The $30 Standing Desk: Trying Before Buying

The $30 Standing Desk: Trying Before Buying

Range Govindan
Jul 18, 2011

We love standing desks at Unplggd, but unless you're willing to hack or make one for yourself, you'd best be prepared for the premium price they fetch. It doesn't take much to make your own standing desk. You'll need a bit of ingenuity and a bit of creativity, although you could just do it on the cheap in order to try it out first.

You've all read the dire news. The more time we spend sitting at our desks, the more we reduce our life expectancy. Just like anyone who works from home, we have a few different workstations to move us around during the workday, but ultimately it would be safer to invest the time and effort into hacking a standing desk. Anna from Cincinnati, OH, had read the same articles and was also concerned about slowly dying (!) at her desk. However, she wanted to keep costs down and do it on the cheap. Her solution is quite elegant and will get the job done if you want to try out a standing desk solution.

To put together her standing desk, she used two IKEA Vika Amon tabletops mounted on top of each other. The first Vika Amon is mounted normally. On top of this, she puts another tabletop that is at the right height for her size. This will vary depending on your height, so it's important to get the right type of bracket or drawer leg to prop the second tabletop up.

She used the Vika Curry table legs (which come with a Vika Amon tabletop for $19.99). Then, she mounted some Ekby Stodis brackets to prop up her second tabletop onto the first. It creates a sort of second layer to the desk, which has the added benefit of easy removal. The overall cost of her standing desk is an astounding $27.98. This surprisingly includes everything needed to try out standing desks for yourself.

The Ekby Stodis brackets are just screwed into the spare Vika Amon tabletop, and all that's left is to place it on the first tabletop. Instead of using the brackets, she could have used the Capita legs, which come in heights of 4", 6", and 8", making them perfect for different heights. However, they cost $14. That's $12 more than the brackets. It would be prudent to mount a thin sheet of plywood underneath the second Vika Amon tabletop, as it isn't completely solid; the only parts where you can mount something safely is where the pre-drilled holes are. The rest is filled with paper. She's cleverly reused an old IKEA drawer unit to serve as backup in case the brackets aren't solid enough.

This setup would let you try a standing desk for a while, but ultimately we'd recommend fixing the top tabletop onto the bottom, so that the whole desk is sturdier. Since this is a low-cost solution, you probably won't mind this. The Capita legs would probably work best and could be fixed using a combination of glue and screws to keep them fixed.

A simple cord management solution would work well in this setup. We'd probably use the IKEA Signum, to match everything, although you could probably use some Velcro and tie-wraps to get the job done on a budget.

IKEA Signum Cord Management
Body's Computer-less Computer Desk
9 Standing Desks
Making Your Own Standing Desk
Should You Invest in a Standing Desk?
The Cheap DIY Standing Desk
Tom's DIY Standing Desk
Hacked Expedit Standing Desk with Built-in Look
Jeff's Handcrafted Standing Desk

(via Ikeahacker, images: Flickr member Simon Starr licensed for use under Creative Commons and Anna)

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