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Desk Nook

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BLACK+DECKER B+D Contributor 186 Projects

If you or someone in your family enjoys a hobby or activity, whether it’s computing, scrapbooking, drawing, or anything else that involves pleasant time seated and engaged in your avocation, you deserve to have a special place set aside for that activity. And here, it is important to note, “set aside” does not mean “spread out on the kitchen table between family  meals.” A dedicated spot with loads of storage, a pleasing appearance, and an efficient footprint are all possible. This corner desk nook provides the things you need to spend time on your activity, not managing it. In this corner hobby center, upper and lower cabinets are combined to deliver excellent and attractive storage options. At the same time, some on-site carpentry creates a stable frame for a spacious but not overpowering l-shaped desk. The laminate desktop configuration provides not just room to spread out a project or stage supplies left and right, but also provides three access points (center, left, and right) for you to either move around a large project or for others to pull up a chair and help or just watch.

Hobby Center Diagram

Hobby Center Cutting list

How to Build a Desk Nook

  1. HI0523_11C

    Start with the upper cabinets first, then install the base units. Once the bases are set, frame the desktop supports and install the countertop. The desktop is laminate and while you can make it yourself, working with laminates is a specialty trade and it is often much easier to order the unit and have it delivered preassembled. Locate and strike the level line for the uppers 52 ½" above the floor. project each line 42" out from the wall corner.

  2. HI0523_11D

    Locate and mark the wall studs below the level line. Fasten a temporary ledger to the wall studs. Set it below the level line to support the cabinets during installation.

  3. HI0523_11E

    Measuring along the top of the base molding from the corner, make marks at 42" and 60" on the base trim. This is the location of each base cabinet. Use a combination square and mark square lines down to the floor. The 18" of base/shoe molding between the lines will be removed to accept the base cabinets. In the corner, measure up 34 ½" (the height of the base cabinet) from the floor and mark each side of the wall.

  4. HI0523_11F

    Transfer the stud locations to the inside surfaces of the cabinets before you lift them.

  5. HI0523_11G

    Start with the center cabinet in the corner. Set it on the ledger board and then drive screws into the wall at stud locations. Repeat for each end cabinet.

  6. HI0523_11H

    Before fully sinking the wall screws, clamp the cabinets together, drill pilot holes in the cabinet sides or face frames, and screw them together. Complete the process by driving all wall screws tightly against the cabinet back. Add cabinet doors.

  7. HI0523_11I

    Remove the base molding already marked using a pull-saw. position the base units against the wall at the layout lines and then shim and fasten the base cabinets to the wall studs.

  8. HI0523_11J

    Because the desktop is only supported by cabinets on the outside edges, you must build a 3-piece ledger system that supports the desktop both along the wall and under the front edge of the desktop. Use 2 × 3s, which work well for this. Cut and install ledger pieces along the wall, fastening with two 3" screws into the wall studs. Measure and cut the first piece to fit between the wall and the inside edge of a base cabinet. A piece just shy of 42" should fit. Cut and install the second piece. A piece just shy of 40 ½" should fit.

  9. HI0523_11K

    Cut a 2 × 3 to 59" (long-to-long) with opposing miters.

  10. HI0523_11L

    Pre-drill and pre-set screws in the mitered ends of the diagonal brace then install.

  11. HI0523_11M

    Have a custom desktop made to fit from particle bord and laminate, or any other suitable materials. Get a helper and place the desktop on top of the base cabinet/ledger system.

  12. HI0523_11N

    Fine-tune the desktop placement onto the layout marks and fasten from beneath. Fasten from inside the base cabinets as well as through the ledger system’s diagonal brace. Fastening through the diagonal brace requires  predrilling and installing screws on an angle. Be careful not to puncture the top surface of the laminate.

  13. HI0523_11O

    The finish details are relatively minimal on this project, since it is made out of prefinished cabinets and a pre-built desktop. You can caulk between the cabinet edges and the wall as necessary, or wrap the base cabinet bottoms with base molding as necessary (you can skip this if the floor is carpet) and prime and paint the ledger system boards the same as the wall color. One great addition is to install an undercabinet light beneath the upper cabinets to provide focused task lighting.