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I designed this desk a few months ago for my Father-in-law’s auto shop. Though I know how to weld, I don’t currently have all the necessary tools. So, I sent the plans to one of my FIL’s friends. He welded the frame, sent it back, and I built the wood portion. It was a group effort, and the finished product looks great in the shop!
For the purposes of this tutorial, I have overall dimensions for the frame if you want to weld it yourself. But I’m no expert in that field, so I don’t have details for those steps. If you have questions, I’m happy to try to clarify the design. Send me an email or leave a comment over on my page.
Now for the good stuff!
Step 1 – Weld the Metal Frame
Overall dimensions for the frame:
I designed the frame to be constructed with 2″ right angle steel so that it was easy to pop the plywood into place. It’s up to you if you would rather use a different style of steel pipe, but the plywood sits nicely in the right angle.
Step 2 – Cut all the wood parts
You will need two 4 x 8 sheets of 1/2″ plywood for the bottom shelf, sides, and front of the desk. I recommend measuring the frame once it’s finished to account for any variability at the welded joints, but in a perfect world, the following is the list of cuts:
- 1 | 1/2″ Plywood @ 2′ 5″ x 2′ 11 3/4″ (right side)
- 1 | 1/2″ Plywood @ 3′ 11″ x 2′ 11 3/4″ (front right)
- 1 | 1/2″ Plywood @ 2′ 5″ x 2′ 11 3/4″ (front left)
- 1 | 1/2″ Plywood @ 1′ 11″ x 2′ 11 3/4″ (left side)
- Cut the bottom shelf to fit as shown in the diagram below:
Cut your pieces and do a dry-fit in the frame.
Place the bottom shelf sections first:
Then, work your way around the side and front shelves:
Make any adjustments necessary.
Once you like how everything looks and fits together, remove the wood from the frame and finish as desired. It’s much easier to finish the wood separate from the metal frame than to try to stain it while in the frame.
I used Minwax Stain in Special Walnut.
After the stain is completely dry, attach the bottom shelf, sides, and front to the welded frame with Liquid Nails.
When it was all said and done, we added a few interior shelves and attached them to the bottom shelf with right angle brackets.
Step 3 – Install the countertop
We used granite for the countertop and attached it with Liquid Nails.
If you want, you could use plywood, wood planks, concrete, etc. for the top … designer’s choice!
I really like the mix of materials on this desk — it adds so much character and is perfect for an auto shop!
Enjoy the free plans, and happy DIY-ing!
For more project ideas like this, I’d love it if you stopped by my blog. You can also find me on Pinterest. And to stay up to date with the latest shenanigans, follow me on Instagram!
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Check out these other great projects from furniture to woodworking gift ideas. Plans include PDF instructions, measurements, and more info to help make your project a breeze!
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