Computer Desk with Wooden Countertop and Legs- info

Hey guys.

I wanted to bounce an idea off you knowledgable chaps.

I am planning to knock up an L shaped computer desk with a lot of desk space, enough for 2 people with dual monitors.

To do this cost effectively and to not involve too much woodwork (don't have space, tools or skill) I am considering using a wooden countertop with metal legs from bunnings.
Wooden countertop

My plan is to use 2 tops to create an L shape and put some bedside tables underneath for storage.

Does anyone have any criticism or ideas I can use?

Do you think cutting that countertop and reoiling would look okay?



  • Hey Science Teacher,

    I recently built a desk - not L shaped but something similar.

    *The ideal desk height is around 73cm, depending on your height. So you will want taller legs like this:

    Note that, those legs don't provide any bracing. Though depending on what weight you are putting on there, may not be an issue.

    You can find lots of information on ergonomics and desk heights etc online easily enough.

    • Rather than reoiling, consider polyurethane to seal the surface. Water based ones dry fairly quickly (took me two days roughly to coat mine three / four times). They provide good protection against any spillage and are easy to apply. They do trap any oils etc inside however so you may want to check if your chosen tabletop is 'compatible' - e.g. water based don't always play well with oil based coatings.

    • For the bedside tables, check out the 'Alex' from IKEA. Lots of gamer dudes use these as their legs and they work well, being 70cm tall (like the legs linked above). There's a cupboard style one, and a drawer style one. Neither suited my needs due to some odd shaped PC stuff I needed to store. But I checked them out and they were fairly nice for IKEA gear.

    For my desk, I checked out Bunnings but the ones near me only had some pretty nasty benchtops. Many were cracked or very unfinished and needed a lot of work. I didn't have much access to tools or space either.

    I ended up going:

    • An IKEA Oak benchtop. It's not available anymore, but it was solid wood, a bit thicker than the Bunnings option, and on special so pretty cheap. Nice and solid. They also make veneer versions of most benchtops, these work okay depending on how you'll use them (e.g. how much weight etc). My only complaint is the depth, I wish I had an extra 10cm depth or so. The Karlby is an interest favourite but not the exact one I got.

    • These 70cm Trapezium legs. In combination with the thick benchtop, they provide a lot of support. I have a very heavy monitor and lots of gear on my desk so that was important. The best price for these changed a few times in the week or two I was making my order so look around.

    • I only needed a drill, and the aforementioned polyurethane + brush. I think 250ml was enough to fully coat mine.

    • That's exactly the advice I was looking for.
      Thanks very much, I like the Trapezoid Metal Table Legs.
      I'll try to absorb all your info and plan something.

      • I have the hairpin legs on my desk paired with a 1.8m IKEA benchtop. If you like the look of them, they will be fine, so long as you have the additional support of the Alex drawers (or other suitable alternative) given the 2.2m length of the benchtop you’re using.

  • I have that acacia board you linked to. I didn't build anything new with it, I just replaced a swollen formica covered MDF utillity table top with it and now use it as our covered patio table. Looks very slick, to be honest.

    • Would recommend? They seem decent value, maybe a bit shallow for a desk.

      • For some reason I found it hard to get deeper pieces of wood for a desk.

        You certainly can from specialty timber / salvage places, but often that was for unfinished wood which needed lots of work, or I was getting quotes of $700+.

        Most of the Bunnings / IKEA / other commercially available ones are 60 - 64cm or so.

        • That's unfortunate, I'll measure my current pos desk and compare.

          • @science-teacher: My Ikea desk is 63.5cm or so. I have my big monitor flush against the back with one of the popular monitor arms that pop up here fairly often. I can fit my keyboard and most gear. But it would be nice to have a bit more room, for eye relief, bit more writing space etc.

            It's more of an issue if you have chunky monitor stands I think, that push the screen forward.

      • Yep, I can certainly recommend. However, the comments regarding it's depth sound legit. It works as our patio table, but might be shallow for a desk.

  • 600mm is not very deep for a desk at all.

    I used form ply, it's quite an industrial look and won't suit every room. It's cheap, very smooth and doesn't need any coating. You'll need to add bracing underneath for stiffness. You'd need Bunnings to cut to size but that shouldn't be an issue.

    If you've got a drill then put some cable grommets in and attach a basket underneath for cable management.

    Look at IKEA Erik for the storage.

    • Did you leave the black film top? I guess I could add a veneer aswell.

      • Yep just left it - i dont think you could remove it TBH. Been 4 years of daily use and still looks great.

        Thick plywood with a nice smooth finish is stupidly expensive, especially when you consider there is waste getting the size you want.

  • The legs you linked are very short, am I missing something?

    • Nope. The above comment addressed this. Thanks though

      • Yeah, missed the "put some bedside tables underneath…" part. If you don't think you'll need leg space under the "L" area, that'd work.

        • Im leaning more towards 4 or 5 or the trapezoid legs at the moment to save shelling out for the bedside tables yet but that would be the end goal.

          • @science-teacher: You can use an IKEA Adils leg ($6) as a support, rather than a trapezoid/bedside table.

          • @science-teacher: I recently built this with two of those panels joined together and applied multiple coatings of oil based Polyurethane clear varnish for extra protection. The bedside tables are a good option but I used two of these which end up being a much elegant and cheap platform for the bench to sit on. I found the practa 500mm base cabinet to be too tall for an office application so had to cut about 10cm and make it a bit shorter and the end result had been great.

            • @websterp: That's basically exactly what I'm going for.
              God I wish the tops were deeper though.
              Where did you cut to shorten the cabinet? Just the legs and kick board?

              • @science-teacher: I end up cutting a narrow strip lengthwise off the panel to reduce the width so it matches the depth of the practa cabinets therefore the actual panel is much wider in case you prefer to use it in it's original form. With the cabinet I practically cut off the whole kickboard part to lower it. The Practa cabinet did not have legs behind the kickboard so the floorboard is what it currently rests on.

  • My tabletop is rested on top of IKEA Hyllis shelving units. Just give them a coat of paint (matt black).