Questions? cher@designsbystudioc.com

Build a 19th C. French Desk


Create a Gorgeous Piece of Furniture Using These Vintage French Desk Plans!

How could you not love this desk? the desk features two narrow drawers and one deeper drawer, plus decorative brackets. With its vintage charm and functionality, it is sure to fit into any decor!

vintage french desk plans_Copy

Materials:

  • 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws
  • 1-1/4″ brad nails
  • 1-1/4″ screws
  • Edge banding, optional
  • 3 sets of 24″ Drawer slides
  • 3 – Cabinet pulls
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper (100, 150, 220 grits)
  • Finishing supplies (primer & paint, or stain, sealer)

Lumber:

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

Cut List:

  • 4 – 2×2 at 30-3/4″ – Legs
  • 2 – 3/4″ plywood at 15-3/8″ x 27″ – Side Panels
  • 2 – 1×3 at 55″ – Stretchers
  • 2 – 1×2 at 11-3/8″ – Back Panel Frame
  • 2 – 1×2 at 15″ – Back Panel Frame
  • 2 – 3/4″ plywood at 11-3/8″ x 13-1/2″ – Back Panel
  • 2 – 1×2 at 11-3/8″ – Drawer Frames
  • 2 – 1×2 at 15″ – Drawer Frames
  • 1 – 1×2 at 13-1/2″ – Drawer Frame
  • 3 – 1×2 at 27″ – Drawer Spacers
  • 2 – 3/4″ plywood at 15-3/8″ x 27″ – Dividers
  • 4 – 3/4″ plywood at 4″ x 4″ – Brackets
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at 31″ x 59″ – Top
  • 3 – 3/4″ plywood at 11″ x 22-1/2″ – Drawer Bottoms
  • 2 – 3/4″ plywood at 9-1/4″ x 22-1/2″ – Deep Drawer Sides
  • 2 – 3/4″ plywood at 9-1/4″ x 12-1/2″ – Deep Drawer Front & Back
  • 4 – 3/4″ plywood at 3-1/4″ x 22-1/2″ – Narrow Drawer Sides
  • 4 – 3/4″ plywood at 3-1/4″ x 12-1/2″ – Narrow Drawer Front & Back
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at 11-1/8″ x 13-1/4″ – Deep Drawer Front
  • 2 – 3/4″ plywood at 4-11/16″ x 13-1/4″ – Narrow Drawer Fronts

vintage french desk plans

Notes:

Edge banding will be applied to the exposed edges of the plywood before assembly.

Step One

Cut the pieces for the legs and the side panels. With the pocket hole jig set for 3/4″ material, drill pocket holes in each shorter edge of the side panels. Secure to the legs using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws. The inside face of the panels will be flush with the inside face of the legs.

 vintage french desk plans_Sides

Step Two

Cut the pieces for the stretchers and drill pocket holes in each edge. Secure to the legs using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws.

 vintage french desk plans_Stretchers

Step Three

Cut the pieces for the back frame and panels. Drill pocket holes in the pieces as shown, noting that there will be a left and a right piece. Assemble the pieces as shown, then secure to the legs as shown using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws. The back face of the panel assembly will be flush with the inside face of the legs.

 vintage french desk plans_Back Panels

Step Four

Cut the pieces for the front frames noting that the left side will differ from the right side. Assemble as shown, then secure tot he legs using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws.

 vintage french desk plans_Drawer Frames

Step Five

Cut the pieces for the dividers and drill pocket holes in each shorter edge. Secure to the front and back frames using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws. The outside face will be flush with the outside edge of the front and back frames.

 vintage french desk plans_Dividers

Step Six

Cut the pieces for the drawer slide spacers. Secure to the dividers using glue and countersunk 1-1/4″ screws. The bottom edge of the spacers will be flush with the top edge of the front frame pieces.

 vintage french desk plans_Drawer Spacers 1

vintage french desk plans_Drawer Spacers 2

Step Seven

Cut the pieces for the brackets. Maintain the overall dimensions and cut the curves using a jigsaw. Drill pocket holes in the back of each bracket and secure to the stretchers and frames using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws.

 vintage french desk plans_Brackets 1

vintage french desk plans_Brackets 2

Step Eight

Cut the piece for the top. Position the top so it overhangs the front and sides by 1/2″. Secure using glue and 1-1/4″ brad nails.

 vintage french desk plans_Top

Step Nine

Cut the pieces for the drawer boxes. 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 sides. . For an easy tutorial, click here. Make any necessary adjustments.

 vintage french desk plans_Narrow Drawer BS

vintage french desk plans_Narrow Drawer FB

 

vintage french desk plans_Deep Drawer BS

 

vintage french desk plans_Deep Drawer FB

Step Ten

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.

 vintage french desk plans_Drawer Fronts

Finish as desired.

Don’t you think these vintage french desk plans will create a fabulous piece? These plans are excellent for beginners, and if you get stuck contact me at cher {at} designsbystudioc {dot} com! I’d be happy to help walk you through it!

  • vinma

    I have seen French desks in our local ‘Bombay’ stores and have always swoon over it.. I love the style and elegance. Never occurred to me that you could make one for yourself if you want to 🙂 Great post Cher 🙂

    • CherTexter

      Thank you so much, Vinma! I love the “Bombay” stores, too, and I love drooling over their furniture!

  • Rae Buchanan

    Why is it called the French desk Cher? As always, love the details of your plans, I so wish I had more time. Maybe when the kids are a little older, I can include them. My middle son is great with tools…..

    • CherTexter

      It is called a “French Desk” because of the style… Maybe more so of the inspiration piece than the one I actually drew but with a shabby sort of finish, it will look very oo-la-la! Thanks, Rae!

  • Love these elegant pieces Cher.

    • CherTexter

      Thank you, Elle! That is very kind of you to say!

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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