Newbie question on building a desk - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 Old 08-28-2015, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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Newbie question on building a desk

Hi all, please go easy on me, I am an aspiring DIYer but I have very little experience with woodworking. I am very interested and want to try a starter project.

We have this pottery barn corner desk:
http://www.potterybarn.com/products/...rner-desk-set/

We moved the desk to our basement and of course it doesnít fit in the corner, so I was going to buy this smaller desk, keeping one cabinet and moving the other one elsewhere:
http://www.potterybarn.com/products/...src=AutoCSLPIP

Well that doesnít fit either, itís 52 inches and the space along the wall is 50 inches (plus itís $230+shipping). So I thought, why not try to build it myself?

I found these plans to build exactly what I wanted to my specifications:
http://ana-white.com/2010/02/before-...ts.html?page=1

I feel pretty comfortable attempting this, but my real question was on the legs. In the above plans they seem a lot more complicated than I would have thought, requiring three 1x3 boards being glued and nailed together. Also I would have to add a veneer if I wanted to stain it I guess? I wanted to know, why not use just one solid piece for each leg and a bracket like the one below:
http://www.woodcraft.com/product/159...or-oneleg.aspx

The big corner desk uses this type of bracket and leg in the middle for support and came with a similar bracket (albeit, not adjustable, itís one solid piece.)

The pottery barn small desk seems to use two solid pieces for the legs Iím guessing from the pictures. How would I go about it using two solid pieces and is there anywhere else to get those brackets? Looks like they also need a support in the middle. I could only find them on that one website.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 11 Old 08-28-2015, 01:39 PM
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First, welcome here to this friendly woodworking forum. You did not say what if any woodworking tools are available to you, your knowledge of them, and/or building with wood. If you have workable measured plans to build the "Ana White" desk, that should give you the project information & a required material cut list. Consider looking at the desk as basically a box with two legs and a countertop. You could also use 3" x 3" x length for the two legs. Other places such as some "big box" stores, hardware, or lumber yards may have other brackets for the desk legs. Take your time to plan your work, then work your plan. Be safe.
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post #3 of 11 Old 08-28-2015, 01:54 PM
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With your experience and perhaps lack of equipment it might be easier to modify one of the store bought desks to fit your needs. It may be after you start cutting on it you may have to fasten it to the wall but would be a whole lot easier.
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post #4 of 11 Old 08-28-2015, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, perhaps I underestimated my skills and experience. I have a miter saw, hand saw circular saw, jig saw, brad nailer/air compressor...most stuff except a table saw. I've cut and installed baseboards and shoe molding. So it's not like I never done anything, I've just not done anything like build a desk.

I am sure I could follow the ana white plans and get it done, I just wondered why I couldn't do the legs with the brackets.
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post #5 of 11 Old 08-28-2015, 02:14 PM
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You have more tools than I was guessing. I believe you could probably build the Ana White desk. If you wanted to use the brackets I don't see any reason that wouldn't work.
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post #6 of 11 Old 08-28-2015, 04:31 PM
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Thanks for giving us more info on your skills and tools. Whatever method of attaching /building the desk legs you choose, hope to see a pic of the finished project. Be safe.
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post #7 of 11 Old 08-28-2015, 04:39 PM
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If you already have a desk 52" and need to make it fit in a 50" space, I would consider cutting off 2 1/2" on the existing desk.
This would be much easier than building the 3rd desk from scratch.
If you are lucky enough to have a 1 1/4" overhang, this becomes very easy. I await your response.
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post #8 of 11 Old 08-28-2015, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpalazola View Post
Thanks guys, perhaps I underestimated my skills and experience. I have a miter saw, hand saw circular saw, jig saw, brad nailer/air compressor...most stuff except a table saw. I've cut and installed baseboards and shoe molding. So it's not like I never done anything, I've just not done anything like build a desk.

I am sure I could follow the ana white plans and get it done, I just wondered why I couldn't do the legs with the brackets.
Here's some food for thought...

You could buy a door, either new or from the Habitat Restore place ($10) and make a table top. A used filing cabinet would make a solid base on the open end. A cleat against the wall would support the other end.

Use your circular saw to cut the door to fit the available space. If it is a hollow core door, you might have to insert some blocking to support the cut end.

Add trim as needed and you should be good to go.

Make a guide for your saw. Google "circular saw ripping jig"
https://www.google.com/search?q=circ...2WfOPYSn2DM%3A

Well, here ya go. Just what I was talking about.
http://www.senhhabitat.org/restore/2...gorgeous-desk/

Last edited by MT Stringer; 08-28-2015 at 05:54 PM.
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post #9 of 11 Old 08-29-2015, 07:55 AM
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Regarding the question of the legs, laminated vs solid, you may find that laminating 1x3's is cheaper. If you are careful with grain (non-)alignment, perhaps the laminated leg has less tendency to warp?
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post #10 of 11 Old 09-23-2015, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for responding. The email alerts must have went to my spam, I didn't see realize there were more. Anyway, this project got pushed back and we ended up selling the original desk. I was now planning on doing a similar desk, but straight vs a corner one like the original with similar file cabinets that we are going to buy. I posted a different thread asking about the type of wood for the top and edge hiding questions.

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f2/be...6/#post1111818
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post #11 of 11 Old 09-23-2015, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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I actually have already made that circular saw jig. Thanks!
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