Suitcase Desk From a Wardrobe Trunk

Scott Valentine
by Scott Valentine
16 Materials
Last year I made a desk similar to this one, but didn't take pictures during the build. So for everyone who wanted a little more detail here it is
This is what I started with. It looks like old suitcase, but it was actually a small wardrobe trunk. On one side there was a swing down tray, and the other side, hanger brackets.
Once the interior was removed I added some textured paper to the inside.
The drawer is a shallow plywood box constructed with box joints and a dado joint around the inside to hold the bottom of the drawer.
Next up came the legs. I designed a simple "X" style leg to keep with the campaign style look I was going for. I drew it out full size on some rolled craft paper so I can transfer all the angles to my miter saw and can check the pieces after they're made.
All the wood pieces on this project are made from salvaged oak flooring. Here the desk top pieces are turned upside-down, glued together, and clamped.
Thin oak pieces are glued together to form the top and bottom pieces of the sorter. Then dados were cut to hold the divider pieces, the end pieces were left thick, and a thin plywood panel was nailed onto the back.
Probably the most important part of the desk is the structural frame. It stiffens the panels of the desk, provides something firm for the drawer to ride on, gives the legs something solid to bolt to, and will really hold the weight of the desktop. It's just a simple flat frame that will sit in the bottom of the trunk.
A drawer runner on the under side of the drawer will keep it straight as it runs on the rail. Then the front panel of the suitcase is cut off and bolted to the front of the drawer.
The desktop is fitted in place, the sorter, shelf and cork board are bolted to the lid. Everything is disassembled, the wood pieces finished, then reassembled again.

And now that the power tools are quiet, Jessie can take a nap.
Scott Valentine
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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  • Sandra Lewis Sandra Lewis on Nov 09, 2018

    I love this! Can you still close the top if you want to?

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