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Old 06-20-2011, 04:09 PM   #1
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Building a desk hutch.

This is such a noobie question.

I'm moving into a dorm this year and I want to build a very simple desk hutch for storage purposes. I'm basing my design roughly on the hutches found at They are way too expensive and I think building my own will be cheaper and give me something to do with my time.

I have 4 1x12x4 boards that I'm going to be using for this project.
My basic questions are:
Should I use screws or nails to secure the boards together?
And what size of screws or nails should I use?
Any other tips you have for me at all?

This is my first building with wood type project so I can use any help at all.



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Old 06-20-2011, 04:36 PM   #2
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My first question would be, What tools do you have to fabricate this? If you have a router, you can get by with nails and a good wood glue if you can daddo the verticals so the horizontals have support.
Or you can glue and nail the verticals together to the perimeter frame and install runners on them so the shelves were adjustable.
This you could do with a saw(circular, jig or hand), hammer, hacksaw and a tape measure.
How big is this organizer?


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Old 06-20-2011, 04:50 PM   #3
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You could dado and rabbett the joints or dowel them, then use carpenter's glue and 4 penny finish nails, or, if you cannot dado, rabbett, or dowel them, maybe cut wood corner pieces (my doggone mind just went totally blank, and I can't think of what the heck they're called), then glue and 6 penny finish nails. You could use metal corners, but they usually detract something, in my opinion. Or you basically make a box, and drill a series of holes on this sides, in which to insert dowels, so that the shelves are adjustable. A piece of 1/4" plywood or masonite on the back, with a few strategically placed holes for cords, would make it a lot more rigid; you can nail it on the back, or, if you have the means to do so, rabbet the perimeter, so that it sets flush. Keep in mind that your boards may vary in width, so you should check that, and rip or plane them the same before you start. A box like that is a great way to practice any number of techniques.
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Old 06-20-2011, 04:51 PM   #4
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Sorry, Ron. You type too fast or I get interrupted too often.
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Old 06-20-2011, 04:54 PM   #5
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I can get a hold of any tools I need.

I was just wondering if nails or screws would be a better idea or if it even matters which I choose.
I'm not worried about making it too fancy so I'm just going to make the shelves permanent in the frame.

I'm planning on it being 28 inches high and about 38 inches long when it's finished.
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Old 06-20-2011, 05:06 PM   #6
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Glue alone will hold together most joints---so screws or nails is a moot point.

If you want this to be a 'knock down' item,disassembled for shipping---use screws.

Otherwise just glue. Titebond is a good example.
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Old 06-21-2011, 12:03 PM   #7
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You mentioned "I have 4 1x12x4 boards....", but didn't mention anything for a back. You need one. Even if you don't want a solid back, you need something diagonally across it for stability. Otherwise it will wobble.


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