Desk Organizer.




I've seen these type of desk organizers floating around the internet for a couple years, I've always wanted one but didn't want to pay the high prices for what was essentially a block of wood with holes drilled into it.

I kept thinking I'll get to making one eventually, then I seen an Instructable by MarkD1 Here and it inspired me to try my hand at making a couple, This Instructable is of the latest one I've made.

Step 1: Tools and Equipment Needed.

Table saw, or a circular saw


Drill press, or a hand drill

Forstner drill bit set

Hand held router { pictured }

Hand held propane blowtorch{ pictured }

Eye/face protection { pictured }

Particulate Respirator (face mask) { pictured }

Stiff bristle brushed of various sizes { pictured }

Clear coat spray { pictured }

4x4 lumber

Warning: Do not use Pressure treated wood, the wood that has a green tint, it has arsenic in it to kill bugs that eat it. Burning this will put the arsenic in the smoke you would end up breathing...

Step 2: Drilling the Holes.

I started off with a 4x4x12" piece of pine. Secured it to my worktable, I used a 2" a 1" and a 1/2" forstner bit for the hole sizes and just drilling the holes randomly to a depth of about 3".

Step 3: Time to Trim.

Using the Sawzall, I trimmed around the holes leaving roughly 1/2'' thickness all the way around the piece.

Step 4: Smoothe the Top Edges.

With a round over-beading bit installed on the router I smoothed the inside and outside top edges.

Step 5: Time to Heat Things Up.

Do this step in a well ventilated area.

With the blowtorch start in the valleys and work your way out to the outside edges, you'll want to get all the saw marks, chips and sharp edges smoothed out. I like to work in layers and build up to a completely charred surface inside and out.

Step 6: Cleaning It Up.

I cannot stress this enough, wear a particulate respirator or face mask at the very least, you will be brushing charcoal dust into the air.

With that said, lets brush the charred exterior off to see the pattern in that wood.

I used 3 different types of brushes a big hand held scrub brush with stiff bristles, an old nail brush with soft bristles and an old toothbrush (clean), just scrub until the charring is completely gone, (I do this over a trash can to minimize the mess).

The burning will bring a beautiful color out of the wood, you can leave it like this at this point or burn it again to get any rough spots or saw blade marks you may have missed the first time.

Don't forget to clean the inside of the holes out it can be difficult to get all the charred wood, this is where the toothbrush comes in handy.

Step 7: Sealing It Up.

For this organizer I used a matte finish, 3 coats sealed it up nicely.

The clear coat will darken the piece significantly, just be aware.

Step 8: Others I've Done.

Give this project a try. It is well worth the time and effort. I am very happy with mine.

Guess what my friend's and family are getting for Christmas.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them in
the comments section below, I enjoy hearing from you guys so don't be afraid to post!



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26 Discussions


3 years ago on Introduction

The wood burning is like an old japanese technique of finishing wood called shou sufi ban or yaki sugi ban (literally translating to grilled wood). Interesting to see people using it.

1 reply
Just4Fun Media

3 years ago

Great instructable! That wood burning looks beautiful! Definitely earned my vote.

What did you use to keep areas of wood un burnt on some of your other projects? Metal stencils?

Have a great day! :-)

2 replies

Thank you very much for the kind words, First thing I did was make a stencil and glue it to blue masking tape, then put the gel stain on the wood let it dry, then pealed off the tape and colored the raw wood with gel food coloring and a coat of clear after it was all dry. I'm making another ible showing this process, I'll link it to you when I finish it up.

Thank you for the vote, Have a great day.


3 years ago

I used the same wood burning technique a few years ago to make a frame for a mirror. I finished that with a limewash to produce a driftwood look. When I get time I will have to have a go at making a desk tidy like this.


3 years ago

Thanks for sharing, I think I'll try that out

Those look awesome. Great work. I never would have thought of using the sawsall and pulled up this instructable specifically to see how you had cut the wood.

1 reply

3 years ago

I love the burning effect, used it on a bed frame I made, sealed it with Chestnut clear wax, the whole becomes very tactile

1 reply