As you may know by now, this whole “turning a bedroom into an office” project idea started when we decided to resolve the lack of desk space in what was then our home “office”.
This was not your typical desktop, though, but one that is long enough for a double desk, so both of us can work at the same time. It is 11 ft. and 6 inches long to be exact, and on this post, we show you how we did it.
HOW TO BUILD A SOLID WOOD DESKTOP USING FRAMING LUMBER
As we usually do when working on most projects, the first thing we did was getting all the necessary tools and supplies we needed to build the desktop. Because we are always working on home projects, we already had most of them. The complete list includes:
- Screwdrivers, hand tools and personal protective equipment (always useful)
- Framing Lumber (we used (2) 2”x 10”x 12’s and (1) 2” x 8”x 12’)
- 1 Large trigger and 2 small trigger clamps
- 2 pieces of 2”x 4” (preferably as wide as the desktop you are building)
- Stands (or anything you can use to support the lumber while you work on it)
- Mini Jig Hole Kit & Pencil
- Drill & drill accessories
- 2inch Wood Screws
- Table Saw (optional)
- Epoxy Resin (optional)
- Sander (optional)
- Sand paper (different grits)
- Wood Stain
- Cleaning Rags
STEP 1: CUT THE LUMBER TO THE CORRECT DESKTOP LENGTH
The first thing we did before we could even start putting the desktop together was using the table saw to cut the (2) 2x10s and the 2×8 to the correct (11’ 6”) length. They all were 12’ long, so we ended up cutting about 6 inches from each one of them.
You may not even have to deal with this step if you have them cut at the store. I would worry, though, about the three pieces being the exact same length if they do it for you.
STEP 2: POSITION THE LUMBER ON THE STANDS OR WORK SURFACE
Once we brought the lumber home, we set up a work area in the garage. We used a couple of wooden stands we have (they cannot be seen in the photos) to set the lumber so we could work on the desktop.
At this point, we also decided what sides of the lumber were going to use for the desktop. We chose the sides with the least amount of cracks or scratches on them.
As I’m sure you can see, the boards were not perfectly straight. Not even close, actually, so that’s why the next step is a very important one.
STEP 3: CLAMP THE LUMBER BOARDS TO KEEP THEM AS STRAIGHT AND AS CLOSE TO EACH OTHER AS POSSIBLE
Clamping the lumber boards together will help you make sure that the desktop is as straight as possible.
To do this, we used the long clamp from one side of the desktop to the other one to keep the boards as close to each other as possible. We also used the 2x4s and the small clamps to try to keep them as flat as we could.
STEP 4: DRILL HOLES USING THE MINI JIG, THEN SCREW THE BOARDS TO EACH OTHER
With the clamps on and tight, we then used the mini jig to drill the holes we would then use to screw the three boards together. We would drill two or three holes, set the screws and then move the clamps and the 2x4s to the next position. Basically, we repeated steps 3 and 4 several times until we covered the whole length of the desktop.
STEP 5 (OPTIONAL): USE THE EPOXY RESIN TO FILL UP WOOD CRACKS AND SEAMS
This step is not absolutely necessary.
Please read the following before proceeding:
Even though the epoxy resin is stainable, it ended up being a bit lighter than the rest of the wood. We were looking for some kind of distressed finish, though, so this actually helped us achieve it. However, if you would like a more uniform finish you may want to complete this step after staining, or not at all.
If you decide to do it after staining, you would have to re-stain the desktop after sanding. Doing this would make the desktop darker, we didn’t want that. It is a matter of personal preference I guess.
Anyway, we did want our desktop to be as smooth as possible. We also didn’t want dust to start accumulating in the seams. So, right after we finished screwing all the boards to each other, we went ahead and filled up all the wood cracks and seams with epoxy resin.
We let it dry for about 72 hours before moving on to the next step.
STEP 6: GIVE THE NEW DESKTOP A SMOOTHER FINISH WITH SOME SANDING
As I said in the previous step, we wanted our new desktop to be as smooth as possible, to achieve this smoothness, I sanded like never before. I started with 60 grit, then 120, then 220 and finally 400. As you may imagine, it is very smooth.
STEP 7: USE YOUR FAVORITE STAIN TO FINISH THE NEW DESKTOP
To finish the desktop, Carla was in charge of staining it.
She brushed on a coat of stain with a paintbrush, then waited a few minutes to wipe it off with a rag.
A couple of hours later, she repeated the process, for a total of two coats of stain. We let it dry for a couple of days before completing the installation.
STEP 8: COMPLETE THE NEW DESKTOP INSTALLATION
This is a step Carla was not looking forward to. We had to carry this heavy piece from the garage to the office. Due to its length, it was a bit of a pain. But about ten minutes later, we were done and ready to secure the new desktop in its final position.
STEP 9 (OR IS IT 4.5?): DRILL HOLES TO RUN POWER CORDS OR OTHER CABLES
This is something we should have done between steps 4 and 5. However, it wasn’t until we had already installed the new desktop that we realized that we didn’t drill any holes to run cables, etc. Oh well, we went ahead and drilled three of them (left, center and right side of the desktop).
Right after drilling the holes, we were ready to start enjoying our new desk!
Readers, what do you think of our new home office and desk?
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