I wanted a new desk for myself but didn't want to spend an arm and a leg. I got inspiration for this design from
I liked the second level that my current desk has, but wanted a wider desk with some storage. So I came up with this design.
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Step 1: Design
To get the most bang for my buck I designed the desk with as little waste as possible (actually there was 0 waste from the 4'x8' sheet). This was designed and built with a 29" desk height, I have seen others at 26" so pick your favorite.
Here is the model and design in sketchup.
Step 2: Get Lumber for $11!
I was going for a desk as cheap as I could, so I headed to my local Menards. Against the back wall they have a scratch and dent section for sheet lumber. There was a piece of shelf particleboard in the $20 section, but didn't have a price tag on it. I brought it to the front told them it was $20. Then, the cashier called over his manager and then he called the lumber guy and the lumber guy said $10, WIN! When I brought it home I measured the board and it was actually 4' x 8' 1". Lucky the big gouges were on the 8' 1" side so trimming off that one inch removed the big imperfections in the sheet. I also got a stick of lumber for cross support, you could really use whatever you got, a stick of wood or sheet material.
- 4'x8'x5/8" Shelf Particleboard, scratch & dent for $10
- 1"x4"x4' Stick for cross support ~$1
Caveat: you got all the necessary tools and some screws already.
- Circular saw
- 1/8" pilot drill bit
- Impact driver
- Tape measure
- Box of 1 5/8" phillips drywall screws
Step 3: Assembly
Screw it all together. If you want to be extra sturdy you can glue all the edges, but I wanted the option to take it apart when I move.
- I built the desk on it's back
- Pilot drill all the holes
- Put 3 or 4 screws in every 2' joint
- Use a carpenter's square or the 3:4:5 rule to get the legs square
- The 2nd level support is just screwed in from the bottom on the center support. The sides are held in place with dowels
- Sand the rough corners/ edges or whatever you want
Finishing Step Options
- Sand the rough edge, and call it a day
- "Fill the cut edges with elmers glue. Then when dry, you can easily paint over it..." -aaahotdog
- Buy ~20' of edge banding, glue it one, then cut off the extra