I needed a decent looking desk for my laptop but didn't have a ton of time to devote to making one. This simple yet elegant desk was my answer to my problem. I encourage you to watch the video as I talk better than I type.
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Step 1: Cut the Top to Size
I had some 3/4" baltic birch plywood left over from another project so I decided to use that. Baltic birch has little to no voids in the plies and I wanted to highlight the look of the edge in the final project. I ripped the top to a rough width. I'll be trimming it down later. The off-cut from this rip cut will get used in the next step. The I used my crosscut sled to cut it rough length as well. Again, that will get cut down to final size later.
Step 2: Sizing the Lamination Pieces
A 3/4" thick desk top won't be a substantial enough of a look for me, so I needed to make it appear thicker. This can be done by gluing on strips of plywood to the face of the perimeter of the top giving the look of a thicker top. It will also help with the structure of the desk as well.
Using the off-cut piece from when I ripped the top, I cut a piece to the length of the top and one to the width. Using my rip fence, I then rip 2 each of the long pieces and 2 each of the short pieces.
Step 3: Miter the Ends
I choose to miter each of the lamination pieces to 45 degrees on each end. This sort of resembles a picture frame. This "frame" is what will be glued to the bottom side of the table top. I made these cuts using my miter insert on my table saw sled but a miter gauge or miter saw could also be used.
Step 4: Glue on the Frame
Apply glue to the perimeter pieces and brad nail them in place. The brad nails help keep the pieces from sliding around. Apply clamps and make sure to clean up any glue squeeze out on at least one of the sides.
Step 5: Cut Top to Final Size
I cut the top to final size on the table saw. The long edge I cleaned up all the squeeze out on earlier, was referenced on the rip fence first. Using my sled again, I could cut the top to final length as well.
Step 6: Routing the Chamfer
I used a trim router to add a chamfer to both the top and bottom of the desk top. This will make it more comfortable to use as well as giving it a nicer look.
Step 7: Sand & Finish
I sanded everything smooth to 180 grit and applied a stain wipe-on polyurethane. Sanding lightly in between 3-4 coats.
Step 8: Attach the Legs
I used a leg kit I got online to make this a really quick project. All you have to do is screw down the mounting plates that come with the kit and thread on the legs. To make it simple I just placed the mounting plates in the corners of the lamination. No need for measuring.
Step 9: ALL DONE!
And that is it folks. A quick and easy desk build. I'm using it for a laptop desk and it works great! It would also make a great table or workbench. Make the size whatever fits your needs. If you want more info on the build, check out my build article to get more links and I get a bit more in depth with the project.
Thanks for checking it out and happy building!