Working in the office, whether it’s your home office or at work, you know how important office furniture is to your productivity. The desk is an essential piece in your office space, but it doesn’t have to be the most expensive one.
The desk, on the other hand, should be functional, comfortable, flat, and not wobbly. If it fits your office space perfectly – even better. And unlike the chair, you can actually build a desk that ticks all the boxes, by yourself, very quickly and for less than a half of the price of a lousy fiberboard office desk bought in Walmart, that’s going to fall apart anyway.
We will show you how to build a simple desk that is cheap and easy to build for people that have done nothing like this before. Believe it or not, it costs approximately $15 to build this table. You can’t buy one for that amount of money. Let’s get started:
What do you need to build a desk?
For materials, you will only need 4 pieces of wood:
- 2 boards 2×6, 8’ long
- 3 boards 2×4, 8’ long
- wood glue
As far as tools go, you need some pretty basic stuff:
- Measuring table
- Cordless Drill
- Table saw and a miter saw (if you don’t have any of these you can get away with a handheld circular saw)
- Pencil or marker
Ok, let’s get crackin’!
Step 1: Cut the tabletop
For the first step, you’ll need to decide how long you want your table to be. For this table, we decided that 4 feet would be perfect, so all we had to do is cut our 2×6 boards in half. If you need more than 4 feet, you will need one or two more 2×6 boards, but for this tutorial, we are keeping it as simple as it gets.
Take your measuring tape and mark 4 feet from each side. The boards are often a bit longer than stated, so you’ll have a quarter to a half an inch to spare. The easiest way to cut the boards is using a miter saw, but a circular saw will do the job just fine.
Step 2: Flatten the boards.
If you inspect the board, you will see that the edges are a little rounded. And if you want a nice and flat office table, you are going to need to take a little bit of the edge off, just enough to get it nice and square.
Now, if you don’t have a table saw, this step is going to be a little bit trickier. You will need to do the same thing with a circular saw. There are some great instructions on how to cut a straight line with a circular saw, so I suggest you take a look at them before trying to do it yourself.
Remember, you just need to cut the rounded edge off, it’s a very thin strip of wood. On 2 boards you should cut only one side, so the other one stays rounded; these will be the edges of your tabletop.
Step 3: Glue the tabletop
Lay the board altogether, with rounded edges on the outside and flat edges all flushed together. To glue the boars together, you are going to need 4 clamps – 2 on the top and 2 on the bottom.
Place 2 clamps underneath the boards, then turn the boards on the side and apply glue. Spread it around the whole edge, nice and evenly. Lay the boards over, putting the glue and the non-glue sides together.
You don’t really have to apply glue to both sides of the board, it’s just messier and not actually stronger. Clamp the boards together, tightly and evenly. Make at least one side perfectly flat, but you can cut and flatten them later anyway.
If the excess glue starts coming out, it is best that you get it off right now, otherwise, you will have to sand it off. Wood glue is very strong and will keep the pieces together just fine. So you don’t really need to put any screws in, whatsoever.
Step 4: Attach the legs
To attach the legs cut 4 pieces from those 2X4 boards that are 17.5” long. Place 2 of the pieces on the bottom of the tabletop, about ¾ of an inch in from the side edge of the table, and equally apart from both the front and back edge. Screw the pieces to the tabletop using the drill. If you want you can put a screw in each board, but 2 screws are just enough.
Now for the legs. First, you should be aware that the 2×6 board is not actually 2 inches thick, it’s 1.5. So when deciding on the height of the table, take that into account.
We wanted to make a table that is 30 inches tall, so that means that we cut the legs to 30”-1.5” for the tabletop = 28.5”. Screw the legs by placing them against those pieces that you screwed to the tabletop and screw them by driving the 2 screws to the side in each leg.
Now, take the two remaining 17.5 inches long pieces and use them to connect the legs of the table midway.
Step 5: Sturdy it up
At this time, the table still feels a bit wobbly, so we are going to add a crossbeam, to sturdy it up. Get what is left from your third 2×4 board and cut to 46.5 inches. Just lay it across those boards between the legs and screw it in. Turn the table over and put a screw through each corner from the top.
Step 6: Make it pretty
Now the only thing you need is to sand it out smooth, paint it or stain it and just make it your own.
This is a super simple project that is easy for woodworking beginners, and can be expand upon by those with more experience. If the instructions here were a bit unclear, here is a video to help you: