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Published on February 20th, 2014 | by TS Jones


Convert the FINNVARD into a height adjustable standing desk


I was looking for a nice looking, economical and easy to build standing desk hack. I like some of the designs on this site, but I wanted to be able to adjust the height which most don’t have. I saw this idea while combing through google images for standing desks designs. It’s from a company that sells a kit, but they also give away their design so you can build it yourself, which is what I did according to their instructions.

I really like the desk because you can adjust it to your height. It also looks nice and not just like a pile of furniture like many inexpensive standing desks.

You need to buy or borrow:

1) 2 x IKEA FINNVARD trestle with shelf ($60)

2) 1 IKEA LINNMON table top ($25.99 for white)

3) 15mm drill bit (10-15$)

4) 6mm drill bit (1/4 inch will work…I had this…$4?)

5) Power drill

6) 4 pieces of 1x 3 red oak cut to 22 inch pieces ($16 or so)

What to do:

1) Mark your holes according to the plans shown in the diagrams.


2) Drill the large holes with the 15mm bit. This is the right size to reuse the IKEA wooden pegs that you use to adjust the desk.

3) Drill the holes in the one end with the 6mm bit. This is a bit tricky, but see tip below. Also, make sure you drill in the right end.

4) Substitute the short vertical pieces from IKEA with the ones you just made (see photo below), and build the FINNVARD trestles just like in the IKEA instructions.



When drilling the 15mm holes, you can use the IKEA piece as a drill guide if you have a couple of clamps to secure them together. Once you make one piece, you can use that one as a guide for the other three to make sure you get them all the same alignment. A drill press would make things a lot easier.

When drilling the smaller holes, if you have already built the trestle part you can use the trestle as a clamp to hold the wood vertical so you can drill it properly.

Here are the photos of my desk. I spent about $130 and it took me a few hours. It’s very functional and way better than spending $400 or so on an adjustable desk. If you don’t want to make the pieces yourself like I did, I suppose you can buy their kit for $79 which means it will cost about $165 or so.

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The Author


9 Responses to Convert the FINNVARD into a height adjustable standing desk

  1. Daniel says:

    Is it easy to adjust up and down if you want to switch between sitting and standing?

  2. Dan says:

    How sturdy does the desk feel after the modification? Does it wobble when you lean on it? I’m looking to put a heavy 6′x3’1.25″ table top on it along with two flat screen computer monitors. I’m worried that someone’s going to lean on it and it will all come crashing down…

  3. Johnathon says:

    How sturdy is this? Could I lean on it?

  4. LR says:

    Question: I bought my desk and trestles second-hand and the previous owner lost the 4 15-mm wooden pegs/dowels used to level the desk. Any thoughts about where I could get the right size replacement?
    Many thanks!

    • Jeff Dempsey says:

      You may want to try going to IKEA. They have spare parts for their items by the customer service area. At the Renton, WA and Portland, Oregon stores, at least, they do.

      Good luck!

  5. LR says:

    Question: I build a great desk and everything looks good. Here’s the problem. I bought the original desk second-hand and the previous owner had lost the 4 15-mm pegs or dowels that level the desk. Any ideas about where I could get 4 wooden pegs to replace the lost ones? Many thanks!!!

  6. KK says:

    Thanks for alerting me to this helpful hack! I followed your/’s instructions, and it turned out great.

    Three tips I’ll add for people:
    1) If you’re having trouble finding a 15mm drill bit, 5/8″ will work. It’s a little big, but as long as you’re resting the dowels on the trestle base (as you’re supposed to) before securing the wingnuts, the desk shouldn’t wobble.
    2) If you don’t have a saw, Home Depot will cut to size any lumber you buy, no extra charge.
    3) Buy a standing desk mat to support your joints while standing all day. The Wirecutter did a great review of your options:

  7. TS Jones says:

    Just follow the same directions as the FINNVARD. You reuse the cross bar that the table rests on. The FINNVARD trestles come with screws for mounting the linnmon top, but I just rest mine on the trestles. The trestle tops have rubber pieces that will prevent the top from sliding around and that is good enough for me.

  8. Rickey says:

    How did you attach the Linnmon table top to the trestles?

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