Introduction: Kids Size Student or Play Desk

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This desk, appropriately sized for the smaller humans in our lives, is quite sturdy, and features a clean, modern design. It measures 20 inches (508mm) high and is a good size for kids ages around 3-8 years old. It's made out of 1/2 inch (12mm) plywood, and you can either use a CNC machine or a jigsaw and circular saw to cut the pieces out. It's designed so that the pieces all fit into each other, so as long as you get all the pieces cut up properly, assembly is pretty easy. There's a full build video, as well as plans including the .svg files for CNC cutting available.

Step 1: Cut the Pieces

Using either a CNC machine or a jigsaw and circular saw, cut out the pieces for the desk. If possible, Baltic Birch plywood is preferable, however any good quality 1/2 plywood will work.

In the plan there are templates available which can be printed out, taped together, and glued onto the wood.

The pieces required are four pieces for the legs, whereas the two inner pieces have cutout sections which the rails fit into. There are four side rail pieces, and one top.

Step 2: Assemble

Once all the pieces are cut out, it's time to assemble the desk. First of all, glue together the pieces for the legs. Each leg consists of one outer pieces (no cutouts) and one inner pieces (cutouts for rails). Add glue to both pieces, carefully line up and secure with a couple of pins to keep in place while drying.

Step 3: Routing

Once the leg pieces are glued together, route all the sides except the area which will connect to the top, using a round over bit. You don't want a very aggressive cut, just a slight rounding over to remove any tear out in the plywood, and add some softer edges. Next, round all the edges on the table top, and the pieces for the rails (however don't route the sides which will touch the underside of the top, they should be flat).

Step 4: Gluing the Sides in

Place one of the leg sections down on a flat surface and add some glue in the holes cut out for the rails to fit in. Also, add some glue to the end of the rail. Connect the rails into the pocket, tap in place if not going in quite right, and measure to make sure that both rails are in the same distance. Now add some glue to the other side of the rails, and to the pockets cut out in the other section of the leg. Fit the other side in the place.

Step 5: Glue Top In

If you cut out these pieces on the CNC machine, then there are shallow mortises cut out on the underside of the table, and tenons cut out on the side of the rails/legs which will connect to the top. Add some glue in the mortises and the tenons and fit the two sections in place.

If you cut these pieces out by hand, we recommend avoiding this step, and instead securing the top the base with some pocket screws in addition to glue in the corners.

Step 6: Final Steps

Finally sand the parts lightly and add a finish such as shellac, polyurethane or lacquer. For a more in depth look, make sure to check out the video that goes over all the steps in details as well as a final look of the result.