Chunky Console Table Desk with Flip Down Keyboard Tray

Submitted by Ana White on Sun, 08/30/2020 - 14:20
Difficulty
Intermediate
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No room for a desk?  This beautiful console table flips open to hide a laptop or a keyboard!  You'll love it's narrow profile, hidden storage in the legs, and simple to build design.  Free plans from Ana-White.com

console table desk

This plan has been updated, the original plans are still available here.

console table with flip down keyboard tray

Dimensions
console table converts to desk
Overall Dimensions are shown above. I choose to use standard sized boards in this design so that you could use pine boards for a rustic look, use scraps, or have MDF cut into board sized dimensions (as I did). The desk is narrow when closed, console sized. So if you like lots of room for more than just using your computer, this might not be the desktop for you.

Preparation

Shopping List

6 Frameless Full Overlay Euro Style Hinges like these

1 – 1×12 @ 8′ Length (cut top and shelf from this board)

1 - 1x12 @ 10' length (cut all other cuts, largest first, from this board)

1 – 1×6 @ 8′ Length

1-1/4" brad nails or 2" self tapping star bit screws or 1-1/4" pocket hole screws (or a combination of all of the above

Cut List

2 - 1x12 @ 29-1/4" - outer legs

1 - 1x12 @ 46-1/2" - shelf

2 - 1x12 @ 24-1/2" - inner legs

1 - 1x12 @ 48" - top

6 - 1x12 @ 4" - dividers

1 - 1x6 @ 48" - keyboard fold down

2 - 1x6 @ 23-3/4" - storage leg doors

Tools
Tape Measure
Pencil
Safety Glasses
Drill
Circular Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander

Instructions

Step 1

Attach legs to the desk tray using your choice of fastener - 1-1/4" brad nails and wood glue, 2" self tapping wood screws, or 3/4" pocket holes with 1-1/4" pocket hole screws.  You can use any combination of these fasteners to build throughout the plans, considering that the brad nails are cheapest, easiest and easiest to hide, but pocket hole screws will create a stronger joint.

Recommend for this step: Pocket Holes

TIP: The 1x12 @ 4" pieces can be used as a temporary spacer to set your shelf height.

Step 2

I recommend installing the hinges at this point, since it will be hard to get a drill inside the project as we progress further.  Simply screw to the project as shown, with the flat front flush to the front edges of the project.  You can use a scrap piece of wood to help you place the hinges, making sure they are flush to the front.

Exact location is not essential, just close the locations in the diagram is good.

Step 3

Attach the inner leg piece to the shelf.

Recommended: Pocket Holes 

Step 4

Attach top to the outer legs.

Recommended: 1-1/4" brad nails with glue since they are easiest to hide.

Step 5

Attach dividers inside the project as shown - I've placed them so you can fit an 8-1/2" x 11" book/paper in the openings, but you can move the dividers around a good bit without changing the structure of the project.

Recommended: 1-1/4" brad nails and glue.

Step 6

Position the 1x6 drawer faces under the project and attach through the hinges with screws to fasten.

Step 7

If you find you need additional support, fully enclosing the back with 1x6s (same as door faces but attached with 1-1/4" brad nails and glue) will increase the stability and strength of the project (but add costs).

The keyboard fold down can be further strengthened by a hidden chain or hinge supports on the insides of the dividers.

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Comments

Ana White (not verified)

Thu, 05/13/2010 - 12:46

I actually work from a laptop, but the screen is going bad and it's tiny. So I hide my laptop in desktop and use a USB mouse and a monitor. I'm LOVING my desk, can't wait to see yours.

Krista Nicole (not verified)

Fri, 07/23/2010 - 06:44

Hi Ana,

I made this desk with a few modifications for size because I wanted it a little deeper but the front of mine will not stay properly shut. I installed the same type of hinges but it still stands ajar. I put in some magnetic closures in hopes that would help. I have adjusted the placement of the hinges but it still won't shut properly.

Do you have any suggestions to solve my problem?

Thanks!

Ana White (not verified)

Fri, 07/23/2010 - 08:44

Krista, maybe you could try to move the hinges out? To me, it sounds like the hinges need to be adjusted. The hinges should have a little "play" room, try perhaps backing the screws out a tiny bit (where the hinge connect to the desk, not the door) and pulling the door directly out and then tightening the screws. Hope this helps! Ana

Genevieve (not verified)

Tue, 07/27/2010 - 14:41

I am starting my MBA in the fall and also have limited square feet, this makes a great vanity and desk combined! I'm definitely going to do glossy white! Sorry Ana.

Laura McMillin Lewis (not verified)

Tue, 08/03/2010 - 05:49

If using the legs for CPU storage, please be sure to remove the back of the leg entirely and do not place the desk flush with the wall in order to get proper ventilation. CPUs do not like to be warm and will overheat in a closed environment.

Otherwise... LOVE it!!

Chelsea (not verified)

Fri, 10/01/2010 - 17:43

I have mine glued and ready for paint! Right now the plan is blue, we shall see what happens when I get to the paint store tomorrow. I made mine out of MDF so it is just glued and not screwed together, we shall see how that goes. My hinges look a bit different but they are the same time. I drill pilot holes for the attachment to the desk so I am hoping I can paint the put the screws in by hand.

Michelle (not verified)

Tue, 10/19/2010 - 06:51

I bought the wood today to make this desk. I'm thinking that there was probably a more economical way for me to build it... I bought 3 - 1x12x8, and 2 - 1x6x8 which equaled $51.94 (and then 17.82 for the hinges)...I think the wood was called "whitewood". I'm REALLY excited to make this desk but am thinking maybe there was a cheaper wood that I should have looked for, or I should have done it with the MDF? Any suggestions would be wonderful! We have several projects we are wanting to make so if i'd be cheaper to do this in MDF, I could possibly save the boards I just bought for a project that needs real wood! Thank you so much for the wonderful plans Ana, I've told almost all of my friends about your website and they have a hard time believing that you provide these amazing plans for them to use for free!