Introduction: Simple Low Cost Desk/Table

Picture of Simple Low Cost Desk/Table

This is a modified version of the desk from the Ana White website. Keeping with my upcycled theme, this project was built from the top of an old desk. If you prefer, the top can be made from 2x12s. I’ve also included a quick video of the build along with a PDF version of the plans.

Video:

Drawing:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B21TbB8gGNQbMFZER...

Step 1: Tools/Materials

Tools:

  • Saw (Table or Miter)
  • Drill and bits
  • Pocket hole jig (optional)
  • Nail gun (optional)
  • Sander
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil

Materials:

  • Table Top (48” x 24” or two 2x12x48)
  • Five 8 foot long 2x4 (think ahead with the cuts)
  • One 8 foot long 1x4
  • Screws or Nails
  • Glue
  • Wood filler
  • Paint or Stain

Step 2: Cut Wood for Legs

Picture of Cut Wood for Legs

You will be building two identical leg assemblies. Cut the following pieces:

Step 3: Leg Assy - Step 1

Picture of Leg Assy - Step 1

Attach the “Leg – Horizontal – Thin” sections to the “Leg – Vertical”. Pre-drill and use a countersink bit for the holes. I used 2 ½” deck screws and glue for this attachment.

Step 4: Leg Assy - Step 2

Picture of Leg Assy - Step 2

Add “supports” as shown. I used a nail gun and glue for these connections. A second option is to use a pocket hole jig.

Step 5: Leg Assy - Step 3

Picture of Leg Assy - Step 3

Attach “Leg – Horizontal – 45 Degree” to the top and bottom of leg assemblies as shown. I used a nail gun and glue for this attachment.

Step 6: Leg Assy - Step 4

Picture of Leg Assy - Step 4

Before installing the “Leg – Horizontal – Thick” sections, pre-drill the pocket hole jig holes to 2 of the 4 pieces. These holes will be used to secure the legs to the top. Attach “Leg – Horizontal – Thick” to the top and bottom of leg assemblies as shown. Again, I used a nail gun and glue for this attachment.

Step 7: Leg Assy - Step 5

Picture of Leg Assy - Step 5

Add the feet as shown.

Step 8: Repeat

Picture of Repeat

Repeat process for the second leg assembly.

Step 9: Cut Horizontal and Angle Supports

Picture of Cut Horizontal and Angle Supports

Cut horizontal and angle supports as shown. Think ahead at this step and add the pocket hole jig holes to the ends and to 2 of the horizontal pieces that will be used to secure the top.

Step 10: ​Attach Horizontal and Angled Supports

Picture of ​Attach Horizontal and Angled Supports

Attach horizontal supports as shown. This step will most likely require two people.

Optional: Add angle supports. Note that I didn’t include this step on this version due to the smaller size. The large version shown below includes the supports

Step 11: Sand / Paint

Picture of Sand / Paint

Wood filler could be used at this point - depends on how “rustic” you want the desk to look. Sand assembly as desired. I painted both sections at this point since it’s easier to paint separately.

Step 12: ​Attach Top

Picture of ​Attach Top

Attach top using the pocket hole drill holes. Note that screws or nails can be used in lieu of the pocket hole jig attachment method. Just counter sink the holes and use wood filler to cover the holes.

Step 13: Finished

Picture of Finished

Step 14: Larger Version

Picture of Larger Version

I previously built a larger version which is closer to the Ana White plans.

Step 15: Matching Book Shelf

Picture of Matching Book Shelf

Comments

MsSweetSatisfaction (author)2014-09-14

So pretty! Looks like you did an awesome job building it, and you did a wonderful job explaining the process. Thanks for sharing!

Thanks

ccanadasoon made it! (author)2016-02-23

excellent instructions. super smooth to make. made some alterations to the plan but great idea to start from.

mtairymd (author)ccanadasoon2016-02-23

Looks good!

CaitlinC8 (author)2016-01-03

I'm interested in making this desk. Do you know of a way I could add a drawer to the underside of the desk?

mtairymd (author)CaitlinC82016-01-04

It's a very basic "rustic" design so I'm not sure how I would incorporate a drawer. You might want to consider a shelf to go on the top surface. Maybe a smaller version of this:

https://www.instructables.com/id/Rustic-Book-Shelf-or-TV-stand/

buoybreaker made it! (author)2016-01-03

Very easy to follow plans. I used 2x6s for the top and finished it with a red mahogany stain with a satin finish for a more rustic look.

mtairymd (author)buoybreaker2016-01-03

Thanks. Yes, the 2x6s do give it a more rustic look. I like your choice of finish.

kharmsengine (author)2015-03-08

Beautiful job! Hoping to add my own "I made it photo soon" (re-doing my jewelry bench and everything around it). Thank you.

avera2 (author)2014-12-06

I would also like to ask what type of wood did you use i used pine but I feel like it is a little to soft and that oak would have been a better material to use eventhough it is a little more expensive

mtairymd (author)avera22014-12-07

I used pine 2x4s and 1x4s for the legs. For this build, the top was hardwood. For the larger version, I used 2x12s. Yep, it's soft but dents add character :). I found the main disadvantage with working with 2x4s is the rounded corners. Filling the gaps (if desired) is tedious and limits your finishing options. Oak would be a nicer choice but it is much more expensive.

mtairymd (author)avera22014-12-07

I used pine 2x4s and 1x4s for the legs. For this build, the top was hardwood. For the larger version, I used 2x12s. Yep, it's soft but dents add character :). I found the main disadvantage with working with 2x4s is the rounded corners. Filling the gaps (if desired) is tedious and limits your finishing options. Oak would be a nicer choice but it is much more expensive.

avera2 made it! (author)2014-12-06

I really like this project it was fairly easy to make. I'm a Sophmore in High school and i finished it in about three or four class periods. granted it took a while for me to prime and paint it, so it may have taken be about 5 class periods worth of work but it was all worth it. The only things I changed is using a 3/4 inch plywood for the table top and just added a thin layer of pine on the sides so you can't see the sides of the plywood, and I added a outlet to the desk which comes in handy when you're studying and or maybe playing video games and your computer needs a charge.

mtairymd (author)avera22014-12-07

Wow, same colors. Looks good! My son (Sophomore at the time) and I built the black one (last picture in the instructable).

tkleinauskas (author)2014-10-06

Nice job!

signalsoldier (author)2014-09-17

This is very very nice! I have tons of lumber from a few really large pallets that could fit this bill. Its a bit above my skill set. Yet it appears to be possible without it being such a huge problem!
Thanks so very much for sharing!

parkmana (author)2014-09-17

Very nice design, both structurally and aesthetically.

abuhafss (author)2014-09-16

Simply splendid.

Thanks for sharing.

stephenf (author)2014-09-16

Nice, very nice.

Suggestion: Replace 2x4s with 5/4 clear pine, let's you stain and show off the wood grain.

BLR_RAVI (author)2014-09-15

just fantastic...very nicely made

awesomelumens (author)2014-09-14

very nice and impressing.It looks professional.

Is polishing or varnish needed?

MarkinDetroit (author)2014-09-14

Nice looking design, and looks great with the different finishes.
A very descriptive Instructable.

domenic3 (author)2014-09-14

looks good

tomatoskins (author)2014-09-14

Well that's a really good looking desk!

mtairymd (author)tomatoskins2014-09-14

Thank you.

Shoyun (author)2014-09-14

The larger version is wonderful in black, like an old strong table. Fav !

mtairymd (author)Shoyun2014-09-14

Thanks. My son and I built that one for his room ealier this year. My daughter wanted the smaller version for her room.

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Bio: I like to design and build random things.
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