How to Make a Plywood Desk

Written by b.t. alo
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How to Make a Plywood Desk
Plywood sheets can be incorporated into a variety of desk designs. (Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Plywood is a versatile building material, suitable for making a variety of desk designs. The simplest plywood desk is one made with a three-sided plywood stand and a sheet of plywood for the desktop. This is a no-fail method of making a desk that can be painted or varnish as desired, and can be altered to suit almost any dimension.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • 1 sheet ¾-inch plywood, 24-by-60 inch
  • 2 sheets ¾ inch plywood, 18-by-29 inch
  • 1 sheet ¾-inch plywood, 29-by-40 inch
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint or varnish
  • Carpenter's square
  • 12 corner brackets
  • ½-inch screws
  • Drill

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Sand all the components of the plywood desk, which include: the desktop of 1 sheet ¾-inch 24-by-60-inch plywood; the side legs of 2 sheets ¾-inch 19-by-29-inch plywood; and the front support leg of 1 sheet ¾-inch, 29-by-40-inch plywood. Paint or varnish the pieces; it is easier to sand and finish the plywood pieces flat, rather than when it is assembled.

  2. 2

    Stand the front support leg upright on a 40-inch side and abut the two side legs on the inside edge of the front leg piece. Check that the side legs are at right angles to the front leg, using a carpenter's square.

  3. 3

    Insert a corner bracket in each corner between the side and front legs, 2 inches from the top and 2 inches from the bottom, and secure with ½-inch screws driven through the screw holes in the corner brackets. There will be four corner brackets installed.

  4. 4

    Place the desktop upside down on the work surface, and place the leg unit upside down on top of it. Adjust the legs so that there is a 2-inch gap between the front support leg and the edge of the desktop, and 10 inches on either side of the side legs and the desktop sides. There will be a 4-inch gap between the end of the side legs and the front edge of the desktop.

  5. 5

    Insert two corner brackets in the joint between the top of the side legs and the desktop, and four corner brackets along the joint between the desktop and the top of the front support leg, evenly spaced. Eight corner brackets in total will be installed between the top of the legs and the underside of the desktop to attach the legs to the desktop.

  6. 6

    Secure the desktop to the legs by driving ½-inch screws through the screw holes of the corner brackets. Invert the desk so that it is standing on the legs, with the desktop on top.

Tips and warnings

  • Add shelves or storage boxes to the top of the desk.
  • Adjust the dimensions to suit your needs.
  • Dissemble by unscrewing the corner brackets and flat-pack for easy storage or moving.
  • Use a A-1 to B-2 grade plywood (typically used for furniture or cabinetry). If you are not painting the desk, then choose a plywood with a nice exterior veneer, like oak or maple.

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