Building A Simple, Modern, Plywood Desk

I needed a simple desk for my new shop where I could put my computer and do general design work. It didn't need to be the sturdiest thing in the world, and I didn't want to spend a whole lot on it as I wasn't sure how the more permanent work benches would shake out.

I found a piece of 3/8" plywood around the house and had a few scraps wood from a window project. It looked like I could pull together a desk for no cost. Here is the image I found that inspired the over all look:

A plywood desk that inspired mine.

The desk I was to build would need a little more reenforcement given the thickness (or thinness rather) of the plywood I had on hand. Here is a model of the desk plan, to be fair, I built this model primarily to determine the angles of the leg attachment strips, and finished it after the desk was complete.

A full 3D model of the desk

The construction is straight forward. The below image shows an exploded view of all the parts used. Everything was put together with 1" course thread drywall screws. In some cases I needed to file off the tips of the screws when they poked through the wood strips.

The long wood strips are attached to the underside of the top to make it more ridged. Then the leg mounds are attached to the bottom. The legs are screwed from the inside into the leg mounts. Finally the rear reenforcement panel is attached with 3 strips of wood to sure up the frame. Everything was given a light sanding to knock off any splinters.

Exploded view of the desk

A materials list can be assembled from the dimensional drawing below, some things to note:

  • Each of the strips of wood are 3/4" by 1" in dimension, but this is really immaterial to the design and could be a variety of sizes.
  • In the drawing the leg mounts are show from two sides so as to illustrate the angle and length.
  • You will need two leg mounts, legs, reenforcement strips and back reenforcement strips.
  • I trimmed the back reenforcement strips to match the decorative cut in the back piece.

Dimensional view

A more comprehensive discussion of the desk construction can be found in this video below. Enjoy!

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