Making a Standing Desk

by jefftkjefftk1 min read7th Mar 20201 comment

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With it looking like I might need to remotely for a while I've been thinking about how to make that more ergonomic. There's no position where I can use a laptop for very long without hurting either my wrists or my neck. A couple months ago I made a folding couch monitor to use while sitting, but (a) that's in the living room and (b) I generally prefer to work standing up. So I made a small standing desk in our bedroom:

It's a one-monitor version of my work hardware setup (which is still the same three years later, except that I have 27" 2560 x 1440 monitors now). I use the laptop keyboard and trackpad because that feels better on my wrists than any external keyboard and mouse I've tried, and I don't use the laptop monitor because that hurts my neck.

While I'm calling it a desk, it's really a shelf. It was easier to attach a shelf to the wall with brackets than build something freestanding, and a standard desk would take up a bunch more space.

It's very small, but all I need is space for a monitor and my laptop. The top is a 22.5" by 17" piece of 3/4" plywood painted white. I rounded the outside corner for safety. I could have made the top a couple inches narrower if I hadn't been trying to match a specific space. It's 41" off the ground, which is in the ~2" window where my elbows can be close to a right angle.

The monitor stand doesn't go high enough on its own, so it's elevated 6.25" with a 10.5" by 7.5" pine box. I made it out of 2x6 scraps I had, with a 3/4" plywood top for the monitor stand's base to sit on. I didn't paint this, though I might at some point.

I'm pretty happy with it, though all I've used it for so far is writing this post.

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