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Build a desk with shelves

  • Difficulty: hammer hammer
    Close Difficulty
    Beginner Do-It-Yourselfer - Easy
    Intermediate Do-It-Yourselfer - Moderate
    Experienced Do-It-Yourselfer - Difficult
    Professional - Expert
  • Completion Time : 1 Day

This set includes a desk with drawers and a pull-out printer shelf. Installed above the desk: shelves ideal for storing books and files. The pine finish harmonizes perfectly with all types of decor.

The desk is 29 1/16" H, 72" W and 24" D. Measurements for the bookcase shelves are: 56 1/2"H, 72" W and 11" D.
This project is accessible for most people with the right tools, including a router and biscuit joiner.


Tools and materials required


  • Table saw
  • Circular saw or sliding compound mitre saw
  • Screwdriver drill
  • Countersink bit
  • Bit for handle screw holes
  • Router table
  • Biscuit joiner
  • Nailer
  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil


  • 2 pine particle board panels, 11/16" x 48" x 96"
  • 1 board Russian birch, 1/2" x 5" x 60"
  • 5 boards knotted pine, 1" x 12" x 72"
  • 2 sheets Masonite, 1/4" x 48" x 96"
  • 5 sets full extension sliders, 20"
  • 1 roll pre-pasted pine edge-banding, 3/4"
  • Carpenter glue
  • Finishing nails for a nailer, 1 1/4"
  • 1 1/4" No. 8 screws
  • No. 00 Biscuits

Before Assembly


Desk elevations




Assembly using biscuits produces very solid results. It consists of inserting wood biscuits (oval-shaped discs) in slots made using a biscuit joiner. Glue is applied to the biscuits inserted into the slots. The biscuits expand in the slots, reinforcing the join.
Although learning how to use a biscuit joiner (the specialized tool required for this type of assembly) requires some time, the technique is simple, fast and effective.


The router is a motorized tool that can be equipped with a wide variety of cutters, or bits, making it extremely versatile. There is a router bit for every type of woodworking project, from making mouldings to carving grooves (e.g. for inserting drawer bottoms or cabinet door panels), giving a more professional-looking finish to the edges of pieces of stock (boards, shelves, tables), planing surfaces and even making dovetail joints. Router bits are often sold in sets and usually come with illustrations of the patterns that they can cut.
Depending on the model of router and type of work involved, the user either moves the router along the fixed material (e.g. to follow curves) or moves the material itself along a fixed router table (e.g. to carve grooves). A number of routers are designed to be used either way and can be fastened upside down under a router table.



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Desk with bookcase
Build a desk with shelves