This combination bookcase and desk even has pigeonholes like the desks of old. Build a desk where you can store your laptop computer or iPad and it can't be seen when the front flap is in place.

Combination Bookcase - Desk Plans


In planning a desk, you can add convenience by providing it with a bookcase to store frequently used items. This desk design gives ample room to write, besides providing sufficient space in an enclosed cabinet for books or laptop computers.


The material required, figuring exact sizes, is as follows :


2 sides, 7/8 by 16½ by 67 in.

1 bottom shelf, 7/8 by 12 by 32¼ in.

1 top shelf, 7/8 by 9¼ by 32¼ in.

1 back, 3/8 by 40 by 31 in., made of pieces of convenient widths.

1 desk board, 7/8 by 16 1/8 by 30 in.

1 lower bookcase shelf, 7/8 by 9 1/8 by 30 in.

1 middle bookcase shelf, 7/8 by 8 3/8 by 30 in.

1 desk cover, 7/8 by 15½ by 30 in.

1 upper back rail, 7/8 by 5 by 30 in.


Bookcase Doors

4 stiles, ¾ by 1¼ by 19 in.

4 rails. ¾ by 1¼ by 13½ in.

2 mullions, ¼ by 1 by 17½ in.

2 mullions, ¼ by 1 by 13½ in.

1 pigeon-hole stock, 3/8 by 7 by 72 in.


For Main Drawer

1 front, ¾ by 4 by 30 in.

2 sides, 3/8 by 4 by 15½ in.

1 back, 3/8 by 3¼ by 29½ in.

1 bottom, 3/8 by 15¼ by 29½ in.

2 drawer slides, 7/8 by 1½ by 15 in,

1 lower rail, 7/8 by 1½ by 30 in.

1 molding strip, ¼ by 3/8 by 120 in.


As the main sides are of considerable width, it would be best to make them of two pieces glued together and, in order to obtain a strong and neat joint, to have this done by an experienced joiner, or in the mill. The back edges should be carefully planed, and rabbeted 3/8 in. deep by ½ in. wide for the 3/8-in. thick back. The bottom or foot piece of the sides should be squared up with the back edges, or the completed desk is liable to be winding, or warped.

The bottom and top shelves or main cross braces should be marked and cut out, and, to be in harmony with the shape of the sides, the lower-shelf tenons are made wider than those on the upper shelf. The top shelf should be rabbeted 1/2 in. deep by 3/8 in. wide, to fit the back boards which are nailed to it. The required mortises in the sidepieces are marked from the corresponding tenons of the shelves, and can then be cut out with a chisel. When finished, the four parts constituting the frame should be assembled, and may be held together with blind screws, or dowel pins, passed through the tenons.


The desk board and two library shelves should then be fitted, and fastened in place with blind screws through the sides, or with cleats from the inside. For a neat, finished appearance, the back boards should be carefully joined, exposing no cracks, and fastened with nails driven into the various shelves. The upper rail, resting on the bookcase, and the lower rail, forming part of the drawer support, can then be fitted and secured to the sides with blind screws, either from the outside or diagonally through the rails from the inside. Drawer slides are fitted in place flush with the top edge of the lower rail, and fastened to the sides with screws.

In making the drawer, the usual construction should be followed. The front piece should be rabbeted near its lower edge to fit the drawer bottom, and notched ½ in. at each end to fit the sides. The bottom and end pieces fit into grooves cut in the sides. Suitable drawer pulls or knobs should be provided.


For the doors of the bookcase, the best construction would be to tenon the rails into the stiles about ½ in. The glass panel fits in a notch, ½ in. deep and ¼ in. wide, cut around the inside edge of the door, and is held in position with molding strips. In order to give the door an appearance of being divided into four parts, mullions, or cross strips, are fitted on the outer side of the glass flush with the rails and stiles, and fastened to them with brads. The doors are attached with butt hinges.


In making the desk door, a specially selected board should be used, as the finished appearance of the desk will greatly depend on this. The ends and sides should be perfectly squared, and the lower or hinge end cut beveled corresponding to the edge of the desk board. Butt hinges are used to secure it in position, and hinged brackets or chains provided to support it when open. When closed, it rests against a strip fastened to the lower side of the bottom bookcase shelf.


In arranging the pigeonholes it is best to have the inside boards rest on the desk board, so that, when desired, the entire arrangement of the drawers and shelves may be withdrawn easily.


When thoroughly sandpapered and finished to taste, you now have a handy and attractive piece of furniture, suitable for either office or home.