Poor man's sit/stand desk/computer case brainstorm

Hey y’all. After returning from 3 months in the Alaskan bush with internet slower than 5 kbit (oh god, the flashbacks), I’ve relocated and am beginning my first real post-college job. As part of this process, I’ve been apartment hunting, and with that I’ve been thinking about furniture. I’m going to be going from having no furniture of my own to furnishing an apartment with stuff I find mostly on CraigsList. As part of this process though, I’ll be building a new desktop rig.

As I was going through L1T videos I missed while up north, I saw Wendell’s video about the Lian-Li sit/stand desk. I can’t spend the $2,000 or whatever on a desk like that, so I’m wondering if anybody out there has designed and made their own version on the cheap. I sympathize with Wendell’s perspective that a nice item can be a 10+ year solution, so I’m willing to spend some money and put in effort to create something I’m proud of.

Has anybody out there either made their own sit/stand desk or made a non-adjustable desk with built-in computer case functionality? I recall Linus’ video wherein he made a desk with a computer inside, but that entire process seemed a bit of a cluster. Perhaps it would be easy enough to modify an existing shadowbox desk or table? This project will have to occur after I move into a permanent living situation (later October), but I’m all for getting the jump on planning.

As an alternative to sit/stand desk why not a sand desk with a high stool. Way back when I worked for IBM in a hard drive factory the lines in the cleanroom were referred to as sit/stand.

The work area was just the right hight to stand but we had stools with footrests. I was doing 12-hour shifts and it was more than comfortable to swap between sitting and standing. Finding the right type of stool might be tricky but I guess a bar stool would do the trick. I know the current fashion is to have one of these motorised desks with extending legs but they are expensive and add an extra layer of complexity. Simplicity having a high desk and a bar stool gets you where you need to be without digging into the bank account too hard. Also, there is something about the way you sit on a barstool that helps your posture, there is no slumping on a barstool!

I actually really like this idea. I could buy a butchers-block countertop and some pipe + fittings for legs. That would be hefty as all hell so I could throw a huge monitor tree up there. Hmmmmm.

I think the most difficult part would be finding a comfortable stool. Like, I appreciate the bar-stool idea, but I’d like a backrest of some sort.

The seats we had at IBM had a back, looked a lot like an operators chair but taller with a footrest. The footrest is important as it’s a big part of sitting on a chair when your feet do not touch the ground. Heck, it’s how you get up onto it by hooking your heel on the footrest and standing up onto the chair. Also, you tend to perch on the seat with your feet tucked in under you rather than sit back on it as you would a regular chair. On those long shift, you would swap between standing and sitting. It’s this moving from sitting and standing that people want from a sit-stand desk I fear that if I had one of these motorised ones after a few days I would just have it in the sitting position and never lift it again. If the desk is fixed to the standing position you at more likely to use it standing for at least some of the time you are at your desk.

I found what to search for “oporator sitstand” this type of thing :

Anything he does is a cluster anyway.

If your willing to build a desk, and have a basic understanding of wiring and electrical motors - if not you can find a college level education on youtube - you can always use linear drive motors from amazon and build your own. Thats what most of the companies are using to build these 2000 dollar desk anyway. However, with a little time, patience and a willingness to learn a few more skills you can build the same desk for about 400 dollars. That includes drive motors, class table top, and all the wood for the desk. Me personally I would do mine out of metal, but I am a welder and fabricator.

Good luck and can’t wait to see what you come up with.

Haha, now now, let’s be nice. :wink:

I’ve never actually seen one of these motorized desks in person, but I’ve been thinking about this today and a plan is starting to form. I reckon I need about 20" of adjustability (range of roughly 30" to 48" heights), and I can build something really nice out of a scrap butchers-block countertop, some pipe and fittings, a sheet of tempered glass, some box tubing, a little welding (or metal-shop work if I cant find a welder to use and want it to actually be nice), motors, and an Arduino/Pi. This is gonna be a fun project for when I move into a new apartment.

I have thought about doing something similar, but it will be about a year or so before I have the need for something like that. Also, I am thinking about upgrading my system at the same time, so I may wait another 2 years from now before I do it.

I’m gonna be doing both of these at once as well. Maybe you can learn from the mistakes I’m going to make. I’ll be sure to document them.

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My dad works as a maintenance worker at a factory, and they have this.

Also, I found this.

Use a counterweight system with metal gears and bike chains. Make the legs with several bends in the pipe and color it a dull bronze and you got yourself a kick ass steampunk desk.

That is a draughtsman’s chair. I have been looking to get one of those because it is better than normal height chair for me with back injury. Also better to be standing when i do live streaming talking on microphone.

I would probably remake my desk to fixed height workbench, but also considering a manually adjustable riser on top of current desk using a synthesiser stand

I was thinking about a wall mounted chassis (PC Case) recently and concluded it could be mounted on tracks and have a small desktop surface (mouse/keyboard/speakers/cup of coffee) attached to the case. For small spaces, a wall mount makes the most sense.

The track could be motorized, but also manually adjusted. It would just take a little creativity.

Monitors could be attached directly to the PC chassis, or separate.

I wonder if there are any aesthetically pleasing scissor-jacks or similar jacks that can lift heavy weights, or if I can conceive a clever way to conceal such a device. I could lift it on some sort of guide, be that rails, posts, whatever, then secure it in place at the designated height with pins or blocks or similar. For what I want to build, I need a much larger workspace that i can use for drawing, note taking, and really laying things out (this is the only way I’m really going to use it).