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kelrock 03-05-2008 02:52 PM

Building a Desk under stairs
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Hi - first time posting here. I am currently finishing my basement and have found this forum to be extremely helpful so i figured i would post about an issue i am trying to figure out.

So i had originally framed the area under the stairs to simply be a closet with the door directly underneath the door at the top of the stairs but then my wife saw this desk nook in a magazine so we decided to change the plans and now I have framed in the space to match it as best as i could.

I am hoping that i havent added on too much to the already sometimes overwhelming list of tasks i have ahead of me before this project is done.

So the question that i have is how do i create a nice wood desk top? I think a nice dark hardwood would look good but I am not sure how i should go about making that happen. Would i be better off looking for an old desk maybe at a yard sale or somehting like that and taking the desktop off and cutting it to fit the space or could I go to a lumber yard and buy a nice piece of lets say mahogany or something and then cut it to fit the space or would that option likely cost a lot of $$?

I would appreciate any thoughts or recommendations not just on the desktop itself but anything regarding this desk nook space....thanks!

Bondo 03-05-2008 03:11 PM

Ayuh,.... You don't mention How Big this is going to be......

The Yard Sale desktop would no doubt be the Cheapest way out.....
You could cut it out of a sheet of Plywood that has a nice hardwood face.....

terri_and_jj 03-06-2008 03:10 PM

judging from the picture it looks like it will be about 40-46 inches long and i'm guessing about 30 inches wide

if you have or can borrow a biscut joiner and some cabinet-makers clamps you could put a nice thick hardwood top together fairly cheap. price will vary greatley based on what you buy.

moneymgmt 03-07-2008 07:43 AM

That's a pretty neat set up, I've never seen that before. How about a decent piece of veneered plywood, stain/finish it, put a piece of face trim on it to conceal the layers. Looks like hardwood, costs a lot less, and you could cut it to your exact dimensions.

Biscuiting is a great idea if you have the know-how and the tools, you'll still have to buy the wood and then find a planer and sander big enough to finish it. I live near Detroit and once drove over an hour to find a place with a planer and sander big enough for a large project similar to this. You could do it by hand but the finished product would show ever single sanding flaw.

Geee I can't wait until I have vaulted ceilings and enough room for a 20-step staircase so I can build one of these like in the magazine pic!

kelrock 03-07-2008 09:30 AM

Thanks for the suggestions bondo and terri. Since I dont have the tools and/or know how to do the biscuit joining I think the veneered plywood with the face trim is probably going to be my best options. thanks again for the suggestions and I will post pics down the road of how it comes out.

cebeling 03-09-2008 10:12 PM

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I've built a few pieces of furniture with veneered plywood and it looks nice. Complement it with molding and it's better than most of the particle board junk you buy at a furniture store for 1/4 of the price!!

Here's a hutch I did last summer - it's not perfect, but nothing ever is! :laughing:

ngyoung82 03-12-2008 02:35 PM

I would do the plywood veneer. Most furniture is made from that now anyways. Make sure it is a hardwood since it will have pens and pencils running over it, you don't want it to get etched on through the paper. Finish it with a hard lacor or something else suggested for desk and table tops to help protect from indents when writing.

vanguardBuilders 03-17-2008 01:02 PM

I Also Agree I Just Built a Custom DeskTop for my Home Office. It is a Big U-shaped 6'x8'x6'. I also Built Custom Filing Cabinets for the top to Sit on. I wanted to use Cherry plywood, but I went for Oak cause it was more readialy available. I Picked out the best looking side for the top turned it upside down then glued and stapled a piece of 3/4 MDF which was 1/4" on each side then the top, then using contact cement I glued a piece of 1/4 oak plywood to that. Just in Case somebody stuck they're head under the desk it would look like solid wood. Then you can Put a Solid wood edging on it. I guess it depends on how many tools and time you have it might be easier to find a cheap desk.

terri_and_jj 03-17-2008 04:03 PM


Originally Posted by vanguardBuilders (Post 108508)
Just in Case somebody stuck they're head under the desk it would look like solid wood.

that's attention to detail! :thumbup:

ngyoung82 03-18-2008 07:24 AM

geez that desk must be getting pretty heavy with that many layers just to make the top.

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