Sunday, February 19, 2012

Home Made Kid's Desk

So they said Alysa needs a desk and asked if I could build one out of two old closet doors. No problem. I am a man after all, and a man knows how to delegate, so while the ladies went shopping I put Alysa to work building her desk.

Here she is marking a cut line 50" from the end.

Hey, I don't want to use your tape measure she says, so she gets her tool set and drill we gave her for her eleventh birthday.

That's a handy little tool bag from Walmart. They also have it in black, if pink is not your color.

Take that hardware off, we don't need it. Righty tighty - lefty loosey.

The little circular saw is mine and is very easy to handle.

Here she is cutting the door. The little saw only cuts 3/4" deep so we had to flip it over and cut again.

Grandmommie seemed surprised that she did all the cutting. No problem, she wore safety glasses. Circular saws are notorious for getting sawdust into your eyes.

The problem with using a hollow core door is that the inside is only framed around the perimeter. After cutting the desk top 50" long, one end is hollow so I cut a piece off the top to insert into the end.

Then Alysa sanded it smooth. Like her new sander? $25 at Harbor Freight.

Then we put some glue on each side and she put it into the hollow area.

Ugh, it won't go in.

No problem, use the hammer to knock it in.

You go girl.

While that was drying we cut the other door into two 29" pieces to make the legs.

Next, I cut some braces with my full size saw. Her little fingers were tired and the little saw was charging.

I got her to sand the braces down to the wood so the glue would stick well.

Next she drilled pilot holes for the screws to go into. Pilot holes are very helpful with alignment and keep the wood from splitting.

I just bought a new pack of drill bits and I knew one or two would be sacrificed during this part but she held the drill steady and straight. No drill bits were broken.

That's my hand holding the brace.

Then Alysa screwed each of the twelve screws through the braces and into the desk top and sides.

Here she is putting the last few screws in. I told her to push hard and she did. I only had to give three of them an extra twist with the drill to get them down a little more.

And here she is with her finished desk.

This work session was brought to you by Chill Yogurt, which we visited after the strenuous build.

Here we are both in the picture showing off the various tools used, she is checking to make sure the desk is level and I am acting like I am measuring something.

After the build she wanted it painted this avocado color. This Valspar paint is excellent.

Well it was a great way to spend a rainy afternoon. I should have taken a picture of the painted desk. After the paint cures in a few days, they will move it into her room and her things on it. I hope to get a picture then.

So how much did each of us do? I trimmed the insert for the hollow core end, cut the braces with a bigger saw because the little one needed to charge, and I drove the screws through the desk top into the top of the legs while she helped hold them. All of the other measuring, cutting, sanding, drilling, gluing , and screwing was done by her. Can your eleven year old accomplish a project like this? Sure they can with help and direction.

My wife wants some bookcases built for our den. We might have to schedule a spend the night party with Alysa.


  1. Great quality time between you two! Amazing what you can make from things we already have, if not around your own house, EVERYWHERE else! lol Desk looks fantastic Alysa! Can't wait to see the painted piece!

  2. totally awesome! please post a pic once painted! love aunt marianne

  3. Baby, just got done reading your page!!! GREAT JOB! Cant believe u did all the work yourself. I also have a few projects around the house to work on. Next time your here in North Carolina you can help me. But maybe you should start charging. LoL! Give use a call sometime. Kyra and Avia miss you, and send their love! Tabatha says Hi, and She loves you, and hopes to see you soon. I can't wait to see you and Love you so much!!!!Pawpaw said He Loved you, and Great Job on the Desk! Everyone here Loves you, and Hopes to see you soon!!!!Take Care, and Be Safe. Love you baby Girl!!! Love your Dad, Jeremy.

  4. Toppa Tom, you and Alysa did a wonderful job. I am going over to stage her room and desk for a photo opp and send you pictures to post here. If I have your permission I will also post this on my blog (
    ! So...when will you two be starting my bookcases????? Love, Grandmommie