Child’s Desk & Chair Set

One weekend and a single sheet of plywood is all that’s required to make this compact Child’s Desk and Chair Set!

First, cut your plywood sheet in half across its 48″ width, separating the top of the sheet from the bottom and establishing the 48″ length of pieces B, E & F, as shown in the CUTTING LAYOUT. It’s best to use a straightedge with a hand-held circular saw for this job — or to enlist the help of an assistant if you’re using a table saw.

From this point, make all of your straight cuts, creating pieces B, C, E & F. If your saw blade takes a standard 1/8″ kerf when it makes a cut, you should be left with a 15-1/8″ wide x 48″ long piece from the top of the sheet (from which you will cut the chair sides)…and a 48″ wide x 44-5/8″ long piece from the bottom of the sheet (from which you will cut the chair seats, backs, spreaders and supports).

Cut the 15-1/8″ wide x 48″ piece exactly down the middle, creating two 15-1/8″ wide x 23-15/16″ pieces…each of which will make two chair sides. Rip 1/8″ off the width of each piece, creating two pieces 15″ wide x 23-15/16″ long.

Cut the 48″ x 44-5/8″ piece exactly down the middle, creating two 44-5/8″ x 23-15/16″ pieces for the two desk sides.

Use your hand-held sabre saw or scroll saw to cut the chairs apart…remove the seats, backs, spreaders and supports from the desk side cut-outs…and cut all the indicated radii on the various pieces.

NOTE: The heights of your chair seats will be slightly less than the indicated 12″ due to the widths of the kerfs taken by your sabre saw or scroll saw.

Remember that sharp, exposed plywood edges will pose a splinter hazard for young hands, so be sure to sand all edges smooth with a drum sander…then round them over with sandpaper or a 3/8″ rounding-over router bit. If there are edge voids when you’re finished, fill them with a good quality wood putty, allow them to dry and smooth them carefully by hand with sandpaper before applying your finish.

IMPORTANT: Do NOT round-over the ends of the table top (B), supports (C), back (D), or shelf (E) — or the ends of the seats (H), chair backs (J), chair spreaders (K) or chair supports (L).

Next, dry assemble all pieces with drywall/particleboard screws, using a variable speed drill. It helps to drill pilot holes first to be certain your screws are going straight into the edges of the mating plywood pieces. Once you’re confident that all pieces are fitting together properly, disassemble the pieces, apply glue and reassemble using screws and clamps.

Apply a primer coat before painting with a lead-free paint.

NOTE: Actual seat heights will be slightly less due to width of kerf taken by saw used to cut out the chair sides (G).

Desk Components
ASides(2)23-15/16 x 32
B(Top 1)21 x 48
CSupports (2)1-1/2 x 48
DBack (1)Irreg. shape x 48
EShelf (1)9 x 48
FSpreader (1)2-1/2 x 48
Chair Components
GSides (4)12-7/8 x 23-15/16
HSeats (2)10 x 15-1/4
JBacks (2)6 x 15-1/4
KSpreaders (2)2 x 15-1/4
LSupports (2)2 x 15-1/4