As space in offices decreases and work hours get longer and longer there is an urgent need for new and creative uses of space. Some offices are adopting open floor plans and allowing employees to work where ever they like. Others are simply decreasing desk sizes. At Instructables HQ we decided to experiment with expanding vertically.
The Double Desker stacks a standing desk on top of a standard sitting desk reducing the necessary space for two employees by 50%. As an added bonus Double Desker also incorporates a new type of work position, the lying down desk.
The desk is made from welded steel tube and walnut plywood and weighs approximately a kajillion pounds.
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Step 1: Design
The Double Desker is designed to maximize efficiency of space without creating uncomfortable working conditions for the users. The standing desk extends over top of the normal height desk but not so much that it throws shade on the bottom bunk dweller. The space below the platform could be used for storage, but we have our priorities straight so it is used as a nap spot.
Before starting fabrication I built a small scale wooden model and a 3D CAD model in Inventor to work out dimensions and generate a cut list.
Step 2: Cut
Using the measurements generated by inventor cut the 1.25 inch square steel tube to length with a cold saw and label them with a sharpie.
Step 3: Weld
Don your welding mask and prepare for an epic journey into TIG land. The welding of the frame pieces took days.
The best advice I can offer in this step is to reference the drawing often and make sure your joints are coming together at the correct angle. Keeping everything square over the entire length and width of the desk is a challenge.
Step 4: End Caps
Disassembly is key in a metal object of this scale, so the Double Desker is designed to be assembled with bolts. T nuts are welded to the inside of the end caps before welding them onto the ends of the cross pieces.
Step 5: Grind
I hope you really like loud noises, because this is going to take a while. It's time to make friends with your angle grinder. Grinding the welds took almost as long as the welding it's self.
Step 6: Angles
1/2 inch angle iron keeps the wood surfaces in place for the desk tops, shelves, standing platform and bed inclosure. When the bottom of the angle is flush with the bottom of the tube the top of 3/4 inch plywood lies flush with the top of the tube.
It is a good idea to assemble the frame before welding on the angles, because not all of the cross pieces need angles on the same sides. Clamp the angle pieces in place with vice grips and weld it on with short beads spaced about 8 inches apart down the length of the tube. Angles should be welded around the perimeter of any area where a plywood surface will lie.
Grind the welds down to a radius less than a quarter inch. If welds protrude too far the plywood won't fit correctly and the surfaces will be uneven.
Step 7: Wood Panels
Both desk surfaces, as well as the standing platform, bed inclosure and shelves are clad in walnut plywood. The panels rest on the angles welded on in the last step. Each panel is cut on the table saw and the bottom edges are rounded over with a router. The bottom of the standing platform is reinforced with a 'Z' of plywood not unlike a classic barn door.
Step 8: Assemble Frame
The frame is assembled using 1/4 20 bolts through holes in the sides and into the weld nuts in the cross pieces. The red dots in the image above represent the locations for the bolts that tie the frame together.
Step 9: Assemble Wood
The best method I found for keeping the wood panels in place was to use metal offset clips. These clips screw directly into the wood and the 1/8 inch offset fits over the angle iron perfectly. Each of the open steel tube ends is also plugged with a piece of walnut plywood.
Step 10: The Napparatus
One of the key features of the Double Desker is a comfortable place to rest. In a modern work environment the classic 9:00 to 5:00 job is less and less common and people are working longer and longer hours and sleeping at work is becoming more common.
The Napparatus shouldn't be thought of just as a place to sleep though. It can also function as an alternative work space.