Many days ago I bought my first jigsaw. I've always been fascinated by woodworking but I never had the chance to test my capabalities on this.
So, going to my garage with my brand new jigsaw and happy like a child in Christmas period, I gazed around searching for old pieces of woods to destroy, ehm.. to do some practice I mean...! And then I found some wood planks. "Perfect!" I thought, but then I started asking myself "What would be really useful to do with these forgotten planks...", they had already started to get some mold on them and I don't really remember where my dad used them, maybe for some home repairing.
Then, suddenly the idea just came to me! What do you need the most..? Of course! A desk for my bedroom!
Step 1: Materials and First Wood Preparation
For my good fortune, I found everything in my garage, even screws with rawplugs and steel shelf brackets, so I made the desk with almost zero cost (except for the jigsaw of course!).
For a desk 55cm x 125cm I used:
- Wood planks
- 6 big screws with rawplugs (5cm) for wall plug
- Small screws for joining wood planks (1,5cm)
- A small wood plank to join planks or steel jointers (I didn't have them)
- Wood glue
- 2 big steel shelf brackets (mine were 40cm x 20cm)
- Jigsaw with blade for wood
- Drill with wood milling bit 52mm
- Sand paper
- A spray paint ( I used white)
First of all, you must be very careful with the jigsaw! So make sure to have all the security features needed for woodworking like goggles, working gloves, clamps to secure wood on your working table. I got scared one two times because I didn't secure properly the wood plank and the jigsaw started to tremble... SECURITY FIRST! If you don't have any of these, just go get them first!
Ok, after that there was the cutting part. It was fun but it was a short step! My wood planks were 160cm long so I needed to cut off the extra 35cm. As I measured the wall of my bedroom to make a kind of separator with my chest of drawers, but still having some space to move around between it and the bed, a 125cm lenght for the desk was ideal. You may need shorter/longer wood planks, it's your call! After the cutting, always remember to sand the edges to smoothen them.
The wood planks had a feature that helped me really much in this project. They had some ''prominence'' from one side and in the other were hollow. This helped the planks to just ''lock'' together. So, for this step I just applied lot of wood glue with short dry time. After I glued the planks I just let them dry for a couple of hours and then with a smaller plank of 5cm x 35cm and small screws of 1,5cm I joined them. Even if I didn't have steel jointers that usually are most used for this kind of work, the small wood plank worked fine!
It was that easy! I didn't need to do nothing more, just cut and join. After I assured the planks were totally joined together and not moving, I moved forward for the next step.
Step 2: Making a Hole for Plugs and Paint
Since on the wall I wanted to install my desk there is an electrical plug, I thought it would be useful to make a hole for cables on the desk. Using a pencil I drew a small rectangle of 3cm x 5cm, just for my computer and table lamp cable. If you have more plugs just make it few cm larger. Then, using a drill with wood milling bit 52mm I started to cut out the shape, gripping really hard the drill. Make sure you don't get too close to your drawn lines or you will have to adapt your pattern. When finished, use a sand paper stripe to smoothen the edges.
Before painting clean really well the desk with a dry cloth or else any dust or wood chips will be trapped in the paint. Don't put water or soap or the paint wouldn't apply properly.
I used spray paint because I like the vintage look that spray gives to wood and I didn't really want to cover the flaws on the wood planks. However, if you want a more covering result, use liquid wood painting and apply it with a large brush.
I chose a white mat color so that the desk would be like a kind of set with the chest of drawers but you can choose whatever color you like the most!
After painting, I let it dry overnight and then joined the steel shelf brackets. Be careful on this step to not rub off the paint when you turn upside down the desk for this step. Don't do it on hard surfaces or apply clothes beneath it to prevent scrapes.
Step 3: Wall Pluging
For this step you will surely need another person to help you out with making the marks on the wall and then to install the desk.
To know exactly how deep in the wall you need to drill, place a stripe of colored adhesive tape matching the lenght of the rawplug.
Make the marks on the wall by placing the desk on the height you want it and draw the point where the screw holes of the brackets are. One person should support the desk and the other should go under the desk to make marks. Be sure you have enough light to see or else this would be a little bit challenging...! And of course be sure you trust the person who will hold the desk upon your head for obvious reasons....
Make really really sure that where you made marks there aren't electrical cables passing through the wall before start drilling!
If it's your first time or you need some tips before start wall pluging, there's a guide I found helpful.
At the first hole I'm not gonna lie... I sucked a little bit! I drilled too much and the expected diameter was larger than should have been, but I repaired that with some stucco. I have to admit that this was a really hard work, I mean making 6 holes in the wall was a little bit brutal for my arms...! I had to drill through bricks so make sure you know what your wall composition is...!
But when I installed the desk all the fatigue just went away...! I liked it so much that I was happy for my very first woodworking!
Step 4: Final Decor and Impressions
After I cleaned the place, I started decoring a little bit and I used the space on the dresser to put some books. I even used some stickers on my desk just to add a little color!
When I showed this work, they didn't realize that behind the chest of drawers there actually is a desk! So I think that the ''hidden desk'' name suits perfectly to my project...! And the dresser makes a fantastic separator for my bedroom without using bulky dividers!
Wrap up: If a gal like me managed to do this at the first time I ever used a jigsaw then anybody can do it...!
Thank you for ckecking out my Instructable! >^.^<