When I first started freelancing, I realised that my productivity decreased if I were working from my laptop in a room where there were distractions of some sort. Whether it was the TV, radio, girlfriend or cats, I found that I was producing more work on a quicker basis when I was alone.
So, mixing my passion for DIY with my need for a separate writing space, I decided to create my own office, starting with the desk.
There are two things to note about this post:
- I wanted to build a desk that would fit into the corner of a room (in an 'L' shape) and was 60 inches in length in both directions and 25 inches in depth all the way round. These plans show how to build a desk that size, but they are also easy to change should you need a longer, shorter or deeper desk – just remember to look at ALL measurements if you change one!
- It was a basic desk, but it served its purpose. If you decide to build it, it will look relatively plain at first, but there are a lot of additions that can be made to ensure that it is a fully functioning and aesthetically pleasing office desk for regular daily use.
- One piece of 'L' shaped plywood that is 60 inches long on both straights and 25 inches deep all around and 3 inches thick (approximately - this was personal preference)
- One piece of 60 x 25 inch plywood and one piece of 35 x 25 inch plywood (both approximately 3 inches thick)
- One piece of timber that is 25 inches long, 3 inches wide and 1 inch thick
- Two pieces of timber, one that is 60 inches long, 2 inches wide and 1 inch deep and one that is 59 inches long, 2 inches wide and 1 inch deep.
- Four metal support poles, around 27 inches tall, with fixing brackets
- Eight plywood off cuts, around four inches square
- Wood glue
- Raul plugs
- Twelve two inch screws
- Electric drill and drill bits
- Two clamps
- Spirit level
- Tape measure
1. If you couldn’t get one piece of 'L' shaped plywood, lay the two individual pieces next to each other upside down on a table or workbench.
2. Place a strip of wood glue down each side of the join and press the piece of timber that is 25 inches long all across the joint, holding firmly for a few seconds. Attach clamps at both ends and leave to dry for at least an hour.
3. In the space where the desk is to go, measure up the wall 27 inches from the floor and mark with a pencil. Do this in three or four times along the wall and then join the dots together with one straight line (using the spirit level) to form a 60 inch line from the corner. Complete the same process for the adjoining wall.
NB: I chose 27 inches as when sat at a desk, your arms should be in an 'L' shape with the keyboard and with a desk that is 27 inches tall, it ensures that my arms are at the correct level.
4. On the line that you have drawn, mark five dots – two 2 inches from either end of the line and then three at the 15, 30 and 45 inch points. Complete the same for the adjoining wall.
5. Drill holes where you have just marked and push a Raul plug into each hole, ensuring that it is as flush as possible with the wall.
6. On the two pieces of remaining timber, mark with a pencil the same dots that were on the wall (2 inches from either end and then at 15, 30 and 45 inch intervals).
7. Attach the pieces of timber to the wall with the screws. Start with the longest piece that is going to be right in the corner and then add the second piece after. Remember to only put each screw in place a little and then tighten them all up once the timber is being held freely.
8. On the floor, use the chalk to draw the outline of the desk and then at the front of the desk at either end, mark a four inch square about an inch and a half in from the front. Do the same at the corner of the ‘L’ shape, but make two markings either side of the corner.
9. Place the four plywood cut offs over these markings and use a screw in the centre to the secure them to floor.
10. Attach the metal support poles to these plywood cut offs and then straight into the floorboards using the fixings provided. You may need to pre-drill smaller holes first.
NB: If you do not want to drill into the floor, you could create a direct replica of the actual desk top, place it on the floor, attach it to the wall with brackets and then drill the metal supports to this.
11. Bring the actual desk top to the room and lay it on the frame. If everything fits properly, take it off, place a layer of glue on top of the timber around the wall and lay the desk top back on. Place something heavy around the edge of the desk where the top meets the wall and wipe away any excess glue underneath.
12. Attach the metal supports to a four inch square piece of plywood and then to the bottom of the desk using the fittings, leave everything to set and dry for a few hours and you’ll have yourself a perfectly good office desk!
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