2013-01-04 13.58.48

Stack-a-Lack, or: A new approach to an Ikea standing desk

Recently, I stumbled over a couple of posts that pointed out the benefits of a standing desk or a sit/stand workplace. As I had much work to do work to do in front of the computer in 2012, my body felt weak and from time to time, I even got back pain of my sitting position.

So I realized that giving this thing a try was exactly the right thing to do in this moment and started to look at some hacks via Google and over at Instructables. The research can be summarized in this great post from priceonomics, except that it’s missing a very cheap and probably the most popular version, the Lack table add-on from Colin Nederkoorn.

Basically, this lack table was my entry point into the world of standing desks, and during the first two days, I actually really liked it. But there were a number of flaws in this design:

  • On my desk, the keyboard was positioned too high for my taste and could not be lowered further.
  • My only table was taken, so there was no place to do work while sitting, which was especially important in the first few days.
  • It looked kind of unfinished, so I would have to rebuild it once I had converted or build a new table from scratch.

Additionally, there were some detail problems concerning monitor height and placing surfaces, so I had to take a different approach. After going through all projects I could find, I decided to got a new way because all the existing solutions seemed either too big or not stable enough for their high price (especially the Ikea legs looked pretty fragile). Fixed legs wouldn’t be able to provide enough flexibility for me to find my ideal ergonomic position.

And because I really liked the Lack table itself and its size, I decided to go for one of those.

So additionally to my first one, I grabbed to more tables at Ikea and stacked them on top of each other. The result: a nice structure, but way too high! And I had to attach them to one another somehow…

Cutting

One table had to be cut down, and it had to be the top one to leave enough place for my desktop and printer. It seems nobody has ever chopped a lack, I just took my saw and decided to go for it. And not surprisingly, the legs were hollow on the inside. I hammered the rest of the leg apart and shoved the small wood piece from the bottom back into the remaining leg (didn’t want to waste time on gluing, but it really should be done), so it looked as before, just a bit lower.

Stacking

Quite some people have stacked Lack tables before, but the methods seemed unsatisfying, as some involved glue and others double-sided tape. That did not serve my needs, I wanted a more stable solution, as it had to carry my computer and a monitor at a height of over 1,2 m. I had some spare wooden 10mm bolts lying around and as these were used in more massive constructions, I decided they should be able to do the trick.

So I started drilling holes into every table leg and every table corner, using the width of a yardstick (around 1,6 cm) for measurement. It turned out to be the ideal position for bolts up to 10 mm, as you don’t touch the screw inside at all and have enough space towards the borders of the table.

 

Assembly

After doing the procedure with all the tables (1x cutting, 2x leg drilling, 2x top drilling), I carried them  to their destination and placed them where they belonged. This is how the final table looks like (after attaching the shelf) and it is small, but very stable for its size. I won’t build another standing desk so soon as I really love it! (Gotta take care of that cable mess, btw). Price was 23,96 €, I guess it’ll be hard to get a real standing desk any cheaper.

2013-01-04 12.24.08

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5 thoughts on “Stack-a-Lack, or: A new approach to an Ikea standing desk

  1. Stopped in from Lifehacker. I’m very interested in your post, and am impressed with the results. I’ve been trying to find a solution, as well, to make the switch for myself.
    Is the final product rickety, or overly top-heavy? That’s my only real reservation from doing this myself, as I have little kids. Honestly, for the price I’d be tempted to go with it anyway. Maybe I could use anchors and wall brackets, like Ikea uses for their dressers.
    Anyway, thanks for the post!

  2. Wrote you an email, the large base seems to add a lot of stability actually, even if not glued together. Additionally, you could try the wall attachment or attach the screen itself to the wall for smaller risk. Thinking about this myself, actually….

  3. Hey, I was just thinking about stacking lack tables for a standing laptop desk and came across your post! How did you make the tray for your keyboard?

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