Desk / Worktable




For this project, I used

six 2 x 4's

1 1/4" screws ( 2 at each joint if you use good glue. 16 total)

2" screws ( About 8 should do nicely)

3" screws ( I used 2 on each rail end. 12 total)


scrap laminate top

This desk project was built for Pam. She asked me to make a simple work table/desk for her

art room. You will have to determine length, width and height of your table and cut the pieces to size.

This table finished at 8' long, 24" deep and 30" height. Enjoy!

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Cutting the Leg Parts

Begin by determining the width and height of your table. Simply cut four pieces

to the height of the leg. (mine were 29 1/4") Then cut four pieces to the depth of the table.

(mine were 23") Now look at the illustration to see how the lap joint comes together. I did

mine on the table saw. Set the depth of the cut to half the thickness of the 2 x 4. Set up a bump

stop to get the first cut to 3 1/2". (the width of the 2 x 4) Then just nibble the remaining step out a little

at a time. You can also use a circular saw to do this if you don't have a table saw. Clean up the joint by sanding

or a chisel for a nicer joint. Use scrap to get it right before cutting the good pieces.

Step 2: Leg Assembly

Now that all of the leg pieces are cut, dry fit them to check the fit. You may need to clean

the joint up a little more. I just used wood glue and two 1 1/4" screws at each joint to assemble the legs.

I did not use any clamps but please feel free to use them. Check the square by measuring corner to

corner on a diagonal before screwing together. Adjust until both measurements are the same.

Step 3: Long Support Pieces

You will now cut three 2 x 4's to create the length of the base. I decided to make mine so that

the table top would overhang the legs at 3 inches per side. So for an 8' top, the finished base

dimension would be 7' 6".

Step 4: Assembly

Assemble the finished legs to the rails. I used the 3" screws for this. You can get some help

holding this in place while you screw it together or clamps and blocks. I did not use glue because

I may want to disassemble it later.

Step 5: Attach the Top

Just slide the top on and attach with screws from the bottom. I used 2" screws to attach

the top. If you add up the 2 x 4 thickness and the top thickness it is 2 1/4". this leaves

1/4" of before you break through the top. Please send any comments or questions and I will try to help.

Thanks for Looking!


4 People Made This Project!


  • Furniture Contest

    Furniture Contest
  • Reuse Contest

    Reuse Contest
  • Made with Math Contest

    Made with Math Contest

7 Discussions


Question 1 year ago

This is a perfect space saving design. I don't have a table saw. I wonder if I can make the joints with a cordless circular saw and some clamps?

1 answer

It can be done but it may not be as clean as you would want. As I posted in the joint section of the instructable, use some scrap pieces and do a test run. Good luck and thanks for the nice comment.


2 years ago

Hi, going to ask a really silly question how did you get the joints on the legs to be soo flush and nice, spent over an hour at a table saw last night and just couldn't work out how to get the cuts level.

2 replies

Reply 2 years ago

When I set up the saw, I used a couple of scrap piece's to test and get it just right. If your saw is cutting off a bit, you may need to adjust it. A nice sharp blade will produce better results also. You may also try to make your cuts in 2 passes. Rough them out first then do a finish pass. Take your time and as you make passes, be sure to hold the work piece firm to the table. Keep your saw clear of saw dust. Keep after it! Once you figure it out, you will be glad you did. Good luck.


Reply 2 years ago

Also, If you will notice in the picture of me making the cuts, I am on the back side of the table saw. I felt like I had more control and could see the work better. Stay focused on the blade and please be careful while doing this.


3 years ago

I love everything about this!


3 years ago

Great looking table! Using an old laminate counter for the top is such a good idea too. Nicely done :)