Going all out
This post is a successor to my first attempt at [building a standing desk] ( /post/misc/desk/). Back during college when I built my first desk I didn't have much of a budget since it was a spur of the moment decision. Because of this the solution I came up with ended up being a permanent standing desk built using misc. parts from Lowe's. Ever since graduating from college however, I've found it less than thrilling to come home and stand at my desk after standing all day at work. I finally decided to bite the bullet and build a custom adjustable desk.
After doing a bit of research and deciding on shooting for a mid grade solution that wouldn't kill my wallet I ended up choosing the Autonous SmartDesk 2. One of the major influencers behind my decision was this very detailed review.
Since the kit doesn't come with a top I picked up a nice 24"x48” piece of wood from Lowe's and finished it myself. I still had all the stain + polyurethane from the first attempt so total cost for the wood was just shy of $25. I forgot to take a picture before test mounting the brackets but here is the top before starting on it.
I didn't want any bare wood exposed, but at the same time didn't want to make the effort of staining the bottom of the desk since it will always be hidden. The easiest solution seemed to be a quick spray bomb job. One can of semi-gloss black later, and a quick scuff with 240 grit for preparation the bottom was looking quite nice.
Another requirement of mine was that I didn't want an excessive amount of wires showing. I feel as if it is an often overlooked aspect of projects that can leave them from looking their best. My solution was to (hack) modify a metal wire shelf to serve as a nice and slender wire basket in the back of the desk.
After that the next step was to wire up the motors and control panel.
Once everything was all hooked up I flipped over the desk and dragged it into the office to get ready for staining the top. I am very impressed with the quality of the frame as there is no wobble, and fully assembled the desk feels just shy of 75LBs.
This piece was my second attempt at staining wood and I'm pretty pleased with the outcome. Even though there are some air bubbles trapped in the finish due to my ignorance it ended up looking pretty nice. I purposely went with a semi gloss finish to reduce how much wear it would show over the years.
Then came the fun part of wiring everything up. I decided to leave a lot of slack in the video cords since my work laptop and personal laptop have their display ports located in different spots. While 95% of the time I'll be using my personal laptop here, I wanted to ensure I'd have a nice place to work when I do work from home.
Final shots of the desk pushed into it's new home.
Overall this project took about a weekend from start to finish. Out of all the steps though, I'd say waiting for the stain and polyurethane to dry was probably the hardest. Due to my stubborness of not wanting to use the instructions I had to disassemble and reassemble a few times, plus I only decided on using loctite after having completed assembly of the frame…
I feel I made a good choice going with the SmartDesk 2 as it's very quite, and exceptionally sturdy. Plus the price can't be beat.