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Build a Vintage Style Desk


DIY Plans to Build a Vintage Style Desk

Back to School is just around the corner, so why not build this great desk to get your student started off right? The DIY plans to build a vintage style desk feature a roomy top with four drawers. It is such an easy build, too!

DIY Plans to Build a Vintage Style Desk-copy

Materials:

  • 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws
  • 2-1/2″ pocket hole screws
  • 1-1/4″ screws
  • Edge banding, optional
  • 4 sets of 14″ Drawer slides
  • Cabinet pulls
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper (100, 150, 220 grits)
  • Finishing supplies (primer & paint, or stain, sealer)

Lumber:

  • 1 – 1×2 at 4′
  • 1 – 1×2 at 6′
  • 1 – 1×3 at 6′
  • 1 – 1×3 at 8′
  • 1 – 1×6 at 6′
  • 5 – 2×2 at 8′
  • 1 half sheet of 3/4″ plywood
  • 1 full sheet of 3/4″ plywood

Cut List:

  • 4 – 2×2 at 29-1/2″ – Legs
  • 4 – 2×2 at 15″ – Side Frames
  • 2 – 3/4″ plywood at 15″ x 22-1/2″ – Side Panels
  • 2 – 2×2 at 28″ – Inner Legs
  • 2 – 2×2 at 15″ – Inner Leg Frame & Back Frame
  • 1 – 2×2 at 23-1/2″ – Back Frame
  • 2 – 2×2 at 40″ – Upper Stretchers
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at 15″ x 22-1/2″ – Back Panel
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at 22-1/2″ x 23-1/2″ – Back Panel
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at 15″ x 40″ – Top
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at 15″ x 23-1/4″ – Divider
  • 7 – 1×2 at 15″ – Drawer Spacers
  • 3 – 2×2 at 15″ – Front Stretchers
  • 1 – 2×2 at 23-1/2″ – Front Stretcher
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at 12-1/2″ x 21″ – Center Drawer Bottom
  • 2 – 1×3 at 12-1/2″ – Center Drawer Sides
  • 2 – 1×3 at 22-1/2″ – Center Drawer Front & Back
  • 3 – 3/4″ plywood at 12-1/2″ x 12-1/2″ – Smaller & Larger Drawer Bottoms
  • 2 – 1×3 at 12-1/2″ – Smaller Drawer Sides
  • 2 – 1×3 at 14″ – Smaller Drawer Front & Back
  • 4 – 1×6 at 12-1/2″ – Larger Drawer Sides
  • 4 – 1×6 at 14″ – Larger Drawer Front & Back
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at 2-3/4″ x 23-1/4″ – Center Drawer Front
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at 2-3/4″ x 14-3/4″ – Smaller Drawer Front
  • 2 – 3/4″ plywood at 8″ x 14-3/4″ – Larger Drawer Front

DIY Plans to Build a Vintage Style Desk

Click on the drawings for a larger view!

Step One

Cut the pieces for the legs, the side frames, and the side panels. With the pocket hole jig set for 1-1/2″ material, drill pocket holes in each end of the frame pieces. Secure them to the legs using glue and 2-1/2″ pocket hole screws.

Set the pocket hole jig for 3/4″ material, and drill pocket holes in all four edges of the panels. Secure to the legs and frame pieces using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws. The outside face of the panels will be flush with the outside face of the frame and legs.

DIY Plans to Build a Vintage Style Desk-sides

Step Two

Cut the pieces for the inner legs, inner leg frame, upper stretchers, and back frame. Set the pocket hole jig for 1-1/2″ material and drill pocket holes in each end of the inner leg frame piece, upper stretchers, and back frame pieces, as well as one end only of each of the inner legs. Secure the upper stretchers as shown using glue and 2-1/2″ pocket hole screws, then attach the inner legs to the upper stretchers using glue and 2-1/2″ pocket hole screws. Secure the remaining framing pieces as shown using glue and 2-1/2″ pocket hole screws.

DIY Plans to Build a Vintage Style Desk-stretcherslegs

Step Three

Cut the pieces for the back panels. Set the pocket hole jig for 3/4″ material and drill pocket holes in all four edges. Insert each panel into the corresponding frame, and secure using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws. The outside face of the panels will be flush with the outside face of the frames.

DIY Plans to Build a Vintage Style Desk-back

Step Four

Cut the piece for the top and drill pocket holes in all four edges. Secure the top to the upper stretchers and side frames using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws. The outside face of the top panel will be flush with the top of the upper stretchers and side frames.

DIY Plans to Build a Vintage Style Desk-top

Step Five

Cut the piece for the divider and drill pocket holes in all four edges. Secure the divider to the inner legs and inner leg framing piece using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws. The outside face of the panel will be flush with the inner legs as shown.

DIY Plans to Build a Vintage Style Desk-divider

Step Six

Cut the pieces for the drawer spacers. Secure the spacers as shown to the inside of the left side panel and the inside of the divider using glue and 1-1/4″ countersunk screws. One spacer will be positioned on the inside of the right side panel at the same dimension as the upper spacer as shown.

DIY Plans to Build a Vintage Style Desk-drawerspacers

Step Seven

Cut the pieces for the front stretchers. Set the pocket hole jig for 1-1/2″ material and drill pocket holes in each end. Secure to the legs as shown using glue and 2-1/2″ pocket hole screws.

DIY Plans to Build a Vintage Style Desk-frontstretchers

Step Eight

Cut the pieces for the drawer boxes. Set the pocket hole jig for 3/4″ material and drill pocket holes in all four edges of the bottom as well as each end of the sides. Assemble the drawer box as shown using glue and 1-1/4” pocket hole screws. Install the drawer slides according to the manufacturer’s installation instructions, locating them ¾” back from the front edge of the legs. For an easy tutorial, click here. Make any necessary adjustments.

Step Nine

Cut the pieces for the drawer fronts. Mark the position for the drawer pulls and drill the holes. Shim the drawer front in the opening – there will be a 1/8” gap around all sides – then drive screws through the holes for the drawer pulls into the drawer box. Open the drawer, and secure the drawer front using countersunk 1-1/4” screws from the inside. Remove the screws from the holes for the drawer pull then finish drilling the holes. Install the drawer pull. For an easy tutorial on installing drawer fronts, click here.

DIY Plans to Build a Vintage Style Desk-drawers

Finish as desired!

What a great desk! Quick and easy – just the way we like it, right? If you have any questions about the DIY plans to build a vintage style desk, leave a comment below or contact me at cher {at} designsbystudioc {dot} com!

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Originally posted 2014-07-07 08:00:55.

  • glassbycass

    Thank you so much for such a detailed and seemingly simple tutorial! I am just barely starting to work with wood and not be “scared” of it LOL! So this is quite encouraging. Quick question though….If I wanted the drawers to be on the right side instead of the left…are all the cuts the same and just the assembly is different? if so, could you possibly briefly explain the assembly differences. If the cuts are different….would it be possible to get help with a new cut list? Again, thank you SO much for such an awesome guide. Your time and response is greatly appreciated!

    • CherTexter

      Hi, there! Yes, the cuts are the same and the assembly is just “flipped”. I’ve attached a drawing of the framing with everything on the opposite site and the rest will be self-explanatory! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask!

      Thank you so much for the kind words – they are really appreciated!

      • glassbycass

        Surprised & IMPRESSED for such a quick & helpful response! Thank you again 🙂 I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  • Joe

    How would you make it 24″ deep?

    • CherTexter

      Hi, Joe! To make the desk 24″ deep, 6″ would be added to the width of the side panels, side framing, inner leg framing, inner panel, the top and the drawer slide spacers. To make the drawers deeper as well, 6″ will be added to the drawer box sides and the depth of the drawer box bottom. 20″ drawer slides will also be used. Hope this helps and don’t hesitate to reach out again if you have further questions!

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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