A Standing Desk

After reading all about the benefits of a standing desk, I had been wanting to build one for my home office for some time. So after seeing this post on Ikea Hackers, I came up with a plan to use an Expedit book case and a Vika desk top to build a simple but attractive standing desk.

The first step was to do some research on the ergonomics of standing while working on a computer so I could get the height right for me.  I use some books, paint cans, and other materials to prototype the desk I figured out the correct height I would need to work and type comfortably.

To start I turned the Expedit on it’s side and attached some Ikea casters to raise the desk off the ground and make it easy to move around while I do a bigger home office remodel. To attach the desktop I used 5 inch (127 mm) bolts some PVC pipe and CDs to make the risers that sit between the Expedit and Vika desktop to get my perfect height.  This was done as close as possible to the ends to ensure the desktop was attached through the solid portion of the desktop.

To finish off the desk I purchased a monitor arm to attach my monitor to ensure it was at the right height for working as well.

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26 thoughts on “A Standing Desk

  1. Keith says:

    Amazingly nice, and looks really neat as well. Just wondering how high the desk is?

    • jason says:

      Hi Keith, since it was built specifically for me it’s 38 inches high (96.5cm) but that’s the nice thing about this design is you can tailor it to you! :-)

  2. Hi there. :) Saw this on Ikea Hackers and was very much impressed! :) So, I came here hoping for more detail. Specifically, how did you attach the cds to the the desk? I see something coming from the desktop, through the stack of CDs and then into the Expedit shelf itself. What is that? More importantly, how did you do it? :)

    • jason says:

      Hi Kelley,

      In the center is a 5″ lag screw that goes from the Expedit in to a reinforced part of the Vika desktop. Around the lag screw is a piece of PVC pipe, this pipe is the width of the CD spindle hole and the length is the height of the CD stack. This PVC pipe keeps all the CD’s straight and also established a uniform height since the CD’s compress when you tighten the screws. I added a large washer to the screw to spread the stress on the bottom as the Expedit isn’t all that strong at that point when I drilled. Some gorilla glue was used in the holes where the screws go in to the desktop, just to be sure there was a good grip. That’s about it.

      The desk is nice an solid my 4 year old grabs on and pulls with no issue! :-) The monitor arm and monitor are heavy as well and it help balance the weight.

  3. […] A Standing Desk [A Geek Dad via IKEA Hackers] Tagged:aucdsdesksdiyikeastanding desks […]

  4. Lance says:

    Jason. This looks great! I raised my banquet table with some scrap lumber a month ago to make sure I wanted to stand all day… I’m in. After perusing all these great hack ideas, I’m leaning towards your concept. I need to find a way to make mine taller though…

    Question for you: So you lagged bolts up through the Expedit and into the Vika table top? Do you find that to be rugged enough to lean on? I feel like that’s a lot of force on those lags bolts. Also, is there any tendency for the whole thing to want to come forward?

    Thanks! And again, the desk looks great.

    • jason says:

      Hi Lance,

      I lean on it all the time with no issues. The bolts with the washers on one end and gorilla glue in the top holes are working very well. The monitor arm (and monitor) is quite heavy and does provide enough counter balance for the desk.

  5. Erin says:

    which casters did you use? and how are they holding up?

  6. Mike says:

    It looks like you have created a foot rest to place one foot on while standing to reduce strain through the lumbar spine, how did you encorporate that into the desk?

    • jason says:

      Naw, not planned. That’s just the bottom of the expedit though I do rest my foot there. ;-)

      • Mike says:

        Hi Jason,

        I thought I would post a picture of my standing desk, inspired by yours. I’ve been using it for about 4 months now, and love it. I basically stand-up all day as a profession, so the transition was seamless. Your design is by far the most functional and best looking of the desks on the web.

        Thanks for the inspiration.

      • jason says:

        Hi Mike,

        The desk looks great!

    • David Perque says:

      Mike- I like your design as I’m more likely to use the Ikea bar brackets than contend with CDs and such. Can you give me a rough list of items used and the final height of the desktop? I’m 6’1″ and am thinking I need 43-45″ desk height.

      • Mike says:

        Hi David,

        My final height is 40 1/2″ (103cm). I’m 5’10” so works in well with your height.

        The item list is pretty similar to Jason’s:
        Expedit bookcase & Vika Amon table top

        In terms of the brackets I pretty much surfed the ikea website for ideas and came across them. I had to modify how I attached them to the bookcase as they’re not designed to pass through a piece of wood such as the bookcase. I had to get a threaded steel rod and cut it into 10cm long pieces and drill through the deck to then screw in the bracket and secure below with a washer. The rod only cost about $5.

        The legs on the desk are also from my local hardware store. I needed just an extra couple of inches height so stuck them on the bottom.

        If cost is an issue I would look at an alternative to the angled brackets, as they are quite costly. You can get vertical ones, but the height didn’t work out for me, so I went for the angles ones.

        Hope that helps, all the best.

      • jason says:

        Yes, my final height was 38.75″ (98.5cm) and I’m 6’0″ but it is what ever is comfortable for you. It’s a good idea to prototype it first if you’ll have no way to adjust it later.

      • David Perque says:

        I listed the parts with measurements, but get closer to 43″ – oh, well. I’m sure it’ll work out. Off to Ikea!

  7. […] there are none of these feature in our house. On order to have these new bookcases fit in with the custom desk I built, they needed to have a  uniquely modern to them. In order to keep with that idea I decided to […]

  8. […] been using the standing desk for about 8 months now and I’m loving it. It’s been very functional, I no longer have […]

  9. Erik says:

    What size Vika table is that?

    • jason says:

      It was a function of exactly how hight I wanted the desktop. I prototyped the exact best height for me to work from standing. By using the lag bolts and CD’s I could adjust the height within 1/16th of an inch (1.6mm) of that height.

  10. Jess says:

    About how much was the total cost for this desk?

  11. Robin Gai says:

    Jason, would this desk have a problem if you didn’t have the counter balance weight of your monitor and mount? This weighs about 9 or 10 lbs. combined, doesn’t it? Also, how is your monitor bracket mounted? Is it clip on or drilled through the desk top?

    • Patrick says:

      I’d be interested to know this aswell. I am really liking this desk but I fear it will tip with any sort of pressure on the front. DId you ever find this out?

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