Standing Desk

This is my first standing desk! Let’s first cover the basics:

  • Start: Feb 5, 2018
  • End: TBD
  • Wood Species: Select Pine (Home Depot)
  • Wood Supplier: Home Depot

I’ve become interested in acquiring a standing desk, but after discovering that high quality, commercial options cost in excess of $1000, I decided to build my own. Reading through a few DIY articles I finally settled on one that was both simple and robust1.

Table Legs

I haven’t followed the above article’s1 design excactly but have adopted its general approach.

To power the legs, I purchased a set of linear actuators and equipment from solar/wind company, WindyNation2:

  • 2pcs WindyNation Linear Actuator 12V 225lbs 20in-stroke-length
  • Maintained Up/Down DPDT Switch
  • Power Supply
  • Mounting Brackets

The total cost of the linear actuator equipment plus tax was $173.60, though as of writing this portion of the project, I’m seeing the same for considerably less2.

The next step was to decide on wood. Because the goal was to build an affordable alternative to commercially available options, I decided to go with Select Pine from Home Depot. I purchased 4 1"x6"x6’ and 4 1"x4"x6’ boards and then coated them once with Minwax Clear Gloss Wipe-On Poly3 for added beauty and protection.

Materials and Tools

As described in the article that my standing table follows1, the basic idea of each leg is to have a large box and a small box freely moveable within the large box. Each leg is extended or contracted via a linear actuator whose base mount is fixed to the bottom of the larger box and top mount is fixed to the top of the smaller box.

Having not gone to the same lengths as the template article1 to mock out the design, it took some trial and error to finally find dimensions of the inner and outer boxes that allowed them to freely move past one another but still retain just enough friction so as not to become too unstainable when the legs were fully extended as seen below.

Leg Too Loose

After minor adjustements (sanding typically), I was able to obtain a fit that was fairly stable when the leg was extended.

Leg More Snuggly Fit

The operation of the linear actuators isn’t very quiet and quite slow, but I assume it won’t be a huge problem since the desk is for home-use and I doubt I need to adjust more than twice a day.

Table Top


Next steps are to secure feet to each leg and then mount a suitable desktop to the two legs. Originally, I had planned on using the redwood slab from a previous project as the table top. However, after considering how soft redwood is and therefore its inability to cope with pressure intensive tasks such as pencils, keyboards, etc., I’ve decided find another medium for the tabletop.

Stay tuned!

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John Dallas Cast
Software Engineer

My research interests include computer vision and deep learning.