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Build an Ainsworth Desk


DIY Plans to Build the Ainsworth Desk – a Spacious Desk with Lots of Storage!

This is my dream desk and I am definitely building this one! It is so spacious with plenty of storage so I can hide my pens from certain “pen thieves”, my mass of paint color cards, plan drawings, notes, etc. I drew this plan to be customizable – in other words, I want mine to have three drawers on each side but that may not fit the needs of someone else. It can be built with two small drawers and two large drawers on either side, the center drawer can be turned into a shelf with a fold-down front for a computer keyboard, etc. There are tons of possibilities! I’m hoping to start on mine next week so stay tuned for a peek at that project! I have a couple other modifications up my sleeve that I think you may be interested in…

build ainsworth desk_Copy

Materials:

  • 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws
  • 1-1/4″ brad nails
  • 1-1/4″ screws
  • 6 – sets of 24″ drawer slides
  • 6 – Cabinet pulls
  • Sandpaper (100, 150, 220 grits)
  • Finishing supplies (primer and paint or stain, etc.)

Lumber:

  • 2 – 1×2 at 6′
  • 3 – 1×2 at 8′
  • 3 – 1×3 at 8′
  • 2 – 2×2 at 6′
  •  2 – sheets of 3/4″ plywood

Cut List:

  • 4 – 2×2 at 29-1/2″ – Legs
  • 4 – 1×3 at 25″ – Side Frames
  • 2 – 3/4″ plywood at 12-1/4″ x 25″ – Side Panels
  • 5 – 1×3 at 25″ – Drawer Slide Supports
  • 2 – 1×3 at 61″ – Back Frame
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at  12-1/4″ x 61″ – Back Panel
  • 2 – 3/4″ plywood at 17-1/4″ x 27-1/4″ – Drawer Dividers
  • 2 – 3/4″ plywood at 15″ x 27-1/4″ – Bottom
  • 2 – 1×2 at 15-3/4″ – Drawer Stretchers
  • 3 – 1×2 at 15″ – Drawer Stretchers
  • 2 – 1×2 at 29-1/2″ – Center Drawer Stretchers
  • 2 – 1×2 at 26″ – Top Trim
  • 2 – 1×2 at 65″ – Top Trim
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at 26″ x 62″ – Top
  • 5 – 3/4″ plywood at 12-1/2″ x 22-1/2″ – Drawer Bottoms
  • 8 – 3/4″ plywood at 3-1/2″ x 22-1/2″ – Small Drawer Sides
  • 8 – 3/4″ plywood at 3-1/2″ x 14″ – Small Drawer Front & Back
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at 22-1/2″ x 27″ – Center Drawer Bottom
  • 2 – 3/4″ plywood at 3-1/2″ x 22-1/2″ – Center Drawer Sides
  • 2 – 3/4″ plywood at 3-1/2″ x 28-1/2″ – Center Drawer Front & Back
  • 4 – 3/4″ plywood at 5-1/4″ x 14-3/4″ – Drawer Fronts
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at 10-5/8″ x 14-3/4″ – Large Drawer Front
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at 5-1/4″ x 29-1/4″ – Center Drawer Front
  • 2 – 3/4″ plywood at 9-1/4″ x 22-1/2″ – Large Drawer Sides
  • 2 – 3/4″ plywood at 9-1/4″ x 14″ – Large Drawer Front & Back

build ainsworth desk

Click on the drawings for a larger view!

Step One

Cut the pieces for the legs, side frames, and side panels. With a pocket hole jig set for 3/4″ material, drill pocket holes in each end of the frame pieces as well as all four edges of the panels. Attach the frame pieces to the panels using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws. Attach the entire panel assembly to the legs using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws.

Cut the pieces for the drawer slide spacers. Attach to the sides using glue and 1-1/4″ brad nails.

 diy desk plans - ainsworth_Sides

diy desk plans - ainsworth_Drawer Spacers

Step Two

Cut the pieces for the back frame and panel.  Drill pocket holes in each end of the frame pieces as well as all four edges of the panel. Attach the frame pieces to the panel using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws. Attach the entire panel assembly to the legs using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws.

 diy desk plans - ainsworth_Back

Step Three

Cut the pieces for the drawer dividers. Drill pocket holes in the back edge of the piece as shown. Secure to the back panel using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws.

 diy desk plans - ainsworth_Drawer Dividers

Step Four

Cut the pieces for the bottom and drill pocket holes in the sides edges as well as the back edge. Secure to the sides, the back, and the dividers using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws.

 diy desk plans - ainsworth_Bottom

Step Five

Cut the pieces for the front stretchers. The upper stretchers are cut 3/4″ longer and will have a 3/4″ x 3/4″ notch cut into one edge. Drill pocket holes in each end of the stretcher pieces noting that there will be a left and a right upper stretcher piece. Secure the stretchers as shown using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws.

 diy desk plans - ainsworth_Center Stretchers

diy desk plans - ainsworth_Drawer Stretchers

Step Six

Cut the pieces for the top and the top trim. Drill pocket holes in all four edges of the top, as well as each end of the shorter trim pieces. Assemble as shown using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws. Rout a decorative edge on the top, if desired. Position on the desk frame with 1/2″ overlapping all edges, then secure using glue and 1-1/4″ brad nails.

 diy desk plans - ainsworth_Top 1

diy desk plans - ainsworth_Top 2

Step Seven

Cut the pieces for the drawer boxes. Drill pocket holes in each end of the side pieces as well as all four edges of the bottom pieces. Assemble each drawer box as shown using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws. Install the drawer slides according to the manufacturer’s instructions. For an easy “how-to” tutorial, click here. Make any necessary adjustments.

 diy desk plans - ainsworth_Sm Drawer BS  diy desk plans - ainsworth_Sm Drawer FB

diy desk plans - ainsworth_Lg Drawer BS  diy desk plans - ainsworth_Lg Drawer FB

diy desk plans - ainsworth_Center Drawer BS  diy desk plans - ainsworth_Center Drawer FB

Step Eight

Cut the pieces for the drawer fronts. There will be a 1/8″ gap around all sides of the drawer fronts in the openings. Mark the position for the cabinet pull on each drawer front and drill the holes. Shim the drawer front in the opening and drive screws through the holes into the drawer boxes. Open the drawer and secure the drawer front from the inside using countersunk 1-1/4″ screws. Remove the screws from the holes for the cabinet pulls and finish drilling the holes. Install the cabinet pulls.

 diy desk plans - ainsworth_Drawer Fronts

Finish as desired!

I’m hoping these DIY plans to build the Ainsworth desk fit your needs like they do mine! I cannot wait to start on this project and already have a specific finish in mind! Hopefully, all will go well and Murphy will not come snooping around!

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Originally posted 2013-09-20 08:00:37.

  • CarpenterOnCarpenter

    Hi,
    Has anyone made this desk yet? Just wondering about the measurements for step 5 with the dividers. I’m not sure why the notches are needed?
    Thank you,
    Keith

  • Valentín Servando Valdez

    Awesome design, I want to build this for my girlfriend for Christmas. What plywood do you recommend?

    • CherTexter

      The desk would make a fabulous gift! The type of plywood will depend on how much you want to spend… Oak is a great choice and Birch is, as well, and a little cheaper, too!

  • Kevin

    Made this desk a and have a couple things to note on the materials list. First it is not possible to get all the required pieces our of two sheets of standard 8′ plywood. I ran the cuts through an optimization plan online and it requires three sheets. Second the Drawer Slide Supports call for 1″x3″ but the materials list gives you an extra 1″x 2″ and not enough of the 1 “x 3″. You can either get by using the 1″x2″ for the slide drawers like I did or swap one of 1″x2″ for a 1″x3”. Otherwise, my wife and I are really happy with the way it turned out.

  • Melitta

    Hi!

    I would like to know how I can change the legs to something with more of a design and more robust.

    Any ideas?

    Thank you very much for the free detailed information! 🙂

    • CherTexter

      Hi, Melitta! I’m not sure exactly what you have in mind… Carved table legs can be substituted and the plans may have to be altered. If you can be a little more specific, I might be able to help! Have a great day!

Designs by Studio C is your DIY connection to How-To information, DIY projects and free furniture plans. Have questions about the plans? Contact me at cher@designsbystudioc.com!
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