DIY X Desk with Drawers [Plans Included]

DIY X Desk with Drawers [Plans Included]

DIY X Desk with Drawers [Plans Included]

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:

MellowPine is reader-supported. When you buy through links on my site, I may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.

Plan for the X Desk

This project uses only standard-sized lumber. This helps avoid any ripping with a table saw.

DIY X Desk Plan-Front View
DIY X Desk Plan-Front View
DIY X Desk Plan-Bottom View
DIY X Desk Plan-Bottom View

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.

2 x 2 square dowels after mitering both the ends
2 x 2 square dowels after mitering both the ends

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.

X Leg-Plan for Half Lap Slot
X Leg-Plan for Half Lap Slot
Marking the half-lap slot location on the 2 x 2 square dowel
Marking the half-lap slot location on the 2 x 2 square 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. 

Marking the depth of the half-lap slot using the marking gauge
Marking the depth of the half-lap slot using the 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.

Making the half-lap cuts using a circular saw
Making the half-lap cuts using a circular saw
2 x 2 square dowels after the cuts using the circular saw
2 x 2 square dowels after the cuts using the circular saw

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.

chiseling the half-lap slot on the leg dowels
chiseling the half-lap slot on the leg dowels
after chiseling the half-lap slot on the leg dowels
after chiseling the half-lap slot on the leg dowels

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.

Plan for the X Leg
Plan for the X Leg
Dry fit check for the X legs
Dry fit check for the X legs

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.

Nailing the legs together at the half-lap slot to make the X leg
Nailing the legs together at the half-lap slot to make the X leg

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.

End Piece Plan
End Piece Plan-Close Up View

You can make it from any ¾" thick scrap piece you have or from the balance of any of the lumber for this project.

piece connecting the X leg and the rest of the desk
pieces connecting the X leg and the rest of the desk

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.

Fixing the end pieces to the X legs
Fixing the end pieces to the top of the X legs
X legs with the end piece connected
X legs with the end piece connected

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.

X Desk Box- Exploded Plan
X Desk Box- Exploded Plan

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.

Top and Bottom Panel Plan for the X Desk
Top and Bottom Panel Plan for the X Desk

Then we applied glue on the edge and inside the dowel hole of both 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.  

X Desk Divider Pieces Plan
X Desk Divider Pieces Plan

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.

X Desk Back Piece Plan
X Desk Back Piece Plan

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/facepiece.

Fixing the back piece and the three partition pieces to the bottom panel
Fixing the back piece and the three partition pieces to the bottom panel

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.

Fit checking the top panel
Fit checking the top panel

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.

X Desk Drawer Plan
X Desk Drawer Plan

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 a length 16-⅞”. 

The drawer front was made from 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.

X Desk Drawer Pocket Hole Plan
X Desk Drawer Pocket Hole Plan
Joining the drawer pieces with pocket hole screw
Joining the drawer pieces with pocket hole screw

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.

Completed drawers
Completed drawers

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.

Marking the location for fixing the drawer slides
Marking the location for fixing the drawer slides

We placed the drawer slides at the locations and used ½" screws to fix the drawer.

At this point, both the drawers were ready for placing inside the desk.

Marking the location for fixing the drawer slides
Marking the location for fixing the drawer slides

After this, we used the same measurements to fix the complementary piece of the drawer slides to the desk.

Marking the location of the drawer slide on the desk
Marking the location of the drawer slide on 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.

Desk with drawers inserted
Desk with drawers inserted

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.

applying glue on the top edges of the desk for fixing the top panel
applying glue on the top edges of the desk for fixing the top 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.

X Desk Screw Plan of Panel
X Desk Screw Plan of Panel
Screwing the top panel to the desk
Screwing the top panel to the desk

As the next step, we sanded the entire desk and legs down from 120 grit to 220 grit.

Sanding the desk
Sanding the desk

Lastly, we had to make the inlay design at the front of the bottom panel of the desk as shown in the plan below,

X Desk Inlay Plan
X Desk Inlay Plan

We placed the desk upside down and marked the measurements. Then we used the jigsaw to cut out the design.

Cutting out the design using a jig saw
Cutting out the design using a jigsaw
The desk with the inlay designs completed
The desk with the inlay designs completed

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.

X Desk End Piece Plan
X Desk End Piece Plan

Then we used 1-¼" screws to fix the X legs to the marked location on the desk.

Fixing the X legs to the desk through the end piece
Fixing the X legs to the desk through the end piece

With this step, the desk was ready for finishing.

X Desk ready for finishing
X Desk 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 for the drawer fronts.

Finally, we did two coats with clear PU for sealing the stain.

X Desk Finishing with PU after staining
X Desk Finishing with PU after staining

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.

DIY X Leg Desk
DIY X Leg Desk
DIY X Desk

Other DIY Projects (complete with free plans) for you to check out:

About V Susan

Hi! I'm Susan. I am passionate about DIY projects and dark chocolates! Welcome to Mellowpine. We play around with beginner woodworking projects, CNC for hobbyists, and general woodworking tips.

If you'd like to connect with me or talk about something you like at mellowpine, drop me a mail at susan@mellowpine.com

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V Susan

Hi! I'm Susan. I am passionate about DIY projects and dark chocolates! Welcome to Mellowpine. We play around with beginner woodworking projects, CNC for hobbyists, and general woodworking tips.

If you'd like to connect with me or talk about something you like at mellowpine, drop me a mail at susan@mellowpine.com

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