Propping up a desk's top
April 11, 2011 6:34 PM   Subscribe

My desk's legs are shot, and I need to prop the desk's top off the floor at regular height... as cheaply as possible.

The legs on my desk are wobbly and shot beyond repair; I need to replace them with something sturdier before the whole thing (computer included) gets knocked down. This thread has some better, some worse suggestions for raising a desk's top off the floor.
Phone books and cinderblocks might be sturdy, but a pile of them can get knocked over easily; file cabinets seem like a good bet, but I really need something cheap. Thrift stores, campus surplus, and the like don't work because I need several cabinets at the same height and have no car to bring them home in. File cabinets of desk height online seem to run at least $60, and since I need to buy several for my L-shaped desk, I'm trying to think of a cheaper way to do things. Any suggestions for something cheaper and available for online purchase (i.e. can be shipped to my house) that would hold up my desk in a sturdy fashion?
posted by pavane to Home & Garden (12 answers total)
Best answer: I know you don't like the cinderblock idea, but as long as you stack them with the broad side down (the side with the holes) they're your best bet. They worked for my work table in my garage holding up a 3x6' piece of MDF for years, and they were plenty stable.
posted by deadmessenger at 6:39 PM on April 11, 2011

What kind of tools do you have at your disposal? Normal things like a drill and some screw drivers, or do you have more heavy duty stuff, like chain saws, etc?
posted by two lights above the sea at 6:40 PM on April 11, 2011

Best answer: Ikea table legs are the cheap, purpose-built way to go, assuming you can get to ikea... These are $3.50 each.

That said, cinderblocks to not get knocked over easily... at all. I've seen enough tv stands and bookshelfs made out of cinderblocks and plywood that I would have no reservations about it
posted by brainmouse at 6:41 PM on April 11, 2011 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I've also found cheap metal table legs at a big box hardware store like Home Depot. This? Also at Amazon.
posted by bendy at 7:00 PM on April 11, 2011

Seconding IKEA for inexpensive legs to bolt onto anything, if there's one convenient to you.
posted by mumkin at 7:17 PM on April 11, 2011

I had a friend who used her bedroom end tables to hold up door she recycled for a table top. Then she used two yellow pages books to raise the monitors to the right angle.
posted by julen at 7:30 PM on April 11, 2011

Best answer: The Ikea legs were going to be my first suggestion; they sell several models that telescope up and down to various heights, which might make them easier to transport (although those are probably pricey compared to fixed ones).

Alternately you could pick up two plastic or wood sawhorses from a home-improvement store, they are typically $20/ea or less, although sometimes you can get them on sale and wood ones that you make out of 2x4 stock that you cut (or have the store cut for you) are probably even less. Maybe you can even find two on Craigslist. An old door placed across two sawhorses makes a fairly good desk in a pinch!
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:51 PM on April 11, 2011

Milk crates? Check the alley behind a Dairy Queen ;)
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 8:05 PM on April 11, 2011

Check Ikea's "As Is" room first. You may be able to score some legs *and* a nice countertop to put on top of them for close to nothing. It's extremely hit-or-miss, but you can make some great finds there if you're willing to take a hacksaw to it in order to get what you want...
posted by schmod at 8:44 PM on April 11, 2011

If you post a couple of pics of the desk as it is now, we might be able to suggest a cheap and easy fix.
posted by jon1270 at 3:59 AM on April 12, 2011

I don't know where you are located, but I do a fair amount of buying/selling on Craigslist; I'm particularly interested in re-purposing furniture (antique pump organ into headboard for example.) I realize you don't have a car, but if you can find a listing for something (coffee table, kitchen table, desk) where the legs screw off you might be able to score a great deal. People list things for free or for $5.00 or $10.00 every day. Keep your eyes open and your imagination run wild. Also, you might try posting an ad in the barter section.

That said, this would be soooooo much easier with a car. No access? Not even a friend's that you can borrow?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:51 AM on April 12, 2011

If you are near a hardware store - try fence post / metal tubing. Depending on the size that is available, you can usually buy flange designed to fasten to the ground and "accept" the pipe - just turn it upside down.

The same idea as this kee-klamp - but hopefully less expensive.
posted by csmason at 6:59 AM on April 12, 2011

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