Modular Office - Narrow Drawer Base Unit

Submitted by Ana White on Mon, 02/25/2019 - 09:18
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Build your own office with our Modular Office Collection of plans!

In this woodworking plan, you can build a narrow double drawer base for that can support a desktop.  These roomy drawers can be used for storing files, extra supplies, crafts and more.  Our free step by step plans include full diagrams, shopping and cut lists.

build your own office desk system drawer base
modular office build your own drawer base
Dimensions shown above, works with plans in our modular office collection


Shopping List
  • 1 - 3/4" plywood half sheet (4x4) ripped into strips 15-1/2" wide x 4 feet long OR one strip, 15-1/2" wide x 8 feet long
  • 1/4" plywood, 48" x 24" (can use smaller scraps, you'll need two pieces 17" x 14")
  • 1 - 1x2 @ 8 feet long
  • 1 - 1x4 @ 4 feet long
  • 1 - 1x12 @ 3 feet long
  • 2 sets of 14" drawer slides (white euro slides recommended)
  • We recommend a Kreg Jig for joinery with 1-1/4" pocket hole screws, but you can also build with 2" self tapping wood screws
  • Iron on edge banding if you want to finish the front exposed plywood edges to match the wood grain.  You'll need a razor knife to trim excess off.  If you plan to paint, you can fill the plywood edges with wood filler and sand smooth.
Common Materials
3/4 inch finish nails
1 1/4 inch finish nails
120 grit sandpaper
Cut List


  • 2 - 3/4" plywood @ 15-1/2" x 29" - sides
  • 2 - 1x4 @ 18" - base trim
  • 4 - 1x2 @ 18" - top and middle trim
  • 1 - 3/4" plywood @ 15-1/2" x 19-1/2" - top


  • 4 - 1x8 @ 14"
  • 4 - 1x8 @ 15-1/2"
  • 2 - 1/4" plywood @ 17" x 14"




Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander


Step 1

TIP: If you want to finish the front edges of plywood with edge banding, do so now instead of later.  You only need to apply edge banding to the side front edges.

We recommend attaching the 1x boards to the plywood with 3/4" pocket holes and 1-1/4" pocket hole screws, but you can also use 2" self tapping wood screws and glue.

Clamping down the board while you attach the plywood can help if you don't have an extra person to help hold things in place.

Step 2

Attach top with 1-1/4" brad nails and glue, all outside edges are flush.

Step 3

Build the drawer with either 3/4" pocket holes and 1-1/4" pocket hole screws or 1-1/4" brad nails and glue.

Attach bottoms with 3/4" brad nails and glue.

NOTE: You can build a deeper drawer by using 1x10s instead of 1x8s.  You can save some money and use 1x6s but the drawer sides won't be as tall.

Install drawer members of the drawer slides on the bottom of the drawers.  The drawer box should be inset 3/4" from the front edge of the cabinet.

Step 4

Install cabinet members of the drawer slides inside the cabinet.

Step 5

Test drawer slide fit.  If you need to adjust, now is the time.  Make sure everything slides smoothly and easily.

Step 6

Position 1x12 on front of the drawer.  The cabinet should be setting upright (Do NOT lay on back to attach).

Attach with a few 1-1/4" brad nails from front avoiding areas where you may add drawer hardware.

Remove drawer and add 1-1/4" screws from back to further attach.

Step 7

Add side trim with 1-1/4" brad nails and glue.

Step 8

Measure and cut to fit the front trim as it may vary slightly on final step and you want this piece to look nice.

Attach with 1-1/4" brad nails and glue.


Karla (not verified)

Thu, 02/25/2010 - 09:23

You are most correct, Ana. Details, details, details... :) I can't wait for spring so I can start garage, in I must wait. :(

brandi (not verified)

Thu, 02/25/2010 - 09:41

Ana, what would I need to do to make those drawers capable of holding files? Is there hardware that can be purchased and installed?

tawna (not verified)

Thu, 02/25/2010 - 10:02

I am in total agreement that the hardware can make an item. (i LOVE your site, btw...)

question: has anyone had any luck finding hardware like the beloved PB's? I LOVE the hinged pulls and the label holders...

There are so many of us out there building and itching to build using your fabulous plans- and the hardware is KEY to top it off! Is there anyway of creating a page/section where viewers can post pics of their hardware as well as where they found it?

THANK YOU THANK YOU for all your work!!

Yolanda (not verified)

Thu, 02/25/2010 - 12:19

Re: drawer pulls

I love working my google muscle to find things, but I found it VERY hard to locate a high-polished nickel drop pull like the Pottery Barn ones. But here are a few possibilities for people who are looking. I used the search terms "bail pull” and “drop pull”.

Satin Chrome Cabinet pull—

Classic Hardware Card Holder Pull—…

Mission Style Drop Pull —…

Hardware Resources Matte Black Pull—

Rae (not verified)

Thu, 02/25/2010 - 12:21

I'm mistaken, I think a minor error in math on the shopping list. The shopping list says 26" of a 1x16 but the cut list says 2 - 1x16 and cut them into 13.5" pieces. that's 27" inches of 1x16 (13.5 x 2).

Love this collection, that will probably be my 2nd project once I make my bunk beds :) Thanks!

Sona Jacob (not verified)

Thu, 02/25/2010 - 19:13


Very neat!!

What software do you use to create the initial view? Of all the units put together?


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