Sunday, April 15, 2012

Building a Desk for Under $50

Even though I work part-time teaching science enrichment at a school, I do have to do some work related stuff at home.  Tiffany has been understandably getting upset about my stuff piling up on the dining room table where I work.  I decided I needed my own desk.  We have lots of room in the basement and it pretty much my Star Wars toy collection and game room (called Skyrim Cave by Tiffany) anyway.  I figured this would be the perfect place to make an office.  I had a limited budget, but figured I would give building a desk a try.  I finished this project in less than 3 hours yesterday.  I also kept the expense under $50.00.  

I already had this stool.  I decided I wasn't quite ready for making a chair yet.  The stool is taller than the average chair.  The average desk height is between 28" and 29".  I made mine taller at 35" because of the stool.  Obviously, you can make it as short or tall as you want.

Then it was off to The Home Depot for supplies.  Here is what I purchased:

3- 2" x 2" furring strips
1- 1"x 2" furring strip
3- 1"x 12" common board
bag of #8 x 2" wood screws
bag of #8 x 1" wood screws
bag of #8 x 3" wood screws
small can of natural wood finish
wood glue

Not on this list are a hammock and good book for break time.  When you are the foreman of your own construction job, breaks are mandatory.

Also not included on the list, refreshments for your break time.  My advice would be complete all your measuring prior to refreshments.

I had an idea of plans in my head.  I just drew it out on a piece of scrap wood and went for it.

I took two of the common boards and glued them together.  Then I cut the 1x2 furring strip in three pieces, glued it to the common board and secured it with 1" wood screws and set it aside to dry.

Next, I built the shelves.  I cut the 2x2 furring strips into 34" lengths (leaving one inch for top of the desk to get the desired 35"height).  I then cut the third common board into 4 equal pieces.  Glued the pieces together (just look desk top), cut remaining 1x2 furring strip into two pieces, glued to common board and secured with screws.  While this dried, I took my break. When I returned from my break, I attached the shelves to the 2x2 furring strips with 3" wood screws.

After my break, I put the top on the shelves and adding two 2x2 furring strips to the other side.  I secured the legs to the top with 3"wood screws.  I also attached the legs on the left side and back of desk with the remaining furring strips, securing with 2" wood screws. 
Presto!  Then I took another break.  After that break, I sanded and stained the desk.

This is my new office! 


  1. Damn but you lebanese are handy! it took me almost 3 hours to figure out that "furring strip" you were referring to had nothing to do with animal skin. and very nicely done i might add!!

  2. Thanks, Scott! And nicely done on those nachos, too!

  3. Good job! I counted only two breaks (probably a good thing when hand tools nails and other devices are being used).

    1. There were actually quite a bit more breaks than that. haha!