How To Build A Computer Desk (7 Easy Steps)

Are you wondering how you can build a DIY computer desk?

Great! You’re in the right place.

In this ChairAdviser.com guide, you’ll learn:

  • Which type of desk fits your space best
  • What type of wood to use for the best results
  • Step by step instructions for building a computer desk
  • And much more!
how to build a computer desk

Whether you’re a gamer or work-at-home homeowner, having a sturdy desk is a must.

This has become increasingly true as people are working from home more frequently. 

However, the demand for computer desks has caused their prices to skyrocket.

If you’re not wanting to pay hundreds on a new desk, you’re in luck. Building a computer desk can save you a lot of money!

By DIY-ing your computer workstation, not only will you have a desk but one built to your own specifications. 

In this guide, we’ll show you the steps to building your own computer desk.

So, sit back in your office chair, and read our step-by-step guide!

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A Computer Desk or a Gaming Desk?

It can be tempting to see these two pieces of furniture as having a difference with no real distinction.

Indeed, any table can be made into a gaming or computer desk.

And, so long as there is a surface that can support your desktop or gaming console, any desk might work.

While these are not inaccurate observations, knowing what you will use your desk for can inform your design.

You will design a better space for your laptop, console, or desktop based on what you will use it for.

Build A DIY Computer Desk If:

  • You have limited space
  • You are not a gamer
  • You use a laptop

Build A DIY Gaming Desk If:

  • You have more space
  • You have multiple speakers and gaming keyboards as part of your equipment
  • You need a place that supports more than one screen
computer desk facts

3 Things To Consider When Building a DIY Computer Desk

Building a DIY computer workstation might look similar to building a regular desk. However, appearances can be deceiving.

If you go about building a computer station the same way you would an ordinary table, you might be selling yourself short.

Also, problems with your computer accessories may occur down the road.

Worse yet, the table may end up becoming one that is not suited for a computer.

By considering certain factors, you will be eliminating potential issues.

Here are some of the considerations you need to make when building a DIY computer desk:

Ergonomics

By building your desk, you are working towards building a piece of furniture that not only holds your computer but that should work with you and not against you.

Ergonomics is the prime consideration for any DIY piece of furniture — especially gaming chairs and computer desks.

Contour and height are key to a comfortable computer desk. When it comes to height, there really is no set-in-stone rule.

A good standard to follow is how easily you can maintain a 90-degree bend at the elbows.

You should be able to maintain this position without any shoulder pain. If you feel some shoulder tension, the table might be too low.

Cable Accommodation

Your computer will likely have several cables. These cables can connect the different parts of your desktop.

You will also likely have one that connects your computer to the local area network.

For this reason, you need to plan where you want your computer’s parts.

These will determine where you might need to carve holes for the cables to be organized.

Additional Storage

Of course, you will want everything to be in one place. Hence, additional storage areas might be a good idea.

For the sake of ergonomics, you need to design storage areas like additional drawers in places that your legs do not frequent.

More storage spaces allow you to reduce clutter on your computer workstation.

Read More >> Top 10 Best Office Chairs Under $200 (2021 Review)

DIY gaming desk

3 Things To Consider When Building A DIY Gaming Desk

A gaming desk is a little different from a computer workstation. Indeed, any gaming desk can easily fulfill the task of a computer desk.

It does not always work the other way around.

So, the same considerations for building a computer desk apply to a gaming desk.

There are others due to the demands you might place on your gaming workstation.

Ergonomics

If you are a gamer, there is a high possibility that you will be at your gaming station for hours.

For this reason, ergonomics becomes even more important not just for comfort but also for the health of your spine.

There is no rule for how high or low your gaming desk should be. In the case of a gaming desk, this will depend on you.

It will depend on factors like the height of your gaming chair (if you have one) and your gaming set-up.

The Weight of Your Equipment

As a gamer, you will need to plan your DIY gaming desk around the equipment you have.

Tower CPUs and multiple monitors can be too much for a regular table to accommodate.

This is unless you intend on mounting your monitors instead.

When planning a DIY gaming desk, be prepared to make reinforcements in certain areas.

This will ensure that your desk is up to par when it comes to durability.

Positioning

Gamers have taken DIY to a whole new level, experimenting on their gaming desks.

For the most part, gaming setups take up a lot of space.

With your gaming desk front and center in your setup, you need to position it well.

The proper positioning of your gaming desk will help ensure you protect your monitors from excessive lighting, sunlight, and dust.

Of course, you can only place your gaming desk in various parts of your house depending on its size.

Ultimately, designing a gaming desk becomes a balancing act between possible positioning and size.

Read More >> Top 10 Best Gaming Chairs Under $200 (2021 Review)

building a computer desk

What Wood Should I Use To Build a Desk?

A metallic desk is always visually stunning and functional.

Unfortunately, metal can be expensive. Metal is also not the easiest material to work with when it comes to DIY projects.

Wood remains to be the go-to material for many sorts of DIY projects.

There are many types of wood on the market today that can be good choices for your DIY project.

For computer desks, the following seem to be the easiest to work with and give you the most bang for your buck:

  • Ash
  • Maple
  • Black Walnut
  • Oak

Ash

Ash wood is a popular choice among contractors and DIY-ers for its affordability and ease.

Ash is easy to carve, saw, and machine.

In addition, it is one of the most affordable types of wood.

For its low price, it offers impeccable durability. If you are new to DIY work, you cannot go wrong with ash wood.

Maple 

For a more durable option, you can also go with maple wood.

Maple is famous for its dark reddish-brown shade. You may have to pay a little more than ash wood.

Nonetheless, maple has remained a stylish type of wood for many DIY-ers.

So, if you want your computer desk to look good and endure, maple wood could be your best bet.

Black Walnut 

Whether you’re going for an ultra-modern motif or a more classic look, black walnut is excellent.

Its default dark earthy tones make it a trendy choice for your workstation.

It is as aesthetic as it is functional.

For this reason, there has been a clamor for this type of wood for years.

Expect it to be more expensive compared to the other types of wood mentioned.

Oak

Oak has always been known for its density.

Hence, if you put a premium on durability and longevity, your computer desk should be made of oak.

Indeed, oak has taken some flak among DIY enthusiasts for the skill level required to tame this type of wood.

Nonetheless, once you have completed your oak computer desk, you will be glad you chose this type of wood.

Supplies You Will Need For Building a Computer Desk

You will need several items to bring your computer desk to life. Other than the right kind of wood, patience, and some elbow grease, you will need:

  • Saws
  • Wood glue
  • Wood stain or varnish
  • Sandpaper
  • Nails
  • Pre-cut pieces of your favorite wood
  • Brushes and rags
  • A drill

The amount of wood you need to buy will depend on your design.

Once again, this is a DIY project. Hence, the materials and color come right down to your personal preferences.

How To Build a Computer Desk (7 Easy Steps)

Follow these simple steps to get the computer desk you want.

Since this is a DIY project, always ensure that you have a first aid kit nearby in case you sustain cuts or splinters.

In a nutshell, here are the steps to building a computer desk:

  1. Drafting and designing
  2. Selecting your ideal type of wood
  3. Having your wood cut
  4. Creating the tabletop
  5. Creating the table apron
  6. Attaching the apron onto the tabletop
  7. Attaching the legs

Step 1: Draft and Design Your Table

You are engaged in a DIY project. Hence, you might as well design a table that fits your ergonomics, space, and aesthetic palette.

In designing your DIY computer desk, take note of the following:

  • Your tabletop design (i.e., a complete sheet of plywood or planks attached)
  • The measurements of your table’s legs
  • The dimensions of your tabletop and apron

Planning the dimensions of your table will ensure that you get the right materials. Having each part’s measurements will also make the next step easier.

Step 2: Pick Your Wood

If you are still adamant about choosing metal, feel free to skip this step. On the other hand, we have established how wood is DIY-friendly, especially for workshop novices.

Also, wood can provide you with more options for aesthetics at a much more affordable price.

The wood you select needs to fit your:

  • Budget
  • Requirements in regards to sturdiness
  • Your aesthetic preferences

Step 3: Have Your Wood Cut or Do It Yourself

Once you have selected the type of wood for your DIY computer desk, you need to have it cut.

Many lumber or hardware stores would be more than happy to cut your wood up into planks you can use.

All you need to do is provide the measurements you came up with in your draft.

On the other hand, you can cut the wood yourself if you want the entire DIY experience.

This is where you will need your saw.

How many planks you need to cut will depend on your tabletop design.

If you intend to use a sheet of plywood, you only need to cut pieces of wood for the legs and apron.

Once again, how you cut depends on the measurements you have determined during the design phase.

At the very least, you will need:

  • Four pieces of wood for the legs
  • Four pieces of wood for the table apron
  • Three to four pieces of 2×4 wood for your tabletop (unless you choose a sheet of plywood

Step 4: Make Your Tabletop

Your DIY computer workstation’s tabletop can be pieces of 2×4 attached together or a sheet of plywood.

Clearly, the one that involves the least amount of skill is the latter approach.

Should you choose the former, follow these steps:

  1. Determine how many 2×4 planks it will take to create your tabletop
  2. Place them parallel to each other
  3. Once you are content with the size, adhere them to each other using wood glue
  4. Take the measurements of the parallel-placed planks. Take note of the length and width.

Step 5: Create Your Table Apron

An apron is like a frame. It ensures that the pieces of your tabletop stay together and provides support.

Using the measurements you have taken in step 4, assemble your table apron using these steps:

  1. Saw two pieces of wood. These should be at the length of the two ends of your tabletop.
  2. Saw two more pieces of wood that are the same length as the length of your tabletop.
  3. Attach the four pieces of wood into a frame. Use wood glue before nailing them together.

Step 6: Attach The Apron To Your Tabletop

For this step, you will need wood glue and some nails.

Begin by adhering the apron to the tabletop using wood glue.

From there, turn the tabletop over, and nail the sides and corners.

At the very least, you should nail the four corners.

Step 7: Attach The Legs

Once you have the actual body of your table, you can now add the legs.

To do this, take the pieces of wood you have cut for the legs.

Attach these to the inside corners of the apron using wood glue.

You can then turn the table with the legs to test whether or not it is level or flat.

Thereafter, nail the legs from the top of the table.

Leave the table overnight and add your finishing touches the day after.

Step 8: (Optional) Drill Holes for Your Cables

This is one of many finishing touches you might have in mind.

Using your drill, drill holes where you think you will be passing your cables.

Final Thoughts: Building a Computer Desk Can Be Easy!

So, go ahead, and create your DIY computer workstation.

Not only will you have saved money but you’ll also be giving yourself an added sense of pride and accomplishment.

Like with any DIY project, always plan and stay safe. In advance, enjoy your DIY computer desk!

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