For context, I'm no professional but I'm comfortable figuring things out with advice/instructions. I'm planning on building an L-shaped desk for my kids. I've already selected the important materials, but I have some questions on assembly. First, here are the pieces I am using (I will put pictures at the end of the post).

  • 3 Pottery Barn cabinets/pedestals (link)
    • All three are 16" wide x 20" deep x 29" high
  • 2 butcher block slabs (link) and (link)
    • One is 74" x 25" x 1.5"
    • The other is 98" x 25" x 1.5"

Here is a diagram of how I plan to configure these pieces:

Desk Diagram

Here are my questions. I'm super excited to receive any advice you are willing to offer, but assume if you suggest something I will need a good reference (e.g. if you suggest a ledger board and you know of a good reference, can you point me to it or tips?). Again, I'm no pro.

  • Obviously the longer butcher block needs something to support it on the side with no cabinet. I suppose I could add a couple pipe legs? What is my best bet for getting something the exact right height as the other cabinet? See my wall desk question below, maybe that is my best bet?
  • On the longer butcher block, I'm going to have some weight there including a computer and heavy hutch. What should I do to support this length? I want to stay away from legs in the front of the desk.
  • On the shorter butcher block, will the two cabinets be enough to support the butcher block?
  • I assumed I would make this a wall desk, but I suppose it doesn't have to be. It might help with supporting the desk at the back (especially on the 98" piece). I've seen there are options such as adding a ledger board on the wall. Pros/cons of making this a wall desk?
  • How should I attach the two pieces of butcher block?
  • How should I attach the cabinets to the butcher block?
  • Obviously the cabinet depth is 5" shorter than the depth of the butcher block. I'd like to have the front of the cabinets flush with the front of the desk. Therefore, I'll have a 5" gap at the back. Aesthetically, do you think this will be an issue? Any suggestions on how to address this?

Here are pictures of the pedestals I am using:

enter image description here enter image description here

Thank you in advance for your time and help!

  • Is there some reason you've decided to run the top supported by just one cabinet through? You'd save some hassle by doing the reverse. That and ledgers ("cleats", actually) would take care of things nicely.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 21:03
  • I've had unsupported butcher block break. I would support it on something like plywood, which rests on the pedestals. The plywood can be a little smaller so that the edge isn't visible, and you can further hide the edge by painting it black or matching the pedestal color.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Jul 6, 2018 at 4:05

1 Answer 1


I would add a fourth cabinet to support the long run of the top pieces but at about 27" from the end that is in the corner. This would put two cabinet faces at right angles to each other and preclude opening drawers from both at the same time but should be of the most minor inconvenience.

The extra cabinet idea would eliminate any need to attach things to the walls.

My take is that I would set the cabinet faces an inch from the front edge of the top. That will make it look a lot better.

The top is attached to the cabinets by placing screws up through the top of the cabinet from inside the cabinet and into the bottom of the top pieces.

Joining the two top pieces together can be as simple as using several flat metal strap pieces placed across the joint and screwed into each piece up from the bottom. You can get these strap pieces at a hardware store in the same area where angle and corner brackets are found. Here is an example:

enter image description here

(Picture captured from Home Depot web site)

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