How To Build a Sit Stand Desk

Sitting is bad for you. I sit a lot. Currently my body doesn’t show it at all, but I’m young. Some day it will catch up with me so I took the initiative. Suck it, again!

By Wallet Engineer

At work I have a sit/stand desk. Well, not so much a desk as a sit/stand monitor arm drilled into my desk. It can be a bit wobbly at times and I have a paperclip wedged into the keyboard tray so it doesn’t droop, but it beats sitting all day.

I spend a fair bit of time on the computer at home so I figured I could gain from the health benefits of standing at home so I looked into getting a adjustable height sit/stand desk for home. Basic options are a bit cost prohibitive as you will see on many other blogs.

Health Benefits

According to Multi Table:

The health benefits that come from using an adjustable standing desk include:

•    Cancer risks are reduced by 30%.
•    Heart disease risks are reduced by 46%.
•    Increases in energy, productivity and stamina.
•    Decreased back and neck pain.
•    Pain from carpel tunnel issues are reduced.
•    Weight loss.  Standing burns more calories than sitting.

Materials breakdown

  1. Modtable legs $383 (20% off sale). Normally $479.
    1. To buy “legs only”, just leave “Select Your Table Top” blank.
    2. The MultiTable legs come with 10 screws needed to screw on your own top.
  2. Gerton Beech table top from Ikea $80
  3. Ekby Jarpen Birch Veneer shelf $15
    1. I wanted an Ekby Amund, but it only comes in black and silver, no wood-y colors.
  4. 2x Capita Brackets (which are different from Capita Legs). Capita Brackets are about $10/each
  5. Mineral Oil or proper oil to finish the Gerton. It is real, solid, wood and needs care.

With Gas – total cost ~ $538 and 4 hours of time

Tools:

  • Screwdriver
  • 7/16″ drill bit for Capita Brackets. 3/8″ possible, but see warning below.
  • Drill
  • 1/16″ drill bit to drill pilot holes in the bottom of the Gerton to screw on legs.
    • May also want to use drill stops on your drill bit, or just tape the bit so you know what depth to go to. Otherwise you’ll probably drill a pilot hole right through your pieces.
  • Screws NOT REQUIRED. The Capita Brackets come with screws for the top (Jarpen), the bottom is connected by stud and nut (also included) and the Gerton attaches to the MultiTable legs by 10 button head screws which are in the Multitable box.

 

 

Maximum load while table is moving (dynamic) is 130lb. This includes the table top itself!

  1. Table is 60 lb
  2. Jarpen 13lb
  3. Capita bracket 4 x 3lb = 12 lb
  4. Other : 3x monitors without stands 45-50lb
  5. Monitor arm ~20lb

I’m at 155lb (>130lb) so we’ll see how this works. I didn’t take into account the Jarpen and brackets weighing so much.  Static load is 250lb.

Final Product

IMG_20150118_201454787

 

Assembly

The MultiTable Mod legs comes in a medium size box. Maybe 4×3′ and about 4-6″ deep. It’s fairly heavy. I had to “walk it” through the house rather than lifting it. Assembly goes very quickly. All necessary bits and tools come in the box. The kit contains a bunch of machine screws with allenheads. Allen wrenches come in the box. This took maybe an hour.

Next I set the Gerton Tabletop loose on the legs.

Mount the four capita brackets to the Jarpen (riser piece).

Drill 7/16″ holes at correct spacing into the Gerton (tabletop). If you connect the brackets to the Jarpen first, you must use the correct size hole called out in the instructions which is 7/16″ so that the long stud on the base of the Capita Bracket freely drops through the table.

:Note: I did not have a 7/16″ bit, so I used a 3/8″ bit (1/16″ smaller). The long stud on the base Capita Brackets (3/8″ OD) will fit into a 3/8″ ID hole, but you have to screw the brackets in with a little bit of force. This means that the Capita Brackets CANNOT be connected to anything else. You have to put on the Jarpen (riser) piece LAST. Hint: Use a socket wrench with an adapter to a screwdriver bit!

The assembly of the Gerton + Capita Brackets + Jarpen took approximately 3 hours. There’s a lot of measuring to get everything centered and spaced correctly.

Finally, it took another ~30 minutes or so to drill pilot holes into the bottom of the Gerton and secure it to the legs. The majority of this was spent getting the whole thing centered and square. Which it is. Mostly.

 

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