Standing desk prototype #1

Furniture & Lighting Woodworking
Standing desk prototype #1

I built an elevated platform so I could try working at a standing desk. It’s 11.5 inches high,
and I built it from .75″ x .75″ sticks and .5″ plywood. I added lots of triangular bracing and then sat on it to make sure it could hold my 27″ iMac without collapsing. I just started using it this morning so I can’t say how much I like it yet.

I’m standing on a gardener’s kneeling pad, which is probably too spongy. I might switch to a yoga mat.

This is a prototype. I am going to use this one for a week, take notes, and make another prototype. (First note for Prototype 2 – a nook under the plywood to hold the external drives and USB hub.)

Here’s Donald Rumsfeld at his most charming (which is about as charming as a monitor lizard) defending his standing desk and explaining to the CNN host that Thomas Jefferson had one and that naval officers use them. Go Rummy!

18 thoughts on “Standing desk prototype #1

  1. Anonymous says:

    Cool! Now make it adjustable! Got to sit sometimes, right?

  2. Cameron Knight says:

    You should try standing on a “Chef’s Mat.” They make mats specifically for chefs who have to stand an at a stove or prep station all day. They’re a great density, perfect for this purpose.

  3. Joshua Cadwell says:

    I think the extra thickness of the mat would help to give you an extra workout, by having to maintain your balance, just a thought

  4. Anonymous says:

    Your best best is to use an anti-fatigue mat from the hardware store. I picked up a couple of craftsman mats (#59964) on sale for my garage workbench and they really made a difference.

  5. Art Mulder says:

    Hmm, I built one ~3 years ago after back injury. Yours seems over engineered. Why not just a 3/4″ plywood top + sides/legs and then a horizontal cross brace to prevent racking?

    What I also did, since I too worked on a mac, was to arrange it so it was on a desk oriented 90 degrees to the main desk. I then connected a second USB kbd+mouse, and an external monitor – which mirrored the main display. So when necessary, I would stand at the desk and work on the computer, and at other times I could alternate and sit down at the computer. This gave me two working positions.

  6. Art Mulder says:

    ps: another good idea is to have a sort of foot stool available. Then you can stand on one foot, with one foot up on the foot stool — alternating feet as needed. That also helps with fatigue from standing.

  7. Alan says:

    I became an upstanding worker about six months ago, but did it the really easy way – my desk is an Ikea Jerker with fully adjustable height. The hardest part was unplugging everything and re-routing the cables afterward. It took about two weeks to get used to the position. A high stool helped enormously during that time. Since then, I’ve enjoyed freedom from back problems, automatic access control (my five-year-old can’t easily reach my computer anymore), a huge boost in leg endurance, and better productivity.

    No floor padding for me. I wear comfortable shoes, and that seems to be sufficient.

  8. Ed Hickcox says:

    I find this pretty hilarious, actually. I work as a locksmith and stand at a workbench for most of my day without access to a computer. I frequently find myself wishing for an opportunity to sit down at a desk during the day!

  9. Nick O'Neill says:

    If you can’t extend from the top, extend from the bottom! I propped up my standard IKEA mikael with some longer legs. It’s surprisingly sturdy:

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Mark Frauenfelder is the founding Editor-in-Chief of Make: magazine, and the founder of the popular Boing Boing blog.

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