Cutlery Caddy as Monitor Stand? Why Not?

Cutlery Caddy as Monitor Stand? Why Not?

Range Govindan
Aug 11, 2011

While a cutlery caddy isn't usually standard issue when it comes to a home office, David Wang thought the size/height of a kitchen utensil caddy flipped upside down was the perfect height to use with his standing desk setup, bringing his monitor to just the right ergonomic height. And his hacked creation can go back from standing to seated setup whenever he so desires (he's also ready for dinnertime with the cutlery caddy at arm's reach)...

We featured one of his photos earlier this week, but his desk hack is quite smart, which is why we're featuring it today. David was worried about sitting at his desk hours each day, which is why he put together his own version of a standing desk. He declares it a work in progress.

The most interesting feature of it is the fact that he used cutlery caddies to prop up his IKEA Galant desk to the right height. Sadly, the Kroken cutlery caddies he used aren't available stateside at IKEA, but a variety of different manufacturers make similar products, that will fit onto any desk. The IKEA Fintorp looks similar and might work. The other important thing was that he needed to be able to revert back to a normal setup in case he didn't like the standing desk. This meant that he couldn't "permanently" hack his setup into place, which added another set of hurdles. Most of the standard options, that would allow him to do this, were way beyond his budget.

The base for his standing desk is a basic IKEA Galant, on which he over-extended the legs past its maximum recommended height (about 3" extra). This will give you a height of 35". From his research, it seems that this recommended height was to prevent the feet from sticking out past the edges of the desk. It might be prudent to secure the desk somewhat further, maybe with a few brackets against the wall. Then he used 4 up-turned Kroken cutlery caddies to prop it up further. This raised the desktop to 41", which was perfect for his height. You might have to choose different types of ways of propping up your standing desk, albeit ensuring that the resulting desktop doesn't tip over easily. If you're going to brace the desktop against a wall, it makes everything more secure. Different varieties of plant pots could be used as well.

The desktop itself has a 10 ¼" Lack wall shelf to prop up his monitor to eye level. His MacBook Pro is raised with a Griffin Tech Elevator ($28.64 at Amazon). Check out other options to do the same in this post. He used the Galant cable management tray to tackle the wires.

The surface of his desk is protected by the Pröjs desk pad, which also allows you to stick notes to it. When he gets tired of standing up, he has a Franklin bar stool with a Ritva chair cushion to take a break. His personal experience however indicates that only after a week, he was acclimated to working standing up almost all of the time, which is promising to those of us who don't stand yet.

In total, he spent about $233 on his standing desk. This includes all of the materials, which were bought new. This is pretty good, since if he ever needs to go back to a normal desk, he can do so without spending any extra money. The only thing missing from his setup (that we can see) is a comprehensive lighting solution. We'd pop in an LED lighting strip right underneath the desk for some ambient lights. Some more could be hidden behind his monitor, but he could also add some bright halogen or CFL desk lamps (preferable two to light up his whole desk, not just a portion of it).

From Cabinet Door to Standing Desk in an Instant
Tom's DIY Standing Desk
Hacked IKEA Expedit Standing Desk with Built-in Look
Bodey's Computer-less Standing Desk
Making Your Own Standing Desk

(Image: Flickr member David Wang licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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