Workshop
Start a discussion

The Bunnings Workshop community can help with your home improvement projects.

My first DIY wood project - Rebuilding my desk.

oheyitsbeano
Budding Contributor

My first DIY wood project - Rebuilding my desk.

Hi all! 

A friend of mine recently gifted me an old IKEA desk, which sadly had a damaged top on it. So, in light of this Mum (@hazesnow) and I decided to take the initiative and replace the top with a brand new one instead of letting this desk go to waste. 

The desk itself is an IKEA MALM desk, in Black-Brown. The drawers and the side panel are good, but the top had a huge dent in it. (Fun fact, IKEA makes the tops of these desks in a factory that produces hollow core doors, hence why the dent's such a big issue here...) 

IKEA furniture uses these rotary locking devices which are designed to make the furniture easy to assemble and to make it easy to move into apartments (hence why mum made that kitchen island for me in a way that was collapsible), the difference here is that since we're just replacing the top, we just needed to replicate the size of the desk top, and locate the holes so that they'll work with the stock locking devices. After all, since the top's pretty much busted, it makes no sense to let it go to waste! It was a neat little drilling rig.

We used one of Arauco's 2100x900mm finger jointed pine panels to replicate the butcher's block style panels we used for the kitchen island without the fuss of worrying about jointing and thicknessing the wood. Taking measurements using the existing top panel, Mum trimmed it down to 1400x650mm, and using a 4mm and 8mm drill bit, drilled through the old desk top's holes and into the new one. 

20210522_152352.jpg

The original desk's top is about 65mm thick, so this is going to be a thinner desk top (at 30mm), but it's made from a much more solid material, so it should stand the test of time. 
20210522_173837.jpg

Unfortunately, due to some blade chatter with the track saw, the end of the drawer-side cut ended up with some rather unfortunate burring as seen in this photo. However, I've since filled this in to slightly above the material thickness, and I'll then end up using a power sander to get this sanded down. Luckily, this edge will be up against the wall, so it's not much of a big deal. 

The intent is to finish this benchtop in a similar way to the kitchen island, and to the upcoming lift-top coffee table we're planning on building together. These light wood accents will be a big part of the design of the new place. 

I'll post more as we make progress! 

MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: My first DIY wood project - Rebuilding my desk.

Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @oheyitsbeano. It's fantastic to have you join us, and many thanks for sharing your desk rebuilding project.

 

We love a good up-cycling project around here, and I trust many of our members will be interested in following along and seeing the results you achieve. Do you have any pictures of the desk's base at the moment, as I'd be interested to see what the top is going on?

 

Please keep us updated as this sounds like a wonderful project. 

 

Mitchell

 

See something interesting? Give it the thumbs up!
Reply
Loading...
redracer01
Trusted Contributor

Re: My first DIY wood project - Rebuilding my desk.

Hello @oheyitsbeano 

 

Excellent renovation on that piece of furniture. Looking forward to the final reveal once you have painted the top! The FJ timber was an excellent choice as a replacement for the old Ikea one. Your absolutely right that the new top should provide you with years of service. Looking forward to the finished product. 

 

Cheers 

Red


I am a Bunnings team member. Any opinions or recommendations shared here are my own and do not necessarily represent those of Bunnings.
Please visit the Bunnings website
if you need assistance from the Bunnings customer service team.


Reply
Loading...
hazesnow
Junior Contributor

Re: My first DIY wood project - Rebuilding my desk.

@oheyitsbeano Happy to help you son and pass on my limited knowledge to you ❤️

Reply
Loading...
oheyitsbeano
Budding Contributor

Re: My first DIY wood project - Rebuilding my desk.

So, more updates! 

We used this Ryobi edge router (dunno what the actual name for this tool is, haha) to round off the edges of the bench. 

 

WhatsApp Image 2021-05-28 at 7.37.18 PM.jpeg

...sure enough, it turned out really good, after a quick pass with some 240G sandpaper...

WhatsApp Image 2021-05-28 at 7.37.18 PM (1).jpeg

In terms of the finish we're going with? We're going with the same varnish we used on the kitchen island, of course! This is some Bondall Monocell Gold marine varnish, we're applying this with a soft rolller. 

WhatsApp Image 2021-05-28 at 7.37.18 PM (2).jpeg

I was a bit nervous about it bubbling at first, but mum reassured me that it's normal for enamel paints/varnishes to bubble up a bit. The bubbles eventually settled as it became touch dry. 

WhatsApp Image 2021-05-29 at 10.36.28 AM.jpeg

Time to let it cure! I'll post more pictures as they come. (I haven't posted the bench itself because the room it's currently in is... let's say, a total mess lmao.) 

 

Reply
Loading...
MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: My first DIY wood project - Rebuilding my desk.

You've achieved an awesome finish there @oheyitsbeano

 

I have the same concern before the coating self-levels, and the bubbles dissipate. You'll find more bubbles when using a roller, as they tend to pick up the coating into peaks, causing aeration. It's always a good idea to gently stir with a flat-bladed paint stirrer instead of shaking the can before using it, as this keeps the bubbles to a minimum.

 

I can't wait to see your finished desk. Keep the updates coming.

 

Mitchell

 

See something interesting? Give it the thumbs up!
Reply
Loading...
redracer01
Trusted Contributor

Re: My first DIY wood project - Rebuilding my desk.

Hello @oheyitsbeano 

 

This is so beautiful! I second @MitchellMc s recommendation to stir with a flat paddle paint stick to reduce bubbles. You want nice consistency and not overly aerated paint. We look forward to the finished product! Please keep us updated with your progress!

 

Cheers 

Red


I am a Bunnings team member. Any opinions or recommendations shared here are my own and do not necessarily represent those of Bunnings.
Please visit the Bunnings website
if you need assistance from the Bunnings customer service team.


Reply
Loading...
oheyitsbeano
Budding Contributor

Re: My first DIY wood project - Rebuilding my desk.

20210529_141501.jpg

 

So, second coat down and it's looking fantastic! I sanded it down with 320G with a Ryobi random orbital sander before applying this second coat. I'm going with 400g for the next pass to level it out before applying the final coat. I'll then buff it down with my Makita dual action polisher after an 800G wet-sand.

 

Don't worry! I'm going to be using a mouse mat on this desk. Haha! 

 

20210529_141506.jpg

 

This particular timber is looking real nice, its got a nice silky lustre to it, a lot like the H2 we used for the island. 

Reply
Loading...
MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: My first DIY wood project - Rebuilding my desk.

I love it @oheyitsbeano! It sounds like you'll see some really excellent results from following the method you've described. I can't say I have that same level of patience, but your results will be well worth the effort. 

 

Mitchell

 

See something interesting? Give it the thumbs up!
Reply
Loading...
oheyitsbeano
Budding Contributor

Re: My first DIY wood project - Rebuilding my desk.

20210605_112552.jpg

 

Righto! Time to pop it in situ! Excuse the mess as we're still moving into this room.

 

This is how the desk attaches to the side leg. Unlike the current version of the MALM desk, this is an older one that does not feature the cable organiser underneath it, so I purchased an IKEA SIGNUM cable organiser to screw under the desk to keep my cables in check.

 

20210605_124524.jpg

(once again, don't worry about that cable mess, that'll get tidied up once the next coat of varnish dries and my monitor arm base comes in!) 

 

On top of this, I also intend on using both a Macbook and my gaming PC through something called a Desk dock. Most modern offices which use Laptops as their main computing devices use these and they're pretty commonly thrown away as they upgrade from HD to 4K or from USB-C to thunderbolt. I bought one of these docks so that my Girlfriend can use her Macbook (and me also when I eventually buy my own)

 

20210605_124528.jpg

 

To add, there's also going to be a KVM (Keyboard, Video, Mouse) switch placed under the desk to allow for switching between the two devices. This won't come in for a while as 4K compatible KVMs are... Tres expensivo!

 

So, the moment you've all been waiting for... How does it look assembled?

 

20210605_125322.jpg

... Like this!

 

I've applied a brush-on coat of Varnish and have the fan cranked to maximum to smooth things over before we do the final sand and polish. We're going for automotive levels of shine here! 

Reply
Loading...

Why join the Bunnings Workshop community?

Workshop is a friendly place to learn, get ideas and find inspiration for your home improvement projects