After putting together all the major components of my custom desk project I started last week, I'm now ready to finish up by starting the process of sanding down the glue used to piece together my exotic wood DIY desk...
After sanding the excess glue from the wood, I clamped a board to the surface to help square off the ends with a router. A router is basically a fast moving drill that uses the sides of the "drill bit" to cut rather than the plunging action you might normally associate with using a saw.
By setting up a temporary wall, I can guide the side of the router along the wood edge to cut a smooth and straight finish (this could be done with a number of different tools available at hardware shops).
So now the whole thing was cut to dimensions that I was happy with, about 19" x 66", a sufficiently large desk. I now needed to smooth all the corners and then add some support to keep the plane straight, remembering my initial equation of "flat surface + IKEA legs = desk". Actually, the wood is stiff enough to support itself, but the real purpose of having this hidden beam is to have a place to hide wires, cables, and other accessories related to a computer setup.
I used dowels to "pin" the straight beam underneath to the board, in addition to more glue per dowel (above and below). Then I clamped it and let it set for several hours.
The IKEA Vika Inge legs (the very same models appropriated for speaker duty recently) come with mounting brackets (shown below) which are super easy to screw in. The screws were too long for my 5/8" table thickness, so I had to dip into my miscellaneous parts bin to find some shorter ones. The legs can be mounted facing any direction for preference.