Introduction: COBAKS - Workbench Keyboard Stand
COBAKS is the Clamp On Bench Adjustable Keyboard Stand
This is my quick and dirty way to fix the ergonomics of my benchtop workstation as I have just started working out in the shop a lot more lately while sheltering in place. It features tool-less installation and removal by use of the 2 knobs. It can adjust to different bench heights because it uses 1/2" threaded rod for the uprights. It is sturdy and very easy to make.
Ideal height for it is such that your forearms are level when using your keyboard. I found when my keyboard rested on my workbench it made me bend my wrist upwards which quickly became uncomfortable and inspired this quick and dirty project.
- 3/8" or thicker plywood 10 x 26" (Maybe bigger depending on the size of your keyboard)
- 12-1/8" of 2x4
- 36" of 1/2" diameter threaded rod
- 12 1/2" Nuts
- 2 5/8" Nuts
- Two pieces of plywood 3" x 6" x 1/2" or thicker to make the knobs
Step 1: Measure the Space You Need
Measure the space that you need to move your mouse around. A 1.5" for the space the bolts will take up.
Step 2: Review the Assembly
The way it works is that the stubs of threaded rod (G) spread the two clamp blocks(C). The upper clamp block has a hole drilled half way through that the top of the (G) rod presses on. The long threaded rod squeezes the two blocks together when the knob (E) is turned. Knob (E) has a 1/2" nut pressed into it using a vise. The benchtop gets squeezed between the two clamp blocks (C). The nuts (A) can be adjusted to make the threaded rods protrude from the bottom of the assembly more or less, raising or lowing the height of the keyboard tray.
Adjustment of the tray is done as follows:
- Loosen the knobs removing pressure from the clamp blocks (C)
- Move the two nuts that hold the hold the upper clamp block to adjust the height of the keyboard tray (B)
- Tighten the nuts on the upper clamp block (C)
- Tighten the knobs.
Step 3: Cut Out Some 2" Diameter Wooden Knobs
If you have a hole saw and a drill press, this is very easy. If you don't, the knobs don't even have to be round. Hexagonal or octagonal knobs would be fine too. They should be about 2" in diameter and 1/2" thick so the the nut will embed in the plywood.
Step 4: Drill 3/4" Hole in the Knobs
Enlarge the hole in the center of each of the two knobs to 3/4". A spade bit can be used.
Step 5: Press a 1/2" Nut Into Each Knob
Using a vise, or even a hammer, press a 1/2" nut into the knob crushing the wood. The nut is bigger than the 3/4" inch hole which is why it will stay when we are done. The vise will make it fit!
Step 6: Measure Your Bench Thickness.
You'll want to preset the gap between the clamp blocks to about this thickness when doing initial assembly. This design should accommodate bench tops up to about 3" thick if you use a 5" long stub piece.
Step 7: Measure the Height of the Tray You'll Need.
I needed about 4.5" inches of lift for my keyboard to comfortable. Again, this is to get it roughly correct during assembly. The design detailed here is good for an adjustment range of 2" to 8" of keyboard height boost. I needed 4.75" of boost for my 36" high workbench.
Step 8: Cut the Clamp Blocks (C)
The FOUR clamp blocks are cut from a 2x4. Rip the 2x4 into two strips about 1.25" wide (or 1/2 the width of the 2x4 if you like). Then cut the strips into 6" blocks.
Step 9: Mark Your Holes
Mark each of the blocks down the center of the block. Make a line at 3" and 5/8". These are your hole centers. Drill as shown in the diagram. Important: Two of the blocks have the 5/8" holes 1" Deep, the other two blocks have the holes all the way through. The blind holes accept the threaded rod as a pocket and give the rod something to push against.
Step 10: Cut Your Threaded Rod
Make two 12" pieces and two roughly 6" long pieces of threaded rod. Cut the first two 12" pieces, and the divide what is left in half.
Step 11: Assemble the Clamps
Thread the 6" threaded rod piece into the block with with two thru holes. Put the threaded rod into the blind hole and adjust the threaded rod until the gap between the two blocks measures about the same as the thickness of your bench top.
Thread the long threaded rod through the block with the blind hole and put a nut on either side of that block. Put the 5/8" diameter nut on top of the knob before threading it on. This will allow the knob to turn easily.
Step 12: Drill Holes in Keyboard Platform and Mount
I made the keyboard tray flush with the blocks by making the holes 3" in from the edge. They are on both sides of the keyboard to stay out of the way of the mouse. Drill them 1/2" in diameter. Bolt onto the ends of the 12" long threaded rods when done. The nuts on top of the tray could be recessed with thick enough wood, or by putting a block underneath of the tray and screwing the tray to it, but I don't mind them.
Step 13: Enjoy!
Once it is all put together, adjust the short threaded rods to keep the clamp blocks parallel when clamping on the bench. Adjust the nuts on the 12" threaded rods to set the height. Use the clamp knobs to clamp and unclamp/store the tray when you want it out of the way. Now, go enjoy typing without wrist pain and mistakes!!!