barn door desk x-legs

Legs and cross beam drying

I was able to spend much of Sunday working on the X-legs for my barn door desk project.  At the end of the day, they were all done and ready to be installed.  Here’s how I got there.

As I mentioned before, I decided to use the pressure-treated landscaping timbers to make the X-legs I saw online.  Unfortunately I didn’t have any real step by step instructions so much of it was trial and error.  Thankfully my only mistake was something I could fix fairly easily.

Even though they are not attached, I’m very happy with the results so far!

barn door desk x-legs

The legs after being ripped down the middle

After figuring out how high I wanted the desk and how long the X-legs needed to be, I cut the landscaping timbers at 30 degree angles on my chop saw.  Then using my table saw, I ripped them in half.

barn door desk x-legs

The notch where the legs cross

Next I started measuring and marking where the two legs would cross and started to cut out what would end up being the notch to allow the legs to fit together.  This is where I made my only mistake, not accounting for the mirror-effect on the two haves. I cut my first piece in the wrong direction, making it too short.  Luckily I had a scrap piece of timber that I was able to use.

barn door desk X-legsAfter all the cuts were made (in the right direction this time) I started gluing the pieces back together.  There was some minor trimming on the bottom section of the notched-half o make sure the other leg would fit into the notch.  With only two clamps, the gluing process actually took longer than I anticipated, but I used the down time to sort through and clean out some of the boxes in the garage from when we moved to Florida a year and a half ago!  This will let me get to the pop-up camper so I can do a couple quick projects on the camper with my dad.

barn door x-legs

Wood Filler: Before & After

Because my table saw didn’t have enough height to rip the landscaping timbers I had to flip them over and finish the cut.  This made some unevenness in the cuts and when I tried to glue them back together I still had some gaps.  I used wood filler to close up the seems.  After sanding, you could see the difference in this before and after pic.

barn door desk x-legs chrislebrun.comI also gave the rest of the legs and cross bar (a 4-foot landscaping timber) a good sanding as well. There were lots of burrs, presumably from the grippers that moved the wood at the mill, and while I liked the added rustic feeling it gave the wood, I didn’t want the kids (or me) getting splinters.  The last step was a couple coats of dark brown stain and they are ready for assembly.

I’m very excited for the next step to happen; assembly and installation!  Stay tuned for pictures of the final product!!