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DIY Adjustable Desk Legs: 10 Steps to Make Your Own

Avatar of Autonomous Autonomous | Mar 12, 2021
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By now, you understand how unhealthy sitting all day long is. Are you thinking of building yourself a DIY adjustable standing desk? Not only is it a great solution to redesign your office space, but it also means that you get to stamp your identity on your desk’s composition. While it is true that you likely need some level of construction expertise to pull this one off, it’s a fun project that your body is going to thank you for later.

When making your adjustable desk, it is advised that you use adjustable height desk legs that either adjust to sit-or-stand levels or that it can go all the way to the floor. The former is typically the way people do it, as they have no reason to adjust their desks to the floor.

Standing desk legs form the base of your desk. The foundation must be a solid one to handle whatever needs you may have, so as you think about your build, bear your equipment load in mind. Do you need some advice on the leg types and the building process? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Enjoy the information below, and happy designing!

Pros and Cons of An Adjustable Standing Desk

Pros of An Adjustable Standing Desk

Before diving into the steps needed to make your adjustable desk and the diy adjustable desk legs necessary, it's important to look at some reasons why people are investing in standing desks. Have you ever considered what the advantages of the desks are? Here are some: 

  • An adjustable standing desk can help you burn some calories, though it may not be as much you would in the gym. However, you can certainly burn some calories standing which you are going to be doing more of, instead of sitting all day. 
  • A common complaint from remote workers is chronic back and neck pains, as sitting for extended periods can be uncomfortable and detrimental to your health. Using an adjustable standing desk can help with switching up your mode of operation, making you more active, reducing your back, shoulder pains, cramps, and keeping your body in good shape.
  • When using an adjustable standing desk correctly, it helps the user maintain natural body positioning, improve cognitive function, and encourages proper posture. 
  • An adjustable standing desk is great at promoting healthy blood flow in your core, legs, and glutes as it encourages movement, instead of the traditional setup that has you sitting in one place all day. 
  • The standard sedentary work style you are accustomed to is broken once you start using an adjustable standing desk, which helps to sharpen your mind and improves your performance and boost productivity
  • Since human beings were not built for sitting and were created for movement, the standing desk helps you to get the required movement in.

Pros of An Adjustable Standing Desk

Cons of An Adjustable Standing Desk 

No one can dispute that an adjustable standing desk is an excellent asset. Be that as it may, some disadvantages ought to be taken into consideration. These are as follows:

  • While sitting for an extended period is dangerous to your health, so is standing constantly. Whenever you stand, numerous muscles are engaged, and support comes from your knees. This increases the pressure on such areas and leads to chronic health conditions, side effects, and pains. 
  • Change is not immediate, as it takes some getting used to if you want to be a part of the standing desk culture. If you were once used to spending the entire workday seated, having to work and stand is not the easiest thing in the beginning. It feels like a strain at first and can get downright uncomfortable. Consider implementing shorter standing sessions and flexibly schedule sit-stand sessions at the beginning.
  • If you are not conscious of the way you stand, it is easy to practice bad posture. Since there is no feature to correct your alignment, this may be an issue that could have serious negative implications. 

Cons of An Adjustable Standing Desk

Adjustable Desk Leg Variations

You can find a lot of adjustable desk leg types. The most common of them all are:

  • Pin-style “fixed” position legs
  • Telescoping desk legs
  • Electric powered adjustable desk legs
  • Fold-away adjusting desk legs
  • Manual crank desk legs

​​​​​​​Adjustable Desk Leg Variations

Choosing the Best DIY Adjustable Desk Legs

In considering building your adjustable standing desk, getting a motorized standing desk is a bit costly. However, doing so offers better value for money and allows for ergonomic elements that benefit you a great deal. These are the best diy adjustable desk legs that should be ideal for your project.

1. Standard Adjustable Desk Legs

This fixed, sleek, black modern design allows you to rapidly adjust the height of the desk on almost every surface. This type of leg is 4-30 inches in length, and it weighs about 220 pounds. The mechanism is easy to install but comes with a limited range of adjustments. 

The standard diy adjustable desk legs are a popular choice as they do not require much experience in woodworking. You simply just screw the legs into the underside of the wooden desktops, make a few adjustments to the level of the floor, and you have yourself a desk. It's simple design and easily attachable plates make it possible to fit almost all kinds of desktops. Once the wood is solid and you use the screws that come with the set, you should have no problem. If you want a suggestion for good customization, you might want to have a keyboard tray installed. 

Standard Adjustable Desk Legs

2. Manual Crank Adjustable Desk Leg

If you are on a budget and looking for a good adjustable height desk leg option, this sit-stand, manual crank-style table can adjust to all your needs. It weighs in at about 132 pounds, boasts 18 inches of adjustment range, and cements it all with a sturdy build and an easy installation process. The crank allows you to move both legs up and down at the same time and does not rely on power. When using a manual crank desk leg, you can build any kind of desk, but it is best to purchase the unit first. You can then select a top of sufficient length and width. A thicker top is recommended to offset the weight of the diy adjustable desk leg. Don't worry, as the desk is designed for thicker tops, so it isn’t going to be toppling over.  

Manual Crank Adjustable Desk Leg

3. Folding Telescopic Desk Leg

This telescopic adjustable desk leg is a good idea for a fold-away wall desk, as it enables you to build a desk surface you can fold against the wall. It weighs in at 176 pounds, is easy to install, and has a swinging arm design with collapsible legs for a narrower desk length. While it has a limited range of adjustment, this one-of-a-kind desk leg style is ideal for small spaces that cannot facilitate a desk being up consistently.

If you build your desktop with the width of the fully collapsed leg, attaching one of the ends of the desk to folding hinges or mounting the leg in the center section of the desk should be very easy. The ends of the adjustable desk frame can be used to balance the desk after installation. 

Folding Telescopic Desk Leg

4. Electric Adjustable Desk Frame

This is a premium option where standing desks of the DIY variety are concerned. Even in the context of prebuilt desks, an electric standing desk frame is always a standout option. Telescopic adjustable legs allow you to build your desktop and just attach the legs. The adjustable desk frame is power lifted, with 8 inches of adjustment range, a 176 lb. weight capacity, and a super-easy setup process. While the adjustment range and height for taller desks are limited, the electric adjustable desk frame is available for L-shaped adjustable standing desks and regular desks. Additionally, it’s sturdy and has a simple control for raising and lowering the desk. 

The possibilities are endless with the electric adjustable desk frame but bear in mind that you need a power source near the desk for the work. You need a thick stable top to avoid toppling and flexing. Fixtures, paintings, and windows may obstruct its automatic movements, so be careful with placement.

Electric Adjustable Desk Frame

5. Classic Schoolroom Adjustable Desk Legs

These adjustable height desk legs are telescopic, with a wide adjustment range of up to 30 inches. Additionally, it boasts a heavy-duty design and simple installation. Even though the adjustment is fixed to the supplied holes on the surface and is non-adjustable, once installed and in use, the classic schoolroom adjustment desk leg option is a budget-friendly alternative if you are unable to afford a powered or manual desk. 

This adjustable height desk leg allows a lock high of 22-30 inches and you can choose just about any kind of top you want.

Classic Schoolroom Adjustable Desk Legs

Building a DIY Standing Desk Step by Step Guide

Once you have selected your base and top, you can commence the building process. Though some desks come with specifications, this is a general set of directions to help you along the way:

Step 1

Select a suitable space or area for your desk, in terms of lighting and spacing for a workstation. That way, after you put it together, you don't have to think about moving it. 

Step 1

Step 2

Gather all the tools you plan to use, such as wrenches or hex keys and screwdrivers. Depending on the top, you may need a drill and specific screws.

Step 2

Step 3

Read all the assembly instructions in the manual carefully, take out all the parts, and organize them for assembly. 

Step 4

Gently place the desk facing down on a soft surface so it doesn't get any scratches or scrapes.

 Step 5

Begin assembling the legs of the desk by connecting the feet to the legs and the crossbars.

Step 6

As soon as you have assembled the legs, put them on top of the desktop and line them up with the crossbars and the pre-drilled holes. If there are no pre-drilled holes, you may have to measure and drill them in by yourself to attach the base.

Step 6

Step 7

Locate any supporting crossbars or cord trays and attach diy adjustable desk legs. Now connect the power control unit.

Step 8

Identify the handset and install it by aligning it with the two holes that should be at the end of the desk. If this is a custom top or one without the holes you must measure and drill them in. 

Step 9

It's time for your keyboard tray installation. Consult the installation manual if you bought a keyboard tray separately. 

Step 10

The final step involves plugging in the handset, the cables for the leg motors, and the power supply to the control system you have. Cable guides can be useful here in helping you organize your cords with cable management for a seamless look. 

You are finished, and now all you must do is flip the desk over. Plug everything into your power outlet and there is your new workstation. Alternatively, you can buy the Autonomous Standing Desk DIY Kit that gives you the freedom of creating your height adjustable desk that elevates your workstation. 

The standing desk base frame produces low sound waves of less than 45 decibels, so there is no disturbance when you decide to adjust. It is a low-budget option and comes with desk legs that take virtually no time to assemble. The best part is that the tabletop design is completely up to your style and preference. 

Building Your Adjustable Desk Legs

Are you wondering how you can turn your existing desk legs into adjustable ones? You need to consider if you plan to use wood, or if you want to use a specialty desk leg lever. It can be placed at the base of the desk. Generally, these kinds of levers can screw into wood bases and are held together securely by an internal bolt. 

Building Your Adjustable Desk Legs​​​​​​​

Considerations in Building Your Adjustable Desk Legs

When deciding to travel the DIY adjustable desk legs route it is important to consider: 

  • How tall the desk legs should be
  • The adjustment range
  • The cost associated with building yourself a quality standing desk 
  • The lifting capacity needed

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