Executive Desk

Marc Spagnuolo

I have always wanted to build a large executive desk. In addition to a large work surface and storage, we'll explore important technological features such as integrated power, charging ports, hidden wireless charging, and active ventilation. So the challenge will be to marry these requirements with our desire to produce a beautiful and elegant desk.

The dimensions will be 70" wide, 34" deep, and 30" high.

  • 24 lessons
  • 317 min
  • $79.00

Here's what we'll cover:

  1. Intro: Design & Materials

    A look at the overall design as well as a review of the wood and gadgets we’ll need.

  2. The Legs

    The legs are cut from a large piece of 8/4 stock.

  3. The Rails

    The rails are strategically laid out and cut. Curves are then added to the lower rails.

  4. Panels Pt. 1

    The plywood is cut down for all of the desk’s panels.

  5. Bleaching

    Bleach will be used to lighten the color of the cherry panels, providing subtle contrast with the rest of the project.

  6. Panels Pt. 2

    The rails are glued onto the panels and the wire gutter access holes are cut into the two inside panels.

  7. Right Pedestal Pt. 1 – Dadoes

    The dadoes and grooves are cut into the panels but I wind up having to deal with an epic screwup first.

  8. Right Pedestal Pt. 2 – Leg Joinery

    We have a few options for joining our legs to the panels.

  9. Right Pedestal Pt. 3 – Inner Panel Details

    The right pedestal comes together with the final panel and rail details.

  10. Left Pedestal & Leg Shaping

    The left pedestal gets caught up and the legs take their final shape.

  11. Sub-Assembly & Knock-Down Hardware

    Careful sub-assembly will make things easier for us as we install the knock-down

  12. Drawer Construction Pt. 1

    How to measure and plan for the drawer boxes when using the Blum Tandem slides.

  13. Drawer Construction Pt. 2

    With the drawer details finished off we can do the assembly and install the drawer bottoms.

  14. Drawer Slide Installation

    The slides are installed and the drawers boxes are installed.

  15. Drawer Fronts

    Sizing and installing the drawer fronts.

  16. Integral Drawer Pull

    How to make some cool looking pulls that appear to be part of the drawer front.

  17. Hidden Drawer

    A hidden drawer is installed under the left pedestal. Shh… it’s a secret!

  18. The Door

    The door is assembled with mortise and tenon joints and a muntin grid-work.

  19. Knife Hinge Installation

    The hinges are installed and the door pull is cut and installed.

  20. Stiles, Shelves, & Door Stop

    Stiles are added to the panels, shelves are made, and a door stop is installed.

  21. Top & Wire Gutter

    The top comes together along with the wire gutter and the clips that secure the top to the base.

  22. Extras

    Technology add-ons make this desk a step above the ordinary.

  23. Glass & Backer

    The glass is cut and the retainer strips are constructed.

  24. The Finish

    The oil/wax finish is applied and the desk is installed.

What will I receive?

  • Detailed cut list and plans including a PDF and a SketchUp file (Metric and Imperial).
  • Hours of detailed video instruction (24 videos in total) showing every step of the build.
  • All videos and plans are digital and will be available for download upon purchase. 

What will I learn?

  • Material selection
  • Faux frame & panel construction
  • Mortise & tenon joinery
  • Knock-down joinery options
  • Drawer construction
  • Installation of soft-close drawer slides
  • Custom sculpted drawer pulls
  • Cutting curves
  • Knife hinge installation
  • Door with muntins
  • Magnetic Catches
  • Cable management
  • Ventillation
  • Installation of hidden wireless charging
  • Bleaching wood with wood bleach
  • Hidden drawer design/construction
  • Oil/wax finishing

What will I need?


These are approximate numbers. You’ll want to buy more for waste and grain selection.

  • 7 Board Feet of 8/4 Hardwood
  • 22 Board Feet of 5/4 Hardwood
  • 20 Board Feet of 4/4 Hardwood
  • 10 Board Feet of 4/4 Secondary Hardwood (for drawers)
  • 2 Sheets of 3/4″ Plywood (Primary Species)
  • 1 Sheet of 1/4″ Plywood (Secondary Species)


Note: This is not a required list of tools. This is simply what I used during the build. Remember, there are always multiple ways to accomplish a task so if you don’t have one or more of these tools, you can very likely still make this project.

  • Planer/Jointer (alternatives: purchase pre-milled lumber kits or use hand planes)
  • Tablesaw with a Miter Gauge or sled
  • Dado Stack
  • Router
  • Router Table
  • Bandsaw
  • Drill
  • Miter Saw (for rough-cutting lumber)
  • Random Orbit Sander
  • Hand Tools – Chisels, Block Plane, Card Scraper, Router plane

Nice to have: Festool Domino, a tracksaw, Festool’s knock-down hardware kit



About Your Instructor:

Marc is a podcaster, video producer, woodworking enthusiast, and author of Hybrid Woodworking and Essential Joinery. He has contributed articles and video content to FineWoodworking.com, Popular Woodworking Magazine, WOOD Magazine, and Woodcraft Magazine. He is also the host of The Wood Whisperer, an instructional woodworking video series that’s been going strong since 2006. He is also one of the hosts of the Wood Talk podcast. He has taught classes at the William Ng School, Marc Adams School, Weekend with Wood, Fine Woodworking Live, as well as at various Rockler and Woodcraft stores. He also speaks periodically at woodworking events like AWFS and IWF.