Adjustable height desk

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Project by Chelios posted 01-21-2010 07:09 AM 7643 views 7 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My 2 yr old daughter loves to draw and paint and scribble everywhere, especially my bedroom walls so I decided to make her a small desk for her to use instead. I thought this desk would be around for a while and so I designed it where you can adjust for height as she grows. Hope this lasts her through college.

The height adjustment mechanism is on a runner made of the same wood.

I used some scrap 3/4 maple boards that had a lot of bow and figure. I tried different ways of smoothing the top for finishing. I used hand plane, low angle block plane, smoothing plane, 180, 320, and 400 grit sandpaper and card scrapers but still wasn’t satisfied with the results.

I need to get a better method for this step in particular. Any suggestions to make this easier with the figured woods?


ps. I attached the top with the 8’s desktop fasteners and wasn’t really impressed with them. I gues it is ok for now and if I need to re-attach the top later I can always go back and use another method

9 comments so far

View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile


12758 posts in 3184 days

#1 posted 01-21-2010 08:09 PM

Hi, nice table design. Did you make the top adjustable so it can be used like a drafting table?

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

View Chelios's profile


568 posts in 3094 days

#2 posted 01-22-2010 02:21 AM

Hey Thanks, I didn’t really. I thought about it but didn’t come up with a good design choice to get it right. I figured I could replace the two top supports when I can come up with a good idea. Have you seen any good approach?

View Chelios's profile


568 posts in 3094 days

#3 posted 01-23-2010 06:35 PM

Thanks PrairieFire…that is a very true statement..I try however to leave ways for change as I am really new at this and I am experimenting and learning new things. I think I am lacking in the very basic skills as you can see. How can one finish figured wood without so much sanding???

View a1Jim's profile


117126 posts in 3605 days

#4 posted 01-23-2010 06:36 PM

Good idea well done

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Jim Reeves's profile

Jim Reeves

209 posts in 3051 days

#5 posted 02-22-2010 04:14 AM

I sure your daughter loves it because her Daddy made it and in the end that is all that matters is your angel.

-- jim

View ergodesktop's profile


1 post in 2940 days

#6 posted 06-05-2010 08:56 PM

I love the all wood desk, vert nice job !!! I started out 3 years ago trying to build a portable unit to sit on my desk so I could sit or stand at my computer. I started with 1/2 thick plywood, pvc plumbing pipes and a gas nitrogen spring. This idea failed more than 20 times before I finally come up with a design that worked. We now sell these sit to stand adjustable height desk units internationally and it all started with $20.00 worth of lumber and plumbing peices. You can see photos of the current desk unit at

PS….My 2 year old grand daughter loves to sit on the units and ride up and down !!!!

View Chelios's profile


568 posts in 3094 days

#7 posted 06-06-2010 04:02 PM

Hey ergodesktop

I went on your site. I like your designs, you certainly engineered them nicely. Welcome to LJs! You will see that there are a bunch of great people and projects on this site.

all the best and thanks for looking

View Tugboater78's profile


2746 posts in 2219 days

#8 posted 05-28-2012 12:15 AM

I like this. May take yer general idea and change it. My now 16 yr old niece went with me, this past holiday season, into a Woodcraft store. She seen a piece of cocobola, i think, and asked if i could make her a tilt desk with it that she could take to college with her. The loving uncle i am said i would try. Ill update, hope i can get it done in 2 years!

-- "....put that handsaw to work and make it earn its keep. - summerfi" <==< JuStiN >==>=->

View Chelios's profile


568 posts in 3094 days

#9 posted 05-30-2012 02:02 PM

Sure Justin, good luck with the build. Looking forward to your finished desk. All the best

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