How To Build A Space-Saving Folding Desk From Scratch

You don't need a lot of space to have a great workspace. As Instructables user Jake Richardson shows in this step-by-step folding desk tutorial, a little bit of creativity can go a long way.

Step 1: The Room

My room is fairly small, and it's a squeeze to fit things in. So when I found I needed a desk to do many of my projects, I had to think about space conservation. I decided to affix the desk to the side of my IKEA bookshelf. It's heavy, thick and wide enough to attach a decent-sized desk to.

Step 2: The Materials

The pieces of wood I needed were pretty easy to find — I just used scrap wood from my garage. I settled on a piece of 30cm x 75cm plywood for the actual desk and an 8cm piece of pine for the hinge brace.

Step 3: Making the Brace

I cut two 5cm long pieces off the strip of pine and nailed to the underside of the piece of plywood with fine nails. Then I sanded the pine blocks smooth before being attached and used wood glue to strengthen the bond.

Step 4: Staining and Varnishing

I stained the desk with a satin mahogany wood stain. Three layers were used, with a light sanding after the second layer. The third layer was a very light coating. Then I gave the desk three layers of tough polyurethane varnish. (As with the stain, I used two initial layers with a light sanding, followed by a final light layer.)

Step 5: Mounting

After the desk had ample time to cure, it was time to mount it to the side of the bookshelf. I used two brass door hinges, affixed with six steel screws each. I used a 1m long, 3cm chain to hold the desk upright. The chain is hooked onto a small brass hook that's screwed onto the edge of the desk, while the other end is held in place at the top of the bookcase.

Step 6: Finishing

To finish the desk, I added a cutting surface that was also heatproof. I used a piece of slate tile that I cut to size and held in place with several lines of trade-standard Evo-Stik adhesive.

I now have a compact working space that can be folded away at a moment's notice!

(For a bonus tutorial on Jake's refurbished chair, check out the original post in the link below.)

Fold Out Desk From Scratch & Chair Refurbishment [Instructables]

Jake Richardson is an 18-year-old, soon-to-be apprentice from North Yorkshire, England. He's a maker and fixer of all things, from retro electronics to model furniture, as well as an enthusiastic model-maker.


    TL;DR version: Get wood. Chain to something.

    Make this at least worthy of having an article on, and add a pulley on the roof or something, so at least you have a usable desk, not just some thing with a chain directly above it... or something!

    PS: Welcome to lifehacker :D

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