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Modern Walnut Desk

Level of Difficulty: medium
Submitted by:

Jennings Woodworks

Jennings Woodworks has been working for over 30 years and continues to provide timeless craftsmanship.

Getting Started

60” x 24” Walnut modern desk – We will need 2 – 60” panels to complete the desk, so will be doing two glue ups for this. The panels will be longer than needed to allow as the extra length will be used for the vertical pieces for the sides and drawer mounts/dividers. We will need a total of 4 – 4” vertical pieces, so both panels will be an extra 12” at 72” before trimming to final dimensions.

Visit your local lumber yard or hardware store to purchase your lumber. We are working with walnut here as it is a beautiful wood and matches the existing furniture in the room. (walnut)



Mill the lumber to prepare it for the glue up process. Start on the jointer to get one flat edge, then create an identical edge on the table saw making sure to run the jointed edge against the fence. I did not use the planer here as the boards were pretty flat from the lumber yard as is. I like to use the Milescraft GrabberPLUS when using the jointer, and the GrabberPlus and Featherboard when using the table saw. Using push blocks and feather boards greatly reduce the risk of injury when milling lumber and highly recommend using them. You will now have 6 pieces of 1 x 8 material that will be glued together to make the panels needed. Cut them all to 72” in length. The extra 12” will be used for the vertical pieces.

Mark your lines where the biscuits will be drilled. Biscuits help keep the panels aligned when gluing and clamping them to become the panels needed for the desk. (square4) – This step is not required, but does help keep the boards aligned.


Glue the edges of the boards together and clamp as shown. Again, we will need to identical panels for this desk that will make the top, bottom, and sides/vertical pieces for the drawer.

Once both panels have been clamped, glued together, and sanded, they will need to be but cut to the final dimensions for the pieces needed. I used the large Milescraft Square to get a straight line on one end of the panel, about 1” from the end. I trim that off using a circular saw and straight edge. This gives us one square edge. Then pulling from the newly cut side, measure to 60” and make another cut. You now have the two 60” panels that will become the top and bottom of the desk.


Trim the 12” pieces that are leftover at the table saw to 4” wide. These will be the vertical sides of the desk and drawer in the middle. Two will be 24” long, trim the other two to 23.25” long. The shorter two are the verticals sides where the drawer will go, so we subtract the ¾” thickness of the back piece from the length. Cut a piece at 58 ½” x 4” that will be the back of the desk. Again, use the Milescraft GrabberPLUS anytime cutting material on the table saw.



Now that the pieces have all been cut, it is time to assemble the desk using corner and surface joints. These are made easy with the Milescraft JointMaster, Dowel Bucket, and wood glue.


Drill the dowel locations on the top and bottom large panel using the JointMaster. I used the 5/16” dowels as the material is roughly ¾” thick.

Next, drill the longer holes into all of the vertical pieces and sides using the JointMaster, making sure everything is measured and aligned accurately.

Gluing the Dowels in place

Once the dowel locations are drilled, add the dowels, glue, and clamp where needed. I use the GlueMate450 for most projects when applying wood glue as it is much cleaner and can be used at any angle. I started on the bottom of the desk so I could install the vertical pieces, and add finish to protect the wood, as well as installed the drawer guides, as I knew this would be tougher once the top was installed since the opening was only 4” tall.

Once all vertical pieces have been glued, the interior pieces have been finished, it is time to install the top panel. Dowel holes were already drilled in the same location when doing the bottom, so it is ready to glue and clamp.

Sand and finish

With the top on, and all final sanding done, the finish can now be applied to the rest of the desk.

Next, install the drawer front on the drawer box, and then the hardware using the Milescraft Hardware Jig. It does not get any easier than using the Hardware Jig from Milescraft to install. Find the center line, mark with a square, then align the jig, drill the holes, and install the handle. (hardwarejig, 2,3)

Wrapping up

Using threaded and inserts and bolts, attach the metal legs to the bottom of the desk. Once your legs are attached, you’re all done!



2 – 4” x 24” pieces (vertical sides – cut from the extra length of each panel)

2 – 4” x 23.25” – the pieces that will hold the drawer also cut from extra length of panels

2 – 24” x 60” final dimension panels needed for desk top and bottom

1 – 24” x 5.5” – drawer front

1 – 58.5” x 4” – back vertical piece