supplies for staining wood

Building the X Desk

wooden desk with dark wood grain
Finished X desk

When my wife and I changed spaces in the house, I gave her my desk. That left me without a place for my computer. I decided I could make one.

I’ve got a compound miter saw, a drill with a Kreg jig, and a tape measure. Lowes provided the lumber.

drill, saw and screwdriver

The X Desk design comes from Ana White’s website. I modified it to make the top shorter. I wanted a lighter desk that was easy to move. Except for the top, the entire desk is made from 2×4 lumber. I chose some 1×12 pine boards for the top.

The biggest feature of the desk is the dramatic cross braces used on the single leg of the desk. Because I have a miter saw, I knew I could cut these pieces easily. I even made a modification to the design to support a narrower support. The back braces now angle 22.5 degrees.

Craftsman miter saw
I cut both 22.5 and 45 degree ends

I made a decision on the top; instead of screwing in from the bottom, or countersinking screws in the top, I would use bolts. I thought flat bronze crowns for the bolts would make nice accents. Bolts would make taking the desk apart possible too.

Clamping wood
A clamp holds the wood in place before drilling a hole

The challenge with bolts was the top layer of the legs. Two 2×4 and two more 1 inch boards meant about 4 1/2 inches to drill through and run a bolt through. I chose a trick. I embedded a T nut in the bottom side of the top leg 2×4. The nut is buried in the leg and won’t get lost. The bronze bolts run through holes in the top and holes in the leg and into the nut. Perfect.

I gave the desk a light sanding before applying stain and wax. I should have bought an electric sander and given the whole thing a finer finish. About two weeks later the wax finish has just about dried. I could clear it off and give it a good polishing. I’ve been enjoying it for more than a week now.

pieces of wood and a drill
The first set of cut pieces are ready to join

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