Hi there. I’m Trey, the manager of the ad program, and I’m going to show you how I built a desk for my new office at A Beautiful Mess. Yes, that Trey. Yes, I work for my girlfriend. Yes, I know all the reasons that could be really scary/insane, but—sorry to disappoint—no horror stories (yet). It’s surreal how cool it’s been. But we’ll get into that another time. Today, desk. I’ve spent most of my career working for larger ad agencies, which were awesome, but I was used to a very predetermined office situation: “You’ll get this chair, this desk, this notepad, and this computer. You're welcome.” So I was pretty pumped I got to start from scratch—literally. Emma and I share a love for raw and simple furniture (BONUS: It’s way easier to make), so the supplies here are as straight-forward as the design: 40’ of 2x6 framing wood cut into 8 – 5’ pieces (be choosey with your wood—try to avoid the weird, warbly pieces, as that will be so annoying later), 4’ 1x2 oak piece, 4 – 2.5’ mending plates (1/8” thick), 48 – 1" screws (I used Phillips round-pan-headed screws, but it’s up to you), 10 – 2" traditional wood screws, 4 – 3-rod 28” hairpin legs, a pint of low gloss polyurethane, sanding block, power drill, skill saw, measuring tape, wood glue (optional) and a pen/pencil.
First, line up 4 pieces of the 5’ framing wood side-by-side—you can add wood glue between the boards if you want, but it’s not necessary. Place two mending plates* about 2 feet from either edge, so they should be about 1 foot apart. Screw your mending plates to the wood with the 1" screws. Flip over and secure two more mending plates to the other side in the same fashion (if you don’t like the industrial-meets-medieval look of the mending plates, you could just buy more oak and secure it from the bottom to have a clean wooden top). Repeat this process for the remaining 4 pieces of 5’ wood, and you should now have two secured surfaces of your corner desk.
*I chose the mending plates with the most holes, because I knew I was opting for a thinner plate (liked the look). So I wanted the most opportunities to secure it. But you could definitely make this work with a more traditional mending plate. Next, you’ll need to measure the width of one of your surfaces. Four 2x6s next to each other usually adds up to 22” or so, but measure to be sure.* Mark a notch the measurement of the width (probably 22”) from edge of the surface along the length. Connect the notch to the opposing corner with your pen, and this should create your 45° angle. Saw along the line. Repeat this process with the other surface.
*Fun fact: A 2x6 is not actually 2” by 6” when you buy it from the store. That’s the measurement of what they cut from the log while it’s still wet. After the drying process, it usually reduces in size by about a 1/2". Might be obvious to some of you, but I learned that the hard way a few years ago. Arrange your surfaces into the corner desk shape and then decide which side you want to be the bottom. That should be the side facing up. Cut your 4’ piece of oak into 2 pieces: 2.5’ and 1.5’. Screw the two pieces of oak, using the 2" screws, at the crease of the corner to secure the two surfaces together (I also added a piece of scrap wood from my sawing to make it extra secure). Position and screw in your 4 hairpin legs.* Then, sand out the rough spots, and seal it with a coat or two of polyurethane. BOOM, you’re done!
*You'll notice the hairpin legs shown are 2-rod, not 3. After testing out the 2-rod for about a week, it just wasn't sturdy enough, so I swapped it out for the 3. Much, much better.My work is primarily paperless, so I don't need drawers or anything. I just wanted something minimal with enough space to spread out, but I didn't want to pay a fortune for it. I'm pretty satisfied with the result. My office is also the ABM brainstorm room, so my desk backs into the beginnings of our inspiration wall that we all add to. Yeah, it’s not the manliest scenery, but I work for A Beautiful Mess. What do you expect, Call of Duty screenshots? Nah, this is way prettier. Besides it only took a month of working here, researching sponsors and whatnot, before Google determined I was a 25-34-year-old lady. Whatever, Google. I have a beard. Seriously, my job is pretty sweet. --Trey