A D.I.Y. desk for your home office

Project Overview

Loaded with storage and plenty of surface space to spread out, this D.I.Y. desk project encapsulates the fabulous functionality of modern industrial interiors. The desk is supported at one end by a four-drawer metal cabinet (without the supplied castors), held in place with hidden angle brackets. The other end is a simple make – a painted timber frame – that helps to support the timber panel benchtop.

Photo credit: Natasha Dickins and Larnie Nicolson.

Continue to step-by-step instructions

Step by Step Instructions

1 Assemble the cabinet
2 Drill holes for the legs
3 Attach the legs
4 Prep and paint
5 Position the frame
6 Put it all together
  • Step 1. Assemble the cabinet

    Assemble the cabinet according to the manufacturer’s instructions. To make the timber frame, position the lengths of pine together and, from the ends, measure 680mm legs and 416mm rails, using a combination square to mark the lines. Cut with a mitre or handsaw.
  • Step 2. Drill holes for the legs

    At the ends of each leg, use a combination square to mark two holes, 10mm from the edges and 10mm and 30mm from the base, drilling with the countersinking bit.

  • Step 3. Attach the legs

    Apply timber adhesive to the end-grain of a rail, position it flush against the end of a leg, clamp to the work surface and secure with 75mm screws. Turn the frame, clamp and repeat with the second rail, then attach the second leg.

  • Step 4. Prep and paint

    Sand the frame all over, removing any loose timber and splinters around the screws. Fill the holes with filler, leave to dry, then sand until smooth. Wipe away dust with a damp cloth, then apply two coats of paint with a mini roller.

  • Step 5. Position the frame

    On the underside of the panel, measure 250mm from the end and 50mm from the edges to position the frame. Stagger four countersunk holes along the rail to secure with 60mm screws.

    Tip: To prevent the cabinet scratching the floor, cut flooring underlay to fit underneath it before positioning the top

  • Step 6. Put it all together

    At the opposite end of the panel, centre two brackets 50mm and 550mm from the edge, securing with 20mm button head screws. At the back, secure a bracket 30mm from the edge and 275mm from the end. When securing brackets, ensure they’re positioned with the backs facing inwards to be flush with the cabinet. Enlist a second pair of hands to lift the panel, positioning it with the brackets around the assembled cabinet.

    Tip: If the desk is positioned against the wall, the top wont slip back. But if it needs more support, screw the brackets into the cabinet by drilling through the holes in the side and back brackets with a 3mm drill bit, securing with 8G x 12mm self-tapping sheet metal screws.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Measuring tape and pencil
  • Combination square
  • Mitre saw or handsaw with mitre box
  • Drill with driver bit
  • 8G countersinking bit
  • Two quick-grip clamps
  • 180-grit abrasive paper with a sanding block
  • Mini roller with tray
  • Timber adhesive
  • 10G x 75mm timber screws
  • Timber filler
  • 20mm button head screws

Materials

  • Safety equipment
  • Clean cloth
  • Pinnacle 810mm x 520mm x 500mm four-drawer mobile storage unit
  • Two 1.2m lengths of 42mm x 42mm DAR pine
  • Black paint (we used White Knight ‘Splashes’ enamel in Flat Black)
  • 2200mm x 600mm x 26mm benchtop panel
  • 10G x 60mm countersinking wood screws
  • Three 150mm x 20mm x 20mm reinforcing angle brackets
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