Modular Office - Wide Bookshelf/File Base

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Turn a simple bookcase into a drawer! With this simple plan, you can modify the Modular System Wide Base to become a file storage (or anything else) system. Acutal reader photo built from this plan

Fits inside the Modular Office Wide Open Base Cabinet


Shopping List

Shopping List for ONE Drawer
1 – Set of 12″ Undermount Drawer Slides
6′ – 1×10 Board
4′ – 1×12 Board
1 – 1×16, 4′ Length
2″ Screws
Wood Filler
Finishing Supplies
Optional – Lateral File Hanging System

Common Materials
2 inch screws
1 1/4 inch finish nails
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
Cut List

Cut List for ONE Drawer
Bottom) 1 – 1×16 @ 37 1/2″ (You will need to trim the long edge 1″)
Sides) 2 – 1×10 @ 14 1/2″
Back) 1- 1×10 @ 36″
Face) 1 – 1×10 @ 38 1/4″ (Measure to fit)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Brad Nailer
General Instructions

Follow the same general directions you used to build the Modular Office Wide Open Base Unit


Step 1

Bottom. Cut your bottom out of a 1×16 leftover from the bookcases. Then you will need to trim the long edge 1″ to get the above measurements.

Step 2

Sides. Fasten the sides as shown above, using 2″ screws and glue.

Step 3

Back. Fasten the back to the sides. Also fasten through the bottom into the back. Use 2″ screws and glue.

Slides. Install the drawer into the bookcase using the undermount slides. The drawer will be inset from the front of the bookcase 3/4″.

Step 4

Slides. Install the drawer into the bookcase using the undermount slides. The drawer will be inset from the front of the bookcase 3/4″.


Mom (not verified)

Fri, 02/19/2010 - 04:55

Ana~ you inspire me every day. I am planning on getting a nail gun this weekend so that I can start on the many projects I have in mind.

Hutchings Home (not verified)

Fri, 02/19/2010 - 05:52

Thank you so much! This is just what I requested. I may try and put doors instead of drawers on these. Thanks a MILLION!

Christy (not verified)

Fri, 02/19/2010 - 06:35

Hey Ana,

Are you thinking of adding plans for the "pull down desk top" that was pictured yesterday with the bookcase? I'd love to make that, just don't know how to do it.

Ana White (not verified)

Fri, 02/19/2010 - 08:14

Thanks Kelli! And yes, can't wait to put up the plans for the secretary top. I love this collection, it's so simple and all the pieces build on each other!

Amber (not verified)

Fri, 02/19/2010 - 09:02

Love it! Just referred my brother to your sight because his wife has always wanted him to build something for her for her birthday, they've been married almost 6 years! I told him this is the year with your blog! He is so stoked!

Beth (not verified)

Fri, 02/19/2010 - 09:26

Ana, drawers are intimidating. If you are thinking of doing another video would you please do a feature on adding the slides. I can't wrap my head around how it's done without actually seeing it done. Love your blog, I can't wait to try to build something.

snowphish27 (not verified)

Fri, 02/19/2010 - 12:16

I agree with Beth--I'd love an "Ana tutorial" on how to do drawers & slides. I think many of us would be more willing to tackle projects with drawers with some more of your awesome tips!

mrs. c (not verified)

Fri, 02/19/2010 - 12:44

I am so inspired by your ability to make all these wonderful things...I passed this site on to my daughter( who asked for an air compressor and nail gun for Christmas) and she is in love with all your stuff!

Shelane (not verified)

Mon, 03/08/2010 - 20:48

I think I'm going to try this tomorrow...

From what I understand of the plans, I think the drawer front is going to end up being too short. The opening in the drawing is 11.75" high and the drawer is cut from 10" boards. I would think you'd want the drawer front to measure 11". Is this right, or am I reading things wrong?

LedaP (not verified)

Fri, 03/19/2010 - 18:24

What is the 4 ' 1X12 board for? It looks like everything but the bottom of the drawer is cut from 1X10's??

Please advise, because I want to cut the drawers ASAP. The rest if finished...thanks, Leda

LedaP (not verified)

Fri, 03/19/2010 - 18:28

oh, I'm guessing the drawer front is cut from the 1X12 based on the last comment before my question. Is that right?

June (not verified)

Sat, 04/16/2011 - 10:59

Ana - the directions in step 1 say the bottom is 36.5", but the illustration says 37.5". Can you clarify this for me? Thanks.

BarbLP (not verified)

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 19:50

I am having a horrible time finding slides that will work in for this project. I finally found some on line that are 12" and undermount rated at a decent weight however in the document tab it states that the drawer slide = outside drawer box length. SO I am wondering do I actually need a 14 or 15" slide?!?!?!?!?

BarbLP (not verified)

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 19:56

I will be having a baby via c-section in 9 days and have purchased on 2 seperate occassions 2 different types of slides (the nearest orange or blue store is 3 hours away) and I really would like to get this prject complete before baby arrives so that I can FINALLY have all my paperwork in an appropriate space. THANKS

june (not verified)

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 21:00

Barb, I got 12" Accuride slides from Woodcraft and they work great. I had a hard time with this one too!
Congratulations on your baby!

BarbLP (not verified)

Wed, 06/22/2011 - 06:51

Thanks!! Those were the ones I was looking at online, I will order today then.

Guest (not verified)

Wed, 08/10/2011 - 06:37

Were is the link to the cabinet that the drawers fit in I cant find them

Guest (not verified)

Thu, 08/11/2011 - 05:15

this is the same link to the drawers which is what is pictured above I am looking for the unit the drawers fit it

Guest (not verified)

Sun, 08/28/2011 - 02:57

I have seen 2 ways to attach a drawer bottom: inside the sides, and under the sides.

What are the criteria for choosing one over the other? Which will hold more weight? How do undermount vs sidemount slides influence the choice?

I am planning to combine features of this plan, plus "Eco Office File Base - Made with PureBond Formaldehyde Free Plywood" to make a 'chest of drawers' for the kitchen.