For years i have planned on building a desk to meet my needs and use old wooden boxes and crates for the drawers. I'm not a finish carpenter but was able to cobble this desk together over a few evenings with a little trial and error.
I wanted to use crates found at garage sales and thrift stores for the drawers, have a tidy cable and cord system, shelving integrated, not conceal too much of the wall, and to fit the space that i had evenly. I also wanted to spend as little money as possible on it and use salvaged materials.
I ended up only buying a few longer screws for the drawer handles - that was the only new purchase of anything i didn't have on hand.
Step 1: Materials
Your materials will vary depending on your requirements and what you have available.
The entire desk was made out of red cedar 1x12 boards that i reused from shelving that was in the house and boards that i found in the attic and 2x2 red cedar pieces that i salvaged from the front porch railing.
The top of the desk was made with two pieces of tempered glass that i salvaged from a construction site -- they were extras.
The crates i collected slowly over a period of years from local sales.
The handles on the drawers were salvaged from a desk and a filing cabinet that were at the landfill and partially crushed.
The cable management tracks were removed from an electrical panel that was at the landfill as well.
Drawer hardware. Two of the drawers i put on tracks because i had salvaged them from old desks and because i could spare the extra space due to a crate being paired with a larger one. Friction drawers seem to be working alright with the others.
I used finishing nails for all the wood attachments and short screws with a very wide head for attaching the cable chases and the drawer hardware.
Unfortunately, my good digital camera was in for service as I built the desk so a few photos were taken with my cameraphone. Sorry about the poorer quality of them.