Dec
10
2012
Project Image

Free DIY Furniture Plans to Build a Ballard Designs Inspired Emerson Secretary Chest. This piece is so fantastic that I think I need one right this second!

Ps...I hope you will join us for the remaining giveaways we have going on, and stay tuned for the winner announcement for the Home Depot Gift cards from PureBond!

Showcase: Built From These PlansI am so honored each and every time one of you fine friends builds from these very plans! If you have built this piece, please take a moment and showcase your build! We are dying to see your fabulous hard work!

Estimated Cost

$100-$150

Dimensions
Dimensions for This Project
Tools
  • Tape Measure
  • Saw – Jig, Circular, or Miter
  • Drill
  • Countersink Bit for Drill
  • Square
  • Sander
  • Kreg Jig
  • Brad Nailer
Lumber
  • 3 sheets of ¾” plywood
  • 5 – 1x2 at 8’
  • 1 – 1x4 at 6’
  • 4 – 1x6 at 8’
  • 1 – 2x2 at 4’
  • 2 – Baseboard or Casing Trim at 8’
Materials
  • 1-1/4” pocket hole screws
  • 1-1/2” pocket hole screws
  • 1-1/4” screws
  • 1-1/4” brad nails
  • Edge banding for plywood, optional
  • One set of hinges
  • One set of drop front supports (like these for writing surface)
  • Two magnetic catches
  • 6 sets of 10” drawer slides
  • Drawer pulls or handles for the drawers and writing surface
  • Wood filler
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood glue
  • Finishing Supplies
Cut List
  •  2 – ¾” plywood at 12-1/4” x 53-1/4” – Sides
  • 1 – ¾” plywood at 12-1/4” x 58-1/2” – Bottom
  • 2 – ¾” plywood at 24-3/8” x 58-1/2” – Back
  • 1 – ¾” plywood at 11-1/2” x 58-1/2” – Center Shelf
  • 1 – ¾” plywood at 3-3/4” x 12-1/4” – Bottom Support
  • 2 – ¾” plywood at 11-1/2” x 23-1/4” – Dividers
  • 2 – ¾” plywood at 11-1/2” x 18” – Side Shelves
  • 2 – 1x2 at 53-1/4” – Front Frame
  • 1 – 1x4 at 57” – Front Frame
  • 1 – 1x2 at 57” – Front Frame
  • 1 – 1x6 (ripped to 4-1/2” wide) at 57” – Front Frame
  • 2 – 1x2 at 19-3/4” – Front Frame
  • 1 – 1x2 at 24” – Front Frame
  • 2 – 1x2 at 16-1/2” – Front Frame
  • 4 – 1x2 at 27-3/4” – Front Frame
  • 6 – 1x2 at 11-1/2” – Drawer Slide Supports
  • 3 – 2x2 at 11-1/2” – Drawer Slide Supports
  • 1 – ¾” plywood at 13-3/4” x 61-1/2” – Top
  • 4 – trim at 13” – Side Trim
  • 2 – trim at 61-1/2” – Front Trim
  • 1 – ¾” plywood at 19-1/2” x 20-3/4” – Writing Surface
  • 6 – ¾” plywood at 9-1/2” x 25-1/4” – Drawer Bottoms
  • 12 – 1x6 at 9-1/2” – Drawer Sides
  • 12 – 1x6 at 26-3/4” – Drawer Front & Back
  • 6 – ¾” plywood at 6-3/4” x 27-1/2” – Drawer Fronts
Instructions

Before beginning to build, always check in on my site to make sure you have the most up to date set of plans, I occasionally update and change the plans to make the building process easier or to allow for less expensive purchasing of materials! Read through the entire set of instructions and all comments before beginning this project. If you print out or save plans, be sure to check in on my site to be sure you have the most up to date set of plans, as I occasionally update things for ease of building or buying. If you are new to building, read through the GETTING STARTED section and other articles found under the BUILD tab in the menu on my site, it has valuable information about how to get started, tools and techniques. If you are unfamiliar with the finishing process, visit my Finishing school for some tips and tricks for painting like a pro and for special finishing practices. Use glue to secure your joints and Consider Painting or Staining individual sections prior to assembling. This makes the paint application virtually flawless. Coat with a spray on Poly or Wipe on Poly to protect your finish and your piece and it will last for ages. Adhere to all safety standards and guidelines, and be sure you follow safety protocol throughout your build. If you are unsure about whether you are building safely, run a quick online search for the tool or technique you are using, or contact me via email or post to the forum before you move ahead. My contact info can be found in the menu of my site.

Step 1

Edge banding should be applied to exposed edges of plywood before assembly.

Cut the pieces for the sides and the bottom. Set the Kreg jig for ¾” material and drill pocket holes in each end of the bottom piece as well as the top edge of the side pieces. Attach the bottom to the sides as shown using glue and 1-1/4” pocket hole screws.

Step 1
Step 2

Cut the pieces for the back. Drill pocket holes around all four edges of each piece as shown. Secure the pieces to each other using glue and 1-1/4” pocket hole screws.

Attach the back to the sides and bottom using glue and 1-1/4” pocket hole screws.

Step 2
Step 3

Cut the piece for the center shelf. Drill pocket holes in the side edges as well as one of the long edges for the back. Attach to the cabinet as shown using glue and 1-1/4” pocket holes.

Cut the piece for the bottom support. Drill pocket holes in one long edge. Secure to the bottom as shown using glue and 1-1/4” pocket hole screws.

Step 3
Step 3
Step 4

Cut the pieces for the dividers. Drill pocket holes in each end as well as one long edge for the back. Attach to the cabinet as shown using glue and 1-1/4” pocket holes.

Step 4
Step 5

Cut the pieces for the side shelves. Drill pocket holes in each end as well as one long edge for the back. Attach to the cabinet as shown using glue and 1-1/4” pocket holes.

Step 5
Step 6

Cut the pieces for the front frame. Drill pocket holes in each end of each piece except for the sides. Start with the longest horizontal pieces as shown in the first drawing and attach them to the sides using glue and 1-1/4” pocket hole screws.

Attach the pieces shown in the second drawing as shown using glue and 1-1/4” pocket hole screws.

Attach the pieces as shown in the third drawing using glue and 1-1/4” pocket hole screws.

Attach the entire frame assembly to the front of the cabinet using glue and 1-1/4” brad nails. The tops of the frame pieces at the side shelves and the center shelves should be flush with the tops of the shelves.

Step 6
Step 6
Step 6
Step 6
Step 7

Cut the pieces for the drawer slide supports. Set the Kreg jig for 1-1/2” material and drill pocket holes in each end of the 2x2 pieces only. Attach to the center of the drawer area on the frame (as well as to the back) using glue and 1-1/2” pocket hole screws.

Attach the 1x2 drawer slide supports using glue and 1-1/4” brad nails.

The bottom edge of the supports should be even with the top edge of the frame pieces (see the drawing).

Step 7
Step 8

Cut the piece for the top. The sides and front will overlap by ¾”. Secure to the cabinet using glue and 1-1/4” pocket hole screws from the underside.

Cut the pieces for the upper and lower trim. Attach the side pieces first, then attach the front pieces using glue and 1-1/4” brad nails.

Step 8
Step 8
Step 9

Cut the piece for the writing surface. There will be a 1/8” gap around all sides. Attach the hinges to the bottom of the surface to the cabinet according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Attach the drop-front supports to the sides of the opening and the writing surface according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Attach the magnetic catches to the inside of the top of the writing surface.

Step 9
Step 10

Cut the pieces for the drawer boxes. Set the Kreg jig for ¾” material and drill pocket holes in all four edges of the bottom as well as each end of the sides. Attach the bottom to the sides using glue and 1-1/4” pocket hole screws.
Cut the pieces for the front and back of the drawer boxes. Attach to the sides and bottom using glue and 1-1/4” pocket hole screws.
Install the drawer slides according to the manufacturer’s instructions. For an easy tutorial, <a href="http://designsbystudioc.com/how-to-install-drawer-slides/">click here</a>. Make any necessary adjustments.

Step 10
Step 10
Step 11

Cut the pieces for the drawer fronts. There will be a 1/8” gap around all sides. For another easy tutorial, click here. Install the drawer hardware.

Finishing Instructions

Fill any Screw, Nail or Pocket Holes, Sand and Finish as Desired. For Finishing Tips and Tricks visit my Finishing School

Disclaimer

**Disclaimer: Some rights reserved. Private use only. Feel Free to link to any of my plans so long as you provide an adequate link back to the appropriate post! Plans from this page are not to be used for commercial purposes or republished without the express written consent of Rayan Turner, The Design Confidential I hope to provide accurate plans, however, I cannot guarantee each plan for accuracy. Not every plan that I post has been built and tested, so you are building at your own risk. It is recommended that you have a clear understanding of how the project works before beginning any project. Please contact me if you find an error or inaccuracy so that I might fix it.

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