This weekend I made a start on the desk build, I’ve a rough plan drawn out which I’ll post this week after I scan it in at work. The plan isn’t something for you to follow to the letter but should give you a few ideas of how to come up with specifications for your own. For me the key factor was the width of the shelves off the wall.

The shelving unit will be on a wall near my projectors screen so it had to be sized such that it wouldn’t interfere with the picture. The shelves themselves will be holding my DVD, Blu-ray and game collection so they had to be big enough to hold a DVD case. 15cm deep and 25cm was what I settled on, it’ll give plenty of room for my disks and will give room for four shelves too. The desk will hinge so the depth of the desktop also had to be considered, I don’t have a desktop PC any more and my laptop is spec’d for portability, as such 120x50cm was enough for me.

After that the plans were drawn for cutting by the fellow at B&Q and the parts were brought home, before you go any further be sure to measure these parts again and redraw your plans. The cuts are usually close but don’t assume they are perfect!


I started off by mocking up the desktop with the shelf it will hinge off to get a feel for the size of the finished project. The first work on the desk was redesigning part of the desk which is a little recursive for my liking!

These are the uprights clamped together, mark out the cuts as required as it’ll make the job a lot easier and more likely that all the mortises will line up.
Two cutting lines, 18mm apart to form one of the mortises to support a shelf.
Nothing fancy for the cutting tool, a simple hand saw. I do have a jigsaw and circular saw but find the results of a hand saw a lot more accurate. Your mileage may vary.
Drill a could of holes through between the cuts, the wood should just pop out with a bit of wiggling.
The almost finished uprights, the mortises need to be rasped to ensure a snug fit for the shelves. I’ll cover some tips for that in a future post.

Next task is the shelves, the process is essentially the same as for the uprights. I’ll post more this week as the build continues.