My DIY Stand Up Desk Ikea Hack
Anyone who sees my first attempt at a DIY stand up desk will see that, while functional, the desk wasn’t exactly pretty… So I though I would have a crack at putting together a proper one, this time with matching parts, plenty of work space and a design that would satisfy the harshest interior design critic this side of 5th Avenue – my wife…
The end result was a stand up desk bungled together from components solely from IKEA, built in a couple of hours on a lazy Saturday afternoon. Read on for instructions…
My Stand Up Desk Requirements
After about a week with my DIY stand up desk version 1.0, I had established some stand up desk basics, and along with some research I had come up with a list of requirements…
- I didn’t have the time, skills or tools to build something from scratch. This lead me to read about others who have created stand up desks by hacking together components from IKEA such as the StandDesk; the Spaceship; Brandon Brown and Ian Fernando.
- Due to the size of my office space, and the fact I may need to move the desk around, I needed something that could be taken apart easily.
- The ideal height for my stand up desk is the height that my elbows are off the ground when hanging my arms by my sides – in my case this was about 46 inches. (Source: TheWireCutter).
- My total budget was $200.
Building my DIY Stand Up Desk
To get started, I drew up a rough sketch, based on a few different IKEA parts that those who inspired me had used.
The concept was that I would set a table top on top of two small shelving units, then attach a shelf to the table top to add some extra height for my monitor. To get the desk to the correct height I decided I would add legs to both the table and the shelves themselves. Since one of my requirements was ease of movement, I decided it would be better to have the top and bottom parts separate, therefore, the top part just balances on the lower shelving units. If I wanted a more permanent fixutre, I could have used more Capita brackets to secure the shelves to the table top, and use longer legs to raise up the overall height of the desk.
Sorry about the rubbish photos – it was dark and I was using my iPhone…
All parts came from IKEA and included the necessary hardware.
Capita Bracket - 2 brackets ( 1 pack): $20
Capita Leg 4″ - 8 legs (2 packs): $25 for 2 packs
Capita Leg 8″ – 4 legs (1 pack): $20
31 1/8″ Expedit Shelving Unit – 2 units: $40 for both (I got mine on sale on Black Friday! – the regular price is $39 each).
43 1/4″ Lack Shelf – 1 shelf: $15
Total Cost: about $135 (including sales tax)
Drill with 1/16″ and 7/16″ bits
Step 1: Put Together the Expedit Shelves
This was very easy as I just followed the IKEA Instructions that were included in the box. Each shelf unit took about 15 minutes.
Step 2: Put the 4″ Capita Legs on the Expedit Shelves
I had to be careful to drill around the bolts that hold the shelving unit together, so I ended up lining the leg bracket about half an inch from the edge. This also allowed me to drill two of the four mounting screws into a more solid part of the shelves – it seems that most of the outer pieces are mostly hollow, other than the very edge.
Step 3: Mount the Capita Legs on the Table Top
Similar to mounting the legs to the shelves, I just drilled some holes to match the leg screw holes. The Linnmon tabletop has holes drilled already but they are for a different leg design, so I just fitted the bracket to the existing holes where possible, and drilled the rest.
Step 4: Attach Capita Bracket to Lack Shelf
I placed the capita Bracket about an inch from the outer edge and about in the middle (depthways). It took drilling four holes to match the bracket hole placement. The Lack Shelf is hollow in the middle, but even though the screws are attached to the thin outer coating, it seems to be quite solid.
Step 5: Bolting Capita Bracket to Table Top
To set the bottom part of the Capita Bracket, you actually need to drill through the entire table top with a 7/16″ bit. As the Linnmon table is hollow, I was again worried that it wouldn’t be strong enough to hold the shelf and monitors, but so far so good! The Capita bracket installation instructions from IKEA are useful for giving a picture of how the bracket works.
This part required a little measuring (rather than my usual eye-balling!) to make sure the shelf didn’t sit too far back and hang over the tabletop edge. The ideal measurement was about 10 inches from the back edge of the table. I then centered the shelf lengthways, marked the placement with some chalk and drilled the holes.
Step 6: Sit the Table on the Expedit Shelves
This was simply a matter of placing the tabletop with the bolted on Lack Shelf on top of the two Expedit shelving units, making sure it was balanced and centered and then having a beer.
There you go… All done!!! A wife-approved stand up desk that fits all my crap and is the perfect height for me.
A Few Final Tips..
- Get a high stool to sit on when your back and/or legs get tired.
- Wear supportive footwear. After my first few days standing, my feet were killing me, mostly because I was standing on the hard wood floor in bare feet. I bought some Crocs which have been a lifesaver…
- Stand on a mat. I just got an old yoga mat and folded it in half.
- You can probably change my design to suit your height (I’m 6’1″) by using different size Capita legs, or none at all. They come in 4″, 6″ and 8″.
- A monitor stand and laptop stand is useful. I will need to buy a new one for my laptop as my current one is too high.
Have you had a crack at a stand up desk? Let me know in the comments below!