How to Build a Computer Desk From Scratch

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Every office needs a great computer desk. But to be frank, some of the ones you’ll find online or in a store can be expensive. If you want to save money and have a desk that’s perfect for your needs, building one is a great option. If you are willing to put in a little time and effort, here's how to build a computer desk from scratch.

Here's How to Build a Computer Desk From Scratch:

Figure Out What You Need 

Every desk is different, and your work needs probably are, too. This stage means deciding how big you want your desk and choosing other features like drawers. This is one opportunity where making your desk can be especially fun and rewarding. You get to decide what kind of desk will suit your working needs. 

1. Make a Plan 

If you’ve built furniture before, you know that you should never start without a plan. This might mean sketching out your ideas or consulting other designs on DIY sites. You’ll need to know the dimensions of your desk as well as where your drawers will go. It can be as straightforward or as complicated as you make it.

2. Choose Your Materials 

Before you begin, you will need to decide what materials you need for your desk. Some of this will depend on what kind of desk you want to make and how big it will be. Ask yourself how many drawers you want and where you will put them. Most desks need the following materials or some variation:

  • Desk top 
  • Legs 
  • Stabilizing brackets
  • Drawers

These days, people are getting incredibly creative with DIY projects. Take a quick look online and you will find furniture made from repurposed wood, metal, and other upcycled materials. If you love the idea of making a unique desk, go for it. This step offers tons of opportunities to experiment with design and style. 

On the other hand, you might prefer a more traditional approach. Fortunately, there are plenty of options there as well. Places like Home Depot, Lowes, and even IKEA have wood for sale. You might also find cast-off scrap wood that you can buy and cut down to the size you want. The bottom line: there are lots of options.

Of course, a desk top isn’t the only part of the desk. If you want to buy desk legs from a store, you can find them for relatively low prices. But don’t overlook the benefits of repurposing legs, either. You may be able to salvage some from another old piece of furniture or even find some for cheap on a local sale site.

The same goes for drawers. Some people like to use repurposed drawers from other furniture, while others like to build filing cabinets into the underside. It may also be a good idea to buy some stabilizing brackets. These go on the bottom of the desk to help reinforce the desk top and allow it to bear heavy loads. 

Prepare Your Desk Top 

Before you start to assemble your desk, you will need to treat the desk top. Unfinished wood is easy to mark or damage — not to mention that you’ll be risking splinters. The good news is that it’s not hard to finish a piece of wood. All you need is a wood sander, wood stain, and finish. This process might take a few days.

Make sure you do this process in an open area with proper ventilation. This is probably the longest part of the process. You will need to let the wood dry between coats, which will take a day or two each time. When this part of the process is done, you will be almost ready to assemble the pieces into a finished desk. 

1. Test It Out Beforehand 

Before you start screwing any holes, put the pieces together. Make sure that they fit and that they don’t wobble when they are together. Doing this will catch any potential problems before you start putting any screws in. This is also a good time to sit down in front of the desk and make sure it’s the right height. 

2. Set the Drawers 

Once you’re sure that everything is set as it should be, you can attach the drawers to the top of the desk. You can also attach the stabilizers at this point. However, it is best to wait to attach the legs until you move the desk into its final location, such as your bedroom or home office. Then you’ll be ready for the final step. 

3. Move the Desk and Finish Assembly 

If you are assembling your desk somewhere other than its final destination — such as a garage — make sure you bring it in before putting the legs on. The reason is simple: desks are heavy, and you will save yourself a lot of pain and effort by saving that final step for when you’re actually in your office. 

Don’t forget to add the desk stabilizers and any other extras you want at this point. Some people like to add extra space for chargers or surge protectors. Maybe you have a special method for organizing for which you need to make space. These steps are extras, but it is a good idea to provide for them ahead of time.

4. Make Sure It’s Stable! 

Once the desk is assembled, use a level to check that everything is even. Double-check that all the parts are secure and that they don’t wobble. Then test it out with a desk chair to see if it’s at a comfortable height for writing or computing — however you want to use it. Once you’ve done these checks, you’re done! 

Having a comfortable, ergonomic workspace is vital not only to your physical health but also to your productivity and success. One of the benefits of building your computer desk is choosing the best elements to make it as comfortable as possible for your unique needs. It’s the perfect recipe for ultimate productivity.

Enjoy Your New Desk

Learning how to build a computer desk from scratch might seem like an intimidating. Still, it’s not as tricky as you probably think. With some simple tools and materials and enough planning ahead, you can make a great computer desk that’s designed just for you. That’s an accomplishment of which anyone can be proud of.

Additional Tip: If you want to take your office workspace to the next level, consider investing in a standing desk converter. It goes on top of your desk so you have the freedom to sit or stand whenever you like. The best part is, a standing desk converter is very affordable and can make your workday much more pleasurable!