Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Day 2 - Build a Casual Desk with 2x4s


http://www.morelikehome.net/2x4s

Welcome to day 2! You can see links to the complete series here. Like I mentioned yesterday, my plan for this series is to see what we can make out of 2x4s. I want to keep it cheap, keep it easy, and keep it totally doable for anyone. Today we are going to start with one of my favorite projects I have planned for this month - The Causal Desk.


It is so easy to put together, requires only basic tools, and is super affordable to build. It has a simple, sturdy style and a big work surface that is perfect for your home office. So let's get started....

Shopping List:
6  -  2x4s @ 10' long 
1  -  2x4  @ 8' long

Tools:
Saw
Drill
2 1/2” screws (or Kreg Jig & 2 1/2" self tapping screws)
4" screws (or Kreg Jig & 2 1/2" self tapping screws)
Wood glue
Wood filler

2x4 Cut List:
(A) - 4  @  28 1/2" (legs)
(B) - 4  @  13"  (side supports)
(C) - 3  @  56"  (back/front supports)
(D) - 2  @  17"  (top supports)
(E) - 6  @  60"  (table top)


Dimensions: 60" wide x 30" tall x 21" deep


 Please read all the directions before beginning, and cut your pieces as you go, measuring before each cut. Use 2 1/2” screws or pocket holes with 2 1/2" screws unless otherwise indicated. Always use glue. Pre-drill and countersink your screws. I have not built from these exact plans, so measure lots to make sure things work out!

Step 1 - Build the Side Sections
Use two side supports to connect two of the legs as shown below. The first support should be flush with the top edge of the legs. You can attach it using pocket holes with 2 1/2" pocket screws and glue, or by drilling through the legs into the supports with 4" screws and glue (you need long screws to get all the way through the legs!). Do the same to attach a second support 8" up from the bottom of the legs (this will leave 13 1/2" between the two supports. Repeat to build the other side section.


Step 2: Connect the end sections. 
Use the front & back supports to connect the ends you just built. On the front of the desk attach one support, keeping the edges flush with the tops and front of the legs. On the back attach one flush with the top & back edges of the legs and another flush with the back of the legs and 8" up from the bottom of the legs (it will line up with the supports on the side sections). You can attach all these pieces with pocket holes (using a Kreg Jig), 2 1/2" pocket screws, and glue OR by drilling through the legs with 2 1/2" (or longer) screws and glue.


Step 3: Table Top Supports
Next attach the table top supports. These will keep your desk from sagging in the middle. Put them in about 17" from each side and attach with your Kreg Jig (or by drilling through the front & back supports with 2 1/2" screws) and glue. **If you are making your desk longer or shorter you can use more or less supports to fit.


Step 4: Tabletop
Now you can attach your table top. You will have a 1/2" overhang on all sides, so just line up your boards and then attach them in place by drilling down through each top board into the supports below using 2" screws and glue. (If you have a Kreg Jig, you can first attach all the tabletop boards together side to side to form a solid surface, and even use your Kreg Jig to attach the top to the supports from underneath so you don't have any holes to fill on the top.)


Step 5: Finishing
Fill any nail holes and give the whole desk a good sanding to get things nice and smooth. Then finish it off however you like! Maybe a bright coat of paint, or some stain and polyurethane. Or maybe a nice dark charcoal color?


And you're done! An easy and affordable desk - and look at all that work space. Perfect for setting up the laptop or the sewing machine. Or both! So exactly how much does it cost?

Project 2x4 Cost:
$19.20  -  6  2x4s @ 10'
$2.50  -  1  2x4 @ 8'
$22.00 Total

Building your own Casual 2x4 Desk? I would love to show off your work! Please send pictures of the completed project to morelikehome (at) gmail (dt) com. Happy building!


See giveaway winners here.

I Did It!
ILOVELUMBER took a different approach on the top in order to use scraps already on hand. Looks great! (via ana-white.com).
 (via ana-white.com)

DINIFAM went two-tone by painting the legs black and staining the top. Great idea! (via ana-white.com).

Matt built on ILOVELUMBER's alterations and provides a tutorial if you like this style. Thanks for sharing, Matt! (via mattsdiyhome.com)

Redditor gk78 built a striking computer desk for his wife. (via reddit)
(via imgur.com)



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Day 1 31 Days of 2x4 Projects - Full List Day 3

32 comments:

  1. cute and casual, very nice, Kristen Lea

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  2. Its amazing what can be done with 2X4's. looking forward to the rest of the projects

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  3. That's exactly what I've been looking for! Something simple looking for my desk! Maybe it's time to start learning how to use power tools :)

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  4. I like the fact that it is both narrow (not interfering with foot traffic) but also spacious in length.

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  5. That is really simple. I wish I had somewhere to put it!

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  6. I love how simple it is. If only I had room for this!

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  7. Check out this website. It is fabulous!

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  8. Yes!!! I am showing this to my husband now! Just what I want, and really inexpensive! Thanks!

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  9. This is a great simple desk. So many ways to make it your own!

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  10. Very cool idea! I like the 3D modeling.

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  11. Modified slightly and it still worked out great for a computer desk for the kids room. Love your site, thanks for the easy to follow plans.

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    1. Great! I'm so happy you made one! If you have any pics I would love to see (and post them on the site if you would be up for that). I love seeing finished projects! :)
      Feel free to email me at morelikehome (at) gmail (dt) com if you have any pics you want to share. :)

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  12. In the process of getting this desk made, plans are awesome and easy! I used pockethole screws and the kreg jig, which made things a lot easier. Put the desk together in 2 hours, building my first ever piece of furniture. Thanks for the plans! Plan to tackle the bedside tables next.

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    1. So glad to hear it! Thanks for sharing! I'd love to see pics if you have any. :)

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  13. I want something similar that wouldn't have the lower back piece in the way.I basically need one that can be adapted to slide or roll back and forth and be clear underneath. If I take off the back bottom wood piece, would it still be stable enough to support about 100 pounds or so of weight on top?

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    1. I can't say for sure since I haven't tried that myself, but I would guess that it would still hold up just fine under 100 pounds. I'm thinking I would still sit on it and I weigh more than that, so it seems like it would work. ;)

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  14. I ran out and bought the wood this afternoon. This is happening tomorrow! I took over the husband's den with my piano studio, and he gifted the desk he didn't love to his father. So. When he wants to work at home, he rolls his office chair up to the piano, props his feet on the bench and his computer on his knees, and gets down to business. So professional. Hehe.

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    1. Ha ha, yes that man needs a desk! How did it turn out? I'd love to see pics if you have any!

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  15. Any tips on adding a drawer? Would it compromise the structure?

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    1. Hmmm... you could probably reinforce around the drawer to keep it nice and sound. Add a 2x4 on either side of the drawer. The trick would be making one shallow enough to blend in, if that's what you want to do, you'd have to use 1" thick boards or maybe even thinner plywood. Some of my other plans have drawers, you could check them out and just adjust the measurements to fit your needs. Hope this helps! :)

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  16. Forgive me if this sounds stupid, but a lot of the measurements here don't make since. For example, the tabletop is shown as 21" by 60", but if these are six 2x4s side by side that's six times four which equals 24. That creates a inch and a half overhang on the front and back.

    Also, I don't think there will be an overhang on the sides, because on your cut list you have the front and back supports at 56", along with two inches on each side for the legs. If the top planks are cut at 60" each, it seems to me that there would be no overhang at all. I'm not trying to be overly critical here, I just want to make sure I'm not going crazy. Ha ha ha

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    1. It is confusing at first! The actual measurements of lumber are different than the nominal names. A 2x4 actually measures 3.5 x 1.5" so that would account for the discrepancies you're seeing. Let me know if I can help with anything else! :)

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  17. I plan on making a desk with a overall length of 84 inches so the 3 supports for the front and back would be 78 inches?

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    1. Hmmm. I'm thinking the supports would need to be 80", or you could do 78" and have a wider overhang on the sides.

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  18. Hi Georgia,

    I used your plans again (kindof). I did what the person at the bottom of your post (ILOVELUMBER) did with it but modified it with my own plans. All 2x4! I love it and once again your plans came to life on my workbench. Your site has kept me very busy!

    http://www.mattsdiyhome.com/2014/02/3000-diy-2x4-console-table.html

    - Matt

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    1. Thank you Matt! Looks great as always! Love what you guys are doing with the design and two-tone finish. I added you picture to the post... I hope that's okay, next time I'll ask first! :)

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  19. I just finished my desk project. We used a sheet of MDF for the top instead of 2x4s. That more than doubled the cost but I think it will be worth it.
    http://twitter.com/caseybentz8/status/439770393402814464/photo/1

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    1. It looks great, Casey! Thanks so much for sharing! Do you mind if I link your picture at the bottom of the post? :)

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