Hi, it’s Amy from Hertoolbelt, back with another build plan. In case you missed the last project, we built a vintage crate shelf to get organized. This weeks project is a sleek mid-century modern desk that is inspired by this sweet desk.
How to Build a Simple Modern Desk
- 2 – 3/4″ x 16″ x 48″ pine panel (stain grade panel is around $16)
- 1 – 1″ x 3″ x 8′ board (actual 3/4″ x 2 1/2″)
- 4 – table leg angle top plates (with 5/8″ screws)
- 4 – 27 1/2″ round taper table legs
- wood glue
- 1 1/2″ or longer brad nails
- top coat
There are a few variations that can be done with this simple mid-century modern desk build. Make a desk with a single panel.
Build a sleek box for a little added storage.
I have also seen modern desks with additional dividers in the box that add a little character.
(If you are building the single panel desk, skip this step.) Cut the 1″x3″ into 2 or 3 – 16″ long pieces. You’ll want to sand all of the inner pieces of wood now, because they will be difficult to sand after assembly. Use wood glue and 1 1/2″ min brad nails to assemble the slim box. Make the 2 1/2″ x 16″ pieces flush with the ends of the panel. Nail from the panel into the 2 1/2″ x 16″ pieces from the top and bottom. If necessary, clamp the joints in place while the glue dries.
On the backside of the panel, measure and mark 5″ from the ends and 1 9/16″ from the sides. You can also rotate your plate some to make the angled legs more defined from the side, and scoot your legs in a little more if you want, it just depends on the look you’re going for. Use the table leg angle top plate as a template and mark the screw holes. Drill small pilot holes, making sure not to drill all of the way through the panel. Secure the angle plates with 5/8″ screws. Repeat for each plate. Attach the legs onto plates.
Remove any excess glue, apply wood filler to holes, cracks and blemishes and allow to dry. Sand the wood filler and desk until smooth finishing with 120-150 grit sand paper, always finish sanding in the direction of the grain. Apply stain or primer/paint to the desk and allow to dry. Apply a top coat/polyurethane/polycrylic as directed and allow to dry.
Enjoy your handmade Mid-Century Modern Desk!
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Anna, one of our readers, used these plans to build herself a desk for her apartment. Here’s what she had to say:
I was looking for a new desk for my room, which is small and has very limited room for a desk – but I’m in college and need a nice place to study. So I found your plans for a mid-century modern desk and adapted the measurements to fit my personal needs and exchanged the wooden legs for steel hairpin legs. I LOVE the finished product and am super proud of myself since I’ve never built anything before – not even a bird house.
I purchased all the materials to build the desk top at Lowe’s, and ordered the hairpin legs from Rockler through Amazon.com
Total spent on project: $125
Never built ANYTHING before? Anna, this is beautiful and looks professional! Thanks for sharing!
Have you used one of our posts to create something beautiful that you’d like to share? We’d love to see it! Let us know here.