How to Make a Plywood Desk With Minimal Tools

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Introduction: How to Make a Plywood Desk With Minimal Tools

About: Hey! This is Molly and Dylan from the YouTube Channel Woodbrew:) We are 20 year old makers, entrepreneurs, and content creators. Happy building!

This week we are building us a desk! It's been a while since we built a piece of furniture for us so it was quite nice. We needed a long desk so the two of us could sit and work at the same time. We also wanted a little bit of storage because the office doesn't have any right now. The style we are going for is a little scandinavian and a little modern mix. Thank you guys so much for watching!

Thanks Rockler for sponsoring this weeks video! Check them out:) http://www.rockler.com/

Material cost $100-$150

Tools Used: Sure Foot Bar Clamp: http://amzn.to/2p4o3k3

Clamp-It Corner Clamp: http://amzn.to/2Fx4jfN

Clamp-It Corner Clamp with bar clamps: http://amzn.to/2Fx4jfN

Glue Bottle: http://amzn.to/2Fx4jfN

Glue Applicator Set: http://amzn.to/2Fx4jfN

Low Profile Straight Edge Clamp System: http://amzn.to/2Fx4jfN

OTHER VIDEOS TO CHECK OUT: Office Renovation EP: 1 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2Cfp6FrjYY&t=25s

Instagram: (Its popin) https://www.instagram.com/woodbrew_/

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Step 1: Materials

· (2) Sheets of ¾” Birch Plywood

· (1) ¼” Half Sheet of Plywood

· (2) 2” Diameter dowels at least 30” long (we had to buy two 48” dowels).

· (1) 1” Diameter dowel at least 16” long

· (2) Small pieces of trim (Use whatever is available ours was ¼” x ¾” x 28”)

· (1lb) 1 ¼” Trim head screws http://amzn.to/2HpN7JR

Step 2: Create the Top

Cut 29 2" wide strips from 3/4" plywood. Use clamps to glue 15 of them together. The reason we only glued 15 together is because its easier to keep them flat. Let them dray for 2 hrs and remove from clamps. Glue the remaining 14 strips together. Once dry, glue the two sections together to form the entire top.

Used a sander and hand plane to flatten the high spot on the top. This is difficult and takes time so beware...

Cut the desk top to final length and square up the edges.

Use a 2" Forstner bit to drill two holes for the legs. The hole should be on the bottom of the table and 1" deep.

Apply several coats of clear finish to seal the top. We used a triple thick Polyurethane.

Step 3: Cabinet Carcass

Measure how deep you desk top is and subtract 1" to get your cabinet depth. You also need to decide how wide you wan the drawers to be and the height of the desk. subtract 2" from the desired hieght of the desk and make that the height of the cabinet. Use glue and trim head screws to assemble a simple box.

Decide how deep your drawers will be and make 3/4" slots in the sides of the cabinets that will land in the center of each drawer. We did two 11" drawers and one 4 7/16" drawer. These slots should stop 3" from the back of the cabinet. The slots will be used as drawer slides later.

Step 4: Drawers

Every drawer is made the same way so just repeat these steps for all three. The larger drawers have 7” tall sides and the one short drawer has 3” sides.

· Grab the sides and back piece of the drawer. .

· Use glue and trim head screws to secure them together.

· Grab the ¼” drawer bottom and secure it in place using glue and trim head screws.

· Grab the drawer front and again use glue and trim head screws (you will need to fill these holes later or use a nailer instead of screws).

· Cut the drawer pull out of the front using the diagram below for dimensions. We used a hand saw and coping saw for this.

Sand all the edges smooth.

Step 5: Assemble Cabinet

· Grab all (6) ¾” x ¾” (Drawer runners)

· Slide the bottom drawer in place and slide a drawer runner into each slot.

· Secure the runner with glue and screws

· Use a spacer block and a piece of cardboard to space the second drawer in place and secure the next set of drawer runners to the drawer.

· Lastly do the same with the top drawer.

· Sand the slots smooth until all drawers easily slide in and out.

Step 6: Legs

· Grab the (2) 2” dowels and (1) 1” dowel.

· Make a mark 6” up from the bottom of the two 2" dowels (this is the center mark for the next step)

· Drill a 1” diameter hole with a forstner bit that’s 1” deep on both dowels.

· Use a small drill bit to drill the rest of the way through the 2” dowel. This will give you a pilot hole for a trim head screw.

· Put the 1” dowel in the hole and pre drill into the dowel with the drill bit used in the last step. Secure the dowel in place with a trim head screw.

· Repeat this with the other leg.

· Friction fit the assembled legs into the holes on the bottom of the desk top. We didn’t use screws or glue here, but either can be used if needed.

Step 7: Final Assembly

· Sand and seal all parts and move onto the assembly

· Set the top onto the Cabinet.

· Remove the drawers

· Screw through the top of the cabinet into the desk top to secure the two together.

· Your Done!

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    2 Questions

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    Why is all the joinery glue and screw? Wouldn’t box joints be far stronger? The would seem with your capability, and also require very minimal tools, thought a significant amount of effort)

    You say make 3/4 inch slots for the drawer guides. With what “minimal” tool? The dado stack on a table saw? A plunge router?, a circular saw set to a depth of 1/4 inch?

    3 Comments

    I like that you use birch it will not coloring that much as pine. Well done

    The method for your drawer slides is very interesting. Never seen it done quite like that before. Thanks for sharing, and great looking results!