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Folding Stand Up Desk (yet another)

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I decided to test using a stand up desk, and found I like it. So, I decided to make one from some 12 inch wide scrap particle board shelving. 

About 40 years ago I read that William Proxmire, US Senator from Wisconsin, had a desk built for him that allowed him to stand while working. After commenting about Proxmire and his desk on another Instructable related to weight loss, someone suggested I do an Instructable on building a stand up desk. There are already several published Instructables related to stand up desks, and they will certainly be displayed in the Related Instructables at the far right of this Instructable's pages.

Here is an article on why sitting at a desk hours at a time is not healthful and why a stand up desk is better. 
 
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Step 1: Tools and materials

My goal was to use up some scrap chip board shelving. It is nominally 12 inches wide and I have 5 feet 4 inches of it. I also used four door hinges I found at our local Restore, an outlet for donated building supplies, the proceeds of which fund homes built by Habitat for Humanity. Naturally, I used some 3/4 x #10 bevel head metal screws to fasten the hinges to the chip board pieces. 

For tools I used sawhorses, a 7 1/4 inch circular saw, a measure, a square, a straight edge, "C" clamps, a drill, a screwdriver, and a pencil. I also made use of something I built in another Instructable to assist in cutting stock with a circular saw. (I did modify it and will mention the additions to it when that part of this Instructable comes.)

Pictured is the shelving on my sawhorses. Note the text boxes for layout instructions. Make a pencil line. This line provides a gentle slope to the top of the desk that makes reading and writing on the desk more natural. By making this angle cut about a dozen inches inward from the end of the shelf, I can cut once and the same angle will be on both upright pieces. 
ewilhelm2 years ago
In the images, I see that your monitor is still on your desk causing you to look down at it. Have you moved it up to eye-level while standing yet?
Phil B (author)  ewilhelm2 years ago
No, I did not. That would be a good idea.
This is really excellent! I love the simplicity and the foldable sides, well done. :)
Phil B (author)  gallimaufry133 years ago
Thank you for looking. If you would like, I could put a link to your weight loss Instructable in the Introduction where I referred to it somewhat obliquely. Have you noticed that the simple things take the most time to develop? Even though you said you have not done much with wood, I think you could do this.
That's very kind, but I think your instructable stands on it's own and a link is is a bit dispensable. Thank you, though!

I'm about to move, but once my things are unpacked I'll be back to building. I've worked with metals before, and I've really wanted to work on a wood project but never quite found the right moment to start. This shall be my first attempt!
Phil B (author)  gallimaufry133 years ago
After my wife and I married, I made some of our furniture. My efforts matured in their quality as the years went on, and we are still using it after almost 40 years. My adventures with woodworking began when I was about five years old. We had a ready supply of old wood lath. (It was rough sawn, about 5/16 inch thick, 1 1/2 inches wide, and 30 or so inches long. It held plaster on walls long before anyone had ever heard of drywall.) It was great for making pirate swords for our play duels. Working with lath taught me that I could not pound a large nail through two small pieces of lath and expect them not to split and crack. From there it was simply a series of many small learning steps to cabinetmaking with quality woods. I wish you well. If your first effort turns out poorly, you can always cut it up for raw materials and start over on a new one with new materials.
majeral3 years ago
I too have read the benefits of standing at the pc rather than sitting all dayBut I don't have access to any tools So iwent to Goodwell and looked around I found a little 2 shelf stand It was $3.00 just needed to tighten the screws and I did that. works great but does not fold down. Nice job ..
Phil B (author)  majeral3 years ago
That is great. In articles like the one I linked in the Introduction, you will read of people using a cardboard box with a couple of books to make the final height adjustment. Anything that works for you is good. Thank you.
Minotaur3 years ago
Not so sure I need a stand up desk, but this would make a brillant portable desk. I'm an office worker think I could use a keyboard balancing on my head. That said the new screens with built in privace are a nightmare.

Need something to be able to write in bed, problem with a limited space.

Also you could make a desk from your chair which in these days of clever TV or Tv doubling as PC's would be useful as well. Think about it add another bit which goes under the cushion, and shorten the one leg so it sits on the arm. Some bluetack on the keyboard, and somewhere to drop the mouse.

Thanks for a brillant idea.
Phil B (author)  Minotaur3 years ago
Thank you. It sounds like you are 3/4 of the way to an Instructable on adapting a chair to be a desk in itself.
Thanks Phil! I would add some way of keeping the sides from flopping out while carrying it and maybe a handle to carry it. My Dad made me a step stool with a hole in the top to put my hand thru to carry it with. I'm not sure where that would work with this.
Carol@EcoReality.org
Phil B (author)  Carol Wagner3 years ago
Carol,

Magnets or Velchro would keep the hinged verticals from "deploying." I do not anticipate carrying this much, other than to put it into a nearby closet when not in use. Perhaps something simple with straps would make a good handle for carrying. The particle board is heavy and I used nearly five linear feet of it. I did have a thought that the desktop could be shortened if: a) the user did not mind that one of the vertical supports does not fold all of the way to be flat, or b) if a spacer were placed under the hinges on one side to raise that hinge the thickness of the other vertical folded. Then the vertical with the spacer would fold flat to make a shorter package three layers thick. This vertical would also need to be shortened the thickness of the spacer with the hinge fitted to it. A shorter desktop would mean less weight.
rimar20003 years ago
GREAT, Phil!

I love folding thigs, and more if they are useful!
Phil B (author)  rimar20003 years ago
Thank you, Osvaldo. I think I am noticing some real benefits from standing more and sitting less.
randofo3 years ago
Nice! I like this. I've been thinking about building a stand like this. I think I've found a winner.
Phil B (author)  randofo3 years ago
Thanks, Randy. The very sturdy hinges I got at the Habitat "Restore" were only 75 cents each for a cash layout of $3 plus tax plus the screws I used. If you have not already, check the article linked in the Introduction. Some important physiological functions are greatly diminished when we sit all of the time. Please post a photo of yours when you are ready. I would very much like to see it.
pfred2 Phil B3 years ago
I got this box of 3 dozen hinges for $2 at a garage sale:

http://i.imgur.com/IpCXj.jpg

in the back of the picture. They're sturdy. Tax what's that?

I think some important relaxing functions are enhanced when we sit down. In fact I'm relaxing here right now:

http://img16.imageshack.us/img16/9803/compstand.jpg

I made it out of some scrap wood I found on the side of the road. I think it was a bed headboard?

I get enough standing up in over here:

http://i.imgur.com/VannV.jpg

Although I'm known to setup a folding chair by that bench too depending on what I'm up to. If you look really closely you can see the folding chair in question in this image:

http://i.imgur.com/c5xvu.jpg

You just might have to sit down in order to see it though :) Hint: It is behind the yellow extension cord.

If I can do it sitting down I do. For me sitting is more ergonomic promoting focus and steadiness. Now there's a lot to be said for lying down too but I'll leave that topic for another day ...

I wouldn't expect anything less from you Phil, right to the point, simple and easy to build and so practical. Very nice inbl and project.
Thank you
Thank you very much, Steli.
ChrysN3 years ago
Nice, it's great that you can fold and store it away.
Phil B (author)  ChrysN3 years ago
Chrys, thank you. Because it folds as it does, the desktop is longer than it otherwise might have been. But, that means there is room for a book to read and paper to make notes, or for a keyboard and a mouse. I think the length of my desktop is about 28 inches. It is a very comfortable size.
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