continued from Student desk article

The drawers

The next clever little bit is how the drawers attach. The unit with the drawer slides has six pegs which connect to the rungs running across the top. When assembling, before adding the front-most rung, the drawer unit is slid into the holes on the rear two rungs, and then the front-most rung is slid onto the pegs and the frames.

Because the rungs can be put onto the desk either way, the desk can be assembled with drawers on the left side, or on the right side.

The cage with the drawer slides in it in turn also disassembles. The bottom corners of the cage are simple pin joints. To disassemble them, the dowels holding them together are simply slid out.

To give the drawer cage a bit of lateral stability, I also added a diagonal brace. This brace is attached via two dowels. One dowel plugs into the pin joint in the corner, the other in an extra hole in the drawer cage. The diagonal brace probably isn't necessary, I just wanted to ensure everything stayed square.

The drawers have a dado along either side, and slide onto the wood runners in the drawer cage. The drawers themselves, other than that are very simple, with rabbet joints at the front and the back. The drawers handles are just holes to reach into. I figured this would be better than a protruding handle, so that there would be one less thing to get banged and broken when the desk is moved repeatedly.

Moving it

And here's the desk parts disassembled, minus the drawers. Fits in most cars where the rear seats can be folded down. The critical dimension is the width of the desk top, which at 151 cm wide, just fits behind the front seats of VW golf. Depending on what car you drive, you might want to make the desk top a tiny bit narrower. Or maybe even make the desk top as two parts.


Like most pieces of furniture, I built this one without having drawn any plans for it. Many of the dimensions came from the size of boards I started with. Eighteen years after I built the desk, I finally drew some Plans for it in google Sketchup.

The desk is mostly made of maple, except for the OSB top and pine drawers.

Overall dimensions
    Desktop Width: 151 cm
    Desktop Depth: 70 cm
    Height 72 cm

Desk top
    Trim is 22mm thick (vertical), 5 cm wide (horizontal)

Frame ends
    Uprights: 18mm x 26mm x 54 cm long
    Foot(horizontal): 26mm x 70 mm x 78 cm long
    Rung support(horizontal): 26mm x 100 mm x 78 cm long

    Front width: 45 cm
    Length: 53 cm
    Height(depth): 8 cm, 12 cm, and 12 cm

To the Student desk plan  

My friend Peter Collins built a copy of this desk with his brother, and made a video showing assembling it:

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