Standing Desk

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Project by ChrisJ posted 08-03-2011 04:49 AM 5164 views 15 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I had been wanting to make my own desk for a while and when I changed positions at work it was the perfect time. I had been reading a lot about the benefits of standing desks and decided to give that a try. I searched online to find one that I liked—since they’re becoming so popular, there are many to choose from. Once I found this style I used SketchUp to draw the plan and set to it.

I got to try out a lot of things I’ve never done before: laminating (2” square legs), building drawers, putting a nice finish on instead of simply painting, and inlaying (imitation) leather. It was a good experience all told, just took way longer than I anticipated.

The desk is primarily made of Poplar except for the flat side (Birch ply edged with poplar) and the back of the slanted side (made a measuring mistake and ran out of wood; nearest supply is 50 minutes and I got impatient). I used pocket holes for the desk and the slant top lid (which opens), making my own plugs. Finish is a specially mixed stain that I got from a co-worker with spar varnish over the top, 4 super-thin coats. Not sure it’s enough for the long term but we’ll see.

I’m pleased with how it turned out for the most part. You can see cut marks in the legs where my jitterbug sander just wasn’t enough but that’s really the only thing that catches my eye when I walk in my office in the morning. Next, I’m going to make a footstool and a bookshelf stained to match.

9 comments so far

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 5123 days

#1 posted 08-03-2011 05:39 AM

Nice looking desk.

View ChrisN's profile


259 posts in 5224 days

#2 posted 08-03-2011 01:43 PM

Very Nice!!!

Thanks for sharing!


-- Chris N, Westford, MA - "If you won't eat something from your fridge that turned green...why would you eat something that started out that way?"

View Bertha's profile


13635 posts in 4144 days

#3 posted 08-03-2011 01:58 PM

Very attractive. I can’t imagine using a standing desk myself, but if you’re going for it, why not build a gorgeous one. Nice work!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 4518 days

#4 posted 08-03-2011 02:02 PM

Great job!! Like the design.

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View Popsnsons's profile


459 posts in 4432 days

#5 posted 08-03-2011 03:55 PM

I like the design. Nice work!

-- Pops ~ In So Cal...

View BigDaddyO's profile


136 posts in 4228 days

#6 posted 08-03-2011 07:17 PM

Very nice, i was thinking about getting one for a while but there is no room in my Cube for it. Are you going to get one of those really nice kitchen gel mats to stand on?

That would be sweet to be able to stand on that mat without shoes on and work at that desk…
Great job

edit: ps why would you need a foot stool to match? aren’t you going to be standing the whole time?


View Randy Price's profile

Randy Price

242 posts in 4951 days

#7 posted 08-03-2011 08:12 PM

Chris -

A good project – I’ve been thinking about a stand-up desk too.

For those wondering why use a stand-up desk, visit


View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 4646 days

#8 posted 08-04-2011 07:45 PM

Nice, I like the multi-level style.

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

View ChrisJ's profile


65 posts in 4270 days

#9 posted 08-06-2011 02:51 AM

Thanks everyone…

Mike, I did get a gel mat and it works well. The most difficult thing with the standing desk is learning how to stand correctly, with your weight balanced…with the mat I tend to put most of my weight on my heels which isn’t good. The footstool is meant to be used when you need to rest one of your legs; it stops you from simply cocking your hips to take the weight off one leg which throws of your spine and can lead to back problems.

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