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Standup Computer Desk as Podium addition to an existing Desk, Sketcyh #1

Stand-up Computer Desk as Podium addition to an Existing Desk

This is the construction notes for our Stand-up Computer desk made as an add-on to an existing desk. It can be built in one weekend, using home-fix-up skills and Tools, for less than $60.00. It is especially intended for people who want to try out the stand-up desk idea without a major investment. This approach is also useful to work out the best heights you need for the keyboard, monitor, and foot rest.

Stand-up computer desks have are several good uses:

The graphics above show the front view, and side view. The keyboard is on a sort of box that sits on your existing desk. The height of the keyboard is set by the height of the sides of the box. The example shown is for someone 5'-11" tall. You may want this box an inch or two taller or shorter.

The monitor sits on a small bridge. You many need this higher or lower too. Some people will not want one at all. This all depends on the angle that best suits your neck. If you are using a laptop computer, you will not need this bridge.

There is a food rest that lets you work with one foot slightly raised. Moving position every few minutes provides many people relief from discomfort.

An exercise, Air Typing is given on our Web Site to help you determine the height you need for the keyboard shelf, the monitor, and the angle for the monitor. You may wish to make the sides a little long and then cut them off to your best height. (I cut them off three times already and they are still too short.)

If you like our fun Freebies, remember we can only keep this Web site open if we sell our Low-Stress Computer Furniture Plans or you follow our ad links and make purchases from our sponsors. Thank you.

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  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 and drilling the small pieces.
    7. Assembling the desk.
    8. Finishing all pieces

  2. Download the Detailed Drawings

    This free design includes four detailed sketches. You can get them with this little form . Look for "6 Stand-up Desks" in the list.

  3. Discussion of Sketches

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

    1. Stand-up Computer Desk, Podium Add-on Version

      The front and side views show the add-on boxes that sit on an existing desk. The full set consists of a podium, monitor bridge, foot rest, and computer base. You many not need all of these pieces and you may need to adjust the heights of any of them to suit your existing desk, computer equipment and your own height.

    2. Podium Add-on Stand-up Computer Desk, Podium pieces, Sketch #2

      All the parts of the podium are shown. Most are cut from a single sheet of MDF sheet material. There are also four screw blocks made from 0.75"x0.75" stock.

      The Top of the Frame shows the way the frame fits together with the legs. The back piece stiffens the podium and has round holes cut into it for cables.

    3. Stand-up Computer Desk, Bridge parts, Sketch #3

      This sketch shows the parts for the monitor stand, the foot rest, and the computer base. The monitor stand my not be needed or you can use a stack of book to workout the best height for you. The foot rest height can be set to your specific needs by adjusting the heights of the side pieces. The monitor stand helps keep a desktop computer away from floor dust, makes it easier to reach, and helps with cable reach.

    4. Stand-up Computer Desk,Layout, Sketch #4

      This sketch shows the layout on one sheet of 0.75" MDF. All the pieces of the desk can be cut with material to spare.

      Note the First Cut. This can be made at the home store to make it easier to get the MDF home.

  4. Materials

    This desk is made from one sheet of 0.75" MDF. The parts are assembled with glue and dry wall screws.

    1. Wood MDF
      • 1 -- MDF, 0.75", 4'x8' -- $26.00

      Wood Subtotal: $26.00
    2. Hardware
      • 1 box -- Screw, drywall, 1.25" ------ $ 4.00
      • 8 oz. -- Woodworker's Glue ----------- $ 4.00

      Hardware Subtotal: $8.00
    3. Finish:
      • 1 qt. -- Shellac -------------------- $ 7.00
      • 1 qt. -- Oil based enamal ----------- $ 9.00

      Finish Subtotal: $ 16.00
    4. Omissions and Contingencies (~20%)( Tax, sand paper, etc.) $10.00.
    5. Estimate Total Cost $60.00
    Rockler order link to first page

    This is only an estimate (made in the March 2010). The price may vary in your area.

  5. Tools

    This desk was designed to be build using only Tools normally used for home fix up projects.

    1. Electric drill
    2. Screwmate drill bit for your screws
    3. Saw -- Skill saw, jig saw with straight edge and clamps, or hand saw

    All fasteners must be predrilled into MDF. Wood screws should be predrilled with a 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 MDF version is quick and cheap to build, but will last only 5 years at best. Our hardwood versions have clean lines, and should last 75 years. The CRT version is bigger and can handle bigger equipment. If you are considering replacing your CRT monitor, you may want to do it now and build the flat screen version.
      • Work out the best height for the monitor and keyboard for 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. You may want to build the legs two inches long and work out the very best height for you before you finish the desk.
      • Also decide if you want the mouse on the left or right side. You may also want to cut squares of scrap wood a little bigger than you mouse pad to raise the mouse up by about one inch.
      • Decide on finish -- Finishing this desk will make it last longer and look better. You can seal the MDF with thinned shellac and then paint the desk with oil based enamel.
    2. First Cuts in the MDF

      Have the first cut made in the MDF sheet at the store. Look at the layout drawing if you need the material even smaller to get it home.

    3. Build the Top Podium

      Cut out the four pieces of MDF to make the Podium. Cut the screw blocks which can be made from scrap wood or you can buy molding in this size. You may want to round off one corner and one end. Screw and glue the corners together. Be sure that the pilot holes for the screws are not any shorter than the screws.

    4. Make the Monitor Bridge

      Make the monitor bridge in the same manner as the Podium. You may not need one of these.

    5. Make the footrest

      The footrest is made in the same way as the other parts. It will last a lot longer if you have a piece of scrap hardwood to mount along the front side to take wear from shoes.

    6. Make the computer base

      The computer base is made in the same way as the other parts. Be sure to check you equipment and desk to see how much room you have above the computer and adjust the height of the computer base to suit your needs.

    7. Fit Check

      Check to see if you computer equipment fits this desk properly. You may want to cut a scrap piece of MDF the size of you mouse pad to raise the mouse up a little.

    8. Dissemble for Finishing

      Sand all cut edges and round shape edges. Round the exposed corners on the top and lower shelf.

      Rockler order link to first page
    9. Finishing

      Unfinished the MDF will easily take on stains. I recommend sealing the MDF with thinned shellac and then painting the desk with two coats of oil based enamel.

    Rockler order link to first page
  7. Completion

    All that is left is put all the pieces in place and sit the computer equipment on them. You may need to buy extensions for the monitor, keyboard, and mouse cables.

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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