I wanted to try out a standing desk, but wasn’t sure how to put together a trial model. Inspired by the Standdesk 2000, I was
too lazy and cheap to go out and buy stuff committed to creating a free standing desk out of reused and at-hand materials.
I started with a Lack-style table from our garage, but my 27″ iMac was too much machine for it. The “table” sagged visibly under my 21-lb baby. The handiest objects of similar size and better sturdiness that happened to be available were some empty Tidy Cats litter buckets. I pulled out my trusty yardstick, and indeed, the bucket heights were within an inch of the ideal positions for my body-to-desk ratio.
So why not just use a couple of buckets? It took only a few minutes to assemble an entire standing desk – for free! As a bonus, it comes in an attractive yellow and red color scheme, complete with images of scampering kittens!
- 2 empty 27-lb Tidy Cats litter buckets with lids
- 1 empty 35-lb Tidy Cats litter bucket with lid
- 1 piece of 1/4″ plywood, approximately 7″-9″ deep, around 24″ length
- 2-3 cord clips (optional)
- 2 medium binder clips (optional)
- flexible wrist wrest (optional; strongly recommended)
- Optionally remove the handles from each bucket. The handle on the 35-lb bucket must be cut off, but you can maneuver the handles off the 27-lb buckets without a knife. If you leave them on, they could be used as an anchor for various cords, but they take up too much desk space for my taste.
- Turn 35-lb bucket upside down, lid on, and position at back center of desk.
- Place iMac on up-ended bucket; the front lip of the bucket base is perfect for lining up with the base of the computer stand.
- Turn the two 27-lb buckets upside down, lid on, and put them together width-wise in front of the big bucket.
- Optionally use cord keeper clips to hold the two buckets together (see photo at left below).
- Place plywood on top of buckets, evenly centered horizontally across the two buckets.
- Optionally, install medium-sized binder clips at the center of each of the buckets’ back edge to make a no-fuss backstop for your keyboard. There is a little lip into which the clip fits perfectly. Snap the back lever down, and leave the front one up.
- Place keyboard and mouse/trackpad on plywood. Align the keyboard’s G and H keys with the center of the monitor; your specific positioning of the two-bucket keyboard stand will depend on your peripherals.
- Optionally, cover any gap between the plywood and the front edge of the buckets with a wrist rest. This is highly recommended. If your plywood actually covers the entire bucket bottoms, unlike mine (we had a 7″ wide piece handy; why bother with more than one cut to get an 8″ wide piece?) then you might get away without a wrist rest. Either way, you’ll probably want to rasp/sand/pad the front edge of the plywood. Unless you like splinters in your wrists, that is.
- Stand up and enjoy!