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.


Leigh (not verified)

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 00:48

Thank you for posting this! I want to make some of these cabinets and turn it into the base of a desk in my kitchen. If I am going to paint them, what should I use for the top of the desk? Plywood? MDF?

Thank you again, can't wait to get building.

Moose (not verified)

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 04:05

You're the best Ana! Remember to take some time for yourself occasionally...even if that means you dont post on the blog for a few days.

Renee (not verified)

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 04:43

Thank you so much for posting these plans! I've had my eye on Logan for a long time, but can't stomach paying PB's price :( Now it's looking like I might actually be able to get my living room organized :)

Thank you! Thank you! The wheels in my head are already turning as to the configuration of Logan units I need to house all our stuff :)

Nancy_Drew (not verified)

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 04:44

We found you through Shanty2Chic and we love your site!!!

I, like Leigh, am looking for cabinets with a desk for my kitchen. This is a great start. Thanks for all the ideas!

Fitness Journey (not verified)

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 04:45

Ana!! You are amazing!! I only discovered your blog recently (like 1.5 wks ago) and can not stop looking at it!! This is my fav website!! Do you think there is a chance that you will be posting plans for the Logan Modular Small Wall Unit, you know, the unit in the photo at the top of your post, with the glass doors?

I appreciate all the time you put in to your blog. Remember to take some time for yourself! :)

Andrea (not verified)

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 05:09

I want you to know that every time I see the little "Knock of Wood" in bold in my google reader, it is like Christmas! Thank you so much for all the time I know this takes! You're a rock star. :)

Carol Anne (not verified)

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 05:44

I found you through Young House Love, and I absolutely ADORE your blog! My hubby and I just moved into our first house from an apartment, so we have no furniture and no money! hehe This is a perfect solution! When the dust settles and we can start on projects, I'll be sure to share photos! Thank you for all your hard work and good luck with HGTV!

Fitness Journey (not verified)

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 05:45

OMG I need to post again. Are those bases with doors the same on both photos? The media unit and the small wall unit? It looks like they are!

kira (not verified)

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 06:11

Thank you so much for all the hard work you put into this site! my husband & i are so excited to start some projects (once the tax return comes that is ... lol). Thank you, thank you, thank you! :)

Juls (not verified)

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 06:28

In RE: to what to do with all the furniture, You could Auction or sell it for Charity, Or sell it to get more wood for future endeavors.

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