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Build a Desk & Shelf Unit
More and more people are working from home these days, creating the need for functional, low-cost office furniture. And not only must it be affordable, but also durable and easy to take care of. Because this desk and shelf unit is made from Bestwood Melamine, you get all of these qualities included in this ‘how-to’ design.

This project guide has been designed to provide the main steps and guidelines to get you started.

Please read this booklet carefully before you begin, follow the simple steps, and if you need any further help or advice, please don’t hesitate to ask at your local Carters branch.  


How to handle Bestwood Melamine cut panels
Use an electric circular saw or hand saw. If using a hand saw ensure it is fine toothed and sharp. This will help avoid breakout of the Melamine finish. Also score the cutting line with a sharp knife before sawing - this will also assist in reducing breakout.
Cut the panel slightly oversize and then plane or alternatively sandpaper to the finished size for a smooth square edge so the iron-on edge tape will sit flush.

Use only 8 gauge x 40mm surefast self- countersinking screws - NOT wood screws for the desk and shelf units.

Drill pilot holes 2mm deeper than screw length to stop possible splitting.
Keep screws at least 25mm away from the edge of shelves and corners.
Do not over tighten screws, especially if the screws may have to be taken out and reinserted. The last turn should be the one which pulls the screw tight.

Use PVA or similar type of glue. Generally adhesives should be used in conjunction with screw-fixing. Apply to joints just prior to final assembly, keep damp rag (water) handy for wiping off excess glue.

Iron-On Edge Tape
Cut edges that are not seen do not need edge tape eg: the back edge of shelves when using the Bestwood Bestwhite vinyl backing or if fixing directly to a wall.

Backing Sheet (optional)
Use 3mm Bestwhite vinyl sheet for the back of the shelf unit.  


How to assemble your desk and shelf unit  

(Click for a bigger image)


Step 1
Lay out your panels of Bestwood Melamine and mark out the measurements as per the cutting plan drawings below.  

(Click for a bigger image)


Step 2
Cut out the panels.  


Step 3
Clean up the edges with a plane or sandpaper (if sandpaper, first with 80 grit then with 240 grit paper).  


Step 4
Mark out on the sides, the locations of the shelves/brace panel at your desired positions and drill 3.5mm pilot holes through the face surface of the sides. These holes should be at least 25mm from the edge of the sides (see Fig 1&3 for pilot hole positions).  

(Click for a bigger image)


Step 5
Position one shelf at a time against a side and drill a 2.5mm pilot hole into the end of the shelf/brace panel. Each hole must not be less than 2.0mm deeper than the length of the screw (see Fig 4).  


Step 6
Pre-glued edge tape can be easily ironed on using a domestic clothes iron set to 'linen' temperature. Cut required length of tape, lay on cut edge of panels with equal overhang on both sides. Cover tape with brown paper to prevent any iron marks and start ironing on from one end - use even pressure to ensure the glue melts to give a good bond. Trim the edges/ends when dry with a sharp knife or chisel.  


Step 7
Glue and screw all the shelves to the two sides - also fix brace panel to the desk sides.  


Step 8
The bottom shelf of the shelf unit may be omitted when using in combination with the desk. Ensure the metal angle brackets are securely fixed to both back bottom corners of the shelf unit and the desktop edge (see Fig 5). If necessary also fix brackets to inside faces of shelf sides/desktop to prevent movement. Also ensure metal brackets are fixed to the underside of the desktop (see Fig 1 for positioning).  





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