Standing Desk

Here’s a topic that’s a little different…

For nearly a year I’ve been toying with the idea of a standing desk because they’re supposed to be healthier. There are other reasons, too, but they’re more personal to me and I’ll review them as I move along with this tale.

I checked online and discovered your top-of-the-line models with hydraulics and electrical outlets built-in could run as much as $1700.00. Gasp! I’m a poor writer on a tight budget and that wasn’t going to do. On the lower end were stripped down models that were little more than a frame with a desktop that required manual raising and lowering. Still, I located a few for as little as $350.00. Still pricey for me. There were also desktop models…a unit that sat on your existing desk. It was possible to find those for around $150.00, but the idea of Misha jumping onto a desk attached to a desk filled me with dread. All I could visualize was it tipping over.

Besides, I got rid of my desk when I moved a year ago and have been improvising with a folding table ever since. Yeah, not ideal, but not too bad of an arrangement.

So, I thought and thought and considered and brainstormed. My biggest lightbulb moment came when I wondered if I could raise and lower ME instead of the desk; wouldn’t that be easier? Still, I’m no furniture maker and live in a small apartment so my options were few. Too, I have a couple of limitations: I live alone so I’d have to be able to do the work myself and I’m missing a third of my lung capacity so I must beware physical strain.

Photo: CA Hawthorne

Photo: CA Hawthorne

Months later I discovered the nearby reuse center that was within a short walking distance. In fact, if I take a certain route on the walking path I go by it, though I had no idea what it was (honestly, I thought it was a junk yard). I had no idea if they had anything that would help me, but discovering the answer to that question sounded like a fun outing so off I went. Just in case I came home with an unexpected treasure I took my car, a practice I’d repeat. I headed into their building where I initially discovered a few furniture pieces, but a lot of old kitchen and bathroom cabinets. H’m, interesting…

Photo: CA Hawthorne

Photo: CA Hawthorne

I explored further and found tile, nuts, bolts, cabinet doors, old plumbing/electrical, and assorted other parts that had been removed from old homes and businesses. In a word, there was a lot of junk. Ah, but the possibilities for all that junk. There was a lot behind the building, which at the time was dusted with snow, and there I found lumber, countertops, shelves, stone, windows, and assorted other large objects that I had no idea what they were. Didn’t matter since my mind was already thinking outside the box and heading off into uncharted territory.

I didn’t bring anything home that first day except possibilities and ideas. Eventually, though, I found a couple of wooden cabinets on wheels that had once been used in a dentist’s office. They were perfect for my needs and they gave me a great price on them. Though they offered to load them into my car, I knew I couldn’t lift them out so I went home, got a cart, and wheeled them home one at a time. I had to pace myself, and fortunately the route was level, but I got it done! Later came other parts until I had everything I needed and then the true work began…

Photo: CA Hawthorne

These are the cabinets…not perfect, but sturdy, as in WOOD sturdy. I cleaned them and fixed the laminate where I could (note the tape where I glued). Too, I lubricated the drawers/doors and sliding trays, which all still worked perfectly. There was awful shelf paper in the drawers and that HAD to go. Photo: CA Hawthorne

Photo: CA Hawthorne

All that crawling around, bending, and stooping came with a risk: plummeting oxygen saturation. Fortunately, I had my meter so I could check myself when my breathing suffered. I’d then take a break until it’d risen back over 89%. It slowed me down, but I had plenty of time. Photo: CA Hawthorne

Photo: CA Hawthorne

Okay, I know how to measure and drill, but I’m also a little bit of a clean freak. I can also be clever. I set the drill in the center of a roll of duct tape to contain the dust (also good for my lungs). Photo: CA Hawthorne

Photo: CA Hawthorne

Here’s the finished product. It isn’t beautiful, but it’s functional and sturdy. The cats can jump on it and it doesn’t even shudder. You can see the hole I drilled for cords at the upper, left-of-center of the photo. The stool is for when my legs become fatigued. Too, I had to add extra boards to achieve the right height, which is exactly right whether I’m standing or sitting. Photo: CA Hawthorne

Photo: CA Hawthorne

Here’s my desktop, which was created from an old countertop. It required my removing caulking that was splattered all over it, but it scraped off easily. It’s really stout! Photo: CA Hawthorne

Photo: CA Hawthorne

Here you can see one of the sliding trays. Quite handy. Another of the advantages is that because the desk is higher AND I don’t require leg room beneath I have lots of storage room beneath the desk. Another plus, especially for me, is that the desk separates into three parts in minutes (the two cabinets and the top). That makes moving it easy for me. Photo: CA Hawthorne

There’s no back on the desk, but eventually I’ll place a bookcase on the other side when I find one the size that I want. Beside the three advantages I’ve mentioned (health, storage, and ease of moving) I like that the desk is essentially recycled. Oh, and then there’s price…the entire cost of the desk was $65.00. I also spent $30.00 for the stool (I still have my desk chair and use it elsewhere).

Thus far I love it. I’m someone who has a difficult time sitting still and this makes that easier. I can shuffle my feet, even pace once or twice if I desire. I’ve discovered it does make a difference what I wear on my feet, though. My legs become tired more quickly if I stand in slippers instead of shoes. Still, it feels better to me and even if I only cut my sitting time in half that’s a huge benefit.

4 Replies to “Standing Desk”

  1. Pingback: Standing Desk | Christina Anne Hawthorne

    • I’m far more handy than I believe people suspect and I especially like to invent ways to utilize items for other purposes. Besides the reuse center we also have half-a-dozen thrift stores and I love to investigate those, too. Beyond the desk, my overall goal is to better utilize the space I have and that generally means making better use of vertical space. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Spring Cleaning | Christina Anne Hawthorne

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