I'm looking for a simple way to raise/lower an existing desk for seated/standing pc work.

This is the closest thing I've found yet: http://www.ergospec.com/products/retro_lift_systems/retrofit.html
I have been tinkering with a crank/cable idea, maybe counter-weighted; nothing good yet.  It has to raise/lower about 18 inches smoothly and with good stability.  Manual cranking is preferred - electric motors or hydraulics seem too complex/expensive.  Thanks!

Just uploaded a photo of the desk.

One more note - if I were stating from scratch, I might look at one of these: http://www.geekdesk.com/.  But I like this desk, just want a bit more flexibility (maybe even slide a treadmill under one day if I can raise it even further)

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jeff-o7 years ago
Hmmm, the best I can come up with is a scissor-lift built under the table top, driven by a crank on the side.  Unfortunately, it would take some carpentry skill to pull it off, and you'd basically have to tear apart the desk to do it.
Re-design7 years ago
You could attach the draw slides to the bottom of the legs pointing down so that when extended they would raise the desk.  I would add a cross piece at the bottom attached to the end of the slides that would make them have a bigger foot print and the desk would not be so unstable.  (If that makes any sense)
Re-design7 years ago
I thought about this while I drove across town and back.

It looks to me that if you put something on the legs to lift up the desk it's going to be unstable.  I would put a new desk top on and lift that up.

What I came up with is to mount heavy duty drawer slides like these on the side of the legs and cut holes in the existing desk top so that the extensions can go up thru the top.

Build a new top and attach it to the extensions so that when lowered it rests on the existing top.  I would also build some drop down legs that were 18" tall so that when the new top is raised the legs help hold it up not just the drawer slides.

I guess you could use air cylinders to raise up the top.  A hand pump or cheap 12 volt air pump would do it.  Add a valve with a restriction to release the pressure and lower the table slowly.

You could also raise the table in a similar way using long threaded rods called "All Thread" but you'd have to figure out a way to turn all four at the same time.  You could use a bicycle chain and gears mounted to the rods.  This system wouldn't need the extra fall down legs since there is no way for the table to lower accidentally. 
spokehead (author)  Re-design7 years ago
I see where you're going - this is a nice-ish desk; kinda hate to drill the top if standing isn't as fabulous as I hear, but it does make sense.  I thought about a simple platform with guides (maybe those slides are the perfect thing) and I raise the two sides at the same time - seems like a crank and chain/cord could do that smoothly if I can figure out the mechanics.  Actually I just figured that someone else would have already figured all this out!  Thanks for the advice, much appreciated.
Re-design7 years ago
CAn you post a picture of the desk.  It might help to know a little more about what we are working with.

It's an interesting problem.