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Work station desk

I would like to know how to go about building my own work station desk similar to that of the Bestar Executive Series U-Shaped Computer workstation sold at office depot. However I would like to use oak or maybe a marble top. What would I need and how do I get started?

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Posted 2011-07-24T20:18:45+0000  by S-Melancon S-Melancon

Hi S-Melancon, that’s one impressive desk design you chose to go for there.  One of the first steps you’ll want to take is to figure out the general size you want the desk to be. Since you’re building the desk yourself you have some wiggle room in what the final size is, or you can go with whatever the existing dimensions are. If you do decide to go with your own there are two factors you’ll want to consider.


  • What space do I have available for the desk?
  • How much desk space do I need to work comfortably and efficiently?

I think that looking at the desk as three separate sections may be the easiest way to look at working out sizes. So with that in mind:



Determining the working height (floor to desk surface) of the desk is a good place to start as it will be common across all three pieces. Having a comfortable desk height can be the difference between breezing through work, and suffering through it. I find a finished working height of about 28 ½” to be a great comfort spot. It’s tall enough to allow for most adjustable height chairs easy access which means you can find just the right spot that works for you.


Another way to determine the height is by working out the file cabinet in the storage section. Building a drawer system can be difficult, so purchasing an under desk filling cabinet can be both a time and cost effective solution. If you use a pre-built filing cabinet it’s critical that you select it first. Making the selection after the fact can result in having a file cabinet that’s too tall or short for your use.  Using a pre-built filing cabinet also has the added benefit of making it easier to expand storage if the need arises. 

The length and depth of the storage section should be adequate for handling whatever you have to and may have to store. The depth can be influenced by the size of the file cabinet/drawer you choose, so once again if you are buying pre-built under cabinet storage select it first. In general a depth of 2’ for the lower section and depth of 15” for the upper section should be fine.


For Workstation 1 a surface size of about 3’ wide x 2’ deep should give you ample working space. Mounting a keyboard tray underneath is simple as well with these keyboard drawer slides.


Workstation 2’s size with exception to height is completely up to you. You could make it an additional storage area; use it as a desk for meeting with clients, or as a place just to display cool stuff. Determining its use will greatly influence how it's best built.


You mentioned potentially wanting to use oak or marble for the desktop. Keep in mind that both these materials are exceptionally heavy and will require the underlying desk structure to be supported accordingly. Consider binding the desk at the joints with 1”x2”, this will ensure the desk is strong enough to support the weight of the marble or oak top.


Since all your cuts are straight once you have the measurements worked out you can get the cuts done at your local store if you don’t have access to a circular saw.


As far as materials go:

  •  ¾” plywood
  • 1”x2” (framing)
  • Drill
  • Wood screws
  • Wood glue
  • Sand paper or Mechanical sander for finishing any edges


  • Nail gun (will provide a cleaner finished product)
  • Jigsaw (rounded desk)

 I know that’s quite a bit of information for just getting started but I wanted to make sure you had a good basis to work from. Once you have the overall dimensions worked out tackling assembly will be no problem. Get back to us with any further questions and well be happy to help.



Posted 2011-07-25T19:08:07+0000  by Chris_HD_ATL
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