8 Steps to Build DIY Adjustable Standing Desk: A Complete Guide
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8 Steps to Build DIY Adjustable Standing Desk: A Complete Guide

Autonomous|Feb 3, 2021

Are you thinking about getting a standing desk? You might be quick to think that purchasing a pre-made one is the easiest thing to do. However, the style, the size, or the design may not match what you are looking for. Instead, try doing a DIY adjustable standing desk. That way, you can customize it perfectly to fit your needs.

There are lots of benefits to having a standing desk. Plus, building own standing desk can make you feel productive, energized, and excited to work with your hands—especially if you sit at your desk working all day.

Is It Better to Build Your Own DIY Adjustable Standing Desk?

The answer to this question depends entirely on your perspective. If you want a cheaper alternative to regularly priced standing desks, then, yes, it is better to build DIY adjustable desks. However, if you are suspicious of the overall quality of something made from your hands, then there are some risks. To point you in the right direction, follow the eight steps below to make the best DIY adjustable height desk.

Is It Better to Build Your Own DIY Adjustable Standing Desk?

What Are the Pros and Cons of DIY Adjustable Standing Desk?

Like any other do-it-yourself project, there are pros and cons to building a DIY adjustable standing desk.

Pros of DIY Adjustable Standing Desk

  • Cheaper
  • Easier to customize
  • Adjust the dimensions according to your space

Cons of DIY Adjustable Standing Desk

  • Takes more time
  • May not end up the way you want it

One of the main concerns when you build DIY adjustable desk is that it is not going to end up the way you want it. However, we can put those concerns to bed as we include all the steps you need for constructing the best DIY adjustable standing desk for your office.

Some Things to Consider First

There are several things to consider. The first is deciding what standing desk base you want. There are different standing desk designs to pick from—both simple and complicated. Here is a list of other elements to think about:

  • Type of wood
  • Motorized or crank
  • Your budget

Oak, walnut, and pine are all excellent selections, but it comes down to your style preference. It also may depend on your budget, which may also limit the overall size of your desk. You should also choose between a motorized desk and a crank-controlled desk. Motorized is easier to use but can be costlier.

Some Things to Consider First

What You Need?

Here is a list of materials you need for your DIY adjustable height desk:

  • Wood for table top
  • Woodscrews
  • SmartDesk DIY Kit
  • Woodworking glue

What You Need

Some of the tools you need for the project include:

  • Circular saw
  • Wood planer
  • Tape measure
  • Pipe clamps
  • Drill or wrench
  • Palm sander

8 Steps to Building Your DIY Standing/Sitting Desk

1. Build the Frame

The most important aspect of your DIY adjustable standing desk is the frame. This is what holds everything up. You may choose to build this part yourself, but if you prefer a DIY adjustable electric desk, then we highly recommend purchasing the SmartDesk DIY Kit.

With the kit, you can pick out the style of the frame. There is the standard, the premium, and the L-shaped. Pick what works best for you, and then be sure to determine the dimensions for your tabletop.

Build the Frame

2. Glue the Wood Together

Once you have your frame supplied and ready to go, you should focus on the top—the actual desk part. This is where you are going to conduct all your work and place all your items.

Whether you choose walnut or oak, you need to glue the lumber together. Brush the woodworking glue over the area you want to be hidden from view. Then place the two pieces of wood together and use woodworking pipe clamps to keep it all in place. The glue should take about six to 12 hours to dry.

You may skip this step altogether if you are using a single sheet of wood for your desk.

3. Cut Out the Tabletop

Once your glue is all dry and the wood tabletop is ready to go, cut it to match the desk frame's dimensions. Using a circular saw, cut the edges so that they are not rough.

Quick note—cut the tabletop with the saw from the bottom so that you don’t get too rough of a finish.

4. Plane the Tabletop

This is where your wood planer comes into play. It shaves off thin strips of wood so you can have a smooth finish. With that being said, prepare your planer and use it to touch up any rough patches and inconsistencies. Use a level, additionally, to make sure that the entire surface is even.

Plane the Tabletop

5. Sand Everything Down

Though you go through the process of planning, you should still sand the entire wood desk down. This gets out splinters and any other hazards that the planer may have missed. If the wood is really rough, use a two-step process, using either an 80-grit or a 120-grit and a 240 sandpaper. However, if your wood is well-off, only a sanding with 240 is enough.

Sand Everything Down

6. Apply Your Wood Finish

Depending on the look you want, this step is dedicated to applying a stain finish. This can make your desk stand out. You may skip this step if you like the natural look, but many people opt for a stain finish.

7. Attach the Tabletop to the Legs

Lower the legs so that you can apply the tabletop as easily as possible. Then, use clamps to keep everything in place as you screw everything together. Make sure that the screws are the right length according to the thickness of the desk. Additionally, it is better to use wood screws for a wood tabletop.

Attach the Tabletop to the Legs

8. Add the Finishing Touches (Including Any Control Units)

This is your chance to make the desk your own. Add on any extras or designs. This is also the step to add your control units, like the buttons for height-adjustable desks. Clamps come in very handy for this step also.


Your DIY adjustable standing desk project does not have to be too complicated. To save money and tap into your creative side, follow these eight steps to increase productivity and lead a more active lifestyle.


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WRITTEN BYAutonomous

We build office products to help you work smarter.

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