Introduction: Desk / Worktable

Picture of Desk / Worktable

For this project, I used

six 2 x 4's

1 1/4" screws ( 2 at each joint if you use good glue. 16 total)

2" screws ( About 8 should do nicely)

3" screws ( I used 2 on each rail end. 12 total)


scrap laminate top

This desk project was built for Pam. She asked me to make a simple work table/desk for her

art room. You will have to determine length, width and height of your table and cut the pieces to size.

This table finished at 8' long, 24" deep and 30" height. Enjoy!

Step 1: Cutting the Leg Parts

Picture of Cutting the Leg Parts

Begin by determining the width and height of your table. Simply cut four pieces

to the height of the leg. (mine were 29 1/4") Then cut four pieces to the depth of the table.

(mine were 23") Now look at the illustration to see how the lap joint comes together. I did

mine on the table saw. Set the depth of the cut to half the thickness of the 2 x 4. Set up a bump

stop to get the first cut to 3 1/2". (the width of the 2 x 4) Then just nibble the remaining step out a little

at a time. You can also use a circular saw to do this if you don't have a table saw. Clean up the joint by sanding

or a chisel for a nicer joint. Use scrap to get it right before cutting the good pieces.

Step 2: Leg Assembly

Picture of Leg Assembly

Now that all of the leg pieces are cut, dry fit them to check the fit. You may need to clean

the joint up a little more. I just used wood glue and two 1 1/4" screws at each joint to assemble the legs.

I did not use any clamps but please feel free to use them. Check the square by measuring corner to

corner on a diagonal before screwing together. Adjust until both measurements are the same.

Step 3: Long Support Pieces

Picture of Long Support Pieces

You will now cut three 2 x 4's to create the length of the base. I decided to make mine so that

the table top would overhang the legs at 3 inches per side. So for an 8' top, the finished base

dimension would be 7' 6".

Step 4: Assembly

Picture of Assembly

Assemble the finished legs to the rails. I used the 3" screws for this. You can get some help

holding this in place while you screw it together or clamps and blocks. I did not use glue because

I may want to disassemble it later.

Step 5: Attach the Top

Picture of Attach the Top

Just slide the top on and attach with screws from the bottom. I used 2" screws to attach

the top. If you add up the 2 x 4 thickness and the top thickness it is 2 1/4". this leaves

1/4" of before you break through the top. Please send any comments or questions and I will try to help.

Thanks for Looking!



ScottS116 made it! (author)2017-04-09

Great guide! All I had for the lap joints was a circular saw so they didn't end up perfect but good enough to be level and stable. Finished it off with some walnut planks

conglomeration (author)ScottS1162017-04-09

Your table looks great. Sometimes you have to work with what you have. The circular saw is a little tougher for this project but it looks like you have a nice result. The walnut top is awesome. You made it fit perfectly in the wall space also. Thanks for sharing.

PaulS5 (author)2017-01-17

Hi, going to ask a really silly question how did you get the joints on the legs to be soo flush and nice, spent over an hour at a table saw last night and just couldn't work out how to get the cuts level.

conglomeration (author)PaulS52017-01-17

When I set up the saw, I used a couple of scrap piece's to test and get it just right. If your saw is cutting off a bit, you may need to adjust it. A nice sharp blade will produce better results also. You may also try to make your cuts in 2 passes. Rough them out first then do a finish pass. Take your time and as you make passes, be sure to hold the work piece firm to the table. Keep your saw clear of saw dust. Keep after it! Once you figure it out, you will be glad you did. Good luck.

Also, If you will notice in the picture of me making the cuts, I am on the back side of the table saw. I felt like I had more control and could see the work better. Stay focused on the blade and please be careful while doing this.

jmindes made it! (author)2016-11-16

Really straight forward directions and simple design. Works great and everyone likes it.

conglomeration (author)jmindes2016-11-17

It looks great! I really enjoy the fact that people like yourself are making this table. Thank you for the nice comment.

BasilA9 made it! (author)2016-08-07

Thank you for these instructions, they were great.

I made this desk for my bedroom, it took me and my dad about 3-4 hours. We used a larger laminate top, 30" by 72" and used around 6 pieces of 8' 2x4 spruce.

Wood for frame: $18

New Laminate Top: $31

The one thing I don't think I saw was the number of screws need to be used. I'd say try for 16 of each length to be safe. As for screw thickness, I used a combination of 8 for the 1 1/4 screws and 10 for the others.

I rented an orbital sander for the day: $13

Supplies (glue, screws, sandpaper): $20

Since the table top is really heavy we didn't bother screwing the top on. We have the option to though.

conglomeration (author)BasilA92016-08-07

I will be sure to make some changes about the amount of screws. Your desk looks great! You still have the option to paint or stain the legs and rails for a more finished look. Thanks for the nice comment. ****Greg****

sickdog74 (author)2016-06-29

I love everything about this!

seamster (author)2016-05-27

Great looking table! Using an old laminate counter for the top is such a good idea too. Nicely done :)

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