Wooden Desk




Introduction: Wooden Desk

To begin building anything i like to spend at least an hour thinking of the plans and drawing them out just so i know exactly what i will be doing. Also the plans are never concrete since i changed a few dimensions on the desk while actually building the thing, and never built the PC shelf.

the height is actually 31"

the shelf height is aprox 6"

drawer widght is 10" the length is 12" and depth is 2" aprox

Step 1: Picking the Wood and Begin Glueing

To start i just picked some wood lying around and picked some of the wider pieces for the table top, then cut them to size with a table saw, but you could do this with a jig saw, bandsaw, or even a hand saw. Then i organized my pieces, i had the legs, the table leg supports, legs, and finally the drawer. Also in a side note the more clamps the better i only have 3 36" ones i under stand i need more, and so do you, even if you have 20 you still need more!

Step 2: Cutting and Glueing the Rest of It

I glued the table top down and afterwards filled any cracks between the boards (technically there should be no cracks but since a few of the boards were a but warped i let it slide), the the table leg supports which help with keeping the legs "square" with the table (the legs are angled 15 degrees). the wooden frame under the table i simply glued together with dowels to add strength. At this point the table did not look pretty but thats nothing a bit of sanding cant fix. (Which always ends up being a lot of sanding).

Step 3: The Drawer

Personally the hardest part for me was the drawer, since it was the first time i was building one, for this i used one board cut in half for the edges and the original for the front. the grooves i measured out and cut with my trusty table saw, hence why it does all the way down the back piece, and after failing a couple times measured and fit a sheet of plywood into the grooves and then glued it in place, in fact i glued the entire drawer together apart from the handle and a few nails in the back. for the frame the drawer would slide on i measured out a few pine boards and glued thinner oak boards to the bottom to create an L shape which would go under the desk allowing the drawer to slide freely.

Step 4: Assembly

I dry fit everything to make sure i didn't screw anything up, then being attaching the frame with L brackets and i only glued the drawer rails down, which holds it for not (probably going to reinforce it later but for not, good enough). The legs got the same treatment as the frame, glue, dowels and then more L brackets. In the back I put in a support between the legs just for added rigidity (fun fact the dark oak wood came from an old thrown out piano), and it was just glued in place. Then came the shelf (this peice was a but warped so i added in the piece in the middle not just to organize cables that was just a cover up for the fact the wood was slightly bowed and needed to be glued strait). Then after that came the worst part, sanding and alot of it, sure i would sand the peices periodically but now i really need to do it, i used the usual method of 80, to 100 to 150, then polyurethane then 150 then poly, then 400 then poly and three more coats of that until i used 0000 steel wood right before the final coat. (clear gloss by the way is the one i used). after that i added the handle and dragged it upstairs, to my brother's room (his old desk is the black one in the back, it was old and rocking side to side so i thought it was time to make him a new one and i did, be it from scrap wood but a desk is a desk)

anyways hope you enjoyed, maybe even learned something,

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    Phil B
    Phil B

    5 years ago

    I looked carefully at your Instructsble, but could find no mention of the things I want to say.

    You glued the pieces for the desktop together. Normal practice is to alternate grain in the pieces so that one tends to cup downward and the piece next to it tends to cup upward. And, the pieces are usually less than four inches wide. These two things help to keep the desktop flatter as humidity changes.

    Also, the ends of the desktop are solid wood with grain running at a right angle to the grain of the main pieces in the top. Grain expands and contracts at a rate different rate along its length from across its width. When these two are glued together the day comes when a large crack forms. Usually solid wood is pegged or glued to a piece across its grain at about the mid point of the top so the outer edges can float back and forth with changes in humidity. That also means a long mortise and tenon joint across the entire end so the end piece stays attached to the rest of the top.

    Finally, the frame under the desktop is attached near the center of each narrow end of the top with a cleat arrangement that allows the top to float back and forth without cracking.

    Earlier in our marriage butcher block work tables were very popular. Usually these were a good cutting board with a frame under it and legs. My in-laws bought one for us. The cutting board top was fastened on all four sides with glue so no movement was possible. I removed the cleats and legged the cutting board at the centerline running down the lengthwise grain. I made cleats for the outer sides of the cutting board. I often saw cutting board tables in people's homes and they were usually cracked because the cutting board tops could not move relative to the underside frame with changes in the humidity.

    I am sorry to give you a discouraging word. Yet, these things are lessons that are best learned as early as possible.


    Reply 5 years ago

    thanks for the advice ill keep it in mind next time

    Phil B
    Phil B

    5 years ago

    "Pegged" rather than "legged." Sorry.