Desks Desk

Published on January 7th, 2014 | by colsey


Alex “Cavour” Desk

The plan

The Alex drawer unit
alex drawer unit

Desk frame and legs
desk frame
desk frame

Cutting down Alex to align with frame
Cutting down Alex to align with frame

Frame attached to Alex with modified towel rail
Frame attached to Alex with modified towel rail

Ikea cord tidy
Ikea cord tidy

Drawer bracket
Drawer bracket

Top drawer from Alex, chopped to 2/3 depth, with frame
Top drawer from Alex, chopped to 2/3 depth, with  frame.

The Desk
Alex Desk


Gorm, sweet Gorm for feral cats
Vinäger lampshade

The Author

29 Responses to Alex “Cavour” Desk

  1. Christopher says:

    did you ever hear anything about the CNC for the legs. I for one am still highly interested in getting a set. If they are cost prohibitive, Is there any chance you could send out a high res version of your original draft so that we could fabricate them ourselves.

    • colsey says:

      CNC turned out to be cost prohibitive due to set-up costs. I have a hi-res scan of the plans, but not sure how to add it to the post.

    • colsey says:

      Jules kindly added the hi-res draft/plans. If you fabricate them, use the strongest hardwood you can work with, the glass top is very heavy! Good luck!

  2. brian2412 says:

    I was at my local IKEA and saw an ALEX with a filing cabinet. I was wondering if it would work on this hack. I can’t seem to find the filing cabinet on IKEA’s website so can someone please tell me what happened. Thanks

  3. Christopher says:

    Any update on the legs . Also would it be possible for you to email me a copy of the plans for the legs? The photo up top isn’t very clear Thanks.

  4. Moiz says:

    Hi I love the design and the concept.
    What to look for at home depot for the legs?

  5. Moiz says:

    Hi I love the design and the concept. What do i look for in the home depot for the legs? Also do you have more pics of making them?

    • colsey says:

      I have a few more pics, but not sure how to add them to the post. Anyway, in the hardwood section of Home Depot, look for Poplar, but I had to glue pieces together to get the right thickness. Even better, go to a hardwood specialist and get 1″ x 1 3/8″ poplar, that will save a lot of work. You’ll need around 12 foot of material per leg. Use Gorilla Glue and biscuit joints, legs need to be strong due to the weight of the glass.

  6. JameB says:

    could I get more details on the legs please?

    • JameB says:

      for that matter, any other details/plans/info would be appreciated. I’m trying to make this same table but with different dimensions.

      Which towel rails?

  7. Kevin says:

    What is the source or name for the “Drawer support”? Is it an Ikea part?

    • colsey says:

      Kevin, the drawer support is custom, I could not find anything on Ikea or the web that was remotely suitable. It is solid aluminum rod, bent to shape, with threaded holes tapped at each end for the leg screws, then polished on a buffing wheel to look like chrome.

  8. colsey says:

    For those interested in the legs, I’m exploring CNC routing services. Will get back to you.

  9. Derek larney says:

    I’d be interested in purchasing legs too ! my DIY skills aren’t that go but if I had the legs I reckon I could put the rest together- please consider it:)

  10. Kenny Lee says:

    wondering if you would reproduce and sell those legs

  11. colsey says:

    Thanks for all your comments. Yes, the organizer is SUMMERA, which is really for MALM drawers but can be hacked to fit most drawers. Desk is 28″ high, which suits me. A Cavour desk, apart from costing $15K for a modern reproduction, is enormous, far too big for my home office. While keeping the general proportions and balance of the 1949 original, my desk is scaled down to fit my room (and budget :-) ). The legs are poplar from Home Depot, each one made from about 10 individual pieces glued together then sanded and painted. 3/8″ glass top weighs a ton and the legs are stressed with the cantilever shape, but seem to be holding up well. The floating drawer and sliders are 5″ shorter than the others and it has a symmetrical finished back, giving it a clean look under the glass top.

  12. Gregory says:

    This organizer is called SUMMERA

  13. Mrtotof says:

    Hi, does anybody knows if the organiser used in the seperated drawer is from Ikea ? If yes, what’s its name ? thanks

  14. Hans says:

    Droolworthy! :D

  15. FL Mom says:

    I dunno, Mr. Carlos. Cutting the drawer set and making the leftover into the “floating” drawer puts it into the Hack category instead of the simple Idea category.

  16. Arian Arian says:


  17. Helena says:

    wow! – lovely! :) :)

  18. pwm78 says:

    Nice desk! I think it is an excellent hack, especially like cutting down the Alex unit and re-using the drawer on the right. I find desks are too tall for long hours of computer keyboarding. What height is the desktop?

  19. Archibald Tuttle says:

    Nice work!

  20. Alvaro says:

    Is very beatiful

  21. Gregory says:

    What about legs, self made? If yes please wrote a bit more about it.

  22. Carlos says:

    Not much of a hack, more like DIY Mollinos Cavour desk and use Alex as a drawer. Nice craftsmanship though.

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