Creating a Lift Desk #16: The Final Product, A Prototype

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Blog entry by Underdog posted 02-26-2016 08:31 PM 732 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 15: Final Assembly and Installation - putting the puzzle together. Part 16 of Creating a Lift Desk series no next part

Several years ago, when I first envisioned a new desk for my office I was thinking of a total remodel to accomplish several things, one of which was getting our server off the floor and into a cabinet, another of which was creating a showpiece for custom carving capabilities.

Now, a few years later, due to health priorities, what I wound up with was something totally different. Now I have a functional lift desk that will accommodate any position, standing, sitting, or anything in between.

Hopefully it will help with the sciatica.

With no further ado, here are the pictures:

Here’s a video of the lift desk:

It is a one-off creation, so naturally there are things I learned during the process. I would change several things about the design as a result. But I did meet most of my criteria.
Here’s a recap of the criteria I posted at the beginning of the blog:
1) Adjustable from sitting to standing – Check
2) Quick to adjust – Check- modestly quick.
3) Easy to adjust – Check – would change the location of switch though.
4) DIY solution – Check (And how!)
5) keyboard and monitor independantly adjustable (Keyboard: Check – Monitor arm still a possibility.)
6) minimum 16” height difference – Check – full 20 inches of adjustment.
7) Keyboard angle negative adjustable – Check
8) Monitor angle adjustable – No. Again, monitor arm adjustable
9) Keyboard tray large enough for split keyboard and mouse- Check: May make a new tray
10) number pad stand at angle – check, but this also may change.
11) made of wood? – Check.
12) Light weight – Not a all.
13) stylish? – Check – Passably so. Originally wanted Cherry. Would change black trim to Walnut.
14) gears visible? – Steampunk DID cross my mind, but NO.
15) Carvings? – Maybe next time.
16) Sturdy – Check. OH YES.
17) Stable – Check.
18) Aesthetically pleasing – Check.
19) Privacy/Modesty panels – Check.
20) Integrates with rest of office. – No. A little large actually, and doesn’t match the original style.
21) Storage- File Drawers – Pencil (etc) drawers – etc – Check. LOTS of storage.

Most of my criteria were met. Most of the important ones anyway.

But what would I change now that it is in use?

Well one of the most glaring issues is the fact that there are some pretty bad pinch points. The top, as it descends, will crush anything that is between it and the subtops. Also, the skirt as it descends, tends to catch the trash can. So I would create a much smaller top that only overlapped the bases by a quarter inch plus the thickness of the molding. And I would stop it before it got all the way to the sub tops. The skirt would be captured within a race built into the bases. I would probably incorporate roller bearings into the skirt and races instead of using a “V” type capturing method.

The next glaring issue is that I attached the top off center from the arms of the mechanism. So the weight of the top, the UPS, the CPU, and Keyboard tray are all on one side. Consequently, at the top of the travel the column tends to cant, making the top tilt over. I’m a little concerned it will wear the column prematurely. I may have to relocate the mechanism and change the attachment point on the top.

There are a few more things that I would probably change, but those two are the major things.

The other, littler issues I’ll probably address at some point in the future. For instance, I’ll probably put some dividers in the drawers at some point, as well as make another tray out of Corian for the keyboard pullout. And at some point I’ll get another monitor, and I’ll want a monitor arm that I can adjust.

It’s been quite a project, and took much longer than I first anticpated. But it has been quite worth it.

Thanks for following along with me.

-- "woodworker with an asterisk"

4 comments so far

View JoeinGa's profile (online now)


7365 posts in 1426 days

#1 posted 02-26-2016 09:02 PM

NICE ! THat thing is wicked cool ! Great job !

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Underdog's profile


878 posts in 1455 days

#2 posted 02-26-2016 09:16 PM

Thanks Joe!

-- "woodworker with an asterisk"

View OldGuysRule's profile


130 posts in 392 days

#3 posted 02-27-2016 06:59 AM

Ditto on what Joe said!

I was thinking about the same concept but, I was thinking raise the whole desk. Telescoping legs. I do like the way that it looks. Love the color contrast!

-- Rod P.........OLD GUY......Learning new things!

View Underdog's profile


878 posts in 1455 days

#4 posted 02-29-2016 02:43 AM

I think there’s a link on my first blog post to a couple of DIY desks that do that Rod.

-- "woodworker with an asterisk"

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