How to Build a Computer Desk from Scratch

How to Build a Computer Desk from Scratch

How to Build a Computer Desk from Scratch

Since working online has become the new normal therefore we have just the right data for you in this blog post. You no longer have to work with your computers on your lap/bed with awkward sitting positions which affects both your back and eyesight.

Today I will be your mentor and explain how to build a computer desk from scratch on your own.

After having read these amazing methods you will be able to build your own ergonomic, customized desk that caters to all your needs without being a burden on your pocket.  

Method 1:

Before we start our guide to construct the computer desk let us brief you about the main criteria on which this article will focus.

Spacious: Most of the computer desks that are found in stores are more or less fifty to sixty inches long. This much width is not enough to fit all your gadgets. Even if you are lucky and come across any computer desk long enough it will be either ugly and cheaply made, or too expensive.

Affordability: Building something yourself instead of buying it from a store always saves money. However, depending on your bargaining skills and the tools you already have lying around, you’ll hopefully be able to get everything in half the price of most store-bought computer desks this size.

Effort: This guide is easy and accessible to anyone, including those without lots of woodworking experience. Therefore, keep your morale high and keep reading.

Ergonomic: In this guide, we are going to mix the sleek look of a writing desk with the ergonomics of a computer desk to get the best of both worlds. Many people tend to ignore the difference between the two types of desks. However, over time, those differences can wreak havoc on your body.

Here is what you’ll need

  1. The Surface: In order to build a big computer desk, you will need a large piece of wood. For this, you will need to hit the market or pick up one for free if you are lucky. There are a few slabs you could try. We in particular will be using a big door as the surface that shows off the wood grain. You need to be cautious about something that is not hollow and has a width that matches your ideal desk depth. Once you are done with choosing the slab for your desktop you will need to sand, stain, and finish it. If you are worried about the hole in the door where the handle is fixed, then you can use it for cable management in the back or hide the hole under your mouse and keyboard mat.
  2. The Legs: Many people would want to use standard desk legs or industrial pipes, however, we decided to go with adjustable legs for the computer desk. This can be a bit expensive but you can fit the computer desk at a perfect height for yourself. You can also use legs from any other furniture that might be laying in your garage to save money.
  3. The Drawers: Drawers are very important to hold your flash drives, sticky notes, and other items of need. We recommend that you fulfill this requirement with a filing cabinet or set of drawers that matches the height of your desk.

Building the Computer desk

1. Develop the surface:

Since you will be using an unfinished door therefore you will need wood stain and semi-gloss polyurethane to stain it yourself. Now, let’s make the surface ready to use. You can start off by sanding, staining, and finishing your door. It will only take a couple of hours of your time, plus a few days of waiting for everything to dry between coats.

2. Assemble the parts:

When the door is dry flip it upside down and plan out your build, starting with the legs. I recommend one leg in each of the four corners, with a fifth one in the center of the back edge for support. Now, grab anti-sag braces and place them near the middle of the door. Once you are done with anti-sag braces, drill some pilot holes for the legs and anything else you are attaching to the underside like cable management trays and leg brackets.

If you are building your desk in a garage or a workshop then it is better to shift your computer desk to where you want to place it- it will be a lot easy to move before attaching the legs. Once it is at the right place screw the legs into the brackets. You can then adjust them to your desired height. Flip your computer desk over and stick the filing cabinet underneath. Ensure that everything is level. Don’t forget to check stability and height. Once you have checked the size and stability of the computer desk you can now set up your computer, adjust your computer so the top is at eye level. Enjoy, your new computer desk.

3. Make the desk ergonomic:

You can follow these steps to make sure your computer desk is ergonomic:

  • Make sure your eyes are at a level with the top of your computer screen.
  • Shoulders to be relaxed and low, not to be bent and not too high.
  • Lower arms should be positioned in a way that they are parallel to the floor. It’s better if your arms have support because having them held up can cause issues.
  • Make sure it’s easy for you to reach your keyboard and mouse so that your elbow won’t be bent.
  • You can easily touch your feet on the floor and make sure your feet are flat making them touch the floor completely.
  • The upper back should be completely straight and supported by your chair.
  • Upper legs to be at a 90° angle from the body.
  • Never lean on one side as it can cause your spine to curve.

Tips to save time:

  • Don’t waste time. While you are waiting for the door to dry, grab your chair, and adjust the seat height and armrests to a comfortable position. Your feet should be flat on the ground, with your elbows and knees at approximately ninety-degree angles.
  • If your computer is not height-adjustable, you may want to prop them up on something.
  • To tidy up your workspace we recommend some sort of cable management like a rain gutter. Add a mouse pad too, it will protect the desk surface from black marks and excessive wear.
  • If you screw directly into the surface, you’re likely to split the wood. Therefore, use your drill as a driver to make things go a lot faster.

Method 2:

Take a look at how your desk will look like!

How to Build a Computer Desk from Scratch

This computer desk has a lot of hardware. Below is the list of all the hardware you will require.

Things you’ll need

Qty Material Measurements
3 sheets Purebond plywood ¾”
1 sheet Purebond plywood ½”
1 sheet Purebond plywood ¼”
1 pound wood screws 1 ¼”
1 box pocket screws 1 ¼”
4 sets Bottom Mount Drawer Slides 22″
1 set Bottom Mount Drawer Slides 16″
1 set Bottom Mount Drawer Slides 12″
2 sets Continuous Hinges 1-1/2″ X 30″
1  set Continuous Hinges 1-1/2″ X 12″
1 pair Gas Springs/Gas Struts 100N/22.5lb
1 Power/Reset Button USB 3.0 x 4
2 Fan System (with Speed Control) 8″
5 Cable Pass-Through Brush Plates
1 High-Speed USB Charger Receptacle
  • Triple Monitor Mount
  • Dewalt 20V Max Impact Driver
  • Bosch ROS65VC-6 Random Orbit Sander
  • SawStop PCS 1.75-HP Professional Cabinet Saw
  • DEWALT FLEXVOLT 120v MAX* 12″ Double Bevel Compound Sliding Miter Saw
  • Kreg Jig K4 Pocket Hole System
  • DEWALT Biscuit Joiner
  • Shapeoko XL CNC

Steps to build the Computer desk

Prepare the parts before assembling them

The first step is to break down the sheet goods. You can use a table saw and circular saw. Just make sure everything is square.

Lets cut holes in the cabinet and assemble cabinets.

After the pieces are broken down, cut the individual holes into the various pieces using a jigsaw. The holes are where the cables will run out. After cutting the holes, assemble the cabinets and most of the desk using pocket holes.

Assemble the desk with 1 ¼” pocket screws and glue.

When drilling your pocket holes, make sure to orient them so that they are facing either the inside or the back of the structures, this way they’ll be hidden in the final desk.

Last but not the least, mount top stretchers. These help to strengthen everything and keep everything square.

Assemble the midsection

Now start assembling the midsection. Attach the sidewalls with screws and glue from below.

Continue adding your pieces.

There are fans on each side of the midsection. One set of fans will pull air in and the other will push air out.

Next, install the inner sidewalls. This is where the keyboard tray will mount.

After getting all of the side pieces mounted, flip the midsection and cut away the excess plywood from inside the keyboard tray area.

Mark out your lines using a framing square then cut away the excess with a jigsaw. Leave about ¼” of excess material, just to make sure you do not cut into the sides of the desk. Cut a bunch of holes into the sides and bottom of the midsection for the cables to pass-through.

Next, you need to build the drawers.

Cabinets are made of ½” plywood for the sides and ¼” plywood for the bottom.

You can initially assemble the drawer with brad nails and glue then come back and reinforce the corners and bottom with screws. You can assemble the keyboard tray in the same way as the drawers, with brad nails, glue, and screws.

Let’s fit the computer desk top now. Chamfer the top and bottom edges of the desk top with the router.

Install the drawers using bottom mount drawer slides. These install really easily and are nice and smooth. Install the drawer fronts to finish it off. The last pieces to add to these drawers are the spacer blocks on the bottom of the cabinets. You need to add these since the casters you used require 1 ½” of mounting depth and this plywood is ¾” thick. You can just glue and nail them in place.

Next, you need to connect the cabinets and midsection. You can use biscuits for this. Add two biscuits along the front edge and three biscuits along the side. Glue the bottom half of the biscuit into the midsection slot leaving the top half without glue.

For the finish, you can use black milk paint covered with a clear polyurethane topcoat for protection.

Style it to add your touch

Every individual has their own feel and you have too. Since you have just made a computer table from scratch it should have your touch to it. You can just simply add so much to it if you are into tech. However, working with wood is not that easy if you have never done it before but I feel that after reading this blog post it was easier for you to make one. Working yourself on your piece is an accomplishment and makes you feel proud. I hope that you are feeling good too right now.

If you have any suggestions regarding this blog post or any questions that you might want to ask feel free to drop your queries down below in the comment box below and I would be more than happy to assist you.

Stay blessed stay safe! 🌻