Plans

Free DIY Furniture Plans // How to Build a Mid Century Secretary

02.23.15 By //
You Can Build This! Easy DIY Furniture Plans from The Design Confidential with Complete Instructions on How to Build a Mid Century Secretary via @thedesconf

I adore this beauty and I think it would make a fabulous nightstand… even though it isn’t a nightstand. I suppose I have a history of making unlikely pieces into nightstands and I can see a future for this baby in the empty space along the wall where my bed lives. Of course I can see this beauty in about a dozen other ideal spots in my home, so maybe they will have to fight it out…

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You Can Build This! Easy DIY Furniture Plans from The Design Confidential with Complete Instructions on How to Build a Mid Century Secretary via @thedesconf
$100-$150
You Can Build This! Easy DIY Furniture Plans from The Design Confidential with Complete Instructions on How to Build a Mid Century Secretary via @thedesconf
  • 4 – 1×2 at 8’
  • 2 – 1×4 at 8’
  • 3 – 3/4” plywood at 4’x8’
  • 2 – 1×2 at 60” – Frame Side Fronts
  • 2 – 1×2 at 59” – Frame Side Backs
  • 2 – 1×2 at 7-1/4” – Frame Side Tops
  • 2 – 1×2 at 12-1/4” – Frame Side Middles
  • 2 – 1×2 at 14-3/4” – Frame Side Bottoms
  • 2 – 1×4 at 50-1/2” – Frame Bottom Front and Back
  • 1 – 1×2 at 50-1/2” – Frame Top Back
  • 2 – 3/4” plywood at 18”x50-1/2” – Bottom Cabinet Top and Bottom
  • 2 – 3/4” plywood at 10-3/4”x18” – Bottom Cabinet Sides
  • 1 – 3/4” plywood at 10-3/4”x49” – Bottom Cabinet Back
  • 1 – 3/4” plywood at 10-3/4”x17-1/4” – Bottom Cabinet Vertical Divider
  • 1 – 1×2 at 20” – Bottom Cabinet Horizontal Divider
  • 2 – 3/4” plywood at 9”x15”– Large Drawer Sides
  • 1 – 3/4” plywood at 15”x25-3/4”– Large Drawer Bottom
  • 1 – 3/4” plywood at 9”x27-1/4”– Large Drawer Back
  • 1 – 3/4” plywood at 10-1/2”x28”– Large Drawer Front
  • 4 – 3/4” plywood at 3-3/4”x15”– Small Drawer Sides
  • 2 – 3/4” plywood at 15”x17-1/2”– Small Drawer Bottoms
  • 2 – 3/4” plywood at 3-3/4”x19”– Small Drawer Backs
  • 2 – 3/4” plywood at 4-3/4”x19-3/4”– Small Drawer Fronts
  • 2 – 3/4” plywood at 18”x19-3/4”– Small Drawer Fronts
  • 2 – 3/4” plywood at 18”x50-1/2”– Top Cabinet Top and Bottom
  • 2 – 3/4” plywood at 18”x18-1/4”– Top Cabinet Sides
  • 1 – 3/4” plywood at 18-1/4”x49”– Top Cabinet Back
  • 1 – 3/4” plywood at 17-1/4”x18-1/4”– Top Cabinet Vertical Divider
  • 1 – 3/4” plywood at 16-1/4”x28-1/4”– Top Cabinet Shelf
  • 1 – 3/4” plywood at 18”x19-3/4”– Left Cabinet Door
  • 1 – 3/4” plywood at 18”x28”– Right Cabinet Desk/Door

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.

Cut the pieces for the Frame Side Fronts, Side Backs, Side Tops, Side Middles, and Side Bottoms. Cut decorative curves in the Side Tops, Side Middles, and Side Bottoms as shown. With the Kreg jig set for 3/4” material, drill pocket holes in both ends of the Side Tops, Side Middles, and Side Bottoms. Just a reminder to drill pocket holes after cutting the 8 degree angles in the pieces.

Assemble as shown with glue and 1-1/4” pocket screws. Repeat twice, once for each side. If desired, have the pocket holes face the inside of the Desk.

Cut the pieces for the Top Back, Bottom Front, and Bottom Back. Cut a decorative curve in the Bottom Front and Bottom Back as shown. With the Kreg jig set for 3/4” material, drill pocket holes in each end of the Top Back, Bottom Front, and Bottom Back.

Assemble as shown with glue and 1-1/4” pocket screws.

Next, cut the pieces for the Bottom Cabinet Top, Sides, and Bottom. With the Kreg jig set for 3/4” material, drill pocket holes in the top and bottom of the Sides. Assemble as shown with glue and 1-1/4” pocket screws.

Cut the piece for the Bottom Cabinet Back. With the Kreg jig set for 3/4” material, drill pocket holes in each side of the Back. Assemble as shown with glue and 1-1/4” pocket screws. Face the pocket screws toward the inside of the Cabinet if desired.

Cut the piece for the Bottom Cabinet Horizontal Divider and the Bottom Cabinet Vertical Divider. With the Kreg jig set for 3/4” material, drill pocket holes in each end of the Horizontal Divider and the top, bottom, and back of the Vertical Divider. Assemble as shown with glue and 1-1/4” pocket screws.

Cut the pieces for the Large Drawer Sides and Bottoms. Drill pocket holes in the front and back of the Sides and in all sides of the Bottoms. Assemble as shown with glue and 1-1/4” pocket screws.

Cut the pieces for the Large Drawer Backs. Assemble as shown with glue and 1-1/4” pocket screws.

Cut the pieces for the Large Drawer Fronts. The top of the Large Drawer Front will extend 1” above the drawer box top, 3/8” beyond the drawer box sides, and 1/2” beyond the drawer box bottom. Assemble as shown with glue and 1-1/4” pocket screws.

Install the ball-bearing slides according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Make any necessary adjustments. Once installed, there should be a 1/8” gap on each side of the Drawer Front.

Cut the pieces for the Small Drawer Sides and Bottoms. Drill pocket holes in the front and back of the Sides and in all sides of the Bottoms. Assemble as shown with glue and 1-1/4” pocket screws. Repeat twice – once for each Small Drawer.

Cut the pieces for the Small Drawer Backs. Assemble as shown with glue and 1-1/4” pocket screws. Repeat twice – once for each Small Drawer.

Cut the pieces for the Small Drawer Fronts. The top of the Small Drawer Front will extend 1” above the drawer box top, 3/8” beyond the drawer box sides, and 1/2” beyond the drawer box bottom. Assemble as shown with glue and 1-1/4” pocket screws. Repeat twice – once for each Small Drawer.

Install the ball-bearing slides according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Make any necessary adjustments. Once installed, there should be a 1/8” gap on each side of the Drawer Front.

Next, cut the pieces for the Top Cabinet Top, Sides, and Bottom. With the Kreg jig set for 3/4” material, drill pocket holes in the top and bottom of the Sides. Assemble as shown with glue and 1-1/4” pocket screws

Cut the piece for the Top Cabinet Back. With the Kreg jig set for 3/4” material, drill pocket holes in each side of the Back. Assemble as shown with glue and 1-1/4” pocket screws. Face the pocket screws toward the inside of the Cabinet if desired.

Cut the piece for the Top Cabinet Vertical Divider. With the Kreg jig set for 3/4” material, drill pocket holes in the top and bottom of the Divider. Assemble as shown with glue and 1-1/4” pocket screws.

Cut the piece for the Top Cabinet Shelf. With the Kreg jig set for 3/4” material, drill pocket holes in the each side and back of the Shelf. Assemble as shown with glue and 1-1/4” pocket screws.

Lay the assembled Frame on its back so that assembly is easier (temporarily remove Drawers and Cabinet Doors to reduce weight). Insert the assembled Top Cabinet and assembled Bottom Cabinet as shown. Attach the Cabinets to the Frame with glue and 1-1/2” wood screws.

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

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