FREE Roll Top Desk Woodworking Plans [WHERE TO FIND?]

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There are a number of reasons why people want to build their own furniture. Some want to save money, others want to make a piece of furniture that reflects their tastes, and some want the experience of building something themselves. If you are thinking of building your own roll top desk, you are in luck. In this post we will search the internet for free roll top desk woodworking plans, so you don’t have to. There are lots of dead plan sites out there, you won’t need to see those after reading this article 🙂 Are you in? Please read on….

If you’re a busy woodworker who’s fed up with spending hours searching for woodworking plans, I have a solution for you. Check out my recommended pack of woodwork plans. Although it comes at a cost, it provides access to over 10,000 plans in a single place for approximately $50-60. This is a substantial bargain compared to purchasing individual plans at $15-30 each. It’s a valuable resource that will save you a lot of time. Take a look HERE.

Internet Based Plans

Lets kick off this search with our internet based search. Yes, I know YouTube is on the internet too, but I am talking about those trusty search engines (like Google) that everyone uses to find stuff out!!

When I first landed on, I was like ‘oh crap’ this is the exact type of dead plan site I described above. This feeling was compounded when I clicked the first plan link only to be taken to a dropped and defunct site! However, all was saved on the second click. As if by magic, I was taken to an awesome rolltop desk wookworking plan by Minwax. This is probably one of the highest quality free plans I have seen for a while. It really is a professional piece of work, with full cut lists, material lists and diagrams. What a start! (although the other links on this site were stil garbage!!).

Next up we have Stans Plans. They have come up with a decent set of web based instructions alongside some plan images that show the different pieces and their dimensions. This plan is certainly of the ‘old school’ variety, providing a massive wall of text to read and hard to see images. It defenitely works, but after that epic first plan this one seems rather out of date in comparison.

I got all excited when I saw the rolltop desk page from Woodsmith Plans. They have a really nice set of images, meaning I was expecting a high quality plan underneath. Unfortunately, upon further expection I found out they want us to pay $12.95 for a single woodworking plan! No dice I’m afraid! My hopes of a free plan were dashed!

That leaves us with one final plan to look at, actually it’s our friends over at House Grail with a listicle rather than just a single plan. However, this is a very well put together listicle as far as woodworking plans go. They have managed to find some highly original plans plans that are of high quality and can’t easily be found yourself by Googling. This is not just a lazy listicle, and it is worth your attention. Also, I am tired of listicles of woodworking plans with many dead links, whereas this one didn’t have any. Good job House Grail!

YouTube Based Plans

With the search engine part of the search done, let’s move onto YouTube. I mean, it’s the biggest and greatest video platform online so it should be brimming with quality plans, right?? Let’s find out!

Well, I have to say I was pretty disappointed! There were quite a few ‘rag to riches’ tales of taking a crappy secondhand rolltop desk and making it look like a million dollars 🙂 If that’s your thing, you are in luck. However, we are looking for woodworking plans and I could literally only find two on the whole of YouTube!

First up we have a video by Acutabove Woodworking. I was expecting something amazing when I saw the runtime of around 26 minutes! However, although this video does walk you through the process of making a rolltop desk step by step, it uses a paid plan at its base. And if you don’t have this plan, I reckon you are going to struggle to get all the right dimensions and materials etc. And this plan isn’t cheap, coming in at just over $27. It’s a shame really, because this could have been an awesome free resource. Oh well!

Upon watching the final video, it hit me that we were scraping the bottom of the plan barrel here. No offense to the video creator, but this video is more like a hit-or-miss vlog of someone attempting to make a rolltop desk for the first time. And no physical plans are offered, and the exact details of the measurements are not fully clear from watching the video. It could still be a decent guide, as long as you are not looking for a 100% perfect professional tutorial.

There is another video of a rolltop desk (I lied), but it is an ancient video from ‘The New Yankee Workshop’ that looks like it was filmed on a potato. If this doesn’t offend your eyes you can still glean a lot of useful information. This is the best 480p YouTube can offer 🙂

Today’s search really does highlight how hard it can be to find quality, free woodworking plans. It’s crazy to think how little is out there, even on YouTube. And paid plans for up to $27 a pop is just plain crazy. This is why I like to buy big packs of quality plans, so I pay less but still have a load of quality plans at my fingertips. If you want to take a look at the official site of the plan pack I currently use, you can click HERE. Yes, you need to pay a little money, but to me the time savings are worth it!