Computer Desk

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Project by jscwoodworks posted 12-19-2015 06:32 PM 644 views 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built this for my best friend as a house warming present. He builds custom computers, does a lot of online gaming, and streams to twitch. His previous setup was an old plastic table. This was by far the largest project I have attempted and I almost didn’t do it because I thought it would be too difficult. In the words of Shannon Rogers “Woodworking is just a series of individual tasks, often repeated many many times. Break down those tasks far enough and you will see just how simple a project can be.”

After sketching up a few ideas and committing to the build I made a large list and broke the build up into two major components: The desk top and the cabinets. I then listed the steps for each component and got to work.The whole project is is pine and plywood. I am very goal oriented and I kept the list in my work uniform and checked off each item as it was completed. I don’t know why but it made me very satisfied to mark items off my list at work each night.

I started with the desk top. 2 pieces of ¾” plywood laminated together. 6’ long x 2.5’ wide. I cut one piece to the exact dimensions I needed and cut another oversized, laminated them, and flush trimmed the oversized piece. Next was the solid wood trim with mitered corners. Simple and quick with my miter sled.

For the cabinets I used ¾” plywood. I cut the overall length and width then removed a 3”x3” toe kick. Since I had never made cabinets before I watched a lot of videos on basic cabinet construction. One of the most useful I found was by Jay Bates. I cut and installed stretchers using pocket holes and moved on to the face frame. My friend wanted each cabinet to have 3 drawers and a slide shelf that he could use for speakers and drinks. The Face frame was made with pocket holes.

On to the drawers I went. I lost about a week and a half trying to perfect a table saw single blade box-joint jig I made. I never could seem to get the joints right and went through a few variations before I decided to cut my losses and buy the Rockler jig for the router table. The Jig worked great out of the box and I spent a few days making storage boxes for my shop and a few more for a charity silent auction at my church. After I cut the box joints I glued the drawer sides together and cut the drawer bottoms oversized, glued them on, and flush trimmed them to size after the glue dried. I installed some 12” drawer slides.

For the drawer fronts I kept it simple and cut ¾” ply and used some solid wood for trim.

Finish: My friend Jace has some black furniture in his game room that he wanted me to match the stain to. I went with Minwax Ebony stain and Minwax Polycrylic for everything but the drawers. I used Minwax polyurethane for the drawers. I chose to not stain the drawers because I thought it would keep things light visually and be a nice contrast from the ebony stain. I know many woodworkers don’t finish the inside of drawers but I like the look of the polyurethane on pine and wanted give them some protection.

All in all I gained lot of good experience and my friend gained a reliable, strong desk. I’m really glad I pulled the trigger on this project. Congrats on the new House Jace!

3 comments so far

View gfadvm's profile


14929 posts in 2111 days

#1 posted 12-20-2015 12:49 AM

I’m not a fan of pine, plywood, or stain BUT I really like the way this desk turned out! Ya done good!!!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View gsimon's profile


1153 posts in 1535 days

#2 posted 12-20-2015 10:18 PM

Very thoughtful gift
Especially the amount of care taken into breaking this down into bite size chunks and executing – well done!

-- Greg Simon

View Chuckbeef's profile


9 posts in 319 days

#3 posted 12-21-2015 03:51 PM

I like the way you finished this project.

-- "Beef"

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