Making a Desk for my Daughter w/ Free Plans | One Day Builds

Making a Desk for my Daughter w/ Free Plans


I built a remote learning desk for my daughters to get them through virtual learning at home. These desks are super easy and quick to build and have a great mid-century modern look to them with tons of simple functionality and storage.

i know you're probably stuck at home
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with your kids like i am doing
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homeschooling and
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work from home and parenting at home and
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it's so much work
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i wanted to build a desk that would give
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my daughter a special place that she
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could call her own
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so she can get her schoolwork done a
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little bit more self-guided i also
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wanted to be a well-designed piece that
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would
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last for a long time but be simple to
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build with just really cheap materials
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this is two two by fours that i've gone
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ahead and cleaned up ahead of time
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and then one two foot by eight foot
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sheet of plywood three quarter inch
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this is a pretty simple setup all you're
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going to need is some basic tools to
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build this
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i'll also show you how you can build it
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with tools like what i have in my shop
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just so i'm not disingenuous
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it's an easy build it's a one day build
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as long as you have a little bit of
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skills maybe a weekend build
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if you're just starting out so let's
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jump into it remember i've got full
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plans and diagrams and cut lists and
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everything on my website if you need
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those
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or you can get it for free by supporting
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me on patreon but let's jump into this
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[Music]
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project
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[Music]
01:07
[Applause]
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all right so let's start off this
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project by squaring off these boards the
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easiest way to do this with a speed
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square and a circular saw
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but you can do it with a jigsaw if you
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have to i just sand afterwards
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next we're gonna start on our cut list
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we're gonna be cutting angles on these
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eventually but first let's just cut them
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down to size
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i've got the full cut list and the plans
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for this project on my website if you
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want to check that out
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but it's basically 23 and a half inch
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legs with a couple legs that a little
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bit longer so they can kick back after
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we cut those angles on them
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i chose and a 23.5 inch legs so i could
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have a 28 inch total top
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which i found by measuring my
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six-year-old was the optimal height for
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her to sit ergonomically
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with all the preliminary cuts made let's
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lay these out so we can get kind of an
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idea of how this is all going to go
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together
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we know this back leg is going to be
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square with the apron and we know the
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apron is going to have a 12 degree
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kickback for that front leg so let's go
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ahead and mark that off and cut that out
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at the miter fence
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if you don't have a table saw you can
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also make this cut with a jigsaw and an
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angle finder
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you can mark that 12 degree line and
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then cut close to the line with a jigsaw
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or a hand saw
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and then sand it to the line using a
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random orbit sander or just a block with
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sandpaper on it
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and now that we have our 12 degree angle
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we might as well also cut
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the lay back of that front leg so you'll
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cut 12 degrees at the top
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and then also 12 degrees off of the
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bottom and you can use this again
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with your miter fence or with the jigsaw
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and marking those lines
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be sure to get the length right it
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should be around 24 inches
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but it's better to mark it once you kind
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of lay it out with that apron
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now we'll use the apron to mark off the
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top of the back leg that's going to be
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at 90 degrees
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the apron so we can lay out the tapers
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for the legs the legs are going to taper
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from two inches at the bottom
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up to either where they intersect with
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the apron on the back leg
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or on that slanted front leg it's going
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to taper from that two inches all the
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way up to the top
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corner once you have the tapers marked
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you can cut them either using something
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like this
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tapering sled that i have from rockler
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that makes these super easy and safe by
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keeping your hands away from the work
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or you can also clamp it down to a work
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surface
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and freehand it with a circular saw
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tapers are just
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decorative so you can freehand them and
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just sand it until they feel
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smooth or even easier use a hand plane
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and just take it off with a couple
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passes
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can be dangerous though so be careful
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and make sure that your work piece is
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clamped down
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and make sure that you're cutting in a
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safe manner next we'll want to lay out
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and
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cut the joinery i use this craig foreman
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you can easily use
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any pocket hole jig that you have they
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come as cheap as about 20 or 30 dollars
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with the craig k3 i'll link to that down
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below in the description
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pocket holes really are the easiest way
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to put this piece together
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i think pocket holes are a great way to
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kind of get started with being able to
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make simple concise shapes that actually
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work for furniture like this
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you can see my old hand tool shootout
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video where i compare joinery techniques
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and the pocket hole's joinery really is
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a lot stronger than you might think it
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is
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and in this design it's not bearing
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direct load the load is actually being
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spread across the whole piece
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so it's going to be more than strong
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enough for this to hold up for a long
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time
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if you want to be an overachiever and
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make this just a little more
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seamless you could also make these half
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lap joints or use dowel joinery if you
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want to step it up to just that
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next level but it's going to be a little
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bit more complicated and not going to go
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together quite as quickly
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i built two of these in a weekend now
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we're going to cut the miter joints for
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the top
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you can either do this by using a well
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calibrated circular saw
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to cut 45 degree angles in the specific
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lengths for this design
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it has four and a half inch sides and 36
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inch top and bottom
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just make sure the miters are aligned
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correctly but i like to do the miters of
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the table sauce a little more accurate
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so i used my track saw and carefully
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laid these out and cut the pieces to the
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specific lengths
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and then brought them to the table saw
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to actually cut the miters
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[Music]
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you could of course set a tracks out of
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45 degrees to cut these as well
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but i like to when i'm cutting miters
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like this i just like to think about
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this as much as i can
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and cutting the lengths out and then
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cutting the miters at a separate step
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just allow me to be that much more
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precise of course you could lay these
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out
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for the track saw set the blade to 45
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and go through it that way
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but i also like the heavier blade on the
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table saw which is going to allow me to
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have a little less chatter as i make the
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cut
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next i place the bottom or i guess top
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it doesn't matter of the cabinet on top
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of a couple of ratchet straps
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and i added glue to the two joints i'm
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using titebond one
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i think you probably could have used
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titebond 3 to have a little bit more
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work time with the glue but it type on
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one does give you sufficient time i also
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made these nice little spacer blocks
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that were exactly the height of the
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inside of the box
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so that i could lay the top right on top
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of the
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side miters without them all falling
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apart so i could get this clamped up
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since the plywood flexes just a little
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bit
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and perfect flatness probably isn't
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100 necessary for a work surface
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if you need to squeeze this down with a
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clamp f-style clamp just a little
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bit to get the miters to seat just right
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it's not going to hurt your finished
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product that much
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now that the glue is dry it was time to
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prep the surfaces for the next steps
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i was going to paint the sides so i went
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ahead and sanded
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the corners because they were covered in
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paint anyway if you wanted to leave it
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raw
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you could have just burnished these
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edges to make sure that you can't see
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any of the veneer faces of the plywood
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showing through the miters
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i also started with the first stage of
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sanding on the legs
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just to knock down any imperfections
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between the thickness of the two by four
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stock
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two by fours aren't always exactly an
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inch and a half thick so
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this step is necessary to smooth
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everything up so i went over everything
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with 80 grit before i glued everything
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up
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you're also going to want to knock down
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some of the corners on those two by four
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legs
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so that you don't end up you know
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getting splinters or excess damage to
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the corners you can do that with a hand
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plane with a couple passes
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or just scuff them off with a piece of
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sandpaper i chose to do my final round
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over with a half inch round over bit
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just that it was consistent across the
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whole piece i know it's ironic
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taking the round overs off of a two by
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four just so you can add them on later
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with all the pieces prepped and sanded
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it was time to attach the back apron to
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this
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desk this is just going to provide
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rigidity between the two legs so that
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they don't rack
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and i also took this opportunity to
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pre-drill for the screws that i was
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going to use to attach the legs
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onto the top of the table
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[Music]
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to finish this project i use danish teak
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sealer which is kind of my favorite
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finish
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it's a really fast drying all-in-one
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sort of
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danish oil type finish from total boat i
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really highly recommend
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it if you can get hold of it but if
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you're in a crunch and you need to get
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this finished quick
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you can also use a danish oil that you
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can find at most home goods stores
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or you could start with a coat of oiled
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linseed oil
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and add on top of that a polyurethane
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coat i also drilled a countersink two
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inches deep with a half inch drill bit
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so that i could drive inch and three
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quarter screws exactly 5
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8 of an inch into the three quarter inch
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top so they wouldn't poke through into
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the inner compartment
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if you're a father you should always
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keep a couple of color samples of just
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fun colors around your shop i happen to
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have this sort of like
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primary color slash neon green sitting
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around i also had a pink
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sample sitting around which happened to
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be my daughter's two favorite colors
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that way i'm able to add a splash of
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color to any projects i'm building for
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them
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and also for this project hides any
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mistakes in assembling the miters
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slightly sloppily on the sides
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for the top and bottom i wanted a high
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contrast and like really bright finish
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since this is going to be an
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educational space i want to be good and
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clean so i used halcyon water-based
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finish from
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total boat which is also like a marine
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grade varnish
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because i know that my kids are going to
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color on these and this will make it
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washable
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and durable for the long run
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to install the top onto the bottom it's
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as simple as lining it up
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and ensuring that the gaps and reveals
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on each side are exactly the same
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and then drilling a couple of inch and
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three quarter screws in from the bottom
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into the top
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making sure that you don't drill through
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that bottom surface
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so don't over tighten
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with the shortage of kids desks out
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there due to virtual learning
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i hope this project gives you some
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inspiration to build a desk that lasts a
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long time for your kids
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and they can bring with them to get
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something positive out of these tough
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times
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i want to remind you again that the full
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plans are available on my website are
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free to any of my patrons
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i've detailed all of the cutlass
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diagrams of assembly and a full
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step-by-step instructions to get you
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through this
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it's a really straightforward project
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and i really hope you try it if you need
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a desk around the house
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thanks for watching and remember to keep
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your tools sharp and keep your mind
09:59
[Music]
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sharper
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[Music]
10:19
[Music]
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you

 

Special thanks to TotalBoat for sponsoring these plans to make them FREE
https://www.woodworklife.com/product/virtual-learning-desk-plans/

Support me on Patreon to help me to make more content
https://www.patreon.com/woodworklife

Totalboat Halcyon
http://www.totalboat.com/product/halcyon-marine-marine-varnish/

Total Boat Danish
http://www.totalboat.com/product/teak-sealer/
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