$40 Funky X Desk

Building the desk was pretty straightforward. I actually saved a little money going with the 2x6s (4 of them was under half the price of a pine project panel) rather than the panel which I actually brought home first. I went with the 2x6s instead because it felt sturdier, and the straightest panel I could find was a little warped (which I didn't want to force).

My biggest piece of advice is, if you don't have a wood planer, DO NOT use a Kreg Jig to assemble the top first. 2xWhatevers just don't seem to "lay" the way you want them to if they're all connected together. I built the legs, added supports and then used glue and 2" finish nails to secure the top, butting them up as close as I could (there's only very minimal gaps, ~1/16 or less) It is SOLID. I filled in the nail holes with Elmer's stainable wood filler. After staining, I used a tiny artist brush with the stain on the filler so it could penetrate a little longer. Worked like a charm!

We decided to go with a color stain on top because it's going in a craft room/office so we wanted it to be bright and fun to get our creative juices flowing. The walls are a light gray so we figured we could afford some color :)

Built from Plan(s)
Estimated Cost
$40 for wood
Estimated Time Investment
Afternoon Project (3-6 Hours)
Type of Wood
Pine, white wood (douglas fir, maybe?)
Finish Used
TOP STAIN - Minwax water based stain in Botanical (on the can it says not to let it penetrate for more than three minutes but that's too long, IMO. I had much better results using a rag and rubbing it in, leaving a wet edge while wiping excess off immediately to avoid blotchiness.)

TOP TOPCOAT: Safecoat Acrylacq in Gloss (LOVE this stuff - and water based, though you can use it over oil based too, after 24 hours)

LEGS STAIN: Minwax oil-based in Dark Walnut

LEGS TOPCOAT: Rustoleum Polyurethane in Matte (like used in Shanty2Chic's post)
Recommended Skill Level



Tue, 10/21/2014 - 09:08

I did use pocket hole screws for the top.  It wasn't ideal but it worked.  I had to use long pipe clamps and two pieces of 3/4in wood strips under the pipes to create flat pressure on the top across the seam.  I found that if I din't use the brace the top with the pocket hole screws in the middle would cause it to bow in the center with the ends upward as if I were over tightening.  Once I prevented the bowing with clamps and flat boards it came together smooth and flat. 

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