DIY: How To Make Your Own Reclaimed Wood Desk From Scrap

102108_rg_reclaimwoodtable_01.jpgDrocko got tired using a cheap plastic table as his sole and only table for nearly two years. He decided to make his own big wooden table. He used reclaimed wood for this project, making it look cooler and even more environmentally friendly. We love wood. Wood is a great sustainable material that can be easily placed in modern decors without as much as a lift of your eyebrow. It just looks good. That’s why we thought that making your own wood table would be appealing.

Drocko mentions that the end result is a bit heavy since he used Douglas Fir wood. It’s also a bit soft and marks will show on it. He suggests using a sturdier wood, like Cherry wood or walnut wood or any reclaimed wood that’s nice and heavy. Maybe you could even repurpose wood from an older desk, that’s been either dumped or sold for scrap. There are a lot of possibilities that exist, instead of just going to the hardware store and buying wood. The end result is a beautiful and sturdy table, that can be used as a computer desk.

102108_rg_reclaimwoodtable_03.jpgBasically, all you need is wood. Reclaimed wood can be easily bought or sought. It’s up to you to decide what type of wood to use. He needed wood glue, tenons, and table legs. These can be easily repurposed from an old Ikea table or actually bought there. Hunting through Craigslist will also yield some table legs. You’ll need a hammer, vice grips, a circular saw, rubber mallet, sander, a mortiser and a drill/screwdriver.

102108_rg_reclaimwoodtable_04.jpgEach piece of wood will need to be cleaned and inspected to remove all of the nails. Next, you’ll sand the wood down to clean it up. Then you’ll use a saw to cut the corners are 90 degree angles. Once you’ve joined the pieces together using glow and a rubber hammer, you’ll need to wait a bit before sanding it down, so that it’s nice and smooth.

102108_rg_reclaimwoodtable_05.jpgDepending on the weight of the wood, you’ll need to cut little holes into it to join them with a tenon, a sort of wood-like stick that joins pieces of wood together. This is the hardest part of the build, which will use the most tools. The holes have to be cut using a Festool Domino tool to cut mortises. The fit needs to be tight, so that the tension will create sturdiness.

Drocko used a pair of metal Ikea countertop legs, which cost about $30. Once the legs are screwed on, you’ll need to finish the table with a penetrating resin. For this build, General Finishes Arm R Seal was used. A few coats are needed so that the surface of the table becomes resistant to moisture and hot plates. If different wood was used, it could be nicely varnished and stained.

Follow his step-by-step guide over at Instructables.

[photos by Drocko]

7 Responses to “DIY: How To Make Your Own Reclaimed Wood Desk From Scrap”

  1. 1 Ryan M. October 23, 2008 at 14:09

    Seems like a good way to put an old wooden pallet to use.


  2. 2 Brenda March 13, 2009 at 23:43

    thanks. I couldn’t find a good detailed DYI page on this anywhere. (except of course the even more detailed version of this table here:

    My plan is to make a similar top, but with multiple file cabinets as the base, instead of the ikea legs 🙂

  3. 3 patrick coombe August 20, 2011 at 13:36

    wow really cool i am goign to build a desk using no knowledge this weekend…

  4. 4 Celt December 5, 2011 at 21:21

    ” Reclaimed wood can be easily bought or sought.”

    It’s a bit more difficult than you think. Sure you can probably pick up some crap pallets, but they don’t make em’ like they used to. Very cheap crappy lumber is used now, if you find one made out of the old oak you have found a gold mine.

  5. 5 magdalena December 29, 2011 at 22:01

    This is exactly what I would like to do, shame I haven’t got the skills to do so 😦
    well done tho…
    Megi x

  1. 1 Outlaw Design Blog » How to Achieve the Ultimate Home Office Setup Trackback on July 27, 2009 at 13:18
  2. 2 Where can I buy reclaimed wood in Nashville to create a cool work desk? - Quora Trackback on February 26, 2011 at 07:17

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