Compact Corner Desk




Introduction: Compact Corner Desk

With COVID-19 continuing to make our lives challenging, many of us are trying to find more workspace for work and school within our own homes. I designed this desk for my daughter's bedroom. The room has very limited space, so I designed the desk to maximize the usable space while keeping the footprint relatively small. The desk is extremely simple to build. The project is constructed entirely with pocket hole/screws. There is no complicated or time-consuming joinery. The project requires only a half a sheet of 3/4 G1S plywood, three 2x2's, some screws and a bit of hardwood for edging, or pre-glued edge banding. This project can easily be built with minimal tools in a weekend.



48"x48"x3/4" G1S plywood Qty: 1

2"x2"x96" (actual size 1-1/2"x1-1/2") Qty: 3

1-1/4" Coarse Thread Washer Head Screws Qty: +/- 100

1"x4"x48" Hardwood Board, or Pre-glued Hardwood Edge-Banding.


Circular Saw

Hand saw or Bandsaw

Pocket Hole Joinery Jig

Combination Square


Wood Glue



Power Driver

Step 1: Cut the Parts

Break down the 3/4" plywood sheet into the parts:

4 Shelves 11-1/2" x 11-5/8" with 1-3/8" x 1-3/8" corner cutouts on the front edge, and 1-3/8" x 1-1/2" on the back edge for the legs.

6 Short Upper Support Stretchers 8-3/4" x 2-1/2"

2 Long Upper Support Stretchers 23-1/4" x 2-1/2"

2 Long Lower Stretchers 23-1/4" x 2-1/2"

1 Desktop 36-3/4" x 36-3/4"

1 Desktop trim 36" x 2-7/8" (optional)

1 Desktop trim 36-3/4" x 2-7/8" (optional)

Step 2: Drill the Pocket Holes

Using a pocket hole jig, drill the pocket holes as indicated on the cut sheet in the previous step. I used the Kreg K-5 jig. Be sure to drill the holes in the least attractive side, leaving the best side showing.

Step 3: Assemble the Two Shelf Towers

Assemble and screw 4 legs, 2 shelves and three short upper support stretchers into a tower assembly for the left side, then repeat again for the right side. Be sure to assemble the parts with the orientation of the faces with pocket holes facing the direction they are least likely to be seen.

I cut four 3" and four 12" spacers out of scrap. I placed the tower upright on the workbench and placed the spacers inside the legs and set the lower shelf on them and screwed the shelf in place. Next I clamped the 12" spacers to the legs on top of the lower shelf and placed the upper shelf on them and screwed the shelf in place.

Step 4: Taper the Inside Corner

This step is optional, but it is necessary if you want he desk to sit tight into a corner without baseboards corner. If the wall are drywalled, they almost guaranteed not to be square. The process of drywalling builds up drywall compound to hide the corner seam and it is blended out into the sheetrock. To allow for this I cut 1/8" off the corner in both directions and taper it out to about 18" from the corner.

Step 5: Add the Hardwood Edging.

Rip you piece of hardwood into 1/8" x 3/4" strips. Cut them to length and glue and tape or clamp them in place at let sit until the glue dries. Alternatively you can use pre-glued hardwood edge banding and an iron.

Step 6: Attach the Remaining Leg, Support Stretchers, and Desktop

On a flat surface, place the desktop upside down and attach the long support stretchers to the corner leg and the shelf towers. Be sure to pay attention to the orientation of the faces with the pocket holes showing. Once the substructure is completely assembled, align it to the desktop and secure it in place with screws.

Step 7: Attach the Desktop Trim (Optional)

I you wish to add a trim feature to add the final to piece to the top aligned with the back edges and screw them in place.

Step 8: Add the Finish

I used a trim router and a 45° bit to add a chamfer to the edges. You could also use a block plane, sanpaper, or a file to ease the sharp edges if you like. Sand the edges and surfaces smooth and add your choice of finish or paint and you are done..

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