Hey guys, this is Susan. We made an X Desk with Drawers complete with plans for you to try out.
This desk has two pull-out drawers with a modern leg design. The desk is stained with traditional cherry except for the drawer front, which is left plain.
Also, I urge you to read until the end to see the final pictures of the desk.
Other DIY Desk Projects (complete with free plans) we did, for you to check out:
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Things you need for this build
- 2 Nos- 1 x 12 Lumber -1 in. x 12 in. x 4 ft. Kiln Dried Square Edge Whitewood Common Board
- 1 No- 1 x 8 Lumber - 1 in. x 8 in. x 8 ft. Premium Kiln-Dried Square Edge Whitewood Common Board
- 1 No-1 x 6 Lumber -1 in. x 6 in. x 8 ft. Premium Kiln-Dried Square Edge Whitewood Common Board
- 2 Nos- 1x 4 Lumber-1 in. x 4 in. x 8 ft. Select Kiln-Dried Square Edge Whitewood Board
- 2 Nos- 2 x 2 Lumber- 2 in. x 2 in. x 8 ft. Furring Strip Board Lumber
- 2 Nos-1/4" plywood-Birch Plywood (Common: 1/4 in. x 2 ft. x 4 ft.)
- Wood Glue
- Varathane Traditional Cherry Gel Stain
Plan for the X Desk
This project uses only standard sized lumber. This helps avoid any ripping with a table saw.
Note for the plans:
- Pieces with the same color have the exact same dimensions. Detailed dimensions for each individual piece is provided in the steps below.
- Please note the difference in dimension between nominal size and actual size. For e.g., 2 x 4 is the nominal size while 1-½" x 3-½" is the actual size, by convention.
How to Build the X Desk with Drawers
Preparing the pieces for the X Leg
The first step was to make the legs for the desk. As you can see, there are two X legs supporting the desk, both inclined at a 30 degree angle.
We used 2 x 2 square dowels for the legs.
To begin with, we sized the square dowel to a length of 34” each on the miter saw, creating four such pieces for both the X legs.
Then we mitered both the ends of each 2 x2 square dowel at an angle of 22.5 degrees.
The next part was making the half-lap slot in each of the four pieces. To do that, we marked the half-lap locations in each leg as per the plan image. Note that the half-lap slot itself is inclined at 45 degrees to the dowel.
Before we cut the half lap slots, we had to mark the depth of each slot. We decided to make the slot ¾” (half of the total thickness) deep in each piece. We marked the depth using a marking gauge.
For small measurements, using a marking gauge ensures that there is uniformity in the measurements for each piece. It is essential that the depth of the half-lap is the same in each piece, for a snug fit.
Then we clamped the pieces and made multiple cuts at the half-lap joint locations using a combination of a circular saw and the Kreg Accu-cut. Making these cuts helps us chisel the half-lap quickly. Make sure to set the depth of the circular saw blade correctly.
Then we chiseled out the wood up to the depth we marked earlier to make the half-lap slot. If you don’t want to use a chisel, you can use a router or a table saw.
At this point all the four pieces for the two X legs were ready for putting together.
Putting pieces for the X legs together
Next, we had to put the pieces for the X leg together, to make two legs for the desk.
As the first step, we tried a dry fit and it fit perfectly. The X leg after putting together should have the measurements shown in the plan below.
Once the dry fit was successful, we applied glue in the half-lap slot and fixed the X together to make the legs. We used our nailer to fix a couple of nails in each leg to hold it in place until the glue cured.
Making the End Pieces of the X Legs
As the next step we had to make the end pieces of the X legs. We made it as per the plan shown below. Each X leg has end pieces on the top to connect it to the desk.
You can make it from any ¾" thick scrap piece you have or from the balance of any of the lumber for this project.
Then we fixed the end pieces on the top end of the X legs after applying glue on the joining faces and nailed it in place.
Making the Top and Bottom Panels of the Desk
So other than the legs and the drawers, the desk consists of a top and bottom panel connected by three partition pieces and a piece at the back, like a box.
We first made the top and bottom panels which are identical in size.
We took a 1 x 12 and 1 x 8 board then sized it to a length of 40 inches using a circular saw.
Then we drilled four dowel holes of size ¼" on the inside edge of the 1 x 12 piece. We used a dowel centering pin to mark the locations of dowel holes in the 1 x 8. ( I talk in detail about joining boards using dowel joinery here- X Desk DIY). Then drilled dowel holes of size ¼" in the 1x8 board as well.
Then we applied glue on the edge and inside the dowel hole of both the pieces. Then inserted dowel pins of size ¼" x 1" in all the dowel holes and joined the two pieces together. After this we clamped it up using pipe clamps and left it to cure.
We repeated this step to make the bottom panel as well.
Making the Divider Pieces and the Back Piece
Next we needed to make the divider pieces. For this we took a 1 x 6 board and made three pieces of 17” length each.
Then we had to make the piece at the back to close the desk. We took a 1 x 6 board and made a piece of 40” length for this.
Then we had to join everything. We used 1-¼" long screws and fixed the back piece to the bottom panel. Then we fixed the three divider pieces as well to the top panel using 1-¼" long screws. We applied glue at all edges that join together, for added strength.
Note the gap between the front edge of the bottom panel and the front edge of the divider pieces. That's the space for the drawer front/face piece.
Then we tried fixing the bottom panel as well to the rest of the desk to check for fit. But we took it off, as we can only fix this after the drawers are fixed to the desk.
Making the Drawers for the X Desk
The drawers consist of two pieces on the sides and one at the back, all made from 1 x 4 lumber. The drawer front is made from 1 x 6 lumber. The bottom of the drawer is 1/4" plywood.
We first made the two side pieces from 1 x 4 lumber with length 17” on the miter saw. Then we made the piece at the back of the drawer from another 1 x 4 with length 16-⅞”.
The drawer front was made from the 1 x 6 with a length of 20”.
Finally the bottom piece was made from ¼" plywood with size 17 " x 17-7/8". It's better to measure the actual size after making the rest of the frame and then cutting the plywood.
This completes the pieces we need for the drawer.
The next part was putting the pieces together. We decided to go with pocket hole joinery for the drawers. We made two pocket holes on either side of each piece of the drawer and used 1-¼" pocket hole screws to join them together.
For the bottom of the drawer we used a ¼" birch plywood. We used wood glue and nails to attach it to the bottom of the drawer frame to hold it down.
We repeated the same steps for the other drawer as well. At this point, both our drawers were joined and ready.
The next part was fixing the drawer slides. We fixed the drawer slides at the exact centre of the side piece of the drawer. The vertical and horizontal position of the drawer slide on both the inside faces of the drawer must be the same. If there is even a small difference here, the drawer would not close smoothly.
Also we left a small gap between the drawer front and the drawer slides to leave space for the locking mechanism in the drawer slides.
We placed the drawer slides at the locations and used ½" screws to fix to the drawer. At this point both the drawers were ready for placing inside the desk.
After this, we used the same measurements to fix the complementary piece of the drawer slides to the desk.
Then we tried a test with the drawer inserted into the slides and it went in smoothly. If the drawer doesn’t close properly when you try, check if the slides on the drawer and the desk are all at the same level. Even a small difference can make the drawer movements imperfect.
The next part was gluing the top panel of the table to the rest of it. Now that the drawers were done, we went ahead and fixed the top.
We applied glue all along the edges of the frame and the edges of the top panel and placed the panel.
Instead of clamping, we decided to use screws to join the panel to the rest of the frame. We used a series of 1-¼" inch screws as shown in the plan to fix it in place.
As the next step, we sanded the entire desk and legs down from 120 grit to 220 grit.
Lastly we had to make the inlay design at the front of the bottom panel of the desk as shown in the plan below,
We placed the desk upside down and marked the measurements. Then we used the jigsaw to cut out the design.
Joining the X legs to the Desk
The next part was joining the X legs to the desk.
We had to mark the location of the X legs as per the plan image. We marked it using tape and drew the outline of the connecting piece as per plan.
Then we used 1-¼" screws to fix the X legs to the marked location on the desk.
With this step, the desk was ready for finishing.
Lastly, we did a pre-stain of the entire desk and sanded it at 220 grit again.
Then we used varathane cherry gel stain to finish the entire desk with a single tone except the drawer fronts.
Finally we did two coats with clear PU for sealing the stain.
So this was the DIY X Desk with drawers, and I hope you liked this project. Check out the final photos of the desk below.
If you found this useful, and would like to try it, consider pinning the photos below to your DIY/Woodworking Pinterest Board.
Other DIY Projects (complete with free plans) for you to check out: