Convertible Standing/Sitting desk

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Project by Adam D posted 01-21-2015 12:34 AM 1990 views 5 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A lot of health-conscious folks at work convinced me that standing is probably better for me than sitting all day. They ended up turning some filing cabinets on their side and mounting their external monitors to that. When they got tired and wanted to sit for a few minutes, they were forced to abandon their external monitors and just use their tiny little laptop screen. I couldn’t settle for that.

I first built a prototype with plywood and brought that into the office to decide what I liked and didn’t like. I ended up tweaking the dimensions a bit and adding some structural supports on the side. When lowered, the support on the right doubles as a table-top extension, and the support on the left is thick and serves as a foot for the surface to rest on. There’s also platform on the back to keep my monitor mount from bottoming out.

All the wood is red oak finished with linseed oil and wax, and the supports are just perforated angle that I painted white.

I routed a small slot to hold my cell phone upright–I thought that was a nice touch. Everyone was disappointed that I didn’t permanently glue in a cable to charge it :)

I salvaged a gas shock from an old car (held the trunk open) to help assist in raising the top. It turned into a much bigger project than I’d anticipated, but I’m overall pretty pleased with how it came out!

-- Adam, Rochester NY

4 comments so far

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

1128 posts in 4397 days

#1 posted 01-21-2015 06:05 PM

Interesting approach. What’s wrong with sitting. I’m a Unix Sys admin and sit all day. Standing is overrated ;) The concept wouldn’t work for me since I use a dual horizontal monitors to extend my laptop desktop

-- Scott, Irmo SC

View Adam D's profile

Adam D

103 posts in 3239 days

#2 posted 01-21-2015 06:27 PM

How do your monitors mount? I’m sure you could find some way to secure the stand they’re mounted to to the top of the desk. As for the health concerns, here are the alleged reasons:

-- Adam, Rochester NY

View dlong0's profile


18 posts in 2850 days

#3 posted 02-09-2015 10:52 PM

Do you have plans for this? I want to build one.

-- dlong0

View Adam D's profile

Adam D

103 posts in 3239 days

#4 posted 02-10-2015 12:57 AM

I don’t. I first made a prototype with just plywood so I could get a feel for how much room I needed and how tall I wanted it to be. There’s lots of gotchas in terms of how it folds up:
  • perforated angle is NOT the same width as height (differs by 1/4”!)
  • The width of the surface cannot be skinnier than the height (or else it won’t fold down)
  • The way you mount the gas-shock can’t interfere with the legs as it folds down
  • The bolts that attach the wood to the iron cannot interfere with the legs as it folds down
  • Attach the two (wooden) side supports when the desk is collapsed! If you cut/drill/attach them when it’s up, it might not close right…

Feel free to post here with any questions. I’d be glad to provide any measurements or photos you want.

-- Adam, Rochester NY

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