Originally Posted by whiteslashasian
I wasn't implying that you're just trying to make a "plain" surface. However carpentry and furniture building isn't exactly rocket science.
Use quality woods, steer clear of thin pine and any particle boards if you can.
What style are you going for? Sleek and modern? Provincial Country? Rustic?
Not saying this is what you want, but it gives you a good idea on what can be required depending on complexity. http://www.minwax.com/wood-projects/pdfs/advanced-project-computer-workstation.pdf
I'm building a desk right now to go along with a wall unit I'm building. Steel pipe and old pine boards (like 1.5" thick) are being used. Going for a more minimal theme with my setup though.
Ideally I'm looking to make a rustic wrap-around (or corner, or L-shaped) desk with half serving as a computer desk and half as a writing surface. Similar to this http://www.renofurniture.com/Updated%20Images/Furniture/rusticoak/2862-2-large.gif
minus the cabinet in the background. That link is pretty helpful -- definitely don't have all the requisite tools.
A few concerns I had when I was thinking about this further:
1. Sag of the top board under the weight of a lot of stuff. This has happened in most desks I've encountered, but I'm not sure if that's from cheap material or age or what.
2. Figuring out how much load-bearing is needed to make it sturdy.
3. Ideally this would be modular. I don't plan on taking it apart IKEA style, but in case of moving in the future it would be nice if it "disassembled" into pieces.