By Murray Anderson
Kids at college are often in shared accommodations with limited living space, so traditional furniture may not be the best option for their life style. However, all students need a desk or at least a work surface, if for nothing more than to pile their books and clothes on. Here's an idea for an easy to make, space saving desk that can be modified to suit virtually any sized living space. It provides a good-sized workspace, doesn't require any special tools or advanced woodworking skills and when it's time to move it's easy to take apart. Plus, as an added bonus, one person can carry the desk.
Building your space saving desk
Cut (or have cut) a piece of MDF to 2' x 4'. In reality, the board can be cut to any size but 2' x 4' is a good sized working surface and it is easily accommodated using standard dimension building materials. It's also manageable for one person to carry and your local lumberyard or home store can probably cut it to size for you if you don't have the necessary equipment.
Since standard desks are 28" - 29" high, get two 28-inch attachable legs at your home store.
Using the legs themselves as a template, mark the underside of the MDF board for the legs, then predrill the holes to attach them and install the legs into the predrilled holes on the underside of the board.
Go to the wall and measure up 28". This height is where the top of the ledger board will sit.
Try to find at least one stud in the wall behind the ledger board (you can use wall anchors or Molly bolts if your can't find studs). Then, install the ledger board with it's top at the 28" height.
After attaching the legs, turn the board right side up and rest the back edge against the wall sitting on top of the ledger board. You can put a screw down through the back edge of the MDF into the ledger board to hold it firmly in place.
Finally drill a hole through the top of the board to allow computer cables and lamp cords to be passed through the desktop. You could also drill some other small holes to allow air circulation from under the desk.
That's it. Your knock down desk is complete. You can paint it to match the 'décor' and protect the surface or simply leave it as is.
When it 's time to move on all you need to do is reverse the process, patch the holes in the wall and pick up the pieces of your student's desk.
Note: If space is really at a premium, you can modify this desk plan so the desktop attaches to the ledger board with hinges and hinged legs so they can fold down. With these modifications, the desk can be folded up against the wall and stored out of the way until it's needed. Then when it's needed, all you have to do is bring down the desktop and open the legs.