Herringbone L-Shaped Corner Desk Tutorial

Looking for a desk online to fit your style and space? Something not too expensive, not made of cheap particle board, but also don’t want it to break your budget? Well, if you keep reading I think you will be pleasantly surprised with how few materials this desk tutorial takes and also how customizable it is allowing it to check off your entire desk wishlist.

Here is the tutorial for the Herringbone L-Shaped (or corner) hardwood desk that I built for Jordan and Bubba Page’s office. The best part of this desk is it can be attached to the wall for a more built-in look, freestanding with 3 legs, or NO legs by adding some cabinets or drawers to either side for an even more customized look.

To replicate the exact desk seen here in the Page’s office, you would need to go to a local lumberyard and pick out some hardwood 1×8’s. I went to Macbeaths, my local go-to shop and checked prices and found some gorgeous planed and jointed (all the boards are the same thickness, width and ready to assemble) Ash hardwood ready to take home for a grand total of $168… not too shabby for some nice hardwood in my opinion. You can also look into Alder, White Oak, Red Oak, Maple and Walnut to achieve a different grain pattern/wood tone.

The materials:

(5) 1x8x8 Boards
* If you don’t have a table saw, (3) 1x8x8 and (4) 1x4x8
Wood Glue
120 grit sand paper
220 grit sand paper
Tack Cloth
Plastic Wood Wood Filler
1 1/4″ Kreg Screws
1″ Kreg Screws
Weathered Oak Stain (or stain of your choice)
General Finishes High Performance Satin Poly Top Coat

Tools:
Drill or Driver
Miter Saw
Kreg Jig
Table Saw* Optional

Other Budget Friendly Options at your big box store:

My Material: 1x8x8 Ash Hardwood (from local Lumber yard) = $168

1x8x8 Whitewood Common Board $12 a board = $60

1x8x8 Select Pine $28 a board = $140

Cut List

Desk Top: 1x8x8 cut into these dimensions
52 1/2″
42 1/2″
50″
46″
45″
37 1/2″
Front Edge of Desk:
(1) 2″x 27 1/2″
(1) 2″ x 30″
Legs:
(4) 3.5″ x 29 1/4″
(2) 3.5″ x 19″

Back Corner Supports:
(2) 2″x20″
OPTIONAL 3rd Leg:
(2) 3.5″x29 1/4″
(2) 3.5″x 15″

Desk Assembly

  1. First, cut the desktop boards to size and line them up in the herringbone pattern shown below.

Once you have them all lined up with your desired grain pattern… flip them all over and begin marking for your pocket holes. Pocket holes should be about 6-8 inches apart, alternating, and not any closer than 2″ from the edge of a board (to prevent splitting of the wood).

Pocket Holes

Using your kreg jig (I’m using a K4, but you can use any kreg jig) create pocket holes in the wood boards. Be sure to measure the thickness of your wood (3/4″), and set your Kreg to that thickness on the bit as well as on the jig.

Once the pocket holes are all made now it’s time to attach your boards. Attach the 3 boards together using a combination of wood glue and kreg fine thread pocket screws making sure the check the alignment of your boards the entire time and that there is the exact 7.5″ space so the other half of the boards will fit in snug. Allow the pieces to dry on a flat surface and do not over tighten the screws that will cause bowing in your desktop. If working with a soft wood like pine, I recommend using pipe clamps and a caul to help apply even pressure to keep things flat while they dry.

After you attach one section of 3 boards, attach the other section of 3 boards making sure that they line up at the herringbone middle section and repeat the gluing and screw assembly process.

If the ends of your boards are not perfectly aligned thats ok, you can run it through the table saw, or use a circular saw to cut it all flush. Be MOST concerned that your herringbone part lines up perfectly.

Thick edge

Allow the top to dry for several hours before maneuvering it through a saw. Once its all dry it’s time to attach the two halves together, and create the thick edge.

For the thick edge take a 1×8 and run it through the table saw to get a 2″ strip by 27.5″ and 30″, and if also making the sides of the desk appear thicker add 2″ by 19″ strips.

These strips can be attached with wood glue and screws up from the bottom. But make sure they are flush before attaching!

Legs

The legs for this desk are made of a 1×8 ripped in half, so about 3.5″ wide. Drill 2 pocket holes on each end of the short boards for a total of 4 pocket holes per short board. Then, use wood glue and attach to the inside of the long boards. The pocket holes should be covered by the desk top… and the ground so when you are looking inside the square you don’t see any holes.

Sanding and Staining

First fill all nail holes, knots, and wood cracks with plastic wood, wood filler in natural. Then, sand everything down with 120 grit. Follow up with 220 grit sand paper and wipe down with a tack cloth and now you are ready to apply your favorite stain. I used 1 coat of Weathered Oak Stain followed by 2 coats of General Finishes High Performance in Satin

Assembly Base to Legs

For the legs, I attached 3″ screws into a stud on the back wall, and 1″ screws from the underside of the leg into the desktop. In the corner, I attached 2 support boards (1×2’s) directly into studs using 3″ screws. and then screwed from the bottom of the support board up into the desk top to hold it in place.

Be sure to follow along on instagram @honeybuilthome for more behind the scenes and projects and if you are tired of waiting around and want to start creating projects just like this one here! Be sure to check out DIY Beginner Basics my online course that teaches YOU the ins and outs of starting DIY. Use discount code: READYSETDIY for 10% off!

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