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How to Build Office Workstation Units

Use these step-by-step instructions to increase your office's storage space and functionality.

More in Remodeling

building office workstation units

Step 1: Cut the Sides, Base and Top

Use a circular saw to make the sides, base and top out of the birch plywood. Use a clamped down board as a fence. This keeps the saw straight. Make sure to let the blade stop before removing the saw.

Use a router to round off the doors, or add decorative designs.

cut sides, base and top out of birch plywood

Step 2: Secure the Joints and Build the Upper Shelf Units

Connect the side to the base and then add the top. Glue and screw each joint for added strength. Make sure to keep the front and back flush. It is important to pre-drill holes to make the assembly process easier. In addition, use a square head screw, which drives in tightly. Next, add the two top pieces. This is where the countertop will be fastened down. Apply glue and fasten the two support rails in place.

The cabinet box is reinforced with a plywood backing, which will be glued and secured with screws (Image 1). Set the cordless screw driver to the low setting to prevent the screw from splitting the wood.

Glue and secure the toe kick. It's recessed back from the front of the cabinet (Image 2).

Build the upper shelf units for the office (Image 3). These are similar to the cabinets -- a basic box with a backing and a front frame.

Step 3: Measure and Cut the Crown Molding

Measure and cut the crown molding. Place the beveled top against the saw base and hold it in place. Always cut the miter end first and then lay it out and mark for the straight cut. Cut the molding to length with the saw adjusted to 90 degrees.

Glue and nail the crown molding onto the support strips to give a custom finish. With the saw set to the opposite 45 degree angle, repeat the process for the side molding. Nail the corner in first, then the bottom.

Prime and paint the workstations.

prime and paint workstations

Step 4: Install the Middle Unit and Add the Lighting

For the upper wall units, install a ledger board for it to sit on temporarily. Secure it to the wall at the corners (Image 1).

Install the middle unit between the side units and secure it to the wall and the sides. Then, install the lower cabinets. For the desktop, install a bead board backsplash with cutouts for the electrical outlets (Image 2).

Install under-cabinet lighting units to the desk area. These are held in place with small clip brackets. The power cord plugs into the light fixture and the unit snaps into the installed clips (Image 3). Install the pre-drilled, pin type shelf supports.

Step 5: Add the Drawers and Cabinets

Insert screws through the drawer and drawer front. Install the hardware on the drawers.

Install the runner for the drawers (Image 1). There are two components. One fits onto the side of the drawer. The larger section fits onto the side of the cabinet. Screw in the runner flush to the bottom and line it up with the pre-drilled holes.

Mark and pre-drill the spots for the cabinet hinges. Install the top, and then the bottom hinge onto the cabinet frame. Make sure the two little teeth are on the outside and then tighten the screws. Adjust the screws to perfectly align the doors (Image 2).

Step 6: Install the Window Jambs and Paint

Install the window jambs, which help hold down the windowsill. Then, install the window facing. Tack the sides in place until the top is installed. Nail the top casing into place.

Caulk everything and then paint the sill and window trim.

install window jambs, caulk and paint

Step 7: Finish the Workstation

Install the doorway casing by adding a few nails into the jamb to hold it tight (Image 1). Fill in the nail holes and caulk the seams. Install crown molding to trim out the shelving units.

Install the sliding computer keyboard tray (Image 2).

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