keep outside edges flush. Use the 2″ fasteners.

Step 7

Shelves. Determine where the shelf will be placed and mark the bottom edge with a square. Then drill two holes 1″ from the ends with a 1/4″ bit, 1/2″ deep. You can make sure you are only drilling 1/2″ deep by setting the drill bit in your drill so only 1/2″ is exposed. Insert the shelf pins and add your shelf. You can move your shelf at any time.
If you are building with A1 plywood, you will need to finish the front shelf edge with edge banding. See the HOW-TO section for a post on choosing your wood that talks about Edge Banding. Don’t be intimidated by edge banding. It’s cheap and easy and looks great – the odds are your kitchen cabinets are covered in it!

Step 8

Doors. Dryfit the 3/8″ plywood backs into the base unit. Make sure there is about 1/8″ gap around the door. Check to make sure the type of hinges you choose will als fit in the door. Trim the back if necessary. Then use 5/8 staples or brad nails and glue and clamps to add the rails to the tops and bottoms of the doors, keeping outside edges flush.

Step 9

Stiles on Doors. Add the stiles to the doors as shown above, using the directions in step 8. When the doors are finished, lay flat (you can stack) and then rest a piece of plywood on top, and then a heavy object. Let dry.

Step 10

Base Moulding. If you would like to dress up your base unit, add the base moulding to the foot of the cabinet. Use the 1 1/4″ fasteners.

Step 11

Pull Out Drawers. You might as well build the pullout drawers, because you will have a perfect sized scrap piece leftover. You will need to cut it to the size above. Then fasten the sides, the 1×6 boards cut at 22″ to the sides of the bottom.

Step 12

Face and Back of the Pull-Out Drawer. Notch out the front of the face as shown above. Then fasten to the sides and the bottom, as shown above. Use the bottom mount drawer slides to attach the drawers to the base of the cabinet.


Lea (not verified)

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 06:59

I am so glad I found your blog, very inspiring, I would just LOVE to be able to do what you do, sounds like fun and what a sense of accomplishment to build your own furniture.
I do have a question/request; for someone like me who has never built ANYTHING, is there a way you could tell us when you post the materials the approximate cost of each item and also the tools that we would need. I don't think I have even one tool right now that would allow me to build my own furniture. VERY NOVICE I tell ya! And I think that if we could get a break down of the cost we could decide if it is something that we could even afford to build, versus going out to buy it all and being shocked by the price. I know you only build affordable things but everyone has a different budget and this way we can plan and save or go out and buy. I know you are super swamped and busy, these are only suggestions that maybe you could work in in the future, I know that I would love to see it and I think others would too. I hope you get to be on the Design Star and THANKS so much for offering a blog like this, I LOVE IT!!!

Laurie (not verified)

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 07:57

Since you live in Alaska, shipping the winning furniture to the States would be very expensive. I think you should list every charity within driving distance to where you live that would accept furniture, and the winner of the giveaway could get to pick which charity or needy family it gets donated to. That way the furniture doesn't get wasted and the "winner" gets to have a part and you've done a good deed! Everyone wins.

Ana White (not verified)

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 08:25

Hi Everyone! If you are looking for an office system, you are in luck! I decided I need an office, so you can expect the desk and hutch plans to match this collection shortly. I would be careful about what you use for a tabletop. MDF is good, and you could get away with A1 plywood if you finished it correctly . . . as in lots of sanding! You could alos purchase those premade tabletops. They work great and are cheap.

I am so sorry but I will not be posting approximate prices anymore. Because of the great difference in prices throughout my reader base, it is impossible for me to make a good recommendation. I have had numerous emails of people having an expectation, and the price being different where they live, and the readers being upset. I would head over to you hardware store with a notebook and write down the prices of plywood, boards, and other supplies, and keep this list handy for future reference.

The Logan collection is very deep. This means more wood, and that means more expensive. Also, whenever you can paint over stain, that is going to save you tons.


Jennifer (not verified)

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 08:34

I love that you think so much of yoru readers..."You probably already built the media base from yesterday..." Ha! Sadly, I don't move that fast- but I love that you think we do. Don't be so hard on yourself about not posting fast enough, I am just thrilled I have found you as a resource...Don't Burn Out!!! I'm thinking that I will sloooowly be building the logan set over the next few months (years?) My tv isn't nearly so large, so I may have to figure out a way to modify it a little. (If I could afford a tv that big, with a living room large enough to put it in, I might just have enough to spring for the actually pottery barn furniture.) Thanks so much for posting- you're great.

Jennifer (not verified)

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 08:39

Back again- just saw you are adding office furniture to the list! LOVE IT!!! I think you are reading my mind. I have been wanting a desk, and have been trying to figure out a way to build one, maybe using a piece of inexpensive ikea butcher block as a top....I will stay tuned!

Crystal (not verified)

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 13:22

I check your blog everyday for new items, but would be fine with a weekly post! ha, like my opinion matters...
but I wanted to thank you for sharing your talent and I cant wait to build some furniture for our house. I plan to start with the farmhouse bed and move on to media stuff.
If you are going to make furniture for a web show, you should then sell it on ebay or Craigs List. People will buy it! I would...

Braden and Melanie (not verified)

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 17:07

I cannot explain how happy I am that you are going to make plans for the desk. I have wanted this desk system since I was in highschool. I have been searching for something similar to no avail for months, and the day that I almomst gave up and bought posted the logan base and gave me hope again! Thank you Thank you Thank you!

Amanda (not verified)

Fri, 01/22/2010 - 10:07

Great idea! I've been wanting to build something like this in my library (the first picture) so I can hardly wait for all the rest of the plans! Thanks so much!

tinav307 (not verified)

Tue, 01/26/2010 - 08:51

Ok so I am going to try to build this logan 24" base and am trying to understand the plans so I can go buy mdf. I am not sure if I am understanding correctly but you say to cut the 3/4 inch mdf 23 1/2 inchs wide and 8' long and you say you get 4 strips, if mdf is 4x8 my calculations aren't adding up. Does that mean in the original lumber list it should have been 2 sheets of 3/4" mdf? I am somewhat new to building and this will be the biggest project i have taken on so I could be reading wrong.
Thanks again for your site and I can't wait to build all kinds of things from it. Are you going to post the desk plans too? thanks Tina

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