Introduction: Reclaimed Scaffold Desk

This is a reclaimed desk made from rough construction 3/4" CDX plywood found in the construction dumpster site to work with a Werner Rolling Scaffold. I'll leave a PDF document which includes plans to scale on 8.5 x 11" paper. Also available to download is an STL file for the stretcher.

The intent of this design was to use CDX plywood that I picked up on a dumpster dive. Ebonizing the plywood takes advantage of the rough exterior texture. The skeleton frame was inspired a lot by the Ron Paulk workstation but with more curves for the visual appeal. It was a lot of fun to explore design with really cheap material. I hope you enjoy and can also explore the world of reclaimed plywood.

Leave a comment if you would like an DWG, or sketchup file and I'll upload later.


  • ¾” CDX plywood reclaimed pieces:
    • (Qty: 2) 46 1/16” width x 5 9/16” height
    • (Qty: 4) 13 1/16” width x 5 ¼” height
  • 1 ¼” wood screws (at least 24). I used black oxide #8 wood screws with a square drive
  • Wood dye and satin finish is optional. I used black to match the screws
  • Shelf pins and more scrap plywood if you want a bottom

Step 1: Download Template and Trace Onto a Piece of Scrap

Download or sketch out a design. The most important dimension on this design is the 42 1/4" centerline of mouse hole to centerline of other mousehole so the platform will sit snug on the 1" outer diameter bars of the scaffold.

Step 2: Cutout With Jigsaw, CNC Machine, or I Used the Shaper Origin

Cutout the templates with one of the following:

  • Shaper Origin (what I used)
  • CNC machine
  • Jigsaw and circular saw. Clean up the template with a lot of sanding... I know this is some work, but only two templates are needed.

Step 3: Rough Cut Plywood With Jigsaw and Circular Saw

I used some large diameter drill bits(forstener bits) and jig saw to cut out the shape of the plywood to rough size.

Step 4: Router Template Out the Final Shape

Doublestick tape the template to the plywood. I used a top bearing 1/2" pattern following router bit clean up the final shape. I also gave a 45 degree bevel to the edge to knock off the sharp corners.

Step 5: Stain Plywood With Leather Dye

Apply black leather dye to the plywood and let dry. I did a couple of coats, and I like the way leather dye covers plywood so well.

Step 6: Assemble

Clamp and predrill the holes for the woodscrew. This is probably not necessary, but since I'm going into the edge grain of the plywood, it's a lot safer for a strong bond. No wood glue is used and this platform feels quite study.

Step 7: Add Top, and Bottom If You Want

Add a top for a desk. I had a bunch of cutoff green 3-form material that I spliced together and reshaped for my desk. My plans it to enter the desk top into the plastic challenge.

Shelf pins were added at the bottom to include a bottom shelf. This quickly accumulated junk into my desk which is kind of the plan, but I'm not sure I want to keep it as I may keep too much junk down there.

Plywood Challenge

Participated in the
Plywood Challenge