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$140 adjustable height standing/sitting table (roostermade.wordpress.com)
61 points by foos on April 1, 2011 | hide | past | favorite | 41 comments

After lunch, my wife helps me raise the desk (I work from home). We each stand at one end and lift. I hold my end with one hand and slip an empty plastic bin between the two desks (We just moved so we have like 20 of them in our garage). Then I place a bin on my wife’s side.

that doesn't really seem like an adjustable desk. from the title i thought it was a cheap version of something like http://www.geekdesk.com/

i use an ikea jerker desk set to its maximum height for standing at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/symmetricalism/5488994391/

and when i need to sit, i have a drafting chair that is adjusted high up for the desk's height: http://amzn.to/fZLkPQ

Same here, I use a fixed-height desk and a drafting chair. That seems like a much simpler solution than moving a heavy desktop with -- potentially -- lots of stuff on it that could tip over. It didn't occur to me until I read a comment here on on HN that recommended it. I don't remember who made the comment (was it maybe you, there?), but whoever you are: thanks, works great!

This is the desk I'm using: http://madeonjupiter.com/llegs-desk/

I wish they still made the jerker desks.

it was replaced by the fredrik: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/60111123

no slide-out trays or side trays, but the desktop can be raised up to standing height.

I use the Fredrik and it works well for me as a standing desk.

I looked into that, The 98cm max-height doesn't work for me. I'm 6'3".

The Fredrik I'm standing at right now can go all the way to 150cm, just make sure you get the correct version. There's a short one and a taller one.


If you look at this pic you'll see the tabletop plus two shelves. The shelves and tabletop can all be mounted at different heights. I mounted the shelves below the tabletop and my tabletop is at 104cm but can go much higher.

I've been standing at my desk for about 2 months now and I can say that it's made a huge difference. I just use a pile of books. It's "adjustable" in that if I want to sit, I just move a few books.

The physical benefits are that my ass doesn't hurt nearly as much and my back feels better (if I am careful not to slouch) [1].

I also feel there is a benefit in terms of the "take-a-walk-and-get-a-good-idea-effect". I'm not sure if there is any science behind this, but I feel that I can think more clearly when I am walking around away from my computer. I've found part of this benefit is acquired by just standing all the time. When I'm in the zone, I don't have to take a break to get up and walk around.

If you're considering trying standing at your desk, try it out for a week by piling up the books by your desk.

Be warned though, one negative is that people definitely come over and interrupt more often. I think the fact that they can see me standing (and no one else) from across the office gives people the impression I'm only casually involved in my work at the moment.

[1] At first my feet really started hurting in the afternoons. I bought a fairly expensive floor mat (e.g. gelpro) and this has really helped.

Re: "not sure if there's any science in this". Brain rules by John Medina ISBN 9780979777707 provides compelling evidence that you're probably thinking along the right lines. An interesting read.

My $180 solution is much nicer and doesn't require two people to lift.


Ignore the text about a maximum of 20lb. When you get it, it's actually a MINIMUM of 20 lbs required. 20lbs is the balance point: if you have less than that, it stays permanently up. But if you have less than 20lbs you can take out one of the springs. Of course, most woodworkers using it for it's intended purpose use 20lbs of hardwood, but I use a jerry rig that's much lighter. Then I added a 30lb 30" monitor, and it works great. The springs lift 20lbs, so you only have to put in 10lbs of effort to lift 30 lbs.

I'd worry about adding a lot of heavy weight to the front of it where there is more leverage, but I wouldn't hesitate to add another 50lbs to the back. This thing is solid.

Of course, it's a fixed travel distance. But if your monitor also has a little bit of height adjustment as well, it'll work perfectly.

I don't know anyone who only has a 7-inch height difference between when they're sitting and standing.

I'm looking at that difference, for me, right now (two adjacent desks). It's about 15 1/4 inches (39 cm).

P.S. When sitting, I have my desk 1 - 1 1/2 inches lower than "typical", primarily to provide a better typing position.

I'm 6'1 and my eye-level difference is 13-inches. My monitor has 5 inches of adjustment.

If you think you need more than 12 inches you're slouching while you're sitting.

You're damn right I am!

But when I stand, I stand up straight. Or at least I slouch less.

It's not just about monitor placement though. Keyboard height, at least for me, is more important for a comfortable computing environment that monitor height.

Just checking now, I've got about 18-inches difference between my seated keyboard height and my standing keyboard height.

Interesting. I actually appreciate the low standing keyboard height in my setup. My setup is far from ideal, but does have some advantages.

META: why is my 5 ranked post at the top? There's more interesting posts more highly ranked further down. Because it has more comments? To those who care, I think `javan`'s post is the most relevant for somebody looking to make a cheap & easy desk.

This doesn't look like a solution. Looks like a sales pitch... FAIL.

I use a crank-adjustable base (http://www.gibraltarinc.com/item.asp?id=66) and with a birch counter top from Ikea (http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/90014922). It's easy to adjust and cost around $425 total.

Thanks, I've been looking for a crank adjustable base like this. The motor-operated ones seem overly complex for a task that could easily be accomplished manually and the OP's 2 person solution struck me as horribly inefficient.

Note the beveled edge. Too many people overlook this detail that can make a large difference to comfort in uses that cause contact with the desk edge.

I have a "bar table" from Ikea that works nicely.


Just a warning: I've found that the more I stand, the less I like to sit. Going to class (I am still an undergrad) has become annoying for entirely the wrong reasons...

For $120 you can make a permanent standing desk at Ikea. http://lifehacker.com/#!5508398/repurpose-an-ikea-kitchen-ta...

I used a cheap black table top from the desk area. I'm happy with mine. When I need to sit I find a different surface, or use a taller stool.

I see all of these solutions to have a giant raisable desk- as a programmer I don't actually use my desk anymore. A desk is a computer, computer monitor, and computer keyboard holder. I normally just make a stack of (free) books or boxes on top of a desk to create a place to set my monitor on. Boxes that still have foam inserts work best, as do books on Java or C.

I use this ballpark-vendor like laptop holder sometimes: http://www.thinkgeek.com/computing/bags/a988/ The big problem is you have to crane your neck down. I am trying out an artist's easel for a standing desk. Cheap and portable. I Can hold the monitor while I use the connect-a-desk for my keyboard.

If you are going to try a standing desk, make sure to buy an anti-fatigue mat. It makes a big difference in how much foot pain you'll experience, even if you are standing on carpet + padding.

I agree, some cushioning is vitally important. As I prefer to be barefooted and my floor has no carpet or padding whatsoever my heels started to hurt at the end of the very first day. On the next day I felt that pain from the very beginning, so being productive was out of the question. Contrary to the general consensus I got myself a really cheap gymnastics mat for less than 20EUR which is only 2cm thick, instead of an expensive special purpose mat. Within 2 days the pain was gone and standing/working for more than 10hrs a day was not a problem anymore. So get a mat or wear shoes if you plan on trying a standing desk configuration.

Padding can dampen impact from jumping, but it cannot actually reduce the gravitational forces when you are standing. So I am very wary of this concept- instead, if you feel pain stop doing it. Padding stops you from using your feet and moves more of the stabilizing burden elsewhere, which could be bad for some people- although seems to be working fine in your case. Either way one is loosing out on the chance to gradually strengthen the feet in a natural way.

I can't upvote this enough. A proper mat made all the difference for me. I'd say it easily quadrupled the amount of time I could deal with working while standing and eliminated most of my initial foot pain.

Could add ropes and put pulleys on the ceiling with a couple of nautical cleats and make it something that can be done single-handed.

I was thinking that you could just install a couple of scissor jacks in the middle and you'd be able to do it yourself as well.

My adjustable desk started with this: Monitors in front of tower PC when sitting. When I want to stand, I put my main monitor up onto my tower and get 4 empty shoeboxes which I use to prop up my keyboard and mouse to a comfortable height. I decided that if I really was into the whole 'standing desk' thing I'd prove it to myself by doing this, then maybe one day I could spend my money on a fancy desk, but only after I'd shown that I'd stick to standing while working.

It takes like 30 seconds to move my desk around, I'd be kidding myself if I could justify a $800 desk (if I could even get it in AUS) to save 30 seconds a few times a day

I made a standing desk out of a cheap shelf system back in January [1], and haven't looked back. About the only change I've made since putting up those pictures is swapping out the Apple keyboard for a Kinesis Freestyle.

I'd like to build some small shelves off the sides of the top level to add some speakers, but beyond that I've been extremely impressed with making the switch.

[1] http://elasticdog.com/2011/01/shelf-made-standing-desk/

I used to alternate between sitting and standing. I don't need to any more. The trick for me, figured out by a therapist, was to build the proper muscles, and to always hold proper posture. I find that I can sit anywhere with comfort now, even on the crappiest chairs, because I use my muscles to support me, not the chair. When you stand, you do the same. I've come to appreciate the importance of our muscles and how they contribute to one's quality of life.

Damn, that 2 person lifting part really killed it for me.

I guess I'll stick with my "free" standing desk for now - made by stacking 2 existing tables in my parents' basement: http://d.pr/CG9n I even get double the surface area for storage on the lower level!

Ha ha, ya it works for me. Up or down in less than 15 sec. That's all I really care about.

Mine cost about $2,000 more, including a GeekDesk frame and file cabinets, but I like it: http://bit.ly/d7IH3v

That theme's iPad handler is awful.

It's onswipe, and they've just done a deal with wordpress.

I find it really jagged on scrolling and generally annoying enough to be distracted from the articles. Also, what looks like a link to turn it off and go to the old site doesn't work.

I had the same issue. You can't even read the bottom of the post on an iPad. I eventually ran it through Readability just to be able to read the entire post.

Just disabled it. Thanks for the heads up.

After it came up in HN comments (by jquery), and despite my protestation of ankle issues, I decided to give a stand-up desk a try.

I spent about $50 on several 2x4's, two pine planks (48" wide x 16" deep for the monitor/laptop, 36" wide x 16" deep for the keyboard/mouse platform), miscellaneous bolts and some poly stain. I'm now using my computer while maintaining proper posture for the first time in as long as I can remember. I plan to buy a $39 'drafting' chair from Walmart for the occasions when my feet hurt.

One important element, by the way, is the fact that my laptop screen and external monitor are truly at eye level now. This has done wonders for my neck. I think this is a major flaw in the linked desk design.

Oh, and it's occurred to me that I could probably design a very functional stand-up desk requiring nothing but Ikea shelving parts, a saw, and some bolts, probably for under $40.

a note from poor european: there is this desk that i've been salivating at for quite some time, trully love it for the design, saw it in some danish office - they are very popular over there: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=Works... but not quite ready to take the plundge and spend a fortune. on the other hand - im really surprised how expensive these sit/stand desks are - they are no more than couple motors, 2 legs and a table top - why the hefty pricetags...

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