There can be few things more satisfying in life than completing a DIY project that you’re satisfied with and will actually use in your day-to-day life. But if you’re looking for your next DIY fix, where to begin?
For those of us that work from home, perhaps the most important piece of furniture is the office desk. We spend at least 8 hours a day sat behind it and numerous studies have revealed that the quality of a desk and the office chair will have a surprisingly dramatic impact on your productivity.
Whilst we might not recommend building your own chair, a desk is, in essence, little more than a plank of wood and 4 legs so should be a perfect candidate for your next DIY project. Allow us to demonstrate with this simple, elegant build.
Step 1 (tooling up) – First things first, you’re going to require tools and buildings materials. For this table, you’ll need just a collection of wooden boards (sized to fit your space), screws and some wood glue. Tools you’ll need include a clamp, spirit level, measuring tape, cordless drill, a table saw, an impact wrench and a pencil.
Step 2 (making the cut) – Cut your boards to size using a circular or mitre saw. A good size for an average office desk would be around 4 feet long by 2 feet deep. If you don’t own a circular saw, your local hardware store might be able to cut your wood to size for you.
Step 3 (flattening) – Whilst your wooden boards might appear relatively flat, they will almost certainly require some further flattening by cutting off the edges if you want a perfectly balanced, useable desk. This is very much a case of trial and error, but make sure you are using your spirit level at all times.
Step 4 (glueing the top) – The top of your table might a different (more durable) wood than the board below, but it will still need to be cut to the same shape and size. Once it’s cut, make sure it’s flush with the board beneath and use 4 clamps and a decent amount of wood glue to press them together. Wood glue is strong enough that you won’t require any screws at this stage but give it at least 24 hours to dry before moving on.
Step 5 (attaching the legs) – This is the only slightly tricky part of there build. You’ll first need to make sure the legs are all of an equal length and are sturdy enough to support the tabletop. Turn the table upside down and make marks around 3/4 of an inch from each edge of the table where your legs will go. Next, make sure the legs are attached in pairs by a piece of wood fitted between them. This will be your main support. You can then use your drill and screws to mount these two pairs of legs to the underside of the table.
Step 6 (more support) – For more support, you can add a crossbeam to the underside of the table between the two pairs of legs. You can also make a tighter fit bit using bolts and an impact wrench to tighten them, instead of screws. These can be bought quite comfortably from SGS Engineering.
Step 7 (finishing touches) – All that’s left now is to varnish and paint and you should be good to go with your brand new DIY office desk!