I am so so so excited to be sharing my steps to making your own DIY computer desk with you! However, if you’re not in need of a computer desk, this same concept would work for an accent table, kitchen table, or coffee table! And it’s so possible and very doable. So strap on your builder’s belt, grab your drill and get ready to party!
I know how when you go to a DIY blog that it’s really annoying when the author chit-chats the first half of the blog, so I’m just going to jump right into the goods. I want to list all of the necessary parts and tools that you’ll need for this project first like a recipe.
6 – 10 feet long, 3/4″ copper pipe
24 – 3/4″ copper t-joints
20 – 3/4″ copper ninety degree elbow joints
2 – 10 feet long slabs of butcher block
10 – 3/4″ u-brackets
4 – flat brackets
1 bottle of “Just for Copper” glue
1 can of Minwax wood stain (espresso)
1 can of Minwax polycrylic (clear satin)
Lots of 3/4″ long screws
Copper Pipe Cutter
Below you will see the full corner of my office before we get started.
First thing is first, you should cut the wood. We bought the butcher block from a local Knoxville store, Southeastern Salvage; it is significantly cheaper than at Lowes and Home Depot. You can make the surface whatever dimension that you want, our particular dimensions used were 47″ on the short side and 55″ on the long side. The shelves were 11.5″ wide. The depth of the desk and the shelves were the standard 26″ that we purchased the butcher block at.
Next is to stain and poly the wood. We used Minwax Espresso stain from Lowes. You can get the quart size as well, no need to get the gallon. I usually tell people that the directions on the can of stain is perfect for following but just in case, when you apply the stain, just brush it on with a paint brush that you are willing to toss after your finished, then when you’re done, you can wipe it off with a rag or old t-shirt. With a dark stain like mine, I didn’t even wait before wiping, I just painted on and covered the surface then wiped it off. Just one coat is sufficient for all surfaces (top, bottom and sides). After waiting a couple hours for the stain to dry (I think the can says maybe 4-6 hours, but usually you can get away with 1-2 hours), then you can break out the Polycrylic. We also bought our polycrylic at Lowes and we got the clear satin one (it doesn’t shine at all). You can follow the directions on the Poly can as well but here’s what we did which differed slightly. We painted on the poly on the bottom and sides first (this prevents the dripping that occurs to show since its on the bottom). Just paint it on thick with a paint brush and let it dry. It usually takes about 30 min-1 hour to dry personally. We put two coats on the bottoms and sides then let it dry extra long and flipped it over to then put three separate coats on the top surface. This paint brush will wash out as long as you use polycrylic (water based) vs. polyurethane (oil-based).
The next section is about cutting the copper piping. This part can occur in-between layers of stain and poly drying. You can use the copper cutter below to start cutting the copper piping.
See the dimensions of what length we cut each of the pipes on the photo below. The shelves on each of the ends are the exact same dimensions. Then there is one rectangle in the back that is used to support the back corner. The width of the back one is 11.75″ as well just to keep it the same. These dimension allow my desk to stand 30.75″ tall. I based this off of a standard ikea desk that my husband uses. It’s an inch higher than his but I don’t even notice. If you decide to do a different height, just remember that the t-joints and elbows take up more space- I think about an inch.
After cutting all of the copper pipes, you will use the “Just for Copper” glue to attach all of the elbow and t-joints to the pipe you have just cut. The Just for Copper glue we purchased online from Jet. It takes 5-7 business days to come in so go ahead and order this in the beginning. Also, you will use every single drop of this so don’t be too excessive with it on any particular joint. Also, as you use it, make sure you follow the directions on the Just for Copper glue package perfectly. You have to sand the copper and such first, but read it and it’ll tell you everything you need to know.
After piecing all of the copper together, you can then use the flat brackets to get the wood together. We flipped the wood over upside down on the floor and put them together where we wanted them. We then took the flat brackets and drilled into each of the pieces of wood to keep them together.
Then we bracketed the shelving units to each side, also upside down. We used two U-Brackets on each side of each shelf (4 brackets per shelf) then two brackets on the back corner support. We bought silver U brackets from Lowes because you can’t see them and copper brackets were triple the cost. After attaching all of the legs/shelving, flip it over upright and set the wooden shelf units on each of the copper bars. We put these little sticky things on the bottom of the shelves to keep them from sliding off of the piping, but of course there are other ways that you can do this to keep the shelf on it securely. And that’s that! I hope this was helpful and you guys are able to do your own! You’ll love it when your done, I know that I am obsessed!
To see another one of my DIY posts, click here and I will tell you all about how to make sharpie mugs!
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