2x4 U shaped computer desk

How to build a custom desk using basic tools and easy to obtain lumber.

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When my oldest son graduated college and got married a bedroom was freed up in our home. For many years my make shack/ham radio/computer room was small closet tucked under a sloping roof. The closet was only 5x6 so I was more than ready to move into a 15x15 room.

The closet had a simple kitchen counter top desk, The new room would need a new desk. I wanted more space and wanted a U shaped desk so I could have eveything within reach. This project is how I built the desk. Its NOT a step by step, screw by screw step but will outline some of what I did. My inperation was from an article by Georgia on "More like home" website.

I choose to go with a solid top desk and modified her lets to be open in the front but the basic design is similar. I would hope between her web site and my project

The table has 2x4 legs with a 2x4 ladder frame. The top is 2ft wide cabinet grade plywood on the top. Design something to fit your needs.

  • 2 × 2x4 lumber. You will need at least 1 2x4x8 for each leg end, plus the 2 legnths for your top.
  • 1 × 4ft x 8ft plywood cabinet grade for staining, MDF if your going to paint. I used plywood for my top instead of 2x4. Your choice, If your building a desk for a garge/workshop the 2x4 will be fine, for an office desk cabinet grade plywood will provide a more formal desk.
  • 1 × screws and/or nails to hold it all togeather. I used 4 inch screws to hold the frame togeather and 3 inch to hold the top to the frame.
  • 1 × Basic tools, hammer, screw driver, saw. If you go with a the plywood top a circular saw or table saw will help. Some lumber yards can also cut wood for you as well.

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  • 1
    Step 1

    Build 2 sets of leg ends. Desk tops are typically 28 to 30 inches so your legs will be 30 inches minus the width of your desk top materials. The board between the legs are 13 inches in my case but will vary based on the size of your desk top.

    Once you have two legs built, build a ladder frame to hold the top. I also used a lower brace but not sure it would be needed in most cases as the top provides a lot of rigidity.

  • 2
    Step 2

    Since I was building a u shapped desk, I built two of the desk frames.

    Due to a the layout of the room One table side was 8ft the other was 6ft.

  • 3
    Step 3

    Attach the two table togeather with a bridge. The bridge has no legs to support it.

    I did find I had to make the bridge frame a lille more norrow to allow me to attach it without impacting the ladder from the two sides.

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