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DIY Step Image - D.I.Y. trestle desk . Blob storage upload.

Overview

If you don't have a lot of space, this trestle desk may be ideal for your home. It will look great in a study nook, a hallway or the kids room, anywhere that needs a compact, stylish workspace. You'll also be surprised how easy it is to make.

Steps

1Pre-cut the timber to size

To make this project easier, you can have your timber pre-cut to size at your local Bunnings. Here's our cut list:

64mm x 19mm Radiata pine DAR

  • 670mm x 8 (legs)
  • 205mm x 4 (base of the legs)
  • 390mm x 2 (supports)

600mm x 26mm x 1800mm hardwood utility panel

  • 450mm x 1200mm
DIY Step Image - D.I.Y. trestle desk . Blob storage upload.

2Tape the timber for the legs together

To make sure that the four legs are identical for measuring and cutting, tape two batches of four legs together making sure the ends are flush.

DIY Step Image - D.I.Y. trestle desk . Blob storage upload.

3Mitre cut the legs

Set the mitre saw to 5 degrees. Then mitre cut each batch of four legs close to the end.

DIY Step Image - D.I.Y. trestle desk . Blob storage upload.

4Measure and mark the legs

Once the first end is mitred, measure and mark the other end of each batch for the second cut.  

DIY Step Image - D.I.Y. trestle desk . Blob storage upload.

5Make the second cut

With the mitre still set to 5 degrees, cut the batches of legs to length.

DIY Step Image - D.I.Y. trestle desk . Blob storage upload.

6Tape the supports for the table together

Tape the two pieces of 390mm timber for the supports together, making sure the ends are flush.

DIY Step Image - D.I.Y. trestle desk . Blob storage upload.

7Cut the supports to 90 degrees

Set the mitre to 90 degrees and cut at one end of the supports for the trestle.

DIY Step Image - D.I.Y. trestle desk . Blob storage upload.

8Tape the timber for the base together

Tape two batches of two 205mm timber lengths for the leg bases together.

DIY Step Image - D.I.Y. trestle desk . Blob storage upload.

9Cut the ends of the timber to 90 degrees

With the mitre saw set to 90 degrees, cut the ends of the base lengths to size. Remove all of the tape from the timber.

DIY Step Image - D.I.Y. trestle desk . Blob storage upload.

10Lay out the legs

Lay out the trestle legs on the workbench to create two triangles.

DIY Step Image - D.I.Y. trestle desk . Blob storage upload.

11Pre-drill the holes for the legs

With the 3mm drill bit, pre-drill all of the holes you need to attach the legs together.

DIY Step Image - D.I.Y. trestle desk . Blob storage upload.

12Apply glue to the joins

Apply PVA glue to all of the joins where the legs will be secured and stick the timber together.

DIY Step Image - D.I.Y. trestle desk . Blob storage upload.

13Screw the leg together

Use 40mm chipboard screws to join the leg together. The 390mm piece at the top is a support to attach to another leg, as well as attaching the trestle legs to the table top. 

DIY Step Image - D.I.Y. trestle desk . Blob storage upload.

14Join the legs together

Once both legs are made, attach the pair together. Start by pre-drilling holes with the 3mm drill bit on each side.

DIY Step Image - D.I.Y. trestle desk . Blob storage upload.

15Attach the top of the leg

Use 40mm chipboard screws to attach the top of the legs. Once you've assembled two legs into a trestle side, then make another two legs for the other side of the trestle that forms the base of the desk.

DIY Step Image - D.I.Y. trestle desk . Blob storage upload.

16Paint the legs

You can paint your legs any colour you like; we're spray painting ours black. When painting always work in a well ventilated room and wear a mask. Use smooth, even, strokes for good coverage with a spray can. Apply as many coats as necessary, making sure you leave it to dry between coats. You can also give it a light sand with 240-grit sandpaper between coats.

DIY Step Image - D.I.Y. trestle desk . Blob storage upload.

17Sand the table top

Before you attach it to the legs, give the hardwood timber top a light sanding with an orbital sander and 240-grit sandpaper for a smooth finish.

DIY Step Image - D.I.Y. trestle desk . Blob storage upload.

18Measure and mark for the location of the legs

Next you need to measure and mark for where the trestle legs will go underneath the tabletop. We positioned ours 110mm from the top of the trestle support with a 30mm overhang on each side.

DIY Step Image - D.I.Y. trestle desk . Blob storage upload.

19Attach the legs to the table top

Start by pre-drilling holes for the legs using a 3mm bit. Then secure both trestle legs to the tabletop with 30mm screws.

DIY Step Image - D.I.Y. trestle desk . Blob storage upload.

20Measure and cut the threaded rods

To strengthen the table, you'll need to use galvanised rods for bracing. Hold the galvanised rods diagonally under the table connecting the legs to determine the length you need. We placed ours 80mm from the bottom of the legs on both sides, and 50mm from the top on both sides. Then cut both rods to length with the bolt cutters.

DIY Step Image - D.I.Y. trestle desk . Blob storage upload.

21Paint the rods

Before you attach them, give the rods a coat of paint to match the colour of your desk's legs. Let the paint dry before attaching them.

DIY Step Image - D.I.Y. trestle desk . Blob storage upload.

22Drill the holes for the braces

Pre-drill the holes for the rods on an angle using a 6.5mm drill bit.

DIY Step Image - D.I.Y. trestle desk . Blob storage upload.

23Attach the supporting rods

Thread each diagonal rod through the holes you've made and secure it by tightening the nuts. It doesn't matter if there's a little overhang on the diagonal rods.

DIY Step Image - D.I.Y. trestle desk . Blob storage upload.

24Wax the desktop

Now the desk is complete, wax it to protect the surface and bring out the natural grain of the timber. It's a good idea to apply several coats, letting each layer of wax soak in before applying the next.

DIY Step Image - D.I.Y. trestle desk . Blob storage upload.

25Put your trestle desk in place

Now it's time to put your trestle desk in place. It's the perfect table for a study or the kids bedroom, and not only does it look good, but you made it yourself.
DIY Step Image - D.I.Y. trestle desk . Blob storage upload.

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.