An Easy to Build File Cabinet

Free Plans to Build the Crate & Barrel Inspired Brey File Cabinet

A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by Cameron who asked me to create plans for a Crate & Barrel Inspired Brey Desk. I figured if some of you handy builders were going to make the desk, you may want the other pieces in the collection, too! Today’s free plans to build the Crate & Barrel inspired Brey file cabinet feature the same plexiglass top! Of course, this style would work well with any other desk, also…


  • 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws
  • 1-1/4″ screws
  • 1 piece of plexiglass at 10-1/4″ x 24″
  • Edge banding for exposed edges of plywood, optional
  • Two sets of 16″ ball-bearing drawer slides
  • Two drawer pulls


  • 3 – 1×2 at 8′
  • 1 – 1×6 at 8′
  • 1 – 1×10 at 4′
  • 1 – 1×12 at 8′
  • 1 – 1×12 at 4′
  • One half sheet of 3/4″ plywood

Cut List:

  • 4 – 1×2 at 30″ – Legs
  • 6 – 1×2 at 18″ – Side Frames
  • 2 – 3/4″ plywood at 16-1/4″ x 18″ – Side Panels
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at 23″ x 26″ – Back Panel
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at 18″ x 23″ – Bottom
  • 1 – 1×10 (ripped to 9″wide) at 23″ – Top
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at 18″ x 24-1/2″ – Shelf
  • 2 – 3/4″ plywood at 14-3/4″ x 20-1/2″ – Drawer Bottoms
  • 2 – 1×6 at 14-3/4″ – Small Drawer Sides
  • 2 – 1×6 at 22″ – Small Drawer Front & Back
  • 1 – 1×12 (ripped to 10-1/4″ wide)  at 14-3/4″ – Large Drawer Divider
  • 2 -1×12 (ripped to 11″ wide) at 14-3/4″ – Large Drawer Sides
  • 2 – 1×12 (ripped to 11″ wide) at 22″ – Large Drawer Front & Back
  • 1 – 1×10 (ripped to 8-7/8″ wide) at 22-3/4″ – Small Drawer Front
  • 1 – 1×12 (ripped to 11″ wide) at 22-3/4″ – Large Drawer Front


Click on the drawings to enlarge them!

Step One

Cut the pieces for the legs, the side frames, and the side panels. Drill pocket holes in each end of the frame pieces as well as all four edges of the panels. Attach two of the frame pieces to each of the panels using glue and 1-1/4″pocket hole screws. Attach to the legs as shown using glue and pocket hole screws. The back side of the panel assembly will be flush with the inside edge of the legs. Attach the remaining frame piece to the top of each side assembly with the piece placed horizontally (lined up with the legs).

Using a router with a 1/2″ rabbeting bit, cut a 3/8″ deep (or the thickness of the plexiglass) rabbet in the top frame piece as shown. Use a chisel to square the corner.

Step Two

Cut the piece for the back. Drill pocket holes as shown, then attach to the legs using glue and pocket hole screws.


Step Three

Cut the piece for the bottom. Drill pocket holes in three edges, then attach to the sides and back using glue and pocket hole screws.


Step Four

Cut the piece for the top and drill pocket holes in three edges to attach to the sides and back. Using the router and rabbeting bit, cut a rabbet along one long edge of the piece opposite the pocket holes (they will be on the bottom). Attach as shown using glue and pocket hole screws.


Step Five

Cut the piece for the shelf. Secure to the top of the side panel assembly using glue and countersunk 1-1/4″ screws.


Step Six

Cut the pieces for the drawer boxes. Drill pocket holes in all four edges of the bottom, as well as in each end of the sides. Also drill pocket holes as shown in the divider piece for the large drawer. Attach the sides to the bottom using glue and pocket screws. For the large drawer, attach the divider at the spacing shown. Attach the front and back as shown.


Install the drawer slides according to the manufacturer’s instructions. For an easy tutorial, click here. Make any necessary adjustments. For the large drawer, the slides should be positioned so they are in the center of the side of the drawer.

Step Seven

Cut the pieces for the drawer fronts. For another easy tutorial, click here. There will be a 1/8″ gap around all sides of the drawer front as well as in between the two.


Finish as desired then insert the plexiglass.

Have any questions about the free plans to build the Crate & Barrel inspired Brey file cabinet? Leave a comment below!


Originally posted 2012-11-01 08:00:47.

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