Monday, October 31, 2011

DIY X-Desk

Since I'm now working out of our house for the ad agency, I needed a desk. We knew we wanted to build one, and we did! Many of you may have seen the unstained version of our desk on the MYU facebook page when we finished building it last week. Eight days, three coats of stain, and three coats of polyurethane later, this bad boy is finally complete! 


I had seen a version of Ana White's X-Table (basically built like a picnic table) on Pinterest, so that served as the basis of the idea, but we did our own measurements and plan from scratch. We wanted/needed the legs to come off easily, so we used 5/8x6" hex bolts to mount the legs into the sides of the table top frame. It was pretty sturdy once these were tightened down, but we wanted it to be SUPER sturdy. We toyed with the idea of a cross-beam, but I personally didn't want to worry about hitting my shins on a big beam in the middle (because I would...), so we set off to a local "everything" shop, The Yard, located just east of downtown Wichita. I'm not joking and their web site isn't lying, they have EVERYTHING. We had fun just browsing the aisles for an hour or so. It was like DIY heaven for us DIY nerds!

Anyway...we found these awesome turnbuckles and, when I saw them, my wheels immediately started turning. I knew if we could find a way to attach them, we would be in business.


We ended up using pipe straps. No, we didn't use the turnbuckles or the pipe straps for what they were made for, but we ended up with a really.awesome.desk. The hardware completely makes this piece. This is what happens when you think outside of the box!


The best part is that the ends of the turnbuckles have a smaller bolt running through them, so we only need to unscrew these bolts, slip them out of the pipe straps and remove the large bolts mounting the tops of the legs into the bottom of the table (eight bolts total) and everything can be taken apart (it's not going through any doorways otherwise!). We don't have to unscrew anything out of the table itself (which could eventually cause the wood to wear away and fittings to become loose), just hardware from hardware.


The top is a collection of five 6-foot 2x6 boards, nailed into a frame made of 2x4s. Glorious top, delicious dark walnut stain...be still my heart!


 These two pictures give you a better idea of the legs. They're two 2x4s nailed together from the back (so you don't see any nail heads from the outside of the table, giving it a more finished, sleek and professional look).


Obviously, you can see that one portion of the 'X' is solid, while the other is two pieces. The inside is done the same exact way, but opposite, so each of the cut pieces are nailed into a solid, full-length board. (Make sense??)



Final dimensions are 72" long x 27.5" deep x 31" tall. While it's not quite deep enough to make a good dining room table, the design could easily be widened by incorporating an additional 2x6 or two on the top.

It's not a far cry from either of these Pottery Barn dining tables either....
Pottery Barn Toscana Dining Table ($799-$1,499)
Pottery Barn Benchwright Dining Table ($999-$1,699)

The cost of ours? Let me break it down:

  • Lumber: $24.18 (we used whitewood)
  • Polyurethane (matte finish): $10.20 for a pint...I used less than a quarter, so I'll count the cost as $2.55
  • 1 lb. box of finish nails: $2.92
  • Hardware: $25.96
    • 5/8-inch flat washers x 4: $1.64
    • 5/8-inch lock washers x4: $0.36
    • 5/8x6 hex bolts x 4: $11.64
    • 3/8-inch pipe straps x 4: $0.76
    • Screws for pipe straps x 4: $1.66
    • Turnbuckles x 2: $9.90
  • Stain: $24.09 for a gallon...I definitely used less than a fifth (it took WAY less than I thought it would!), so I'll count the cost as $4.82
  • TOTAL COST: $60.43
$60.43!? $60.43!!

Sorry, I think I just impressed myself! 

Now taking orders for the My Yellow Umbrella furniture company!

P.S. Remember the banker's desk chair I found at Goodwill for $24.99? Restoration Hardware's version is available for a mere $495. So, for my total desk set-up, we spent $85.92 on what we could have spent thousands on, just by thrifting and building ourselves. Seriously...go take one more glance at the Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware prices above. It's worth the time spent!

23 comments:

  1. You 2 seriously rock.
    I feel like I can show this to people and say, "yeah, I know them." :)

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  2. Haha! Thanks...you can even tell them you're an integral part of our wedding too. ;)

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  3. This is amazing! You are very talented. I'm trying to figure out where I could use one of these in our new house.

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  4. Haha! Maureen, you don't have any room in your house OR your garage!!! But we will gladly take any jobs you commission. ;-)

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    Subject: [myellowumbrella] Re: DIY X-Desk | my yellow umbrella

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  5. Props to you  on the amazing desk :)

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  6. I love it.  You are a genious.  Can't wait to build mine some day.

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  7. This is beautiful! And I like that you stained it dark instead of painting it white (since everything seems to be white these days...) Popping over from the Pinterest Challenge.

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  8. i found you via YHL - great job on the desk! i've been eyeing up ana's plans for this exact table for quite some time, planning to make it for our (empty) breakfast nook. mine would need to be closer to the size of your desk, so i will be pinning your post on Pintrest!
    - Corrie @ House Made

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  9. Wow!! It's gorgeous Alina!! I need a desk for crafty stuff and for our laptop, would be perfect for us if it had an upper hutch type thing to store my Cricut!!!  Good work.

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  10. Dude that wood is delicious looking. Makes me want all my pine furniture to be stained. WTG

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  11. Here from YHL- great job!  Where did you get your globe? 

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  12. Hi Katherine!

    The globe is a favorite from Target. I immediately fell in love with the all black and white globe (we have a globe collection), so I stalked the stores until they put them on clearance!

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  13. You should design one! You have a pretty SWEET new "garage" to build it in! Or...always a favorite solution...thrift one! There are some pretty awesome pieces of furniture out there needing some love and work (and a home). :)

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  14. Thanks, Corrie! Gotta love that Ana White. ;)

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  15. Thank you, Paige! I looove the dark wood; I had picked the stain color before we wrote the plans for the desk! It totally grounds the rest of the room.

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  16. It's so beautiful! And the way you built it is ingenious. I love the pop of blue from the mirror frame as well!

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  17. SugarberryphotographyNovember 3, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    It's beautiful!! Great job!

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  18. WOW!  Great Job!!  I love a good desk (what?! I can't have a desk in every room?) and I love a good bargain too!  

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  19. I LOVE this desk!!! You did such a great job. I am looking for a desk for my office right now, but I don't know if I can fit something this big. I love your blue mirror with the dark wood :)

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  20. Nice! That looks awesome. Kyle and I just built something and I wanted to past about it, but it's a Christmas present. It is so satisfying building something from scratch!

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  21. I love this! it looks SO smooth. I just finished a 95" long bench from Ana's Spa Bench plans! And I'm planning to build this one with the drawer. You did such a great job!

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  22. Oh my goodness, this is so funny, I was reading your post about your bench right before you left this comment! BEAUTIFUL job!!

    Sent from my Samsung Epic™ 4G Touch

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    Subject: [myellowumbrella] Re: DIY X-Desk | my yellow umbrella

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  23. First time reading your Blog.  I am a bit confused.  Is there a tutorial for this table anywhere on your Blog?  I can't seem to find it.

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