DIY L-Shaped Computer Desk

Ample work-surface space with desk storage underneath is possible with a DIY L-shaped computer desk.

Cutting the Top

Perhaps it is difficult to find just the right fit for your work or home office, and the only option is to have one custom-made. Building your own L-shaped computer desk is challenge worth the undertaking for the do-it-yourselfer who knows what she wants.

After gathering all the tools you will need for the job--circular or table saw, drill, screws, hammer, level, straightedge, pencil, sander, router, and safety goggles and gloves--lay out your plywood to begin outlining the layout of your work surface. Use a thick, floorboard-quality plywood that is durable enough to last without bending--3/4 to 1 inch in thickness. Depending on how heavy you want your work surface to feel, you can double up the layers of plywood and wood glue them together for a statelier look.

A 4-foot by 8-foot floorboard plywood sheet may be large enough to cut a one-piece, L-shaped desk about 4 feet one way and 8 feet the other way. If you prefer an even larger desk, then the work surface will be constructed of more than one piece of wood. Determine how deep you want your work surface to be. You may find that 2 to 2 1/2 feet wide is sufficient. Transfer your measurements and any additional decorative designs onto the plywood with a thick pencil line.

For straight cuts, use a circular or table saw. A table saw is better for an even and smooth cut, but a steady set of hands can yield similar results with a circular saw. Curved corners are accomplished using a jigsaw. Carefully follow the lines and then sand away any rough edges all around the work surface top. Leave the edges straight or router a decorative edge into the wood. If your work surface does not have curved edges, trim the edges with a decorative molding instead of routering a design into the wood. Sand the surface and edges smooth.

Building the Base

An easy way to build a base for your L-shaped computer desk is to use existing cabinetry. Choose your style of cabinets that feature drawers for supplies and files as the main legs for your computer desk. Use wood glue and screws to attach the cabinets to the underside of the work surface.

If you prefer more customizable features, build a frame for your L-shaped computer desk. Cut four pieces of the same type of plywood to at least 36 inches high and to the width of your work surface. These pieces will act as the legs that will be positioned evenly spaced on both sides of the L to stabilize the desk. Cut support boards to connect the legs from behind the desk and to secure them further to the top to prevent wobbling. Reinforce all joints with wood glue.

Purchase the pullout keyboard drawer hardware and cut a piece of plywood to fit between the two of the legs on the side of the L where your monitor will be. Screw the keyboard board to the hardware and screw the hardware to the desk's leg panels.

Add extra legs to build shelves underneath the desk to house the CPU, printer, paper, and other computer equipment, placing everything in its most convenient location. Once the unit is dry, sand and stain or paint your new DIY L-shaped computer desk.

About the Author

Naima Manal's articles on health, diet, nutrition, alternative medicine, education, parenting, crafts, travel, home and garden and home improvement have appeared on various websites. Manal received her Bachelor of Science in biology/pre-medical studies from Molloy College in 1994 and has been a freelance writer, teacher and homeschooling mom since 1993.