Introduction: DIY Floating Live Edge Epoxy Filled Desk
So... Molly wanted a small desk to fill an empty space in her bedroom and also use her laptop at. We had some extra live edge walnut, epoxy, orange epoxy color dye, and tung oil in the garage. Tim went over to ikea to pick up the wall shelf brackets. So - wahoo a desk! lol. This took total about 3 days to make. Very simple design with a little bit of work with the router and jigsaw. We also got a planer (did I spell that correctly?) the other day and well.... we had to try it out. Molly now has a desk that she can sit her laptop at!
*Tip if you go to Harbor Freight and get a planer* - make sure your wet dry vac hose fits on the chute where all your wood shavings fall out from. This makes things sooooo much cleaner to deal with!
Step 1: Supplies
live edge Walnut - the size you will want your desk for. If you still go with the floating shelf/desk idea, don't make it any thicker or larger than an average shelf. You need those brackets to be able to hold up everything without any issue.
Finish - we used a tung oil cause that's what we had around, you can use whatever you like.
Epoxy and Epoxy dye - we used some marine epoxy we had left over in the garage, along with the Orange diamond powder dye to color it
Ikea Wall shelf brackets
epoxy mixing cup and stir stick
electric sander/sand paper (220 and 80 grit)
planer (optional depending on how level your live edge is. *live edge tip* - if you get your desktop at a lumber yard big chances you can have them plane it for you before you leave. Not all places do this, but most will.
two helpful friends
and one pesky pup (optional ;)
Step 2: Fit Wall Brackets Onto Desk
We ran our live edge thru the planer so it was cleaned up and level. Then we measured what we needed to route out on either side to fit on the wall brackets. Using the jigsaw we cut away any bark and extra sides that stuck out from the desk to far. Then took the palm sander and cleaned up all the edges and made sure it was clean to run under the router. We measured against the brackets again and set the router to the depth we needed. Took our level and clamped it down so we could get a straight across cut with the level. (taking into account the clear plastic edge on the router. - you're really just using the level to make your cut straight across.) Then cut out what we needed and kept testing the fit until we could sand everything and the bracket fit nice and snug. (hopefully all that rambling made some sense.)
Step 3: ORANGE EPOXY!!!
We had some extra marine 2 part epoxy and orange epoxy dye powder leftover in the garage. We made a small batch just to fill in any cracks, gaps, and old bug channels. We had a crack in one of the notches on the side of the board We lined the side with painters tape and filled in from the top. Go crazy with the painters tape, you don't wan any epoxy spilling out. Then use a heat gun to remove any surface bubbles. Once the epoxy has cure for a day or two you can pull your painters tape. If you need flip the board and fill anything on the other side and let that dry for one - two days. It's ok if you make a small mess with the epoxy. You can use the palm sander to smooth out the tops of your board. Then if you have one you can run your board once more through the planer to easily level things out. (this is not necessary because you can do with the palm sander and a level. Just takes a lot longer). Your epoxy might look a little rough and not very clear at this point.... don't worry! A secret (that's really not so secret) tip is that whatever clear finish you choose to use will clear things right up!
Step 4: Stain and Fit Brackets
We used tung oil to wipe a finish on the whole desk. Let the desk dry in between flipping from the back and the front. Follow the instructions on the finish you decide to use. Your epoxy should clear up and be the bright orange (or whatever color you used) it originally was. Fit on your floating bracket and if needed use a rubber mallet to make it fit. These brackets had screw holes underneath so you could attach the brackets to your desk. We drilled holes for those screws and attached them here.
Step 5: Magnets Are Your Friend.
One cool trick we use is instead of buying a fancy stud finder you can use a magnet pin that you have laying around your house. The magnet will pick up on the nails inside your studs under the drywall and will let you going vertically where the studs are. You want to find the studs to hang your desk to give it a stronger hold against the wall. If we were to just hang this up on the drywall it would fall from the wall quickly. Make sure everything is level and get two friends to help hold up the desk as you screw it into the wall. Keep checking level as you go.
Step 6: Now Get to Work!
Now you can pull up a chair, turn on your laptop and get to work! The brackets we bought from ikea left a little gap between the desk and the wall. This worked perfectly to run the power cable for Molly's laptop through and to the floor. Ya know, cable management and all that jazz. Let us know what you think, if you have any questions, or if you made one yourself!
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