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DIY Simple Long School Desks

I realized the first few days into virtual learning in July that we were NOT prepared. Not only did we not have enough devices but we had no desk or any place good to put a computer. I wasn’t about to have computers on the dining table with cords to trip over.

I quickly decided that I needed 2 large desks that could sit all 4 boys. I found some awesome cabinets at Ikea for the middle to store all their stuff and act as a divider.

I used pine construction lumber and 3/8″ lag bolts to attach the legs to the table and 1/4″ lag bolts to attach the ‘x’ braces along the back of the legs.

I jointed and glued the table top boards together. I left the ends a few inches long to use my circular saw and cut off the ends. Final measurements of the table top are 24″ deep and 85″ inches (7-feet) long.

While the table top was drying I worked on the legs. I machined my lumber so it was perfectly square and dimensional by putting it through the jointer an planer. I made boxes for the legs and attached them with 1/2″ x 2″ dowels and glue. Final measurements of the legs are 27-1/2″ tall (same height as the Ikea cabinet) and 19″ deep.

I had a ton of sanding to do for the table top and I purposely used a coarse grit on my belt sander to create scratches in the wood. I later sanded with a 150 and 180 to get it smooth but still keep the scratches. I created a lot of dust and my little man was happy to help vacuum!

After sampling some stains I choose the Golden Oak for the desk. Everyone else in the family liked it best as well!

The kids all wanted to help too! These are 1/2″ thick slats to make the ‘x’ braces for the legs. They’re not strong for structure, they’re solely to keep the legs from buckling one way or the other. I also wanted them thin enough so they could bend around each other where the cross. I probably could have made them even thicker, like 3/4″.

I did several coats of Spar Urethane. It’s always a surprise in the morning to see what bugs got stuck in your finish. ACK! I look the bugs off, sanded lightly and coated again.

I love the texture and scratches I was able to create with the belt sander.

I pre-drilled holes for the 1/4″ x 1-1/2″ lag bolts in the ‘x’ braces and the back of the legs and used my hammer drill to drill them in. Then I set them up and centered the table top on. I pre-drilled and drilled for 3/8″ x 2″ lag bolts.

The boys love their new desks!

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