Tuesday, February 12, 2013

DIY how I built this desk...



a few weeks ago, i posted about martha stewart living's article on DIY industrial furniture.  the step-by-step guides encouraged me to take it one step further and sketch up a desk design of my own.  i wanted something that was longer and narrower than the desk in the guide.  i had a bare wall in my bedroom where i could really utilize it's length.  not to mention, the wall has a nice big window that i would love to look out while i design my clothing line.  (more to come on that, soon!!)

so, with the help of my awesome (and handsome) boyfriend, nick, it took us less than two days and a twelve pack to sand, clean, stain, assemble, drill and finish this 8 foot beautiful industrial desk.  

after the jump, you will find a step by step guide on how we created this desk so you can design one of your very own.  check it out!

with a little sketching and planning ahead of time, it is easy to vary the size of the desk.  because i wanted something that would seat two, i knew i needed three areas of support for such a long desk.  

shelving was also important to me, so i doubled up the piping at those areas of support to create a space for shelving. 

plumbing pipping was used for the bases.  you can get plumbing pipping in varying lengths and widths.  (tip- because the lengths are still limiting, try to avoid needing them custom cut.)  

i knew my desk would be 8 feet long, two feet wide, and approximately 34" tall, so i started sketching.


before
based on the wall and space i wanted to use (and not use), i started measuring...
next, i sketched up the desk on the left.  after much erasing, i finalized the plan by sketching out the diagram on the right.  this is basically the table flipped up-side down so i could see the front and back easily.

i made sure the sketches had the following before making my supply list:
3 one-foot-wide open shelves with seating in between.
supportive pipes to connect the sides and back areas of the table.
enough space between each shelf for chairs.
enough height after choosing my pipping and shelf placements*
(*every bottom pipe under the shelves and across the entire table is an 8" pipe.  the great thing about this measurement being consistant is that i can change out those pipes at any time to various lengths and adjust the height of the table if i needed.)

after sketching up the diagram, you will need to make a list of your supplies...all available at your hardware store.   
we chose the home depot.  
*we came away with everything we needed for just under $400.  i originally wanted to budget closer to $300, but for a desk of this caliber, $400 is still less money and more fun than purchasing from a store. 

you will need:
1 - 4x8 piece of oak hardwood ply 3/4" thick 
have the hardware store cut this piece into 1 -2x8 and 4 -1x2. (we had the extra shelf piece cut to test out the oil finish.  we also kept the extra wood.)
46 - 1/2" black steel plumbing pipes in these sizes:
8" pipes - 12 count (for legs)
10" pipes - 12 count (for legs)
12" pipes - 18 count (12 for legs, 6 for shelf base)
18" pipes - 2 count (for end supports)
24" pipes - 2 count (for back supports)
24 - 1/2" black steel T joints (for legs)
12 - 1/2" black steel end caps (for legs)
12 - 1/2" black steel floor flanges (**this is where we hit a snag...there were no black steel floor flanges.  but there were galvanized steel floor flanges.  because these are used to connect the legs to the bottom of the desk, we went for the galvanized and i'll either get over it or paint them black someday.)
100pk - 3/4" woodscrew (to attach legs through floor flanges to the wood)
sandpaper - we started sanding with 150G fine sandpaper and finished up with a 400G superfine sandpaper 
wood finish of your choice - we used a danish wood oil finish in dark walnut here by watco.  we didn't want the wait time of a stain and the oil lets the personality of the wood really shine through.  we also think it would be great to paint this desk with chalkboard paint someday..and maybe wished we would have thought of that first..  so go nuts here..do what suites you.
rubber gloves and rags or a sponge for the stain
plastic tarp to protect your valuables
degreasing dish soap for the greasy plumbing pipes
12 pk of your favorite beer for your sanity
good music because music is awesome

   
you are already in the home stretch.  seriously.  in our "we never frequent the home depot" minds, the hardest part is now over!

nick was sanding the wood outside while i was unwrapping and washing the steel pipes
be sure all pipes and pieces are free of grease.  towel dry and organize your stock.
sand all sides and corners of the desktop.  the underside of the desk won't be seen, so we skipped going superfine with the sandpaper to save time.
follow the directions on the finish that you bought while staining.  we would apply the oil to one side, then flip and repeat that process until every side had two coats.
after staining, we let the piece dry overnight.
for each leg:  start with the floor flange, then a 12" pipe, a tee joint, then a 10" pipe, another tee joint, then the 8" pipe before the end cap.  start at one end of the table and work your way around screwing each leg into each support and shelf piece.  you may have to tighten and unscrew pieces until they all fit.  once they do, turn the desktop up-side down and place where you want each leg to go.  finally, use a drill to screw the legs to the bottom of the desktop!
flip table up-right.  place shelves onto pipes.  and there you go!  
done and done.
i've added some storage units to my shelves so i can organize my things.
for now, i am using my vintage woodard chairs and really like the way they look.  pretty comfortable, too.
  i moved the bookcase out into the living room and put my DIY reclaimed wood bench against the wall opposite the bed to make the room feel more spacious.
it turns out, living in a really tiny manhattan apartment made it important for me to really maximize space without causing clutter.  before building the desk, we only used this room to dress and sleep.  i am really happy now that i can also use this space as an office.
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1 comment:

  1. great job, guys! that's a badass desk.

    ReplyDelete

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