DIY: Stand Up Desk With Mechanical Drive

standing desk at home office

I wanted an ergonomic working desktop for a long time. At such a desk, you can work both sitting and standing, which is healthy for the back. That is extremely beneficial if you work remotely at home. But at Ikea, the price tag started from $500, and in other stores, the price went up to $1000. I didn’t want to spend that kind of money, so I decided to assemble the desk myself. It took me about $200 for everything.

In fact, this is a common table, the tabletop of which can be raised and lowered at the touch of a button. The tabletop lifts in about a minute, but the speed depends on the specific lifting mechanism you buy, the more expensive the mechanism, the faster it lifts the tabletop.

In addition, I found it comfy to place a stand-up desk converter on the desktop, so I could place all my stuff at hand. Here’s a detailed guideline on how I managed to make a homemade office standing desk.

Step 1: Materials

Here’s what we need:

  • Two linear drives (I bought on eBay for $150)
  • Wood (pine, $50)
  • 12-volt battery (already got it)
  • Wires
  • Screws
  • Insulating tape

Useful tools needed: a drill, a saw, clamps, a stapler, pliers.

Step 2: Designing

Before assembly, it was necessary to figure out how the whole structure would work in general. And although the plan can be sketched on a piece of paper, I decided to build a 3D model in Autodesk Maya. It is usually used for animation, but as it turned out, it is also suitable for engineering purposes.

Step 3: Linear Drives for the Desktop

I bought linear drives that push the tabletop up on eBay, they already came with all the electrical equipment, and this is a plus because I know nothing about electronics. The length of each bracket is 16 inches, the weight capacity is 220 pounds. It is quite convenient for placing two monitors.

Step 4: Making the Legs

Each leg has a tiered design, it seems each leg consists of two legs. One internal and one external. The inner leg is movable, it is the one that goes up and down like an elevator, and the outer leg is like an elevator shaft.

The design is actually extremely simple, and this is how I made it. First, I traced the outline of the bracket on paper to understand what size the cavity inside the leg would need. Then, relying on these dimensions, I made an internal leg, and using the measurements of the last one, I made the external leg.

Step 5: Attaching the Legs to the Desktop

Now when the legs are ready, attach them with the screws / glue to the tabletop.

Step 6: Mounting the Electronics

I mounted the switch directly into the countertop and drilled a hole in it on purpose. Then I secured the wires so that they would not hang down.

Step 7: The Desk is Done

The ergonomic standing desk is ready! Now you’re able to work while standing, sitting, in general, as you like. Moreover, you don’t need to make an entire home renovation to add a working spot or a man’s cave. The standing desk saves lots of space and keeps all your working stuff near you, which is a great perk.

Apart from that, it takes 60 seconds to lift the desktop, and the same goes for its descending. I spent $200 on making the desk and I have to admit, it is worth it!