Standing Desk With A Clever Flair

Standing desks (also known as sit-stand desks) are somewhat polarizing. The height is adjustable, but the idea is that you move between sitting and standing while you work. Hundreds of manufacturers are out there, but they’re all the same. Two metal legs that extend and one or more motors to move the legs up and down. [JAR Made] tried to make something slightly different for their standing desk with an extending curved surface.

The build started with some gorgeous alder that was milled into square with a track saw and a planer — no jointer was required. However, he wanted long boards and was debating how to butt join the pieces together and decided on pocket holes with dowels to try and clamp the boards together while the glue dried. The resulting product was one that [JAR Made] was unhappy with. He pivoted on his feet by switching Baltic birch plywood for the main desk surface. Which was bent using a kerf-cutting technique (though just using a track saw rather than a CNC bit).

Here is where you can see him learn from his earlier mistakes. He routed a half lap in the plywood for the butt joint to give it more strength and devised a clever clamping mechanism using CA glue and painter’s tape to get good clamping pressure. The alder from earlier came in use to serve as a front edge for the plywood and a groove to hold the sliding piece of plywood that extends and retracts as the desk goes up and down.

Regular old standing desk legs screw into the underside of the desk and allow it to move up and down. Overall, it’s a wonderful build of a gorgeous desk. We love seeing people make mistakes and then pivot and learn from them. Perhaps the next step is to automate the desk to move on its own.

26 thoughts on “Standing Desk With A Clever Flair

  1. “waterfall edge” it says.
    More like coffeefall, or paperfall, or phonefall.
    What’s the purpose of making the outer 20cm of both sides of your desk completely useless? Just for the clicks?

    1. For some of us, aesthetically pleasing surroundings improve our mood and productivity. Others are happy in a plain beige lowest-bidder cubical farm.

      And some people just don’t clutter their desks.

      1. It’s a desk, it’s meant to prioritise functionality not aesthetics.

        Good luck trying to fit a large monitor, external speakers, custom built PC and other peripherals onto this desk, without running into multiple issues.

    2. I think you may be exagerating just how much desk is lost, but its clearly a great feature! Once the junk builds up enough it can’t be pushed or piled on the edge of the desk any more its time for a real cleanup!

    3. You could do this with a square edge as well but I think this looks pretty good and it’s a great way to improve the asthetics of motorised desks.

      I personally wouldn’t as you’re right it loses a fair amount of space and usable area is important to me, but I think you could have found a nicer way to phrase your criticism.

    4. Clearly the commenters above never came by one of these designs in the wild.
      I did and have my name on a brown coffee spotch on the white rug of a friend as a reminder. There is a reason why this concept quickly vanished in the eighties after people soon found out that hidden edges and hidden buttons have their drawbacks.
      I’m clearly in the form follows function team with this. I like nicely designed things, but to thow usability away is just one step too far for me.

  2. IBM did adjustable desks in the 1980’s with their Synergetix workstation tables. Flip out the crank to adjust height/tilt/etc. Things are built like tanks in true IBM fashion.

    Looks nice but I’d rather feel like I’m living in an office.

  3. I’ve used a standing desk for years and love it. However, it seems strange to see designs for adusting the height of the desk instead of the position of its user. I chose the latter because my desk is always cluttered and moving it invites disaster. Instead, I made a tall chair that allows me to comfortably sit at a height matching the desk.

    No pulleys, gears, servo motors etc are required. It’s not an engineering marvel, but it is a very inexpensive yet effective solution.

    1. If that works for you, more power to you. I work from home and am at my desk 8 – 10 hours a day. I don’t claim it’s impossible but I cannot imagine a tall chair design that would be comfortable for that type of use. Where do you put your feet? On a rung? Let them dangle? Neither option works more for more than about 5 minutes for me. I suppose you could engineer some sort of platform but that seems like it would have its own list of issues. And is the chair stationary? I am constantly shifting the relative position of my chair to the desk – that’s why I paid for roller blade wheels to replace the standard plastic disks. If you’ve solved these (and other problems I haven’t mentioned,) do a write up and have Hackaday document your solution. I’d like to see it.

    2. I always wondered about combining a standing-only desk with a drafting chair, for exactly this reason. But I generally assumed that I’d just end up sitting in the drafting chair all the time instead, which sort of defeats the purpose.

  4. Nice looking desk. Not ‘quite’ as utilitarian as a standard sit-stand. I like mine at work and, there, who cares if it is ‘sterile’ (right word?) so to speak. At home you might want it to be a bit more ‘pretty’ or fit more into the theme of the room it is in. Anyway, nice job! Clever.

  5. With how popular the cut-slots-to-curve technique is getting (certainly less of a hassle than steam bending), I’m surprised there do not appear to be any V-kerf blades commonly available to produce a stronger bend (no gaps, full glue contact between slot sides).

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