Introduction: Make a Desk From a Kitchen Countertop!
So ever since i finished remodeling my basement, I've wanted to build myself a new desk to fit in the corner of my newly remodeled office. Well after some motivation from a friend and his sweet desk , I decided to bite the bullet and build it.
I'll give you a step by step guide on how to do it and what materials you'll need, even some of the lessons learned from my ordeal.
Step 1: Go Shopping
This will cost the same to build as some of the cheaper desks out there and if you need a corner wrapping Desk, this will give you exactly what you want.
First thing you need to do is go shopping. Here was my shopping list.
1. 6' Labrador Granite Right Miter Countertop - 59.00
2. 6' Labrador Granite Left Miter Countertop - 59.00
3. Miter bolt kit -5.95
4. Labrador Granite End Cap Kit - 11.48
5. 8' x 4'x 3/4" Pine Ply wood - 29.00 (worth it dont skimp on the ply wood)
6. Hole saw kit (need at least a 3" saw) - 2.99
7. Jigg saw blades - 4.99
8. Paint left over from painting my basement - 0.00
9. Gorilla Glue left over from remodel - 0.00
10. Metal Brackets handed down from dad when i moved out. - 0.00
11. Flat metal shim from the same dad - 0.00
Step 2: Gather Your Tools
Tools I used.
1. Jigg saw
2. Circular saw
3. Power drill
4. Paint brushes
5. Saw horses
7. Common sense
8. Clothes Iron
Step 3: Make Your Leg Templates
Trace out a pattern on some heavy duty paper, cut it out.
Step 4: Cut Your Legs
Lay over your plywood and Cut out your legs. I cut 6, I only needed 2. So lesson learned. My total footage was 5 foot on the left side, 6 foot on the right. So if this is about right for you as well, you'll only need two legs. This is by far the longest step of the process. With the detailed cuts it takes a while so give yourself some time. Maybe it only took long because i did 6 legs instead of 2.
I don't have a picture of this but you need to cut two, 2 inch wide by 22 inches long. This will be the top support for the leg. Then you will need to cut two, 2 inch wide by 24 3/4 inches long back support strips.
STOP. everything i said above with the top and back support strips needs to be rethought if you have base molding running along the floor. As you can see in the picture below, the spine support runs all the way down my leg, if you have molding, your leg will not sit flush against the wall. However high your molding is (mine was 4 inches) accommodate for it and shave off some of the bottom. For a reference you can look down a few steps where im screwing the legs to the wall you can see in that later picture that i trimmed off some of the back spine.
Step 5: Primer and Cut Your Holes
Start painting. I primered two coats.
Cut your holes, I used a 3" whole saw but i should have used a smaller one. This will allow you to pass you wires through the legs.
Step 6: Paint
Paint to match your walls, I painted two coats.
Step 7: Cut Counter to Size
I only needed 5 feet of my 6 foot left side. So i needed to cut a foot from it.
I then cut the left miter countertop down one foot to 5' using a jig saw.
Step 8: Top Holes
Next I cut 3" holes in the top of the countertop both for monitor wires,hdtv, and for two of these belkin 4 port, 3" diameter USB hubs.
Belkin carries two types of these, but i liked this one most because the hub was elevated and there was space to pass wires through the holes, which you'll need to pass up speaker wires, monitor cables etc.
Step 9: Join the Corners
Next move all your things into your area. Put down a few trash bags to protect the carpet from the glue.
Now, Run a large bead of Gorilla Glue (or equally as strong glue) down the mitered joint of the two countertops.
DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN, the under side of the countertop is just MDF and the joint is made of the same, if you over tighten you will break the joint. (mine started to crack).
Step 10: Line Er Up.
Get some things setup that will support your desk top an inch over the height of the legs you cut for support. You will need two people for this because the glue is still wet and the counter will shift, you dont want that or you will have gaps in your joint.
Step 11: Attach Your Legs
Make sure it's level.
Then, find your studs and the best location for support for your legs. Then get to the screwing......
Step 12: Add Brackes for Support
Add your two brackets near the 90 degree joint for support.
Use the metal shims to join once and for all the two joints.
Step 13: Add End Caps
Follow the directions on the end cap kit to put the laminate on the ends to bring it all together.
Step 14: Add Some Shevles
If you want to, you can add some shelves under, and on the legs. I needed some for my UPS and power strips, it was also a great place to hide some wires.
Step 15: Add Some Wire Rails
I ordered (after the fact) some 1U server wire rails to keep all my wires secure and semi hidden under my desk. This option is optional, another way to do it would be to get some 2" diameter pvc pipe, paint it accordingly and attach it under the desk.
Step 16: Sit Back and Enjoy Your New Desk.
No more propping up a pre cut countertop on two file cabinets. This is more sturdy and it gives you exactly what you want. If this is what you want of course.
Enjoy. (i will)