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Secretary from the Modular Office Collection

February 20, 2010 |
posted by Ana White
PDF versionPDF version

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.

Secretary from the Modular Office Collection

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About Project

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-office-collection-bookcase-you-can-built-it.html">here.</a>

Dimensions

Dimensions: 
Secretary from the Modular Office Collection
Dimensions: 
With Base Unit 56" tall x 41" wide x 17" Deep (closed)

Materials and Tools

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
drill
circular saw
table saw
nailer
sander

Cut List

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

Secretary from the Modular Office Collection

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

Step 2

Secretary from the Modular Office Collection

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

Secretary from the Modular Office Collection

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

Secretary from the Modular Office Collection

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

Secretary from the Modular Office Collection

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

Step 6

Secretary from the Modular Office Collection

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

Secretary from the Modular Office Collection

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

Secretary from the Modular Office Collection

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

Secretary from the Modular Office Collection

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.

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your title is misspelled.

your title is misspelled. feel free to delete my comment :)

posted by Tasha (not verified) | on Sat, 2010-02-20 06:14

Wow, I love this one. I'm

Wow, I love this one. I'm thinking turquoise and in the rec room we're hoping to redo...ahhh...dreams.

posted by Catherine (not verified) | on Sat, 2010-02-20 06:19

I LOVE this desk. Covet

I LOVE this desk. Covet covet covet!

posted by Barefoot Books Liz (not verified) | on Sat, 2010-02-20 07:04

oh, thank you, know my hubby

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.

posted by Jeannine (not verified) | on Sat, 2010-02-20 08:09

A quick question - when you

A quick question - when you paint your furniture do you use oil based or latex?

posted by Jeannine (not verified) | on Sat, 2010-02-20 08:10

I love this. I need a bigger

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!

posted by Kathy V (not verified) | on Sat, 2010-02-20 10:11

I don't see the piece for the

I don't see the piece for the "drop down" in the cut list, am I missing something?

posted by Jeannine (not verified) | on Sat, 2010-02-20 11:24

Does anyone have the budget

Does anyone have the budget break down for this project? Please and thank you!

posted by Anonymous (not verified) | on Sat, 2010-02-20 22:21

www.healthy-looks.com

www.healthy-looks.com Hi there to every body, it�s my first pay a quick visit of this blog; this website carries remarkable and really good material in support of readers.

posted by furqan123 | on Mon, 2013-03-18 03:56

Yes...I'm wondering about the

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!

posted by - - - Little Miss Martha - - - (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-02-22 07:35

My Dad started building this

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.

posted by Penny Murray (not verified) | on Thu, 2010-02-25 09:00

Hi Ana,I'm building my own

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.

posted by thisnomad (not verified) | on Thu, 2010-03-11 16:48

[Is this what we're supposed

[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!

posted by Emily (not verified) | on Wed, 2010-05-12 12:44

I love this.. it would be

I love this.. it would be perfect in black in our bedroom!

posted by Stephanie (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-10-04 20:04

The link for the tools

The link for the tools doesn't work for me =( I'm going to try to build this as my first project....yikes!

posted by Elisa (not verified) | on Fri, 2010-10-08 08:02

I just finished modifying

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!

posted by Katelyn (not verified) | on Sat, 2010-11-06 22:04

the link for the base unit is

the link for the base unit is a dead link, goes back to your old site.

posted by Niki (not verified) | on Sat, 2010-11-27 01:01

Great project! I was

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

posted by Jess (not verified) | on Tue, 2011-01-04 17:53

Where do I find the base unit

Where do I find the base unit plans? I'm really excited to build this, but don't want to only build the hutch!

posted by Wendy (not verified) | on Wed, 2011-01-19 18:35
clips

Paint color?

LOVE the paint color!!!  What is it?  This is exactly what I am looking for!

posted by klz3469 | on Thu, 2011-03-31 07:11

Bar Adaptation

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?

posted by CrankyKitty (not verified) | on Mon, 2012-06-04 10:30

maybe you can be inspired to

maybe you can be inspired to join this plan with the modular bar collection. http://ana-white.com/2012/03/plans/modular-bar-base-door

posted by babysteps | on Mon, 2012-06-04 12:40

Plywood, not MDF

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!)

posted by wimsy (not verified) | on Thu, 2012-06-21 08:24

Plywood, not MDF

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!)

posted by wimsy (not verified) | on Thu, 2012-06-21 08:25

Can Table Hinges be used?

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

posted by Newbie in GA (not verified) | on Sun, 2012-08-12 14:47

Base Plans

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!

posted by Connollye11 | on Tue, 2013-05-28 07:24

Here is the link for the base

Here is the link for the base :)
Enjoy,
http://ana-white.com/2010/02/plans-modular-office-collection-bookcase-yo...

~Jaime~

posted by Jaime8017 | on Wed, 2013-06-26 15:21

well post

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

posted by amit | on Wed, 2013-05-29 02:53

Hey Guys, Here is the plans

Hey Guys,
Here is the plans for the modular office collection wide bookcase. I had issues finding it as well but here it is :)
Enjoy
http://ana-white.com/2010/02/plans-modular-office-collection-bookcase-yo...

~Jaime~

posted by Jaime8017 | on Wed, 2013-06-26 15:20

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