Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Side Table for a Stand Up Desk

About two years ago I shared my inexpensive stand up desk plan. I have used this stand up desk for almost three years, and I still love it just as much as the first day I put it together. I feel much better after a long day in front of my work computer than I did when tasks like that required me to sit in an office chair.

However, I recently expanded to a second monitor, and the stand up desk wasn't cutting it alone. I needed a companion surface for my desk. If I had merely doubled my stand up desk, I would have been without any work surface, so a second table/shelf combination would not have worked. I could have looked for a pre-made alternative, but that wouldn't have necessarily fit in my work space. So it was time to bust out with the table saw, some plywood, and an afternoon with my son (the girls were at dance class; otherwise they would have been part of it as well).
Every helper needs a BB-8 helmet.

The design was fairly simple. We just made a box with one side open. We nailed some 5/8" strips of plywood onto the inside of the box, spaced at 3" apart, to serve as shelf supports. And then we sanded all surfaces and painted it black to match the stand up desk. The total project took less than 2 hours and cost $25 for the sheet of 3/4" plywood (paint and screws were already on hand).

Because we had our measurements ahead of time and knew that the box would be 17" tall, with shelves, top, and bottom measuring 12", we had the good people at Lowe's cut one strip of the plywood at 17" and another strip at 12". This gave us smaller, correct size pieces of plywood to work with. It also cut out some time from the project since I did not have to attempt to wield an 8-foot sheet of plywood on my table saw.

Plenty of storage to reduce desk clutter
The end result is a monitor stand that I am proud of. There is room for my "to-do" papers, my mugs, bottles of ink, and anything else that I want accessible to me but invisible to those who visit my office.

And the greatest part of the whole project? Spending that time with my son. He played in the sawdust. He watched daddy safely cut the pieces of wood. He helped piece them together. And he used his hammer to drive nails into a couple of scraps of plywood that I gave him.

While the box is nothing fancy, it is something that reminds me of a project with my son. Now, when I'm standing at my desk, instead of just thinking about my stand up desk from Ikea parts, I can think of a fun morning building with my son.

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