I switched to a standing desk at work about 6 months ago, and I don’t think I’ll ever go back to sitting. After a few weeks of getting used to it, I found it to be much more energizing to work standing up.
I planned on building one for home as well, but I hadn’t got around to designing it. That is until I found an industrial flat-panel TV cart at Goodwill for $15. It was basically in new condition with now damage or even scratches. I wasn’t exactly sure how I would use it, but I figured that the casters alone were worth at least $10 each. So I bought it. Once I got it home I checked the online price: $500.
I put the cart in the corner of my office for a couple of weeks so I could periodically look at it and decide on how I would use it for a desk. My design is not very innovative – it’s actually very simple – but just what I’ve been looking for. It’s fairly spartan, but I don’t keep much on my desk anyway.
The normal position of the worktop will be at about 41″ off the ground, which is what I have my other desk at. It will also be able to drop down to 28″, which is perfect for me while sitting in a chair. The basic design has one monitor, but with the wide bar for the flat-panel, I could easily mount two.
The upright rail has two T-slots that allow for easy adjustment with bolts – and I replace those with some star knobs. I will put them on both the keyboard shelf and monitor mounting brackets. I’ll also add some stops in the slots to keep moving between positions easy. I plan on standing most of the time, but I like the option to change it if I need to.
The bottom shelves will be for the docking station and a few other items, and they will stay fixed. The backs of the shelves will be mounted to the rail, and I’ll use metal pipe to support the fronts. I think this keeps with the industrial / minimalist design.
I removed all the hardware from the rail. Everything is heavy-duty, likely 12 gauge steel.
The DVR shelf easily unbolted from the support bracket, which will now be the mount for the keyboard shelf.
The shelves are going to made from some rough-sawn pine I have. I have a 1″ thick piece that’s 16″ wide 12′ long that will make everything.
I’m going to clean this up with my grinder and a wire wheel, then I’ll sand it with 120 and 220 grit. This will give it a smooth surface, but also leave the large saw marks for the rustic look. I’ll stain the wood dark and seal it with polycrylic.
Part 2 will be making the shelves.