(Note: This might seem to be a remarkably simple idea to do an Instructable on, but it isn't something just anyone might think to do. I love the principle of creating something you need out of something you have that is serving an unnecessary purpose.)
I've been needing a new desk for a while now, mainly for hand-drafting, but also for computer use. When I had the extra money, I couldn't find a decent one that was flat, uninterrupted by grooves, and/or not covered with vinyl and batting and under $300. Hell, who'd have thought finding a straight, level piece of wood with supports for a reasonable price could be so difficult?
Enter HGTV. While watching one program in particular (basically about cheap ways to makeover a room) I made note of a particular project. A woman had an extra dresser, but needed a desk...they promptly removed the drawers, knocked out the guts, and it worked perfectly for her home office.
The very next day I noticed a neighbor throwing out a perfectly good chest of drawers. With the utmost skill of a trained urban forager, I first made sure that they were really getting rid of it, then snatched it up before anyone else could get to it.
The first (and until now, only) Instructable that I made, I didn't realize I would be posting anything on, so I had to backtrack and make 3D diagrams to illustrate the process. Having promised myself that all subsequent projects would be documented extensively, I can now present the following simple Instructable which results in an elegant, if not perfect, outcome.
Step 1: What I Began With
The dresser as I originally found it. Here I got lucky; in the HGTV show, they had a lattice-work criss-cross of wood to separate and support the drawers; to remove any of it, you had to remove all of it.
As you will see, all I had to take out were the tracks for the drawers.