I have build several of these rustic desks. I left the "X" off of this one as I had trouble getting it to fit properly. My last desk I had no issues but not this time. I use MinWax "Provincial" stain followed by three coats of Varathan 3X glossy finish on the top and two everywhere else. I also added a cross piece between the two end sections to better secure the top to.
Built from Plan(s)