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.Β  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.Β  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.

30 thoughts on “A Standing Desk”

    1. 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! πŸ™‚

  1. Hi there. πŸ™‚ Saw this on Ikea Hackers and was very much impressed! πŸ™‚ 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? πŸ™‚

    1. 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! πŸ™‚ The monitor arm and monitor are heavy as well and it help balance the weight.

  2. 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.

    1. 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.

  3. 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?

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

    1. 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.

  4. 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?

    1. 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?

  5. Hello,
    I’m a bit late to this conversation and have found that some of the IKEA products used no longer exist, like the Expedit book case. Now they only have a shelving unit that’s a whopping 58″ high. If anyone has an idea of a substitute please say so. I’m 5’9″ and have not done any measurements yet but I assume I can’t use what IKEA is offering right now for the supporting structure. I like the storage this gives rather than just having legs there. I want to leave my office as open as possible. Thank you.

  6. Woops, I was looking at the wrong measurement. (can you tell this is not my strong suit!) The latest Expedit shelving unit is 35×58 5/8″. I think that’s only a few inches wider than the previous version so maybe it will work for my height? (5’9″).

    I would very much appreciate suggestions for how to determine the correct overall height of the desk for best ergonomics. 90 degree at the elbow? Anything else to keep in mind. (My husband will only build this once!)

    Thank you!

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