Instructables
Picture of $12 Desk
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The desk in my apartment isn't exactly what I would call sturdy or nice to sit at. Plus, I can use all the surface space I can find. And there can always be more workshop desk space!!! This is why I set out this weekend to build a desk. I have been wanting one for a while now.

On Friday when I walked into Menards (which auto-correct wants to replace with 'Gaurdsmen') haphazardly (yep, this is what I do with my college weekends ;)  ) I stumbled across the lumber section (how could that happen!?) and saw that a 3/4" thick 2'x4' sheet of MDF cost only $6. Additionally a 2'x4' sheet of pegboard only cost $3.68. I bought a couple 2x4's (10 ft sections) and had them cut them on-site. I then bought a few 19 cent scraps of lumber. Finally, I bought a box of screws and checked out with all the materials I would need to assemble a fine desk for just $12. Brilliant I think!

This whole project should come together in an hour or two, tops. I would say $12 + 2hrs = new awesome desk is a pretty awesome deal!
 
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
Bill of Materials!
  • one 2x4's (10 ft long)
  • one 2x4 (or any dimension) that is 4' long (actually 4' - 2*1.5"=45" long)
  • 2ft x 4ft (3/4" thick) for surface of desk (I used nice MDF because I like its feel)
  • [optional] pegboard (to hang stuff on)
  • 4 pieces 2ft scrap wood (for braces, not structurally required, just for stability)
  • 3" or 2.5" screws
  • [optional] shorter 1.5" screws for the pegboard
Tools
  • [optional] drill or dremmel (you can hand screw the screw into the wood just fine, it just takes a lot longer)
  • screwdriver (or screw gun if you have one, mine broke)
this project could probably be improved with much more tools or at least a level. But I managed to put it together without such tools, so don't worry if you don't have access to power tools! I started out hand screwing all the screws through the 2x4's until I remembered that I owned a dremmel.
so i thought i show my almost finshed desk the only reason i say almost finshed is i want to add a 2x4 under the front of the desk in front and a brace on the back so it dosent wobble but other from that only 30 dollars well spent in my opinion
whoops forgot to attach image here you go :)
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LostRite (author)  nightninja871 year ago
Looks very similar. Very cool!
so i added on more to my desk since i use it for my computer and stuff i made a headphone attachment/ xbox controller holder too all with a drill coat hanger and a wrench i love this table so much very useful and easily modable to what you need :D i cant thank you enough for this
LostRite (author)  nightninja878 months ago
I actually made another one twice as wide so I could separate work and electronics. One of the key features that I am proud of are power strips everywhere. It really makes everything a lot easier. I also added a single shelf using a 2x6. I cut a 10 foot 2x6 to 8 feet and used the leftover 1 foot sections to affix at the ends to make a simple shelf that you can just screw in. I put it along the back against the wall and it works perfectly to hold all my electronics boxes and many of my larger tools.
thanks! im gonna use it as a computer desk i just have to stabilize the front and back some since im not adding the peg board to the back but otherwise its awesome works well for doing computer repairs on too very happy with my frist wood working job
awesome design :D im going to be building this in the next couple weeks for my desktop im just doing a couple modifications to it so i can have my desktop underneath and installing a raised area for my screen thanks so much for this idea just stinks my desktop is gonna be about double the price so far :(
taria1 year ago
save big money at menards...that song always sticks in my head when I see that word...I so love this idea. I might have to check out my local menards. any possibly find decent size piece of mdf for my craft table idea that I have. Building is fun.


and yes my auto correct even says guardsmen...
umelchor1 year ago
I have one question! or two.... maybe three...

How much weight can this desk support?

I am thinking of building more than one desk, one for my desktop and the other for my laptop p.s. forgot to mention that the monitor is pretty heavy and i also have printer for the desktop Pc d;
LostRite (author)  umelchor1 year ago
To give you an idea, I can stand on it and hop on it (I havn't tried full jumps or smashes). So it can at least take whatever the dynamic force of my 135 lbs is. All that, with less than an inch of flex too. and that was in the middle of the desk. I stand on it regularly to get to my ceiling. The desk currently holds my computer, a printer, boxes full of tools, and random stuff. That probably weighs in at 50-60 lbs total that rests on it every day, all day. The desk shows no signs of wear. I am pretty proud of that :) Just make sure you buy a solid top piece. That's why I chose the 3/4" MDF.

Post pictures when you are done!
kinderdm1 year ago
I love the design and would love to make one myself. Unfortunately the is no Menards local to here and looking at prices at my local lowes it's looking like 2-3 times the price. I know that's not a lot but part of this projects appeal is the cheapness so any suggestions for something comparable to Menards in price and selection?
LostRite (author)  kinderdm1 year ago
depending on where you live, it is sometimes quite feasible to find all the 2x4's outside for free. Scavenge what you can. Then all you have to buy is one sheet of MDF (or your choice of board). That would significantly reduce the price. I'm sure this has already occured to you though :) I can't think of many stores. Menards has never been my store of choice but they have always conveniently been located nearby, so I am not too familiar with other stores besides menards and home depot. Sorry I can't help more
Thanks for the response. Any wood around here that's not junk is usually gone pretty fast so that's probably not an option. I may be able to find some scraps for bracing this way though. Ill have to keep an eye out to see what I can find.
A simple addition that would help with the water issue would be self stick linoleum floor tiles. They can be had for as little as $0.25 a piece, meaning the upgrade would cost $2. I find that slightly softer surface to bevery nice to write on if you don't have a heavy hand.
LostRite (author)  roccopeterbilt1 year ago
Great idea. I considered linoleum but I had no idea where to find it. Would large hardware stores have it?
Nice desk! I need to build something similar for an electronics workbench, as my main workbench has tools all over it. I'd also like an overhead light and shelves for scope and power supply. Main problem is fitting lumber in my car.
LostRite (author)  CalcProgrammer11 year ago
That was my original intent. But then I found a good 270 degree setup for my electronics bench. I like the idea of possibly embedding lighting into it. I was just going to mount my variable power supply and soldering station right into the desk along with wire reels. A paper towel bar works well enough for that though :)

As for the lumber problem, consider strapping it to the top or having the hardware store cut it on site for you (most will do it if you ask nice and tell them why it needs cutting to fit in your car).
Don't have roof racks on my car but I could probably fit it if I get it cut at the store. I'll have to come up with a design soon, though I might instead build a new desk for my computer and move my current "desk" (folding white plastic utility table) down to the basement as an electronics bench.
akcook1 year ago
Mine was about $100 and looks very similar. See my profile for comparison.
LostRite (author)  akcook1 year ago
I am loving the side shelfs you put on yours :) great idea
omnibot1 year ago
Nice job! Loving it.
The mdf looks like it could use a little more support underneath to prevent sagging and breakage in the long run.
LostRite (author)  omnibot1 year ago
I tested it by standing on it at the weak point and bouncing. No give. I assumed it would flex, but it surprised me.
HAIL HYDRA!!!
I love using Pegboard for my projects. This is an excellent use of such.
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