Materials: The materials for this desk are 100% IKEA! One stop shopping:
1 x LAGAN Countertop (96 7/8” x 25 5/8” x 1 1/8”) – $59.00
4 x VIKA KAJ Leg, adjustable ($15.00 x 4) – $60.00
2 x CAPITA Bracket, stainless steel ($15.00 x 2) – $30.00
… and if you are just starting with a standing desk, get a barstool to take sitting breaks as you build up your tolerance for standing. I recommend:
1 x STIG Bar stool with backrest (29 1/8”) – $19.99
Total Cost w/chair (pre-tax) = $168.99
Time to build: 3-6 hours (once you have the materials)
Drill (w/screwdriver bit)
Random Orbit Sander and/or sandpaper
Like other standing desk hackers who have submitted ideas, I had a sore back from sitting at a desk all-day and wanted to try a standing desk without shelling out $800+ for a geek desk, which is functional, but industrial looking. I wanted it to look good, and also wanted stability. I love the paper filled fiberboard that IKEA sells for desktops, but I really needed a wood worktop surface and a desk stable enough to free-stand away from a wall. It also had to be simple, so I could take it apart easily, bring it to my office, and reassemble it without much effort. My budget was $200.
Behold… the VIKA BRÅD (yes, I named it after myself):
First, I cut the countertop in half. I used a piece of wood and two clamps to keep the saw straight, but you can skip this if you have a steady hand. IKEA sells a 49” version of the LAGAN counter top, and you can substitute two of them, but that will add $20.
After cutting, I used the sander on the cut edges to (a) smooth them, and (b) held the sander gently at a 45-degree angle to the top and bottom of each cut edge to replicate the bevel on the rest of the countertop. Then I examined the two pieces to see which face was the best, and used this for the top. I labeled each face lightly in pencil so I wouldn’t get mixed up.
Next, I made a freehand cutout in the bottom desktop using a jigsaw so I wouldn’t rub against the bottom desktop while standing if I leaned in. You can do this any way you like or skip it. I measured in approximately 9” from each end, traced a drinking glass to make the semicircle, and then drew a line between the two curves with a straight piece of wood. Go slow with the jigsaw, as the countertop is thick. I sanded smooth and beveled it with the random orbit sander and used sandpaper wrapped around the glass to sand the curves.
Next, I installed the 4 VIKA KAJ legs on the four corners of the bottom desktop. I measured in 3” from each face of the corner, and where the lines intersected, I centered the round leg bracket.
Next, I installed the CAPITA brackets. You can orient them different ways, but make sure the CAPITA bracket bottom bolt will not fall on the same spot as the VIKA KAJ legs when you attach the top desktop to the bottom desktop. To install the CAPITA brackets, first attach the side with multiple screws to the underside of the top desktop.
Once you have done this, set the top desktop gently on the bottom desktop with the CAPITA brackets facing down as in the photo. Measure where the bolts on the bracket fall relative to the edges of the bottom desktop to make sure the top desktop is centered on the bottom desktop. When doing this, measure the distance front to back and side to side. I had to make a bunch of small adjustments to get this right. When you like are happy with the position, use a pencil and trace around the four CAPITA bracket bolts.
Next, remove the top desktop and set it against a wall gently so you don’t bend the CAPITA brackets. Drill holes using the drill bit size recommended in the CAPITA bracket instructions. Pick up the top desktop and set it down on the bottom desktop as before, inserting the CAPITA bracket bolts into the holes. I did not use the large black plastic washers on the bottom of the CAPITA bracket, as I assumed those were to prevent water from getting under the bracket. I suppose you can use it if you want. Tighten the nuts and washers on the bolts with the pliers and you are done!
Things to consider
The finished desk is height adjustable. I am 6’ tall and the work surface is around 43” for me. I don’t think this design will go much taller than that. If you are taller, you may want to consider using the CAPITA table leg that is a few inches longer, rather than the CAPITA bracket I used and is about the same price.
Also, I considered using a router to carve out shapes in the top face of the bottom desktop to hold pens and a coffee mug, but I haven’t done this yet.
Finally, you will need to use finish or oil on the wood surfaces periodically. IKEA sells BEHANDLA Wood treatment oil ($4.99), which works fine.
~ Brad C., North Carolina, USA