That’s My Letter custom desk build

Posted on June 1, 2015


Editor’s note: This post is part of an occasional series featuring guest bloggers. Today’s post is by Jaime Costiglio from That’s My Letter. She is a mom of three and describes herself as a DIY girl who works with wood, fabric and paint. She built a beautiful custom desk with our WBSK Workbench or Shelving Hardware Kit.

The workbench is perhaps my favorite place to spend time building away on different projects so when it came time to build myself a new desk I knew it had to have that workbench feel with desk appropriate storage. Today, I’m sharing my industrial-style desk built using the Simpson Strong-Tie DIY Workbench or Shelving Hardware Kit, plus additional fasteners.

desk real 1 (1)

With a giant workspace seven-feet long by almost two-feet deep, there is plenty of workable surface area. I designed the shelves below to fit a printer as well as storage baskets.

desk real 4

I must admit I absolutely love the industrial look and feel of the hardware. This would also be a great desk for a garage or basement work area.

desk real (1)

Below you will find the materials, cut list and step-by-step instructions for building your own desk.


1 – ¾” plywood sheet (4′ x 8′)
6 – 2x4x8 studs
3 – 2x2x8 pine boards
1 –DIY WBSK Workbench or Shelving Hardware Kit
2 – Rigid Tie® RTC2Z connectors
8 – Rigid Tie RTA2Z connectors
14 – A21 angle brackets
2 – 66T T strap ties
2 – Rigid Tie RTR connectors
1 – box 1 ¼” screws
2 ½” wood screw
3″ wood screws
Cut List:
1 – ¾” plywood @ 84″l x 22″w (top)
2 – ¾” plywood @ 19 ½” x 23” (top shelves)
2 – ¾” plywood @ 21″ x 23″ (bottom shelves)
4 – 2×4 @ 29 ¼”l (legs)
3 – 2×4 @ 79″l (cross support)
2 – 2×4 @ 20″l (front base supports)
4 – 2×4 @ 14″l (side base supports)
2 – 2×4 @ 16 ½”l (interior base supports)
4 – 2×2 @ 25 ¾”l (interior legs)
4 – 2×2 @ 20″l (front & back top shelf supports)
2 – 2×2 @ 14″l (side top shelf supports)
2 – 2×2 @ 16 ½”l (interior top shelf supports)
2 – 2×4 @ 18″l (interior top supports)


Step 1: Build the base frame using Rigid Tie® RTC2Z connectors as shown above. (Back view)


Step 2: Continue building the shelving units by adding the interior legs. Attach back interior legs to shelf support first using 3″ screws. Then insert into tie connector and finally secure to back 2×4 cross support with 3″ screws.


Step 3: Cut bottom shelves to fit by notching out the corners. Attach to supports from underside using RTR connectors.


Step 4:  Attach front and back top shelf supports using 3″ screws.


Step 5:  Attach remaining top shelf supports using RTA2Z connectors.


Step 6:  Cut top shelves to fit by notching out the corners then attach to supports from underside using RTR connectors.


Step 7:  Insert front, back and side 2×4 frame pieces. Secure interior legs at front using 66T T strap ties.


Step 8:  Secure interior cross supports with RTR connectors at front and 2 ½” wood screws from back.


Step 9:  Lastly, attach top to base using RTR connectors on underside. Keep 1″ overhang at sides and front.
To finish the desk, sand well and use two coats of clear satin polyurethane, sanding in between coats.

desk real 2
Have you built a customized project with our Rigid Tie connectors? Tell us about it in the comments below!


    I love this! Jaime did an awesome job!

  • We think so, too!

  • Erin Peyton Day

    This is gorgeous!

  • Erin @ How to Nest for Less

    LOVE this!!

  • mike

    is this available in a downloadable plan?

  • Hi Mike! For now, this is not in a downloadable plan but the steps to build this are outlined above. We will make sure to share with our digital team that you are looking for a downloadable plan.

  • Pam @ The Birch Cottage

    Love the desk! The downloadable plans would be awesome!

  • zug

    Where’s the CPU?

  • Hi Zug:
    We aren’t quite sure what you are asking. Can you clarify?

  • zug

    Sure. Where is the actual computer? I see a monitor, a keyboard, a mouse, a printer, but no sign of the actual computer. Where is it?

  • The computer is actually built into the monitor. We have come a long way from the old desktop computer.

  • zug

    Oh, right.

  • Matt

    I think there are two minor errors in step #3 and #6. They are calling out parts RTR when it should be A21 to attach shelves to framework. I found it easier to mark the tops of where the 2x went than the bottoms because for the hangers got in the way. To do this added an 1.5″ for a 2×2 or 3.5″ for a 2×4. Great project and I love the way it turned out.

  • TJ

    Is there a reason why you could not use the entire 96 inches of a sheet of plywood for the width and just adjust the cross support to be 91 inches?

  • Johanna Lynn Ackerman

    Is there a way to make this with pull out drawers ?

  • Kara

    Hi Matt, I’m about to build this and I’m hoping you could explain what this means more clearly: (I’m new at building things)

    “I found it easier to mark the tops of where the 2x went than the bottoms because for the hangers got in the way. To do this added an 1.5″ for a 2×2 or 3.5″ for a 2×4.”


  • FluffyPickles

    Where are all 14 angle brackets connected? Can we get dimensions for the plywood shelves? The 3 inch screws for the back legs go through the 2 x 4 back support and the 2 X 2 legs then you say to connect to tie connector but in the photo there is no tie connector for the back leg supports. I had to use my kreg to secure. I love the desk but these plans are very poorly written and caused me more headaches had I just created the project on my own.

  • Hello, thank you for this feedback. We will be sure to share this with our contributor so that we can clarify these building plans.

  • Thanks for the catch Jamie!

  • FluffyPickles

    Great, thank you, hopefully clarifying the plans further will help others. The good thing was these plans did introduce me to your product and I’ve already used another set to make a matching shelving unit!

  • We are so glad to hear that!