Sitting is the new Smoking... or so I've heard. It's not good for your back or for your posture, and it burns less calories than standing. Standing desks are gaining popularity and I experience some back pain after a day of sitting, so I decided to retrofit my current dest to be a standing desk. Careful though... if you do this at work, be prepared a deluge of requests from co-workers to make them a set of booties too! I was able to do this project at TECHSHOP SF (www.techshop.ws) in the wood shop.
Step 1: Generic Table/Desk
I began by taking a careful look at the generic table that my office uses for desks. Here is a clean one so you can get a good idea of its shape. Rather than put a stack of books or a secondary table on top of this table to raise up my monitor and keyboard, I decided that it would be nice if the entire surface were raised up to standing level. I decided that the risers that I would create would need some design feature to keep the legs of the table from shifting off and dumping my computer and other things on the floor. I visualized that the leg would fit down into some sort of enclosure so I measured the width of the tapered leg about 4" from the base and found that it is about 2" wide.
Step 2: Height of Desk As It Is.
This is my desk... slightly less prestine than the previous picture:) I measured the height of the existing keyboard tray (or table top if you do not use a keyboard tray). In my case it is 25" off the floor.
Step 3: Standing Desk Ergonomics (picture Borrowed From Iamnotaprogrammer.com)
Next, I measured the height my tray would need to be to be ergonomically optimal according to the following diagram. That height is 37". I subtracted the needed height (37") by the actual height (25") to determine the needed height of the bootie's platform or riser.
37" - 25" =12"
Step 4: Design! 1.2.3 Step Diagram
I wanted the design to be made out of cheap, easy to get materials. I also wanted the result to be stable, sturdy and quick/easy to cut and assemble. I had some left over 2x4's from a project, some scrap 3/4" plywood, and some 3" screws... so I played around with them figuring out a way that I could leave a 2"x 2" opening for the table leg to slide into while creating a platform that would be strong enough to support the weight of the desk and nice and flat so that the raised table would not wobble.
Below is what I came up with sketched in Sketchup!
Step 5: What You Will Need
I used the following items to complete the desk booties project. The clamp is critical!
Step 6: Assembling the Pieces
Cut your pieces to the correct lengths using the mitre saw at Techshop. Next use the band saw to cut a a 3/4" x 2" notch out of one of the full length 2x4 pieces.
When cutting the wood, make a small tick on the edge of the wood at the proper length and be sure to position the saw so that the saw blade is just outside the tick on the side that you WILL NOT be using (otherwise all your pieces will be a saw blade short). Then position the pieces so that the bottom edges are flush, clamp them to a flat surface, and begin screwing the pieces together with 3" screws. I used a 1/8" drill bit to pre-drill the holes since there is a lot of wood to get through. I used 2 screws per side of the pin-wheel of 2x4s.
Be sure to assemble the pieces in the order I have shown in the design step I found it can be hard to slip the plywood piece in after all the 2x4s are screwed together.
Step 7: Lift Up Your Desk!
FInally, get a few friends to help you lift up your desk long enough that you can slide the Desk Booties underneath each leg. Now all there is left to do is enjoy your new standing desk! If you find that you do not enjoy standing, it is easy enough to remove the booties and your desk will be right back to normal.
I made this project at TECHSHOP! It's a fantastic place that I highly recommend. Get a membership or just more information at their website: www.techshop.ws