Free Woodworking Plans to Build an RH Inspired Printmakers Desk

08.29.10 By //
Project Image

This piece is just amazing, and with the right tools, simple to build.

As with all of our plans, you are building at your own risk and you should have a firm understanding of building in general before you attempt many of our plans (some are easy as pie and perfect for beginners). With that, go forth, have fun, take lots of pictures and share them in a showcase on the site or on social media with the hashtag #builtTDCtuff and we will share our faves! Be sure to tag @thedesignconfidential on Instagram / FB and @thedesconf on Twitter / Pinterest. If you are a blogger and you post about your build, don’t forget to include a link to your post on your showcase here. Don’t forget… for all of our newer plans, clicking on the images will let them expand to enormous sizes with much greater clarity. The older plans may need updating so please let us know if you need one fixed!

Dimensions for This Project


  • 3 – 3/4″ Sheet of Plywood (4’x8′)
  • 2 – 1/2″ Plywood (4’x8′)
  • 3 – 2×3 at 8′
  • 1 – 2×3 at 10′
  • 17 – 1×3 at 10′
  • 1 – 1×3 at 6′
  • 1 – 1×2 at 10′ (if you aren’t mitering you will need an additional 1×2 @ 6′)
  • 3 – 1×4 at 10′
  • 1 – 1×4 at 6′
  • 1 – 3/4 x 3/4 Square (Trim) at 8′
  • 1 – 3/4″ x 3/4″ Square (Trim) at 6′
  • ** OR 1 – 3/4″x3/4″ trim at 13 Linear Feet if you purchase random length trim.
  • 1 – 3/4″ Plywood at 80 x 28″ Main Panel
  • 2 – 3/4″ Ply at 24 1/2 x 25″ (Bottom Panels)
  • 4 – 3/4″ Ply at 24 1/2 x 21 1/4″ (Side Panels)
  • 2 – 3/4″ Ply at 21 1/2 x 24 1/2″ (Shelves)
  • 4 – 3/4″ Ply at 24 1/2 x 4 3/4″ (Upper Dividers)
  • 1 – 3/4″ Ply at 78 1/2 x 25″ (Box Top)
  • 2 – 3/4″ Ply at 3 3/4 x 19 1/2″ (Upper Outside False Backs)
  • 1 – 3/4″ Ply at 3 3/4 x 31″ (Upper Inside False Back)
  • 2 – 3/4″ Ply at 21 1/4 x 19 1/2″ (Lower False Backs)
  • 1 – 1/2″ Ply at 78 1/2 x 4 3/4″ (Upper Back Panel)
  • 2 – 1/2″ Ply at 23 x 21 1/4″ (Lower Back Panels)
  • 1 – 1/2″ Ply at 21 3/4 x 28 1/4″ (Bottom of Top Center Drawer)
  • 2 – 1/2″ Ply at 21 3/4 x 16 3/4″ (Bottoms of Outside Top Drawers)
  • 4 – 1/2″ Ply at 22 1/4 x 17 1/4″ (Bottoms of Middle and Bottom Drawers)
  • 4 – 1/2″ Ply at 7 3/4 x 17 1/4″ (Front and Back of Middle Drawers)
  • 4 – 1/2″ Ply at 7 3/4 x 23 1/4″ (Sides of Middle Drawers)
  • 4 – 1/2″ Ply at 12 1/4 x 23 1/4″ (Sides of Bottom Drawers)
  • 4 – 1/2″ Ply at 12 1/4 x 17 1/4″ (Front and Back of Bottom Drawers)
  • 8 – 2×3 at 24 1/4″ (Legs)
  • 8 – 2×3 at 3 3/4″ (Upper Legs)
  • 2 – 2×3 at 80″ (Top Frame)
  • 6 – 1×2 at 19 1/2″ (Cross Bars)
  • 6 – 1×3 at 25″ (Trim)
  • 20 – 1×3 at 3 3/4″ (Upper Side Paneling)
  • 40 – 1×3 at 21 1/4″ (Lower Side Paneling, Inside and Outside)
  • 20 – 1×3 at 19 1/2″ (Outside Top Paneling)
  • 10 – 1×3 at 31″ (Center Top Paneling)
  • 8 – 1×3 at 19 1/4″ (Drawer Faces for Bottom Drawers)
  • 6 – 1×4 at 23 1/4″ (Sides Upper Drawers)
  • 2 – 1×4 at 28 3/4″ (Front and Back Top Center Drawer)
  • 4 – 1×4 at 16 3/4″ (Front and Back Outside Top Drawers)
  • 6 – 1×4 at 19 1/4″ (Drawer Faces Top Outside, Middle Drawers
  • 1 – 1×4 at 30 3/4″ (Top Center Drawer Face)
  • 8 – 3/4″x3/4″ Square Trim at 19 1/4″ (Middle and Bottom Drawer Faces)

Before beginning to build, always check in on my site to make sure you have the most up to date set of plans, I occasionally update and change the plans to make the building process easier or to allow for less expensive purchasing of materials! Read through the entire set of instructions and all comments before beginning this project. If you print out or save plans, be sure to check in on my site to be sure you have the most up to date set of plans, as I occasionally update things for ease of building or buying. If you are new to building, read through the GETTING STARTED section and other articles found under the BUILD tab in the menu on my site, it has valuable information about how to get started, tools and techniques. If you are unfamiliar with the finishing process, visit my Finishing school for some tips and tricks for painting like a pro and for special finishing practices. Use glue to secure your joints and Consider Painting or Staining individual sections prior to assembling. This makes the paint application virtually flawless. Coat with a spray on Poly or Wipe on Poly to protect your finish and your piece and it will last for ages. Adhere to all safety standards and guidelines, and be sure you follow safety protocol throughout your build. If you are unsure about whether you are building safely, run a quick online search for the tool or technique you are using, or contact me via email or post to the forum before you move ahead. My contact info can be found in the menu of my site.

Step 1
Step 1

Build the Box: Use your Kreg to join your boards, at the 3/4 setting. Place a Pocket Hole approx. 2″ from the edges of your boards and then every 6″. I have shown placement for these on the left side of the image below. Where you have boards that are separate but directly above and below one another (the mint green and yellow green pieces seen below), stagger your Pocket Hole placement a tiny bit (1/4″) to ensure you don’t weaken your wood. When building this box, start at the bottom and work your way up for the ease of assembly. For the Shelves, your Pocket Hole placement will be on the bottom of the shelf on the outside edges.

Step 2
Step 2

Fasten the Backs to your box: Use the Kreg to attach the back to the Bottom Panels and the Main Panel at a 1/2″ setting. You should also use your 1″ Screws to fasten the Backs directly to the Dividers and side panels.

Step 3
Step 3
Step 3

Construct the Frame: Use your Kreg at a 3/4″ setting to attach the Cross Bars to the Legs, place your Pocket holes on the under side of the Cross Bars, 4 per Cross Bar should more than suffice (2 on each side of each Bar). Use the 1 1/2″ setting to join the frame pieces for the Top Frame. The Top and Bottom Frames are separate and not attached to each other.

Front and Back Bottom Frames, Front and Back Top Frames:

Step 4
Step 4

Fasten the Frames to the Box: Use your Kreg on the 3/4″ setting to fasten the Box to the Legs on the Front Side of the Box and on the Back Side of the Box you will actually fasten directly into the Legs using 1 1/2″ Screws, from the inside of the box through the Back Panels. Begin with the Lower Section. The Main Panel will sit directly on the top of the Bottom Frame/Legs, use 1 1/2″ Screws to fasten the Main Panel down into the Legs, be sure to countersink so that it remains flush. Then attach the top Frame to the Main Panel and the Dividers.

Step 5
Step 5

This is an ideal time to attach your drawer slides. Once you have done that, fasten the Box Top to the Box: Use 1 1/2″ Screws, be sure to countersink.

Step 6

Trim out your Desk: Use glue and 1 1/4″ Finish nails to fasten the trim and paneling in place. Miter the corner edges of your Upper side trim (yellow green pieces on the outside top of the desk) for the most professional appearance. if you aren’t able to do this, you can substitute a 1×2 for the lower 1×3 and fill the seam. **If you choose this option, you will need to add 1/4″ to the length of your side paneling on the outside upper side panels making them 4″ instead of 3 3/4″. The False Panels on the Back are 3/4″ Plywood. This isn’t required or necessary in any way, mainly decorative. If you will have the backside showing for your desk placement, you can add additional paneling on the back over the top of the Plywood just as you are doing for the sides and top.

Step 7
Step 7
Step 7
Step 7
Step 7
Step 7

Build your Drawers: Use your Kreg at the 1/2″ setting on all 4 sides of the drawer bottoms to fasten them to the Sides and Front/Back of each drawer. Also fasten the Front and Back to the Sides. You can see approximate Pocket Hole Placement in the X-Ray diagram below. You will place pocket holes approximately 2″ from the edges and every 6″ thereafter. The Front/ Back and Sides of the Top Drawers are constructed out of 1×4 Boards for ease of constructing. Not having to worry about cutting plywood perfectly square is always easier. The Middle and bottom Drawers are constructed out of 1/2″ Ply but could be constructed out of 1×8 and 1×12 boards if you don’t mind the perimeter being shorter than the drawer face, however you will need to decrease the size of the drawer bottoms by 1/2″ in either direction to accommodate this. This is an option you should consider if you have trouble cutting perfectly square pieces of ply.

X-Ray Pocket Hole Placement example, Outside Top Drawers, Top Center Drawer, Middle Drawers, Bottom Drawers:

Step 8

Fasten the Side Mount Drawer Slides to your Drawers and insert. Fill any Screw Holes and Finish as Desired. For a Faux Reclaimed or Weathered look if using new boards, see my Finishing School.

Fill any Screw, Nail or Pocket Holes, Sand and Finish as Desired. For Finishing Tips and Tricks visit my Finishing School

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