How to build a desk

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Looking for an extra desk for the kids to do their homework on? Perhaps you’re now working a day or two from home? Building one from scratch is a great option – and it’s surprisingly easy to do. Here’s how to build a desk using materials available from Bunnings.

Tools and materials

Timber screws

Cordless drill

Cordless driver

Desk legs




Laminated ash panel (1800x900x33mm)



Tape measure

tools and materials required to build a timber desk with black legs

1. Measure your area

Before you start, measure the area you’ll be putting your desk to make sure you get the right size materials for your project. We're using an 1800x900x33mm laminated ash panel for our tabletop, but there are a range of options in-store. Choose one that suits your space.

2. Measure up

Measure on your tabletop where to position your desk legs so they’re nice and evenly spaced. Our legs are 700mm across and our laminated top is 900mm, so we’ll be measuring in 100mm from each end, and 250mm from the sides.

measuring space on timber board

3. Mark out

Once you’ve measured up, grab your pencil and mark up your side and end placement points – this will be your guide.

marking space on timber board

4. Secure your top

You’re now ready to stand your legs up and drill your pilot holes ready to screw everything in. Make sure the screws you are using are not too long – you don’t want these poking through the timber. 

Tip: Since your table is a particular thickness, it’s a good idea is to place some tape on your drill so you know not to drill past that point. You don’t want your drill going the whole way through the table!

sticky tape on drill bit

5. Drill in your screws

Once everything is in position, use your drill to secure the screws. Screw in the middle holes first to fix into position. Once you’ve done this, go back and repeat steps four and five on the other side.

drilling screws into timber

6. Lift into position

Grab a friend to help you lift your new table off the sawhorses and into your new space. Now is also a good time to grab a damp cloth and give everything a quick wipe down.

7. The job is done!

Now you can enjoy your new desk and get stuck into a solid day’s work. Too easy!

More ideas for your workspace

For more project inspiration, check out home office makeover.

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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