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Standup Desk for a loptop in metric 01

Stand-up Computer Desks for a Laptop in metric

This is the construction notes for our stand-up computer desk made for a laptop computer with metric (System International, SI) measurements. The desk can be used either standing or sitting on a stool. It is a little lower and deeper than the other stand-up desk designs. The cost of the materials is around $300.00.

This desk is designed for a laptop computer, two charging stands, an inbox, and a writing surface. The prototype is used in a small office in the Orient. The desk can be varied in height and overall width without too much difficulty. Please e-mail me if you need modifications.

Standup Desk for a loptop, top view, in metric 02

The second graphic shows the top view with the computer, a writing surface, two recharging stands, and space for an inbox behind the laptop. The paper size is A4.

Stand-up computer desks have are several good uses:

We have an exercise, Air Typing on our Web Site to help you determine the height you need for the keyboard shelf, the monitor, and the angle for the monitor.

Rockler order link to first page
  1. Desk Construction

    You can make this desk by:

    1. Ordering the drawings
    2. Printing out this text.
    3. Studying this information and locating the materials.
    4. Determining the correct keyboard height you need.
    5. Purchasing most the materials locally.
    6. Cutting the boards.
    7. Building the frame pieces.
    8. Building the shelves.
    9. Test assembling the desk.
    10. Finishing the desk.
    11. Reassembling the desk
    12. Installing the computer.

  2. Download the Detailed Drawings

    This design includes seven detailed sketches. You can get them with this Freebie order form. Look for " 6 Stand-up desk" in the list. You can also ask for our free Metric converter which is a Excel spreadsheet.

  3. Discussion of Sketches

    After you order the sketches, these notes will help you understand them more completely.

    1. Stand-up Computer Desk, Laptop Version, Metric

      The front and side views show the main features of the desk. It is tall enough to use either standing or sitting on a stool, it has a laptop computer, there is a sloped writing surface, and there is a lower shelf which can be used for a printer.

    2. Stand-up Computer Desk, Top Views, Sketch #2

      The top views of the desk, main desk top, the frame without the top, and the lower shelf are shown. This desk has a moderately small footprint of 660 mm by 920 mm. This makes it easy to use in a small office.

    3. Stand-up Computer Desk, Frame Pieces, Sketch #3

      This view shows the individual pieces of wood that make up the frame. All stock is shown 20 mm thick.

    4. Stand-up Computer Desk, Large boards, Sketch #4

      This sketch shows the large boards that make up the top and shelves. They can be made from either plywood with hardwood edging or hardwood boards. The boards can be either tong and grooved or edge glued with biscuits. All the round holes shown are for cables.

    5. Stand-up Computer Desk, Trim & Legs, Sketch #5

      This sketch shows the trim pieces around the top and the legs. The trim pieces prevent things from falling off the desk. The legs are shown tapered.

    6. Stand-up Computer Desk, Equipment Sketch, Sketch #6

      This sketch shows the specific pieces of computer equipment that were used in this desk design.

    7. Stand-up Computer Desk, Joints, Sketch #7

      This sketch shows the several ways the table top can be attached to the frame and how the frame can be attached to the legs.

  4. Materials

    This desk is made from hardwood boards. The parts are assembled with glue, biscuits, screws, and chair leg braces.

    1. Wood
      • 2.3 meter^2 (25 bft) -- Hardwood, 20 mm thick -- $200.00
      Wood Subtotal: $200.00
    2. Hardware
      • 50 -- #8 flat head screw, 1.25" --------- $ 4.00
      • 1 -- Piano hinge, 380 mm x 20 mm -------- $ 4.00
      • 3 -- Cable Grommets, round --------------- $ 6.00
      • 4 -- Table Top Fastener ------------------ $ 4.00
      • 8 -- Chair leg brace --------------------- $10.00
      • 4 -- Feet -------------------------------- $ 2.00
      • 8 oz. -- Woodworker's Glue --------------- $ 4.00

      Hardware Subtotal: $34.00
    3. Finish:
      • 1 qt. -- Shellac -------------------- $ 8.00
      • 1 qt. -- Dark stain ------------------- $ 8.00
      • 1 qt. -- Polyurethane, satin finish --- $10.00
      Finish Subtotal: $ 26.00
    4. Omissions and Contingencies (~15%)( Tax, sand paper, etc.) $40.00.
    5. Estimate Total Cost $300.00
    Rockler order link to first page

    This is only an estimate (made in the October 2007). The price may vary in your area.

  5. Tools

    This desk was designed to be build using the woodworking tools found in a small shop.

    1. Electric saw, table or radial arm
    2. Biscuit jointer
    3. Electric drill
    4. Screwmate drill bit for your screws

    All fasteners must be predrilled into hardwood. Wood screws should be predrilled with a matching Screwmate bit.

    Rockler order link to first page
  6. Building Your Desk

    This is your desk and you can build it to suit your likes and needs.

    1. Customize Your Desk Design

      • Decide which version of the desk you want to build. This laptop version is intended to be used in a basic commercial setting.
      • Work out the best height for the table top for suit your personal needs. The exercise Air Typing on our Web Site shows how to do this in detail. The basic idea is to find the arrangement that is least stressful for you. Try this exercise both standing and sitting on a tall stool.
      • Consider building a MDF stand-up desk -- You can build this cheap version of our stand-up desk in one weekend for less that $50.00. It can be used to determine if the use of a stand-up desk will make you feel better physically. You really need to use a stand-up desk for a couple weeks to be sure. You can also use this cheep desk to experiment with the keyboard height and the height of the lower shelf. These are easy to adjust with the cheap material, but very hard to adjust in expensive hardwood.
      • Decide on the height of the lower shelf -- Some people use this for a foot rest when sitting on the stool.
      • Check cable hole sizes -- Look at the cables for the equipment you will be using on this desk and estimate the size and locations of the holes you will need for the cables.
    2. Cutting the pieces for the Frame

      Cut the pieces of wood as shown in Sketch #4, #5, and #6. They are all shown made from 20 mm stock (about 0.75 inch) by you may use the thickness available to you locally.

    3. Building Legs

      The legs are shown in Sketch #5. They can be made from 40 mm stock or from two pieces of 20. mm stock glued together. The legs are tapered about 5 mm on all for sides starting about 40 mm from the top.

    4. Make the large boards

      The top and other large boards are shown in Sketch #4. They can be made from 20 mm hardwood veneer plywood with hardwood edge strips about 10 mm wide or from hardwood boards. If made from boards, they can be either tong and grove or edge glued with biscuits.

      Large cable holes are shown in the Main Desk Top and the Lower Shelf. You may need to check the size of your cable connectors to see how big to make them 60 mm diameter is usually big enough. The hole in the Top Deck does not show in the finished piece and the one in the Lower Shelf is inconspicuous.

      The lower shelf has notches for the legs. You may want to adjust its width to suit your printer or other equipment.

    5. Assemble the Frame

      Sketch #7 gives some ideas for attaching the frame members to the legs. Chair Leg Braces can be used to make the joints stronger.

    6. Assemble the desk top

      Build the desk top assembly with its hinge up writing surface and top shelf. Cable holes are shown on the sides of the storage area and in the top shelf. Check the size of your cables to determine the size of the holes needed.

      Plane the back of the writing surface to match the slope. Fit the hinge.

      Sketch #7 also shows some ideas for attaching the frame to the table top. It is best to use a system like the ones show that let the table top move very slightly with respect to the frame to prevent splitting.

    7. Trial fit the Cables and Equipment

      Trial fit your computer equipment. Check the location for cable holes for the computer and chargers.

    8. Dissemble for Finishing

      Take the desk back apart for finishing.

      Rockler order link to first page
    9. Finishing

      You may finish this desk any way you see fit. I recommend staining the hardwood with oil based stain, seal the wood with thinned shellac, and then finish the desk with three coats of oil based polyurethane.

    Rockler order link to first page
  7. Completion

    All that is left is to the final assemble of the desk and installation of the computer cables.

  8. Cabling

    You will probably need a power strip with surge suppressor. Mount this under the top assembly.

    Gather the excess cables into loops. Tye wrap these loop out of sight under the top shelf.

Rockler order link to first page


Thanks again for using a Woodware Designs computer furniture plans. We very much want to know how you are getting along with your project and would be happy to answer any questions by email.

If you send us a picture of your finished desk, we would be happy to put it on our web page. We need pictures of desks with real people standing beside them.

Woodware Designs, Woodware@woodwaredesigns.com

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