Supplies And cut list
(40) 1 ¼ inch screws
(4) 2 ½ inch screws
Cut into (2) 36 inch pieces
*Optional Piece of Solid Plywood or MDF cut to 24x36. Joining the two pieces of wood together will leave a small joint on your desktop that will affect your art piece on top if you are not using a thick stock of art paper. If I had to do this over I would have gone with a hardwood plywood top so I don’t have the center seam.
(1) 1x24 Wooden dowel
1 inch shank or forstner bit
Mitersaw, table saw, or circular saw
- Hinge and Leg Template
- Side slat Template
- Desktop slat Template
*Optional router fitted with a roundover bit.
If you want to get this done in a single day follow this order and you can get your glue up done first and drying while you work on the side units.
Cut your legs and your small hinge units and your dowels first (click here for the template). I highly recommend using a router with a round-over bit on the inner circles that the dowels will be inserted into. This makes assembling the parts much easier. Once all the pieces are cut and routed (if you are doing that) you can glue them up. The legs have one end with a dowel only in them and one end with desktop hinge between the two legs, use the 4 inch dowels on the legs. The remaining 2 dowels and 4 desktop hinges go together. Use a clamp to tighten the hinges on to the dowels. Set these aside to dry while you do the rest of the work.
Next print cut and lay out the side slat template on top of your 8x6 side piece. I laid my foot piece at the bottom to see where I wanted the first slat to be. For me the circle ended up being 8 ¼ inches from the bottom of my board. My jigsaw was pretty powerful so I laid both pieces on top of each other and clamped them together real good. I highly recommend you do this so your sides match exactly, but if your tools aren’t powerful enough you might have to do them separately. Use an exacto knife and a straightedge to cut along all the straight lines, this will make cutting them with the jigsaw much easier and way more exact. Once the straight lines are outlined, put a piece of scrap wood under your board(s) and use your drill fitted with a 1 inch bit drill to carve out the circles. I say use scrap wood under this because I got a fair amount of chip out from my brand new shank bit.
Once the circles are drilled out begin connecting the cuts with your jigsaw. Take it easy and go slow, accuracy is important on this project. Once you get one slat cut out take a spare scrap of dowel and make sure everything is working as it should. You want the bottom of the circle to be a little tight so that the desktop doesn’t pull out if you put your elbows on the front of your desk. Check out Bored Panda’s desk where he discusses this problem. Once all the slats are cut out take your router and go around the edges of BOTH sides of the wood. A chamford bit would also work on the edges to give this desk a polished and finished look.
Next cut your top shelf, foot rest and feet. Using the 1 ¼ inch screws and a square if you have it, attach the foot to the bottom outside of your desk. I used 4 screws on each foot. Next I attached the 33.5 inch foot rest to the top of the foot rest. Last I add the 32 inch shelf at the top (I had a scrap piece sitting around that was 36 inches so I used this on top for an overhang. Screw in one of the 32 inch pieces about midway up the back of as a stretcher (see picture). Depending on your wood and what the actual width of it is you may need to shave off a small mount of this piece depending on the inner width of the desk after you have assembled the foot rest.
*If you want any of these pieces to have a round over on them do that BEFORE you attach them.
Now I used pocket screws and a piece of scrap that I had around to join the two desktop pieces together. If you have large clamps then you could glue these pieces together at the very beginning when you do the legs and hinges. If you are doing traditional art I would not use this method I would use a piece of hardwood plywood cut to 36x24 inches.
Once your desktop is made line it up on you side slats and mark where the back slats should go - use the template. As you did with the side slats cut the desktop back slats and round over all the edges on the desktop.
Next you will be attaching the two back desktop hinges. Line them up with the all the way back of the desk and make sure they are centered on the desktop slats. You can put pocket holes in the hinges and drill in from the bottom or you can drill down from the top. I countersank my screws and drilled down from the top because I had some small dowels on hand that I could cover these holes with.
Now you are going to insert your legs into the bottom slats. Measure the inner distance between them once you have them centered and trim down your 1x3 inch board (you should have one already cut to 32 inches). Using pocket holes (or a domino if you have one) attach the stretcher to the two legs just above the dowel.
Now lay your desktop face down on a cloth and attach the legs to the desktop. Use a straight edge to draw a line through the center of the back slat and align the desktop hinge in the leg on this line. The desktop hinge should attach at the very front of the desktop. If you have used all my measurements that will give you one good flat position on the desk. If you have changed the measurements at all you will need to put the legs on the desk and the desktop on the desk. Once they are both on the desk lift the desk to a flat (90 degree) position and raise up the legs to see where on the bottom of the desk they need to attach and mark it. Then remove the two pieces and attach them together.