This is probably the easiest "do-it-yourself" animation desk if you have the right tools to make a precision circular cut like that. (it's trickier than it might seem at first, so "measure twice, cut once" and be careful.)
(you can also purchase a wooden drafting table with the hole pre-cut from Alan Gordon Enterprises or Cartoon Colour Co.)
Do-It-Yourself Animation Desk plans
Here is a link showing Sheridan College animation student Brock Gallagher making an animation desk very similar to the one shown in the plans above:
Building a Do-It-Yourself Animation Desk
Here is another do-it-yourself animation desk project with photos and detailed instructions:
How To Make An Animation Desk - Part 1 -4
The finished product from the project linked above:
(click on images to see them larger)
Here animation student Dan Caylor shows the portable desk that he refurbished and added a backlight unit to:
UPDATE: I'm happy to say I recently heard from animation student Marty Walker who built an Animation Desk using the Jim McCaulay plans I posted above. Check out the results :
Marty was also good enough to list all the Materials and Tools needed for the project . See the link to his blog for the materials list.
By the way, for those of you who may not recognize the name of Jim McCaulay he was a great teacher of animation at Sheridan College in the 1970's , 80's, and into the 90's. Jim is retired now, but he influenced many of us who attended Sheridan's Classical Animation Program during those days. Here's a photo of Jim with a student :
(teacher Jim McCaulay with animation student
Cathy Parkes at Sheridan College , about 1980.)
Jim also co-authored a book on storytelling in animation called "And Then What Happened?" with another Sheridan professor , Zack Schwartz.