Wednesday, March 28, 2012

DIY standing desk with 19" equipment rack

Standing desks are gaining in popularity, with more and more people spending large amounts of their day in front of computers, and noticing the negative effects being sedentary for too long. I thought I’d give it a try, but didn’t want to spend large amounts of money of fancy, motorised, height-adjustable desks, so I scouted around my office for things to use to hobble one together.

Attempt #1 - 5 unit equipment rack

Sitting up on top of a shelf behind me gathering dust was an old 5 unit 19” equipment rack that I’d made eons ago. It used to have guitar amps & effects racks mounted in it, but I had since upgraded to a nice SKB rack unit.

So I dusted it off and stuck my monitor & keyboard on top it:

Dodgy indeed…

Attempt #2 - wooden worktop & sliding drawer

Not bad, but it really needed a better worktop. We have an actual computer desk downstairs which came with a printer shelf. We never use our printer, so the shelf had since been removed and stashed in our storage room where we keep all our camping gear. We do quite a bit of camping, so while preparing for a recent trip I noticed the shelf and dug it out to be re-purposed for my standing desk.

The thing about standing desks though is that by mid-afternoon you really need to sit down for a bit, even if it’s just to have a hot beverage and do some inbox processing before getting back to it. With the Macbook Pro entwined in various peripheral cables however, removing it wasn’t a simple matter. Then it dawned on me - aren’t there shelves and drawers available for 19” equipment racks?

Indeed there are - behold, the transforming standing desk:

I got lucky by finding a 2 unit keyboard drawer on ebay for about $80 including delivery. The laptop sits on the top shelf, and a keyboard sits on a lower shelf which extends even further still. I was surprised by how much travel it has!

So now when my legs/back get sore, I can roll out my gym ball and slide out my keyboard drawer to sit down for a while, then transform it back again when done (yes, I will be imagining the noise from the original Transformers cartoon while doing it…). There’s still room for customisation too by slotting some more equipment into the remaining rack spaces, but this will suffice for now I think :).

1 comment:

Lance Vartanian said...

That’s awesome! I was about to say that you should’ve just set up your station by ergonomic standards. Working in standing position doesn’t make much difference with working in sitting position if, either way, you’ll be spending long hours in front of the computer. Thus, it was brilliant designing your desk in a way that would allow you to switch positions. After all, it is easier to change bodily positions than the computer location. :D Lance Vartanian