Thursday, March 10, 2011

Scrapwood Desk

My no frills desk built of scraps
Well, in my copious free time between classes at my school, I decided to make a desk out of some scrap plywood and old 2x4s and 1x4s leftover from other building projects. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Of course, it is a rough desk. Any high school shop teacher would either scream in terror or fall to the floor laughing. Good thing I don't know any shop teachers around here.
I had no plans, just kind of built it as I went along.

Step 1: I measured the top, subtracted 10 cm from the length and width, and built the base of 1x4s. The back was the full length, but the front was actually two boxes, with a space for the drawer in the middle. If you don't want a drawer, just a simple rectangle is easier of course.
Step 2: I measured the height of my old desk, and subtracted the thickness of the plywood. I forgot the numbers. But they don't matter. Make it a convenient height for you, not me.
Step 3: Then I found two scrap 2x4s that were the height from step two above, plus 20cm. I marked them at 10cm from each end, and drew a diagonal line across the 2x4. After cutting, I had two tapered legs. I cut the bottoms off to shorten them to the desired length.
Step 4: I put the legs in the corners of the box and secured them with screws. I considered using dowels and other joinery, but I was in a hurry and it is not a showpiece- just a working desk.
Step 5: For the drawer, I made a box of 1x3s I ripped with my circular saw. The outside face was a full 1x4. I routed a 2cm wide, 5mm deep groove along the left and right sides, and put rails on the inside of the base for it to slide on. I cut the slot for the bottom out with my circular saw set for a 6mm deep cut. The bottom is a thin plywood sheet cut 1cm larger than the interior dimensions. Screws and glues hold it together.
Step 6: I attached the top to the base with some short screws from the bottom. And glue. Lots and lots and lots of glue.
Step 7: I used a router to shape the plywood. Yes, I used a router on plywood. Stop laughing, it worked OK.
Step 8: A few passes with the random orbit sander and it doesn't give me splinters anymore.

It is a remarkably sturdy, and surprisingly good looking desk.

I can't believe this is the first drawer I have ever made...
Umm..... tapered 2x4 legs and plywood top....

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