Fires raged in California this weekend and I got an unexpected call telling me not to head into work on Monday. With the free time I decided to build a project desk for the back patio of my apartment. Recently I bought a Dremel for another project and after cleaning little plastic bits out of the carpet I figured I should probably start working outside. I think my girlfriend will appreciate it too.

What follows is my quick and dirty outdoor desk project. This is probably perfect for those DIYers stuck in apartments without garages or for gardeners who'd rather spend money on the garden than on an expensive workspace. Total cost of my project? $34.40. Total time to construct? Less than 1 hour. So read along if this is the project for you!

Step 1: Buy Your Materials

Fortunately for me I live near a Home Depot. It's convenient because the prices are pretty low and they'll cut wood for me. Here's what you'll need from the store:
1) 3 - 2in x 4in x 8ft Douglas Fir ($1.82ea)
2) 1 - 5/8in x 4ft x 8ft Particle Board ($18.77ea)
3) 1lb 2.5in Gold Screws ($5.94)

Once you have everything take the wood to the back and have them cut it for you. Be aware that some places won't cut particle board because of health hazards, so wear a mask if you're nearby when they cut it. Also, it's usually 2 cuts free and $1 for each additional cut. This project required 10 cuts in total.

First have them cut the big particle board into two 3ft x 4ft pieces. This should leave you with an extra 2ft x 4ft piece of scrap. If you plan ahead of time you could even have the small piece cut down to make a shelf to fit under your desk, something I did not do.

Cut the three 2in x 4in douglas fir pieces in the following way:
1) 3 pieces at 30in each
2) 1 piece at 20 in, 2 pieces at 28in each
3) 2 pieces at 40 in each

Agree outdoor lumber, also mine will measure 48x32@ the top and I'll have three layers for the top.
Thanks for posting! I have been thinking about starting an <a href="http://groundsforplay.com/content/outdoor-classroom" rel="nofollow">outdoor classroom</a> to switch things up with my kids. So I found this way helpful!
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Since you plan to keep this table outdoors I think treated lumber should be used. A nice table like this will not last too long outside on the north east, where I live.<br />
i need a nice cheap work table ima going to try this! =)<br />
Good work, and well presented too. L

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Bio: I'm a software and aerospace engineer. When I've got free time I like to work on robot projects and love to play with ... More »
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