Desk Build (Plan B)

When I started this blog, way back when, I started with a series of posts regarding a desk build.  The idea was to make a set of Hungarian shelves, similar to the bookcase I’d previously built, as both DVD storage and a folding desk.  This plan stalled when I couldn’t find a hinge mechanism that I liked. Since then I’ve lacked a desk, a fact which meant I’d no permanent location in which to make things.  Typically I’ve been coding on my sofa and using a folding table, today that changes.

Earlier this year I had my kitchen replaced and there was a few lengths of wood left over and today I decided to ditch the previous plan, buy some legs from Homebase and call it job done.  It worked better than expected, I’ve not only a sturdy workbench style desk to work on now but it’s also a thing of simplistic beauty.

The legs have plates which screw to the wood and the legs then screw onto those panels, I thought ahead when spec’ing them out as it will make it easy to move if needed or take down to make more room if needed.  My cluttered shelves sit behind me when seated at the desk, I’m planning clearing the space to store tools and parts.  The shelf parts from the previous build will be finished off as movie storage still and I’ll cut off the section that the desk would’ve sat in so they won’t go to wasted.

After pulling my finger out, I’ve a workspace to call my own.


Desk Build, Part 2

Only a brief update as bad light stopped play this eve but I’ve marked out the shelves for cutting and thought I’d share a quick tip.

The plan is to have four shelves at the top of the unit with the folding desktop attached to a slimmer shelve at the bottom.  This will allow the desk to be recessed when folded up but means that one of the shelves is an inch thinner meaning that it had to be taken into account while marking them.

To that end I did as before with the uprights and clamped them together on my table, I then simply flipped them over to have a flat plane to mark.

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They are clamped hard enough to keep them in place while I measure and mark them and I’ll separate them for cutting.  Simple but effective.


Desk Build, Part 1

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.