Secretary from the Modular Office Collection

Primary tabs

Secretary from the Modular Office Collection

This simple beautiful secretary closes up to conceal your office workstation. Paint it a fun color for added pizazz and to make bill paying and mail sorting more glamorous. Special thanks to our readers for sharing their photos.

HANDMADE FROM THIS PLAN >>

Projects built from this plan. Thank you for submitting brag posts, it's appreciated by all!

Author Notes: 

This plan is for the secretary hutch, and does not include the base unit.  You can find the base unit plans <a href="http://dev.ana-white.com/acquia-drupal-1.2.33/2010/02/plans-modular-offi...">here.</a>

Shopping List: 

3 – Sets of Euro Style Hinges, Inset Mount, for Frameless Cabinets, 95 degree opening angle (can be more) 

1 – Set of Support Hinges
1 – Sheet of MDF or A1 Plywood cut into 1×16 strips 
2 – 1×2 
4′ of 1×10 board 
2″ Nails
Label Holders and Handles or Pulls 
2″ Nails or Screws 
1 1/4″ Nails 
Wood Glue 
Wood Filler 
Sand Paper 
Finishing Supplies
Tools: 
measuring tape
square
pencil
safety glasses
hearing protection
Dimensions: 
With Base Unit 56" tall x 41" wide x 17" Deep (closed)
Cut List: 

2 – 1×16 @ 38 1/2″ (Shelves) 

1 – 1×16 @ 40″ (Top) 
2 – 1×16 @ 28 3/4″ (Sides) 
1 – 1×16 @ 11 1/4″ (Divider for Top Shelves) 
1 – 1/4″ Plywood @ 40″ x 29 1/2″ (Back) 
1 – 1×2 @ 38 1/2″ (Fold down top stopper)
2 – 1×2 @ 18 7/8″ (Top Inside Trim)
2 – 1×2 @ 15 1/2″ (Top Side Trim) 
1 – 1×2 @ 41 1/2″ (Top Face Trim)

Doors 

1 – 1×16 @ 38 1/4 (measure to fit. leave 1/8′ gap around all sides) 
2 – 1×10 @ 18 5/8 (measure to fit, leave 1/8″ gap around all sides
Step 1: 

This plan is for the hutch and does not include the base unit.

Step 2 Instructions: 

Build the Box. Begin by fastening the top divider to the top shelf, as shown above. Then fasten the shelves to the sides. And then fasten the top in place. Use glue and 2″ nails or screws.

Step 3 Instructions: 

Back. Take a square of the project and fasten the back in place using 1 1/4″ nails and glue. Make sure you fasten to the center divider and top shelf, too.

Step 4 Instructions: 

Flip Down Door Stop. Using the 1 1/4″ nails and glue, fasten the flip down door stop as shown above. Leave 3/4″ clearance from the front of the cabinet. Also fasten from the sides into the ends of the flip down door stop.

Step 5 Instructions: 

Top Trims. Fasten the top trim, flush with the face of the cabinet. Use the 2″ nails and glue.

Step 6 Instructions: 

Side Trim. Using the 1 1/4″ nails and glue, fasten the side trim to the top, as shown above. Make sure you nail into both the top and the sides to reinforce the joints.

Step 7 Instructions: 

Front Trim. As shown above, fasten the front trim in place with the 1 1/4″ nails and glue. Fasten to the top, divider, and the top trim pieces.

Step 8 Instructions: 

Hinges. Fasten the flip down door with the inset euro style hinges, meant for frameless cabinets. Adjust the hinges until the flip down fits best. Then add the support hinges. Choose support hinges that have a total expansion less than 20″ but greater than 10″. Adjust the support hinges so that the flip down sits at a 90 degree angle to the cabinet. You can alternately use a continuous hinge, also called a piano hinge, 30″ in length, on the bottom edge. You will still need the support hinges. The pin edge in the continuous hinge will be visible when the door is closed.

Step 9 Instructions: 

Top Doors. Wouldn’t this make more sense than those doors of Pottery Barn’s? Unless you like balancing on a chair that swivels and has wheels to get to your top drawer, I say the cabinet doors are smarter. Fasten the remaining 2 sets of euro style hinges to the doors. Adjust so the door faces fit centered in the openings. You could also leave the doors off and add baskets for a very functional top.

Project Type: 
Estimated Cost: 
Skill Level: 
Style: 

Comments

oh, thank you, know my hubby has no reason to wait to start this project! I think mine are going to be the color of a blue ball jar. I am actually taking one to the paint store today to see if they can somehow color match it.

I love this. I need a bigger desktop becuase I work from home, but this would be great for my daughter's room in a few years. Nice homework desk without having extra space taken up!

Yes...I'm wondering about the budget breakdown as well. The project does look easy enough Anna!

Thanks so much! I'm a huge fan of your blog! Please keep it up! I haven't tried anything yet, but this might be the first! I'm in the middle of planning a wedding at the moment, but after that, I'll be doing all kinds of crafty DIY things non-stop!

My Dad started building this unit for me today!!! Can't wait for the finished product. Thanks so much for the plan. Will definitely submit pictures and comments when complete.

Hi Ana,

I'm building my own secretary hutch. So far I've worked on it the past two weekends, and I'm almost done. The reason why I haven't finished yet is: I cannot find the 12" undermount drawer slides ANYWHERE. I live in a smallish town, but I've checked Lowes, Home Depot, Fastenal, and all the cabinet makers in town. No one seems to carry these. Any advice? Has anyone seen them anywhere?

Someone asked for a budget breakdown: I did all my shopping at Lowes, and have spent about $240 total, without paint. The paint I had. That's also counting 2 special drill bits that I bought.

[Is this what we're supposed to do? Just post anywhere, on one of our favorite KOW plans for the Kreg giveaway?]

I don't have a favorite post to comment on--I have such a long list of projects that I want to do! I just got married in March, and I graduated from school last Friday, so now I need to move in a little bit, and then I'll be able to furnish our little house, I hope. :)

This will be one of my first projects, I think, a desk for our guest bedroom.

As for my favorite Kreg Jig project, there are so many neat ones! One of the projects I like is a toy box (http://kregjig.ning.com/photo/toybox2-1?context=latest). For a long time I've wanted to build a cedar chest, for no particular reason, and seeing that toy box kind of reminded me that I've ALWAYS wanted to build!

[I remember a couple years ago I started looking for a woodworking class through an adult ed program, just for fun. I ended up not doing one because I was working full time and going to school full time, and actually really didn't have time, PLUS I didn't have a car and buses were..interesting, so "bring your project!" wasn't going to work. Anyway, the Kreg Jig community site reminds me a lot of a site I found (and enjoyed!) back then--LumberJocks. I still receive their e-mails, and I visit the LJ site from time to time to see what people are up to. I'll have to spend more time looking at the Kreg site, and then hopefully (whether I win one or have to save up for one) I'll get one (!) and I'll be able to post pictures of my own projects.)

If I won the Kreg Jig, I would use it anywhere that would make sense! You posted the picture of Albert's planter and I just started building a (very, very simple) planter a couple days ago! I would use the Kreg Jig to add some trim to it, and then I would use it to build the other ones. I think the Kreg Jig looks like the kind of thing I would start using and wonder how I ever did projects without it, because I think I would just use it all the time (as we fix up our old little house, and as I get started with our furniture).

Such a long comment, but I just felt like I had a lot to say. Thanks for everything!

I just finished modifying these plans to fit a 28" wide wall, and rather than the include the base unit, I'm just going to have this with a cute chair that sits under it when not in use, consturction starts tomorrow!

Great project! I was wondering if the part that opens and lays down, does it lay flat with the inside shelf?

We want to use this idea and translate it into a built in bar. We just tore out a very sloppily designed bar in a niche in our mid century style house. We have so little storage in the house (and the rooms are too narrow to really use much storage furniture) that we want to turn that niche into a bar with a pull down table, lighted glass cabinet for our glassware on top, and with a cabinet that has pull out shelves for our booze on the bottom (we'd buy the pull out shelves as a kit).

Has anyone done anything similar to this? If so can you share your photos and any advice?

This is a very good design. I love drop-down desks! Such a good way to add some work space and hide paper clutter at the same time! I built something similar to this about 30 years ago from 3/4" plywood and pine trim and mounted it on a little dresser I already had. It's still going strong. I recommend using plywood, not MDF or particle board. Plywood is more expensive to buy, but it's much stronger and less heavy, easier to cut, wears better, and it holds screws or nails a lot better than either MDF or particle board. Don't waste your money or your time building this with cheap materials that won't last. Use good plywood instead. Just my 3 cents (inflation, you know!)

This is a very good design. I love drop-down desks! Such a good way to add some work space and hide paper clutter at the same time! I built something similar to this about 30 years ago from 3/4" plywood and pine trim and mounted it on a little dresser I already had. It's still going strong. I recommend using plywood, not MDF or particle board. Plywood is more expensive to buy, but it's much stronger and less heavy, easier to cut, wears better, and it holds screws or nails a lot better than either MDF or particle board. Don't waste your money or your time building this with cheap materials that won't last. Use good plywood instead. Just my 3 cents (inflation, you know!)

Do you or anyone know if table hinges can be used for the top two doors at the top or if the Euro style hinges needs to be used?

The reason I ask is because the table hinges are cheaper (or the one I am thinking about is .86 at http://www.dlawlesshardware.com/dropleaftabh2.html)
and I am thinking for the size of the doors at the top are small enough to these hinges.

Please advise
Newbie in GA

I really want to build the base of this but I cant find the plans anywhere. I realize they would be very similar to this so maybe there just never was one? if anyone could help me find it though that would be great!
Thanks!

I am definitely a huge fan of this work so much here. You have definitely put out some great videos and songs out. You will be getting so much from their talent here.

Book of ra online