Where can I get a simple, affordable, adjustable standing desk?
April 23, 2007 1:51 PM   Subscribe

Where can I find a simple, affordable stand-up desk either online or in the Boston-area?

I find that when working on any creative project at my computer, especially writing, my ideas flow much better when i'm standing up. Unfortunately that's not the easiest thing to do at your standard office desk. I'm desperately in need of a simple, affordable 40 or so inch desk that can help me accomplish this.

Basically, I'm looking for something like this "Winston Churchill" desk but far below the minimum $995 price at that website. This one is definitely nice, but far too fancy for this soon-to-be graduate student.

There are also tons of standing workstations available all over the internet. The adjustability is nice so I can easily lower it when I want to sit down to work, but there are a lot of extras (keyboard holders, receded shelving for monitors, cpu stands) that I don't really need for my laptop. Additionally, the 19-inch widths leave a little space to be desired.

So basically think at 40-inch high desk with the simplicity of the Winston Churchill and the adjustability of a standing workstation. All for the price a poor grad student can afford.

I live in Boston and have no car so one I could buy on the internet is best. However, if there is one with a great price that someone knows of in the metro-area here, I can try to finagle a car out of friends.

Craig's List was useless for the query. Please do me better MeFites...
posted by jk252b to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Get regular small desk. Jordan's Furniture has some. You want one that's fairly narrow and simple, I'm guessing.

Put it on cinderblocks. Et voila - standing desk.
posted by zippy at 2:46 PM on April 23, 2007

If you have an Ikea near you check out the "jerker" (no really that's the name). I'm pretty sure the desk height can be set up for standing, but it is not "on the go" adjustable. Pretty reasonable at $129.

Ikea Jerker desk

I don't have one, but I'm moving soon and will probably get one for my new place. It seems to be good enough to have a fan club!:

Jerker Shrine
posted by shakobe at 3:09 PM on April 23, 2007

The cheapest option I found was an Elfa set at the container store. Check out my blog entry "Ergonomics":

Not a bad option if you have a wall available. I totally recommend some type of foot rest.
posted by GPF at 4:43 PM on April 23, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions so far.

shakobe: I did run across the Ikea Jerker desk, but they don't seem to have it at the store in Mass., nor is it available online.

GPF: I like that had thought of something like it, but am nervous about the strength of the shelving for the times I do decided to sit. I have a tendency when sitting to lean on my desk, so i don't want to rip it out of the wall (and destroy my computer in the process). How secure is yours?
posted by jk252b at 4:57 PM on April 23, 2007

Since you're using a laptop, the eNook could be an option: http://www.anthro.com/ppage.aspx?pmid=54
posted by jeri at 8:09 PM on April 23, 2007

Best answer: You could "make" one using Skandia modular shelving/desk system components. It's solid wood; I've had a desk with a very heavy monitor on it for ~10 years. Basically, a huge desktop can be suspended between two shelving units, or a more moderate one can be substituted for a regular "shelf", so you can have a desk at any height up to about 7 feet (at 2" increments).

Here's a smaller desk (part of a larger shelf unit), and here's large desktops (you wouldn't want the legs, you'd want two shelving units).

Does it look as nice as Churchill's desk? Probably not. But it's awesome in its own way.
posted by amtho at 8:29 PM on April 23, 2007

I have no doubts about the strength of the desk. I've leaned on the desk pretty hard and never had trouble. Partly because the desk is not that deep and I suppose it doesn't have terribly much leverage. Too, the vertical stands are secured by some pretty serious anchors. I've stacked all sorts of stuff on there without doubting the strength.

It's also pretty flexible in terms of set up and shelving options.

The setup requires some forethought and elbow grease, but for my money totally worth the effort.

If you've got a show room accessible, they often have them set up.
posted by GPF at 8:34 PM on April 23, 2007

Seconding the Jerker, maybe you can find someone locally selling one used? That's how I got mine.
posted by benign at 9:14 PM on April 23, 2007

Oh how I wish standing workstations were more common. I just think clearer when physical energy isn't constrained by sitting.

My google-fu will take a while to warm up to links on the topic, but the offices I worked in in Zurich had commissioned low cost, convertible, durable work spaces that went from sit down to standing through a simple lever--brake--guidewire mechanism. I'll ask some friends to take picture, although that might take a while.

Admittedly, this was for a laptop equipped workforce. As far as I know, the agreement was that we would get the fittings at a much reduced cost in return for the designers retaining ownership of any IP and future commercial opportunities.

In any case, it was good stuff and I'd love to have a similar setup today.
posted by michswiss at 6:22 AM on April 24, 2007

It's a bit more low-tech than some of the things you've indicated, but a friend of mine swears by his architectural drafting desk. I don't know where it originated--it was given to his father by an architect friend over a decade ago, and is pretty basic but quite the workhorse. The height can be adjusted, it can be tilted if necessary, and I've seen him squeeze up to 4 monitors on that thing (heavy ones, at that), though that number was something of a tight fit. There's been a couple of computers living on it ever since I've known him, though.

His model is apparently rather archaic (not too terribly surprising), but googling "drafting table" and viewing the image results should tell you if this is the sort of thing you're looking for.
posted by the luke parker fiasco at 5:31 AM on January 13, 2008

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