Separate Clouds

A blog by Ewan Klein

Yet Another Ikea DIY Standing Desk

The Spec

I’ve been reading about Standing Desks for a while, and decided to take the plunge over the Christmas break. I was initially impressed by Colin Nederkoorn’s standing desk for $22, and then also came across this IKEA variant by Benson Chou.

Since my screen is a 21.5″ iMac, I decided that the 55 cm height of the Lack side table was going to raise the whole thing too high. Instead, like Jinyoung Kim, I went for the Lack coffee table, which is slightly lower at 45 cm, as well as being wider and possessing a middle shelf. Just for fun, I also changed the shelf brackets to the Ekby Bjärnum, and bought an Ekby Järpen shelf to go with it.


Although putting it all together was relatively straightforward, I bumped against a few things that are potential gotchas.

Like Benson Chou, I screwed the brackets to the front legs before attaching the latter to the table top. However, I didn’t really pay proper attention to two things. First, the legs are oriented, in the sense that there is a pre-drilled hole at one end.
IMG_1154 So you need to take this into account in measuring the height of the bracket. Second, it’s difficult to predict how many turns will be required to get the leg to fix snugly against the underside of the table top. (The two are joined by a double-ended screw.) It follows that you don’t really know which face of the leg would optimally face forward to receive the bracket. So probably the best thing is to screw in the two legs, mark the front face, unscrew and attach the bracket, then re-attach.

As Benson points out, the legs of this table are hollow! The leg wall is also pretty thin and flimsy (although the vertical strength is fine). This makes it really difficult to get a satisfactory anchorage for the brackets. The solution I tried was to use a hollow wall fixing plug (designed for plasterboard): IMG_1150

This helped to a certain extent, but was far from perfect, mainly because the plugs are designed for a thicker wall. If I was doing this again, I would adopt Jinyoung Kim’s solution of bolts, washers and nuts, which would definitely be more robust.

It is also helpful to notice that the brackets have holes on one side; these take grub screws to ensure that the shelf is firmly lodged in the brackets. IMG_1155 So obviously you want to make sure that the side with the holes is on the underneath. Since the shelf is 119 cm long, while the coffee table is 90 cm long, I had to chop a chunk off the shelf.

Here is the end result:

IMG_1176 - Version 2

The Bill

Total:   £38.00

Still Standing

Three days later, I’m still feeling my way with the experience of standing. Overall, I feel positive about it. Standing up certainly encourages focussing on the task at hand, and goes well with the pomodoro technique, since I can time my stints of standing to 25 minutes. However, I’m also finding it physically quite demanding, which probably suggests that I need to keep on working on my posture.

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