Hey there, lovely readers! I’m so happy to have you here. This week, I tackled my biggest project yet. I took the plans for Shanty 2 Chic’s $70 DIY Desk and modified it to add some industrial wood and pipe shelves. This beauty is going to find its home at my boyfriend Alex’s house – he also helped a ton in building it! All in all, we are extremely happy with how this project turned out. Check out the full steps below to see how we put it together!
- Miter Saw
- Power Drill
- Hand Sander
- Kreg Jig Mini
- Tape Measure
- Eye protection
- (1) 1x4x72” Pine Common Board
- (2) 1x10x72” Pine Common Board
- (1) 1x5x96” Pine Common Board
- (5) 2x4x96” Studs
- (2) 4x4x96” Untreated Pine
- Your choice of stain/polyurethane
- (5) 3/4 x 10″ steel piping, both ends threaded
- (8) 3/4″ floor flanges
- (1) 3/4″ pipe connector
Step 1 – Make Your Cuts
The first step I take during any woodworking project is to make every necessary cut and lay everything out to ensure it’s all correct. In the picture above, I have shown the different sizes of cuts that are needed. Here is a full list of the cuts made:
- (2) 1 x 10 x 57″
- (2) 2 x 4 x 60″
- (7) 2 x 4 x 18 1/2″
- (4) 2 x 4 x 15 1/2″ – 45 degree angles inward on each end
- (4) 2 x 4 x 13 1/2″ – 45 degree angles inward on each end
- (2) 4 x 4 x 27 3/4″
- (4) 4 x 4 x 14″ – 45 degree angle on one end, cut 1/2″ from edge
- (1) 1 x 5 x 56″
- (1) 1 x 5 x 21″
*Note – there are four pieces not pictured above that are cut from the 1×4 board. You will need to cut two pieces at 3.5″ long and two more that have a 45 degree angled end and are 4 3/4″ on the longest side.
Step 2 – Assemble the Desktop
For the top, you will use both 57” 1×10 boards, both 60” 2×4’s and two 18 ½” 2×4’s. I drilled three pocket holes, staggered, on each side of the 1×10’s and two on each end and then attached them to each other side by side with 1 ¼” pocket screws. In addition to this, I put a thin line of wood glue between them for added strength. Once those are attached, you will attach the longer 2×4’s to the front and back using 1 ¼” pocket screws. Then follow the same process with the 18 ½” boards on each side. This will give you a desktop that measures 60 x 22”.
Step 3 – Add Supports and Cleats
Once the trim pieces are added, you will attach the remaining five 18 ½” 2×4’s, evenly spaced, to support the top. I drilled a pocket hole into each end of these and attached them using 2 ½” pocket screws.
These little pieces, called cleats, are going to help support the legs. These are the 4 3/4″ pieces cut from the 1×4 board. I used two 1 1/4″ screws to attach them, one on the last support of each side of the desktop.
Step 4 – Assemble Legs
To assemble the legs, you will drill two pocket holes into the flat ends on the longer sides of the angle-cut 4×4’s. I attached these with 2 1/2″ pocket screws to the longer 4×4 board, 3/4″ from the bottom of the post. Then attach the 1 x 4 x 3 1/2″ pieces to the ends of those angled 4×4’s using 1 1/2″ wood screws. You can see how I did this in the photo above.
To complete the legs, you’ll attach two of the 13 1/2″ angle-cut boards to each. I used 2 1/2″ wood screws to secure one on each side of each leg.
Step 5 – Attach the Legs
This is where those fancy cleats come into play! It’s pretty self explanatory where the legs are placed, but once they are there, you’ll use two 15 1/2″ angle-cut boards on each and screw them in place with 2 1/2″ wood screws.
Repeat on the other leg and voila – you’ve got yourself a desk! Now, in the original plans, all that would be left is to sand, stain, and give it a coat of polyurethane. If all you need is a simple desk with no shelves, then this can be your last step as well! However, Alex wanted to add some shelves to his desk. Read on to see how we did this.
Step 6 – Shelves!
For the shelves, we went with a 1 x 5 x 96″ select pine board and cut two shelves from it. The top shelf is 56″ while the lower shelf is 21″ – this created the perfect hole to fit his computer monitor. We spaced out the floor flanges (the circles that the pipes screw into) where we wanted the shelves to be and attached them with 1″ wood screws. There are three floor flanges directly into the desk, one on the top and two on bottom of the smaller shelf and two on the bottom of the longer shelf. Embarrassing story – we miscounted the number of flanges needed and had to return to Home Depot for more. Twice. The moral of that story is to triple count before you go to the store.
Once the flanges are attached to the desk, we screwed the pipes into place and attached the top flanges into the pipes and screwed those into the shelves from underneath. We used a level on each shelf and screwed each side until it each shelf was secure and level.
Step 7 – The Finish
I sanded the whole thing with a medium and then a fine grit sand paper. After a coat of Minwax Wood Finish stain in Jacobean, I covered it in a coat of semi-gloss polyurethane. Isn’t the color just beautiful? I love the deep brown tone with the industrial steel piping.
Like I said earlier, this is the biggest project I’ve taken on yet. Alex and I are really proud of how it turned out! Feel free to leave thoughts, feedback, love, etc. in the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you! As always, I hope you guys enjoyed this post – I can’t wait to see you back next week 🙂