Introduction: Minimalistic Desk

Picture of Minimalistic Desk

My little Ikea Corner Desk work wonders, but it was ok when I used to live in a little apartment, now I have more space and I decided to build my self a minimalistic desk - kind of-, out of a door panel and some pieces of wood (from a Lade Ikea Bed) that I used to build 2 work horses, at a very low cost.

Step 1: Materials

I save from the street a Lade Bed from Ikea, at least the wood pallet, great for all sort of stuff, and I also found a door panel in craigslist for free. this are the mayor components of this project.

7 Pallets (from the Lade Bed) for each work horse (2 work horses=14 pallets)
some other scrap pieces of wood.
1 Door panel, - hollow doors are the best-
4 Machine screws 1/4" - 3" long - bolts and washers
Drywall Screws - Assorted sizes

Step 2: Work Horses

Picture of Work Horses

Work horses are a very easy and cheap solution for a desk, and in this case they are the main pieces of construction. I could bought some but I barely spend a dime building this two. This is what i did:

First of all keep in mind the hight of your desk surface, usually desk tops range from 27" to 30" , I use 29" for the top of my. I subtract the thickness of the panel 1-1/2" which gives me 27- 1/2" for the top of the horses. The length of the top piece (horizontal) is 28", the same depth of the door panel. I set back the legs 2 - 1/2" from the edges, (see note 1 in the pic).

Keep in mind the angle of the legs, which will be roughly the same as the hight 27 - 1/2".
For this I attached a piece of 1 -1/2" x 3/4" under the main runner of the bench between the two legs to get the angle. (see note 2). At the bottom of the horse I got 8 - 3/4" between the legs (see note 3).

Next I drill a 3/8" hole on the horizontal piece, at roughly 1 - 3/8" from the top , and also in the two pieces for the legs to drive the 3" machine screws, keep in mind that the machine screws are 1/4" dia, but the legs are in an angle, that's why we need a 3/8" hole to bare some room for the screws (see note 4).

When I fixed the hight of the work horse tighten the screws and every thing was in order I put two drywall screws into the 1 - 1/2" (the angle piece) to secure them, see images.
At this point the horses are still a little bit wobbly.

At the bottom of the legs I put a 7 - 3/4" piece from 2 1/2" from the floor to secure the legs, and also as support for the 2 last pieces of pallets (shelves).
When everything is in place and secure, the work horses were very stiff. From here the rest is very straight forward.

Step 3: The Panel Door As a Desktop

Picture of The Panel Door As a Desktop

The panel door as a desktop is a great work surface, the dimension of my is 6'-0" by 28", plenty of space, I add a trim of 2" x 1/4" around the sides just to make it look better (see Note 5).

I attached a scrap of wood under the panel just to keep the work horses in place and symmetrical, (see Note 6).

And the desk it pretty much done.

Step 4: Final Product

Picture of Final Product

Finally, I redo my studio with my new desk, I reuse the keyboard tray from the corner desk and I put it in the new one. all the materials where recycle besides the 4 machine screws, I spend around two days working on the benches and no more the $5 in materials..

Step 5: Final Note: Wine Corks

Picture of Final Note: Wine Corks

Just a little note here, I use wine corks and double side tape as padding for all the furniture around my place, way more cheaper than the ones from the store. Salud! or cheers!


jaycronan made it! (author)2015-03-03

Awesome desk, inspired me to build one. Thanks for the idea!!

hiimkyle (author)jaycronan2015-12-14

awesome! How did you join the multiple pieces of wood on the desktop?

Hylek made it! (author)2014-05-25

for the great idea, I first made a SketchUp model.

I also used 1 IKEA LADE slatted bed base
(#058.251.00) 70 x 200 cm. The 14 slats
are 19 x 70 x 701 mm. I also used 2 IKEA OBSERVATÖR cross-braces (#677.973.00) 70 cm. I assembled everything with (more then) enough screws, nuts and bolts. Most times I'm beter save than sorry.

krazy4projects (author)2013-03-26

Great desk! Love your creativity. I have built two desks and there are instructions and pictures on my web site. I will post them here too. Check it out -

logicop (author)2012-10-13

Great minimalist project, I am typing on mine right now and it's awesome. Thanks for creating this! Built using 5x 1x4x8' (cut at 29" and 7.75") and scraps for ~10 bucks at Lowe's, and a door someone gave away on craigslist for free.

danmcegan (author)2012-05-15

Thanks for the instructable. Just what I needed. (author)2012-02-25

Picture of mine ! Nice instructables, thanks :)

acoleman3 (author)2011-11-22

omg mate....your old desk looks like a *nightmare*. i bet you're totally chuffed with the new one.

健康と長寿 -影のモザイク-
(kenkou to choujyu -kage no mozaiku-)
(good health and long life -shadow mosaic-

acoleman3 (author)2011-11-22 the set back on the top of the sawhorse legs to keep the ends of the support rail from spiting out? i have a feeling they are.

acoleman3 (author)2011-11-22

this is the desk i am going to build for my scriptorium. i can appreciate its design since i am *also* a minimalist. im deffo giving this 5*.

健康と長寿 -影のモザイク-
(kenkou to choujyu -kage no mozaiku-)
(good health and long life -shadow mosaic-

MXR789 (author)2011-11-10

Best $5.00 Desk Ever! I want to make one, but I might need more storage space than the work horses provide.

Viaticus (author)2011-11-02

Very nice Instructable! Thanks for making this contribution!

mportal (author)2011-03-17

is a amazing idea! hope make this in two weeks, thanks for sharing!

cajoberg (author)2010-09-16

AH! I've been looking for some kind of instruction or something because this is my dream desk, which is maybe a little silly, but I love the simplicity and architectural look, the workhorses are my favorite! It's exactly what I want to make.

Glitter_Cat (author)2010-09-02

It looks great!!

Handsy (author)2008-09-19

Hollow core doors are great. But why stop at just the work surface? - Ditch the sawhorses. - Take a second hollow core door and cut it in half. These are now the legs of your table. The top and bottom of hollow core doors are not hollow, they are braced all the way across with solid wood. - Using 3.5" - 4" woodscrews, screw your legs to each end of your desk. Note: I ended up using a drafting chair because I like me desks to double as a tall workbench, but you could just as easily saw the second door (legs) to whatever height you needed. Just be sure to saw from the middle because you need the solid wood at the top and bottom for the screws to bite. Enjoy.

Lance Mt. (author)Handsy2010-02-23

Thanks for the input, but i honestly like the SawHorse design/look.

paupi (author)2009-05-26


johnrogers (author)2009-03-23

wall mount those guitars

casey321b (author)2008-09-07


casey321b (author)2008-09-07


casey321b (author)2008-09-07


james32174 (author)2008-06-30

Is there a more detailed section on the wooden workhorses, I'm a beginner woodworker and would love to know the angled cuts and perhaps a step by step process

If I remember correctly, Ikea has wooden workhorses very much like these, and for this very purpose. It'll be more expensive than building them yourself, but not by too much.

tyler.willmon (author)2008-08-25

did you put any type of varnish on this bad boy? i enjoy the natural wood look, but as far as the desk goes it would probably get a fair amount of stains if i had it (coffee/drink rings, etc.).

arte.sano (author)tyler.willmon2008-08-25

I'm on it, I also like the natural finish of the wood, but I'm going to put at least one coat of a clear finish. thanks

abc123ll (author)2008-08-19

gets rid of that terrible glare off the window

didi60 (author)2008-02-21

I like your desk. I might get my husband to build one for me. Also I am going to find some win corks as we have a new laminate floor. (author)2007-10-11

This is great! Are the work horses sturdy enough? I would think a "leg" on each corner would be more stable. Anyway, the real reason I'm posting... did you make your guitar rack yourself? Is there an instructable on it? That looks amazing!

static (author)Markp.com2007-10-14

This design is plenty stable. I built a desk using a solid core door. I used a leg on each corner. When you do that you need to add stretchers to the legs to insure stability. One method isn't necessarily better than the other

dt00map (author)Markp.com2007-10-12

I too have done exactly this several times. The trestles are a must for stability. U used some Ikea legs at first and they were gash since you really need something very substantial to screw them in to. The door is great because its 1) stiff, 2) normally veneered, 3) if it's not it has some kind of plastic laminate, so it's ready to go straight away, 4) it's really light weight for a table of it's size, most importantly, 5) it's CHEAP. I got a veneer effect door from MFI or somewhere for about £14. Wallop!

arte.sano (author)Markp.com2007-10-11

Actually I have to say, they are quite sturdy, very, and doesn't wobble at all. The triangular configuration of the horses is what makes it so stable. And thanks for the link of the guitar stand, that's a very fun project and extremely simple, I'm glad you like it. (author)Markp.com2007-10-11

Ah damn! Just found it... here's a link for everyone else!


mehfridge (author)2007-10-12

I did something similar to this. I bought a prefab formica counter top, a set of folding table legs, and some 1x4 from Menards. Then you just screw the 1x4 to the counter top, and then the folding legs to those. You end up with a lightweight, sturdy, and portable table. Works great in the dorms, also you can pick up L shaped prefab if you have enough space.

rodie82 (author)2007-10-12

Nice desk! And what a great use for old wine corks!

mcbarnicle (author)2007-10-11

In the San Francisco bay area, building resources is a great source for doors and other large flat table top possibilities

aardvark (author)2007-10-11

We have a desk Great-Grandfather made from a door. It uses 2 short file cabinets as the supports. It also has center drawer he made, but the file cabinets are very easy!!

arte.sano (author)2007-10-09

Hi all, thanks for the comments: Drinkmorecoffe, yes that's a dulcimer in the wall, Jake, trebuchet is right, the approach to the construction is minimalistic, very simple I'll say, tho there's only two screens the pc's are undernit. cheers

Cool. Do you play your dulcimer, or just hang it on the wall? :-P

modelmanjohn (author)2007-10-10

I've done this several times, but just used 2x4s for the legs. Need to be braced with a cross piece, but still very sturdy. I usually get 3 legs out of a 96" 2x4, so 2 of them usually are enough for the bracing.

gmjhowe (author)2007-10-09

i picked up a cheap kitchen workside cheap from my local wickes (got it cheap as a corner was damaged) for my desk , good if u need summit a bit longer, or more hardwearing special for messy instructbles, I like your desk, i mite upgrade to two horses, as mine is currently just sat on two other desks.

JakeTobak (author)2007-10-08

I find it amusing that a Minimalistic Desk would have two computers on it.

trebuchet03 (author)JakeTobak2007-10-08

I think s/he meant more that the desk construction itself is minimalistic (just two saw horses and a door panel) - rather than the desk space :p

drinkmorecoffee (author)2007-10-08

Nice instructable. This is my kind of desk, very cheap, very simple. :-) Is that a dulcimer on the wall, or something else? Can't really see it very well in the picture.

LinuxH4x0r (author)2007-10-08

You can get lots of cheap doors from menards (A store in the midwest). They usually have scratched or dented doors for $1. Nice Instructable

About This Instructable




More by arte.sano:LEDBERG (ikea) easy desk lamp conversionDIY Camera Strap and Hand Grip in oneGift Terrariums Ideas
Add instructable to: