The wall-mounted folding desk: ideal for small rooms
- Cost40-85 £
- Duration3 - 8 h
Are big desks not doing it for you? We feel the same way. They take up a lot of space, especially in small rooms. That's why we came up with a folding desk. It's ideal if you don't have much space and it's easy to keep clean and tidy. Follow our instructions to build your own space-saving wonder.
- work gloves
- a stirrer to mix the paint
- face mask
- safety glasses
- floor protector or cover sheets
- tape measure
- Set square
- screw clamps
- Plywood board, approx. 1.5 square metres: 170 x 150 x 2.1 cm (L x W x H)
- 16 self-tapping screws
- 20–25 self-tapping screws
- 3–5 screws with matching wall plugs (for mounting on the wall)
- cavity wall plugs
- 2 brass hinge plates
- 1 threaded rod or brass tube: 60 x 0.8 cm (L x D)
- 2 brass chains: 40 cm (L)
- 1 cabinet knob plus matching screw
- 2-in-1 black paint: 750 ml
- Brass-coloured spray paint for metal (if you're not using a brass tube)
Let's go - step by step
Measure the pieces of wood for the folding desk
You need: pocket rule, measuring tape, try square, sheet of plywood
The folding desk is made out of five pieces of wood and two shelf boards: two pieces of wood will form the sides of the desk, one will be used for the bottom and another piece will become the tabletop. The fifth piece of wood will be used to make a shortened backboard. Two additional wooden slats will be used to mount the table on to the wall as a French cleat – also known as an angle moulding: one slat will be mounted on the wall and the other will be attached to the back of the desk. Both slats will be cut at the same 45-degree angle so they can slot neatly into each other and support the weight of the desk against the wall.
Now to measure the required dimensions on a piece of plywood. Use a tape measure and steel set square to mark the straight lines you want to cut.
The pieces of wood for your folding desk need to be the following sizes:
- The folding tabletop should be 57.5 x 26 cm (L x W).
- The bottom of the desk should be 58 x 32 cm (L x W).
- The backboard should be 58 x 20 cm (L x W).
- The sides of the desk are right-angled trapeziums measuring 32 cm along the bottom and 20 cm along the top. The height of the right-angled side is 58 cm and the opposite side is slightly longer as it is slanted at an angle. It's a good idea to simply join up the points of each shape using a folding ruler once you've marked them.
- The shelf boards should be 58 x 26 cm (L x W) or 58 x 18 cm (L x W).
- The French cleat should consist of two wooden slats that are 58 x 8 cm (L x W) or 58 x 5 cm (L x W).
Saw the plywood board for your desk
You need: NanoBlade saw, safety glasses, work gloves, g-clamps, try square
Now you can cut the wood using a saw. Make sure you cut carefully along the line you have marked to ensure the boards are the right size. Secure the plywood board against your worktop using screw clamps to make sure it doesn't slip.
You'll need to make a French cleat to mount the desk on the wall. To do this, saw two wooden slats lengthways at a 45-degree angle, ensuring that they fit each other neatly to form one block of wood. One of these slats will be fitted on the wall and the other will be attached to the folding desk to mount it on the wall.
Drill a blind hole for the threaded rod
To ensure the decorative threaded rod doesn't poke out of the sides of the desk, drill blind holes. First of all, fit a drill bit stop on the drill bit. Place the stop so that the drill bit can't drill any deeper than 1.5 cm (if the piece of wood is 2.1 cm thick). Mark the position for each hole on the wood 1 cm from the edge.
Now you can secure the sides of the table with screw clamps and insert the drill bit in the cordlesss impact drill. Drill the blind hole slowly in the place you have marked.
If you drill a hole which doesn't go all the way through the other side of the material you are drilling, the resulting hole is called a blind hole. This kind of hole is useful for mounting or for securing a threaded rod. To make sure you don't drill through the wood by accident, you can fit the drill bit with a drill bit stop to set to correct depth.
Sand down the sawn-off edges and the pieces of wood for your folding desk
You should sand down the sawn-off edges of your desk to make sure you don't get any splinters when you open your folding desk. For best results, use a multi-sander with a rectangular sanding plate . Clamp the boards down to ensure they don't slip when sanding. It's also a good idea to sand down the surfaces of the wood before painting, so that the paint takes to the wood better.
Paint the wood and the threaded rod for your folding desk
You need: paint spray system, work gloves, a stirrer to mix the paint, safety glasses, face mask, 2-in-1 paint in black, brass-coloured spray paint for metal, wooden boards, threaded rod
Now it's time to spruce up your desk. To make your folding table stand out, paint the wood in anthracite and spray the threaded rod with brass-coloured spray paint. Make sure you put on safety goggles, work gloves and a face mask while doing this to protect yourself from paint dust.
Screw in the thin wooden slats to form the French cleat on the long shelf board
You need: Cordless drill/driver, g-clamps, 4 screws: 4 x 20 mm (D x L)
To mount your new desk on the wall, attach the top half of the French cleat to the bottom shelf board, which is slightly longer than the cleat slat. For best results, screw through the shelf board into the cleat slat. Hold both pieces of wood together with screw clamps so that they don't slip. Use at least four screws to make sure the slat stays in position. Tip: if you use chipboard screws, there is no need for pre-drilling.
Assemble the folding desk
You need: Cordless drill/driver, 12 screws: 4 x 20 mm (D x L), 2 brass screw plates, 2 brass chains: 40 cm (L)
Your DIY folding desk is almost finished – now all you need to do is assemble it. Start with the bottom board and the backboard. Screw these into each other from below using four screws. Then take one of the side boards and attach it to both shelf boards and the bottom board from the side. Make sure the shelf boards are firmly locked against the back of the folding desk. Afterwards, insert the threaded rod into the designated blind hole and firmly screw in the second side board.
Now it's time to add the tabletop. Lay it against the bottom board and attach the hinge plates using six screws per plate. Now you're almost there!
If the threaded rod is too long for your desk, you can cut it to the right length using an angle grinder.
Attach the cabinet knob and brass chain to your desk
You need: Cordless drill/driver, cabinet knob with a matching screw, brass chain with matching screws
To make sure the tabletop of your new desk holds up when it's opened, attach a brass chain to each side of the tabletop – and link it to the sides of the desk underneath the lower shelf board. To make it easy to open, attach a cabinet knob on the outside of the table top.
Mount the folding desk on the wall
You need: Cordless combi drill, Suitable drill for cordless impact drill (depending on wall condition), Hammer drill, 5-piece-wood-drill-bit-set, Detectors, Cross Line Laser, 3–5 screws with matching wall plugs (for mounting on the wall)
Find a suitable spot to put your new wall-mounted folding desk, and then measure how high you want the desk to go. A cross-line laser will help you keep the French cleat level – and using the Quigo Plus , you can even project designated points for your other screws on the wall. As soon as you have marked the points for your screws, you should use a digital detection device to check whether there are any electricity cables or water pipes running behind the wall. Click here to find out how to check if it's safe to drill.
Once you have checked it's safe, you can drill holes in the wall using an impact drill or rotary drill (depending on the wall type). Insert a suitable wall plug into the borehole and screw the slat into the wall. Make sure the slanted edge is facing upwards.
Now you have a new desk, all you need to do now is make sure the room has the right ambience and you'll be good to go.