- I really wanted a desk of my own since my apartment didn't have one, and I wanted something with a large surface area so here we are a semester later much in debt, but with a great table.
- Pen and paper for design
- Wooden planks
- Wood Glue
- Lacquer or epoxy
- Screws Galore
- Ratchet chord and clamps
I found all of these at Home Depot where they cut and threaded the pipes I needed to length
- 5 pipe legs
- 5 floor flanges
- 7 T-connectors
- 6 nipples various heights
Step 1: Sizing and Materials
Size of Table
- Measure out your room or where the table will be.
- I had a 65 x 45 inch rectangle to work in so I used all of it.
- Enough Cherry or whatever wood you fancy.
- 2x4's for a temporary base.
Step 2: Wood Sizing
Assuming your table is also an L shape these are the steps I used.
- Measure out your planks and cut to desired size
- I cut all my planks with a 2 inch range of error for later.
Step 3: A Good Place to Give Up
You'll notice just how ugly your table is the moment you try to evenly set everything up.
- Straighten out your wood by running it along a table saw
- Even up your 45 degree cuts and clamp them all down.
- Wipe away excess glue and let dry. Repeat 4 times
I joined my wood in four parts, that way I could remove imperfections on each piece without it being too large or heavy. I also redid the 45 degree cuts to make them perfectly aligned as the clamps shifted my planks around.
- Run planks through a planer, or sand them by hand once the glue dries
- Give yourself a pat on the back
Step 4: Internal Supports
The weakest point of the table is the 90 degree L joint. Using a biscuit cutter I made six cuts on each side of the table. Then got the biscuits you see in my hand ready for gluing.
Step 5: Edges, Do We Really Need Them?
This part is optional but I decided I wanted my table to have a border, so I cut all along the edge of the table top at a 45 degree angle. This was extremely grueling and janky, you have been warned.
- Cut each piece individually then measure out your edge pies and cut them as well.
A big reason that I decided to add this border was that it would give the table a huge amount of support it would have otherwise lacked.
Step 6: Remaining Imperfections
I spent a really long time trying to straighten out my cuts but alas I still had a very thin section that wasn't joining properly. To fix that i cut an equally small splint and glued that sucker in there.
Step 7: Glueing It All Together
Grab all the glue you have and begin by sticking your biscuits in the holes you created earlier. Glue them in place and then position your clamps. (This took me like 7 tries, no shame if you take the same)
Using your ratchet clamps (simply cause I have no clamps long enough) on both edges will balance out the tension and let you glue the table evenly
Weigh down the edges so that your table doesn't accidentally warp.
Once glued you're gonna sand that baby down till it's so smooth no one will ever know just how much glue you used.
Step 8: Underside Support
To make sure not even the Hulk could smash my table I added a panel of quarter inch MDF to the underside
To top it all off I screwed it in too. The problem with this came as a complete afterthought to me; mdf and screws don't change with the weather the way normal wood does. As winter is approaching in my house we'll see if the glue comes off and my table warps funny.
Step 9: Wireless Charger Port
I used a router to safely, and cleanly, cut a small pocket out of the underside of the table so that I could place a Qi-charger in there. Before you get rowdy in the comments this was my first time using a router, and my cut shows it. However beauty is only skin deep, and what's on the inside doesn't matter so I'll make my cuts how I please.
You can also use a chisel, I began the process with one before deciding I loved myself. It will just take much longer, and if you're like me you might break your table.
Step 10: Glue That Side Trim
Glue your trim down so that your table gets that extra "edge" of support and prevent warping. This part should take you a while simply because you want to be careful with the placement of edges, aka you don't want gaps.
Once glued, its at this point when you decide how you want your table to look, I coated mine in alcohol to see how it would look with no stain and I really liked it so I didn't stain my wood. Because of this if you don't stain your wood you don't have to worry about its finish until the end of the project.
Step 11: Who "Framed" Roger Rabbit
Alright, If you want a metal frame you better have some money because these connector pieces are stupid expensive. Go to Home Depot, go to the piping section, and be ready to bother Rick for the next three weeks as you make him re-cut, re-thread, and re-cut pipes again cause you measured wrong.
Use what ever dimensions you want to make the table, because I'm really tall I made the legs 31 inches, plus a 3/4 inch thick table-top. Overall that makes my table a little taller than 30 inch standard desk.
Set up your frame, make sure everything is the right size and nothing is loose. Test out your heights by placing the tabletop on it.
Step 12: Underside Organization
My honest to god least favorite thing about technology is the cables. So since this is gonna be a "smart" table all of the cables I'll be using will be organized to the underside of the desk. I began by routing out holes where major parts would sit; such as my laptop charger and outlet adapter. At Home Depot I found some great wire holders, I got the "one hole strap" kind so that I could modify them whichever way I needed. There were about 20 for 4 bucks so I'm definitely going to screw more into the table as more wires come along.
Step 13: Staining and Polishing
Put your table on the frame, now stain it. very simple even my dad could do it. Actually my dad has done it. His table was much better than mine.
I used a polyurethane finish because it's pretty great for wood finishes actually. During winter months though wood can warp, If you're worried and want to minimize warping you'll need to coat the underside of your desk as well.
Step 14: Enjoy Your Table!
That's it! You now have a professional looking desk and anyone who tells you otherwise isn't loved by their mother.
Anything else that I'll add to the table will be uploaded as I do it, but for now I've been really enjoying having a desk for the past few days.