Secretary from the Modular Office Collection

Submitted by Ana White on Fri, 02/19/2010 - 22:46
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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.

This plan is for the secretary hutch, and does not include the base unit.  You can find the base unit plans <a href="…">here.</a>

With Base Unit 56" tall x 41" wide x 17" Deep (closed)


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
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)


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


Step 1

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

Step 2

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

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

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

Step 6

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

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

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

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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Penny Murray (not verified)

Thu, 02/25/2010 - 06:00

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.

thisnomad (not verified)

Thu, 03/11/2010 - 13:48

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.

Emily (not verified)

Wed, 05/12/2010 - 10:44

[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 ( 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!

Katelyn (not verified)

Sat, 11/06/2010 - 20:04

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!

Jess (not verified)

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 14:53

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

Wendy (not verified)

Wed, 01/19/2011 - 15:35

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