Custom Office Desk From Reclaimed Wood

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We recently shifted rooms around which opened up a bedroom to be converted into a guest room/office. I'm a teacher, so I needed a place to set up shop and get work done that was somewhere other than the dining room table. Here's how I made my office desk using reclaimed wood.

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Step 1: Gathering Materials

In my spare time (haha!), I like to tinker around in the garage and make various items for use around the house. At work, we often have a number of school supplies delivered on pallets, so collecting them wasn't very challenging. I had a number of pallets sitting around, so I tore them apart and that became the basis for my desk.

Step 2: Building the Frame

I had decided that to provide the most efficient work space, I need a desk that was long. I settled on making a desk that was almost exactly the width of our space....almost exactly 10' long!! Once I had decided on the length, I used some 4"x4" posts and 10' - 2" x 4"s to build the basic frame. I used wood glue and pocket screws for the corners. The cross pieces are all reused from the pallet frames. I counter-sunk the screws for the cross pieces and filled them in with wood filler for a clean look.

Step 3: Bottom Cross Pieces

For the bottom pieces, I wanted to continue the "clean" look, so I decided to notch the 4" x 4" boards. I simply set my circular saw to the appropriate depth and cross cut a bunch of times until the notch was cut. I then cleaned up with some chisels and sanded it for a smooth finish. I used wood glue and these "Head Lock" screws I had from a project on my deck.

Step 4: The Top

This step was probably the most challenging, just because of the various length/widths/thickness of the pallet boards. Once I got all of the boards arranged, I started screwing them with wood screws. I also filled in all of the extra holes from the pallet nails. Then it was just a matter of sanding everything smooth.

Step 5: Choosing a Finish

I originally went with a dark walnut stain but didn't like it. I ended up sanding it down some and went with an ebony stain.

Step 6: Finished Product

I decided to go with a gloss polyurethane for this desk. After each coat, I sanded it lightly with 400 grit sandpaper. After some careful maneuvering, we were able to JUST squeeze it into the office.

Next project....organizing my cords!

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