Treadmill Walking Desk/Shelf



Introduction: Treadmill Walking Desk/Shelf

About: Just a robot making stuff

I have always been fascinated by the health benefits of standing / walking desks. When it is too cold out I am too lazy to go to the gym. I was amused when I saw the hamster wheel desk on instructables ( and looked around to see what else there was. I found several with features like

cool clamp on action,

utilizing pre-made furniture and

embedded screen in custom build (his video is also awesome).

I didn't quite find what I wanted so I thought I would remix/mashup these different concepts to incorporate my favorite elements. I am not sure if this is a desk or a shelf ( I personally think it more clearly falls into the definition of shelf) but if you want to be pedantic comment below. I am also looking for resolution to the whole cookie or cake classification confusion for fig newtons ;) I hope you enjoy this instructable and find it useful in inspiring you to make something!



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Step 1: Tools and Materials

Obviously you will need a treadmill. I happened to have one underneath a pile of stuff. If you have straight handlebars you can get away with a similar design as mine but you might want to add a tilt to accommodate body position.


Compound Mitre Saw (chop saw)- for making/cutting trim and 2x4

Table saw- for ripping down the piece of sheet wood

Oscillating Tool (called a multi-tool sometimes)- for making the cutout for the control panel

Tape measure- to measure things in preparation for marking

Pen- for marking. Pencil would have been smatter

Square- To give reference for lines perpendicular to plane and cause I had one handy

Drill- For screwing it all together

Clamps- for securing the work pieces while being cut or screwed


Piece of sheet wood - I used scrap ply I salvaged from a piece of church office furniture (this was the back board to a cabinet.

Trim wood- I used scraps of a soft wood of unknown origin. This was as much decorative as functional

2x4 - I used salvage from a theater set that had been painted black along with some cutoffs. You could probably get away with dimensionaly smaller wood for the supports

Screws- I used 2" screws for 2x4s and little junky screws for the trim

Step 2: Story of a Board

I am a big fan of putting a little effort up front to minimize rework. I love the concept of story sticks and prints:

I did a doodle of what I wanted and took measurements of my board ripping it to size on the table saw and marking it for further operations.

I also looked to see if I had enough of the scrap wood for the trim before I cut things down.

Step 3: Smoothing the Rough

I sanded the trim to give it a nicer hand feel on the belt sander. I ran into some problems of getting the whole stick sanded at the same time since the belt sander wasn't long enough. I should have used a reference to get a consistent height or checked periodically. The result was close enough. I also rounded the top corners slightly to make them less harsh. The sanded wood was both visually and texturaly more pleasing regardless of consistency of size. I

Step 4: Control Access Cut-Out

I wanted to keep roughly the same spacing to the control panel on the treadmill as possible so I embedded it in the work surface. I measured the depth for the plunge cut and marked the two initial rips. I ripped these on the miter saw for expediency and because the blade was the right size. I clamped the piece to a small pop up work table and used the multi-tool to plunge cut. I kinda wish I had clamped a straight edge instead of using a reference line.

I may in the future hinge the cutout/drop piece so that I cover the control panel if I feel that it is safe enough to walk without access to it. This will increase the work surface area so that there is more room for writing when on the laptop.

Step 5: Major Support

I measure the length of my treadmill's front railing and cut the major and minor pieces of 2x4 to size. Make sure to keep the orientation of the piece in mind as I got everything clamped backwards before realizing I was clamping the wrong end. After screwing in the gravity beam (major support) I also measure and marked the first of the two minor 2x4 supports. I did the last support inside to make sure the fit would be perfect ( minimize play/wobble).

Step 6: Test Fit and Trim

After putting in support beam and blocks trim was test fit. Each piece was clamped and screwed. For such junky harbor freight screws you have to run the drill slow and with great restraint. Piloting is also recommended. The ply also had a tendency to want to split which piloting would have aided. Make sure your treadmill is in good working order at this point as you ready yourself for using your new desk/shelf.

Step 7: Fin

And that is it. I hoped you enjoyed this simple build. After having used for a bit I am considering putting a riser box below the laptop to make it less sharp of a look down angle. The typing angle is good though. Really this is a joy to use and when I want to run on the treadmill (not often based on the accumulation I had to remove for this project) it comes off in seconds. Perhaps I will incorporate a planter if I decide this will live on the machine permanently. Comments and questions are welcome! Oh and if you don't mind give me a vote at the top right for the competitions! Thanks!!!

Tables and Desks Contest 2016

Participated in the
Tables and Desks Contest 2016

Remix Contest 2016

Participated in the
Remix Contest 2016

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