Free Woodworking Plans to Build a West Elm Inspired Mod Office 3 Drawer Unit

07.01.11 By //
Project Image

I am excited to share this series with you because I am in desperate need of office furniture and I love how flexible and customizable this collection is.

We are going to begin with the 3 Drawer Unit and I will share the table top plans with you next.

Dimensions for This Project

  • Tape Measure
  • Sander
  • Drill
  • Iron – for the edge banding.
  • Saw – a jig saw, table saw or circular saw will be needed to make cuts and carve out the hand holds
  • Kreg Jig – Optional, and can be built without one, but will have a few unsightly attachments (make sure you countersink to prevent this as much as possible if you aren't using a Pocket Hole System) for this project and as is the case with most projects, would definitely benefit from using
  • one.

1 – 1×2 at 10'

**Choose Plywood for staining, MDF for painting and Melamine if you prefer a unit that is white (no painting required and very durable).

2 Sheet – 3/4″ Plywood, MDF, or Melamine (my lumber supply sells 2' x 4' sheets for around 1/3 of the cost of an entire 4' x 8' sheet, check to see if yours will do this for you and you will reduce your cost quite a bit and you won't have a lot of excess) You would need 1 full sheet @ 4'x8' and 1 @ 2'x4'

OR…you can purchase 2 full sheets to make 2 of these units and form the desk!

1 Sheet of 1/2″ Plywood, MDF or Melamine.


**Kreg Jig Owners: 1 1/2″ Pocket Hole Screws.

  • 2″ Screws – ** Kreg Owners will not need this item and will use the 1 1/2″ PHS in place of this.
  • 1 1/4″ Screws
  • 1″ Screws
  • 3/4″ Iron on Edge Banding that matches the material you choose to build with.
  • Drawer Slides – corner or side mount, 20″ should suffice, you can also use 22″ if you need to (if selection is limited).
  • Wood Glue
  • Wood Filler
  • Sandpaper
  • Finishing Supplies
Cut List 
  • 2 – 1×2 at 15 1/2″ (Base Frame)
  • 2 – 1×2 at 21″ (Base Frame)
  • 2 – 1×2 at 14″ (Connector Supports)

3/4″ Sheet goods:

  • 1 – 3/4″ at 15 1/2 x 22 1/2″ (Unit Base)
  • 2 – 3/4″ at 17 x 24″ (Drawer Base and Top)
  • 2 – 3/4″ at 26 1/4 x 24″ (Sides)
  • 2 – 3/4″ at 22 1/2 x 15 1/2″ (Shelves)
  • 1 – 3/4″ at 15 1/2 x 26 1/4″ (Back)
  • 2 – 3/4″ at 15 1/4 x 6 1/4″ (Top Drawer Faces)
  • 1 – 3/4″ at 15 1/4 x 13″ (Bottom Drawer Face)

1/2″ Sheet goods:

  • 4 – 1/2″ at 22 1/2 x 5″ (Top Drawer Sides)
  • 2 – 1/2″ at 13 1/4 x 5″ (Top Drawer Backs)
  • 2 – 1/2″ at 13 1/4 x 4″ (Top Drawer Fronts)
  • 3 – 1/2″ at 15 1/4 x 22 1/2″ (Drawer Bottoms)
  • 2 – 1/2″ at 22 1/2 x 12 1/2″ (Bottom Drawer Sides)
  • 1 – 1/2″ at 12 1/4 x 12 1/2″ (Bottom Drawer Back)
  • 1 – 1/2″ at 13 1/4 x 11 1/2″ (Bottom Drawer Front)

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

Step 1 

Build the unit. If you have a Kreg Jig, create your pocket holes on the inside and underside wherever possible to avoid unsightly holes to fill later.

**You might want to attach the back (in the step below) first so that you can use Pocket screws and fasten it in place more easily (no shelves in the way, etc). Set your KJ for 3/4″ stock and use your 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws and glue.

Leave a 3/4″ setback on both the front and back where you fasten the shelves in place. Use 2″ screws.

Step 2

Step 2 

Fasten the Back in place. Use 2″ Screws or perhaps you did this in the step above if you are using a Kreg Jig.

Step 3

Step 3 

Build out the top Drawers. You will use 1/2″ Sheet goods for the actual drawers, but 3/4″ for the Face. You will carve out the hand hold on the Face at 1″x6″ according to the diagram below. Use 1″ Screws and Fasten the Face to the Drawer Front from the inside to hide your screws. The Face will have a 3/4″ overhang on the bottom and 1/2″ overhang on either side, but the top will be flush with the top of the drawer unit. The top of the Drawer Front will be flush with the bottom of the hand hold carve out.

You can use either corner mount drawer slides or side mount. Corner mount is a tad easier to install since, you don't have the extra worry of making sure they are lined up properly (they can only go where there is a corner…) but I feel like the side mount have a slightly more polished appearance (depending on what variety you choose) and tend to have less of an issue with weight over time.

Step 4

Step 4 

Build out the Bottom Drawer. Use 1″ Screws and fasten the Face to the Drawer Front from the inside. Leave 1/2″ overhang on either side of the Face, the top and bottom of the Face will be Flush with the Drawer Sides. Carve out the 1″x6″ hand hold in the same location as the upper drawers as shown in the diagram below. The top of the Drawer Front will be flush with bottom of the hand hold carve out.

Step 5

Step 5 

Attach the Unit Base to the Drawer Base: Use 1 1/4″ Screws and be sure to leave 3/4″ around the perimeter of the Unit Base. The image shows the underside of the Base and it

Finishing Instructions 

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

**Disclaimer: Some rights reserved. Private use only. Feel Free to link to any of my plans so long as you ONLY use 1 image and provide an ADEQUATE link back to the original source and appropriate plan! 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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