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DIY Desk

  1. Step 1 Measure and Cut Panels

    A person draws a line down the MDF using a level as a ruler.
    A person uses a circular saw to cut MDF.

    (In this DIY desk, we are using MDF but using plywood is also an option!)

    From the first MDF sheet of ½” x 4’ × 8’, measure and cut 2 panels of 2 x 5 feet for the top of the desk.

    From the same sheet, measure and cut 2 side panels of 22 × 31 inches for the left desk leg.

    From the second MDF sheet of ½” x 4’ × 8’, measure and cut 2 side panels of 22 x 31 inches for the right desk leg.

    From the same sheet, measure and cut 2 back panels of 11 x 31 inches for the legs and measure and cut 5 shelves of 11 x 21-1/2 inches each.

    You should have in total:

    • 2 top panels (2 × 5 feet each)
    • 2 back panels (11 x 31 inches each)
    • 4 side panels (22 x 31 inches each)
    • 5 shelves (11 x 21-1/2 inches each)
  2. Step 2 Glue the Top Panels

    A person applies wood glue to the back of the panels.

    Use wood glue to combine both top panels. Leave to dry.

  3. Step 3 Build the Legs

    Panels are laid out in the order they go together.
    One cabinet is assembled using braces.

    For the desk legs, lay the side and back panels next to each other on flat ground.

    Measure 1 inch from the bottom of each panel as a starting point for the bottom shelf and draw a line.

    The left leg will have 3 shelves. The 2 bottom shelves will have 11 inches between them, and the last shelf will sit at 7-3/8 inches from the top.

    For the side panels of the left leg, measure 2-1/2 inches in from both the right and left side of each panel. This will mark the position of the outer braces. From those points, measure 8-1/2 inches to mark the location of the third brace in the centre.

    On the back panel, measure 2-1/2 inches in from both right and left side to mark the location of the braces.

    The left leg in total should have 12, ¾-inch furniture braces on each side panel and 8 on the back panel.

    The right leg will only have 2 shelves. The middle shelf will sit at 14-5/8 inches from the bottom shelf. Using the left leg for reference, attach 9, ¾-inch braces on each side panel and 6 on the back panel.

    Secure your shelves to the legs with ½-inch wood screws, making sure to first pre-drill the marked locations.

  4. Step 4 Paint the Desk

    A paint brush and roller lay in a paint tray covered in paint.

    Paint the top of the desk and legs separately and leave to dry.

    In our DIY Desk guide, we are using paint and primer in grey and white. However, feel free to use any other paint or primer colours from The Home Depot Canada.

  5. Step 5 Assemble Desk

    The completed desk sits in the office space.

    Measure, mark, and pre-drill the top of the desk at the location of each brace attached to the top of the legs.

    Finally, secure the top using ¾-inch wood screws.

    With that, your DIY desk is complete!

What You Need for This Project

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