While your backyard is a great place to relax and spend time with family and friends, it can also be a good place to scroll through your feed or get some work done. In this Done-In-A-Weekend Projects episode, we’ll show you how to create an outdoor space to work—or play—on your computer. So, join host and landscape designer Doug Scott to learn the tools, cut lists, and build steps needed to construct your own DIY laptop desk.
- Miter saw
- Skil or table saw
- Air compressor with pneumatic nail gun and 1 in. brad nail or hammer and 1 in. finishing nails
- Wood glue
- Tape measure
- Marking pencil
- Eye and ear protection
Outdoor Desk Cut List:
This build is composed of several component parts: one large top, one small top, and two cleats to keep the finished desk affixed to your outdoor porch railing.
- (1) 28 in. x 18½ in. x ½ in. birch plywood
- (2) 28½ in. edge trim pieces (mitered to fit)
- (2) 18½ in. edge trim pieces (mitered to fit)
- (1) 17 in. x 13½ in. x ½ in. birch plywood
- (2) 17½ in. edge trim pieces (mitered to fit)
- (2) 14 in. edge trim pieces (mitered to fit)
- (2) 1 in. x 3 in. x 13 in. pine boards (cut 2 in. down to 0 in. to create triangular wedges)
- (1) 1 in x 1 in x 15½ in. pine board
- (2) 1 in. x 3 in. x 24 in. pine boards
Outdoor Tech Desk Build Steps
While dubbed a “done-in-a-weekend” project, you’ll only need one day to create your own outdoor work space with this DIY laptop desk.
- First, glue and nail the edge trim pieces to the small top piece of birch plywood, aligning all corners in miter.
- Next, glue and nail the two wedge pieces to the underside along each side.
- Follow this by affixing the 1 in. x 1 in. support in place between the triangle-shaped wedges along the tail end.
- Set this piece aside to dry.
- For the large piece of birch plywood: glue and nail on the edge trim pieces, and align the edges in the miter.
- Flip the piece over to begin working on the underside.
- Find the center of the board on each side and draw a line to mark the center across.
- Measure 2¼ in. from the centerline on both sides of the line on both ends of the board, then draw a straight line connecting the marks. (You’ll now have three lines drawn across the board.)
- Next, align the 1 in. x 3 in. cleats up along the outside of the outer lines. (The measurement between the 1 in. x 3 in. boards should be 5½ in.)
- Then, glue and nail the cleats from the topside along the length of the board.
(Tip: It may be easier to slide one side of the workpiece off the edge of your worktable to nail the ends of the 1 in. x 3 in. piece, then spin it around and do the same for the other side. Then, you can simply flip it over to nail the boards from the top.)
- Flip the board over again and place the first workpiece on the second, and line them up 1½ in. off of the front and left side of the larger, second piece.
- Finally, nail up from the underside into the triangular wedges to affix the two pieces together.
Now that you’ve built your own outdoor tech desk, you’ll be able to tackle that status report—or watch your favorite Done-In-A-Weekend Projects episodes—in the serenity and comfort of your own backyard!