Ever since we moved into this house, I had been wanting to build a new desk for my office.
The last desk I had was made for a smaller space, and now that I had a real office, the room craved something with a larger footprint.
I had looked around for inspiration and found that most desks the size I wanted were very expensive. So making one myself kept sounding better and better!
We decided to make it our weekend project and got to work! Here are the steps we followed…
BUILD YOUR OWN INDUSTRIAL DESK WITH EASE IN 8 SIMPLE STEPS
Let’s kick this off with a materials list.
Here is what we used…
- 1×3 whitewood common boards
- 1×2 select pine boards
- Pocket hole screws
- Black matte spray paint
- 1 sheet of plywood (4ftx8ft sanded)
- Liquid nails
- Drywall screws
And here are the tools we used…
- HART Tools miter saw
- HART Tools jigsaw
- HART Tools power drill
- HART Tools driver
- Pocket hole jig
- Brad nail gun
- C Clamps
- Right angle clamps
- Tape measure
- Painting tarps
- HART Tools vac for easy cleanup
** Just a note to always make sure you take safety precautions when using power tools! Especially goggles and gloves, and a mask when needed.
For us, we had all the tools and even some of the wood needed on hand, so this just desk was really just the cost of the wood needed and a little spray paint.
STEP 1: MEASURE & CUT YOUR WOOD
We decided to make our desk 5.5 feet long, 22 inches deep, and 30 inches high, so we based all our measurements on that footprint! Make sure to adjust your desk measurements accordingly and plan for the amount of wood you need!
We measured and drew out a 5.5 foot long, 22 inch deep section on our plywood for the desktop. Then, using our jigsaw, we cut it out, sanded the edges, and set it aside. Easy breezy!
While I did that, Michael started to cut the wood for the legs. We cut our 1x3s into 4 30 inch boards and 4 16.5 inch boards.
Next, it was time to assemble them!
STEP 2: ASSEMBLE THE LEGS
Next, begin putting together your legs! Grab 2 30 inch boards and 2 16.5 inch boards, your power drill and driver, pocket screws, and a pocket hole jig.
You’ll probably also want some clamps here! We used our C clamps and right angle clamps for this step.
Grab your shorter pieces of wood and flip them over to the back (where the wood isn’t so smooth and perfect).
Measure the thickness of your wood and make sure you use the right setting on the jig. Then use a pocket hole drill bit and set it to the right wood thickness.
Clamp your jig to your wood with a C clamp so it doesn’t move…
Then use the hole in the jig as your guide, and drill two pocket holes per side of the small pieces of wood.
The point of this is to hide your hardware! The sides with your pocket holes will face out — up on one side, and down on the other (touching the plywood desktop and the floor).
Grab all 4 pieces of each leg.
Use a right-angle clamp to make sure your angles are perfect and a C clamp to make sure your boards don’t move.
Again, make sure your pocket hole sides are facing out on both sides.
We used our HART Tools driver and pocket hole screws to place the screws in the pocket holes on all four sides to secure the box leg into place!
STEP 3: SPRAY PAINT
We wanted to give this desk a faux metal leg look, so we grabbed our black matte spray paint and painted both of the box legs!
I did two coats on each and allowed them to dry completely before moving on to the next step.
STEP 4: ATTACH YOUR LEGS TO YOUR DESKTOP
Next, flip your desktop over on the ground so the imperfect side is facing up and grab your legs.
Place them about 2 inches in from the edge on both sides of your desktop, and measure to make sure they’re even on each side.
Using drywall screws, secure your legs into place.
STEP 5: CUT & PAINT YOUR SUPPORTS
Now, grab some 1x2s and measure them so they fit snuggly in between your legs running lengthwise across the desk for support.
Use your miter saw to cut them down, then paint them with the same black matte spray paint you used for the legs to again give them that faux metal feel!
Let them dry completely, then attach them running lengthwise on both sides.
Grab some leftover 1x3s as well and cut them down so they fit snuggly into each box leg you already cut.
Paint them, then attach them with drywall screws directly over the side of the leg you attached to the desktop to help bulk them up and add more sturdiness.
STEP 6: TRIM IT UP
Once all your supports are added, flip it over! It’s really starting to look like a desk now, isn’t it?
Depending on the size of your desk, you might want to add some more supports to keep it from wobbling. You could bracket it or just add some supports running diagonally from the legs to the long supports to help stabilize!
Once you’re done, you just want to simply trim up your desk so it looks a little more polished!
Grab your 1x2s and measure where you need to cut using your plywood desktop as your guide. You basically want to create a frame around it.
Miter your wood at a 45 degree angle so each piece meets together around the desktop.
Grab some liquid nails and secure your frame together, then use a brad nailer or finishing nail gun to secure your frame into place!
STEP 7: SEAL YOUR DESK
Last but not least, you’ll just want to seal your desk! I use this wax because it doesn’t alter the color of the wood, and I really wanted to keep the wood looking nice and natural!
I simply apply it with a rag, going with the grain of the wood and let it dry completely. You will probably need 2-3 coats to ensure a proper seal!
STEP 8: STAND BACK AND ADMIRE YOUR NEW DESK!
And that’s it! This project went way more smoothly than we thought it would. The key is making sure your legs are both the same size and secured in perfect right angles.
Then, the rest follows with ease!
Drop any questions in the comments below, and let me know if you think you’ll make one yourself!