Last Updated: February 25, 2016
· kerrick

How to measure and build a standing desk from IKEA's VIKA system for $40

Please note that all self-measured distances are inches rounded up to integers, and all IKEA-given measurements are inches (seemingly accurate to 1/8").

First, let's measure the basics.

h = 49 # Height of fingers at 90°
e = 69 # Height of eyeballs
m = 14 # Height of monitor
n = 9  # Depth of monitor
k = 2  # Height of keyboard (to keys)
j = 9  # Depth of keyboard
d = 27 # Comfortable depth from eyes to my monitor
f = 14 # Depth from eyes to fingers in typing position

So, let's do a bit of calculation!

| # | Distance                          | Calculate | Mine |
| 1 | Top of kb/m table                 | h - k     | 47   |
| 2 | Top of monitor table              | e - m     | 55   |
| 3 | Min. monitor table depth          | n         | 9    |
| 4 | Min. kb/m table depth             | n + d - f | 22   |

Originally, I was planning to do something like this:

----   (monitor table)
|  |
------ (kb/m table)
|    |
|    |
|    |
| @@ | (tower)
| @@ |

I'm a tall man, and unfortunately it's nearly impossible to find table legs that are 43". Even the "great and powerful" FREDRIK standing desk's main platform only goes up to 38 5/8".

Instead, I've decided to double-stack the table and put my keyboard and mouse on top of the my desktop tower, which opens me up to pretty much all the table
legs IKEA carries.

------   (monitor table)
|    |
| @@ |   (kb/m on tower)
| @@ |
------   (tower table)
|    |
|    |
|    |

My tower is 18" tall, so the height of my keyboard and mouse becomes 47", what I need exactly. Twice the height of the table assembly is 58", which is pretty close to the needed 55".

The standing desk will likely be less stable because I cannot screw the monitor table's legs into the tower table's top, since the tower table's legs will be in the way. However, assembling the desk this way opens me up to pretty much every table leg that IKEA carries, which is an acceptable trade-off. Plus, the monitor table can later come off and become its own desk at sitting height.

Also, my keyboard fits perfectly on top of my tower, but my Logitech M570 trackball needs an extra 6" platform to the side. I'll take care of that problem by simply slipping some thin plywood 6" longer than my keyboard between my tower and keyboard to create a makeshift shelf.

Shopping List:

Building Plans:

  1. Build each desk as instructed
  2. Stack desks
  3. Place monitor and speakers on top desk
  4. Place tower on bottom desk
  5. Place board on tower
  6. Place keyboard/trackball on board
  7. Hook everything up

Yep. I just stacked two desks. Why? Because it's the easiest, cheapest, most ergonomic way.

  • Even though there are plenty of plans out there that involve mixing custom tabletops and legs, none of the legs are tall enough to provide the correct ergonomic height I need for my keyboard/mouse.

  • Even though there are existing standing desks, none of the affordable ones have a keyboard/mouse platform tall enough for me.

  • I'm not good enough with tools/wood to build a completely custom solution.

  • Wall-mounting is out because I rent and wall penetration is disallowed.

I guess this is one of those rare situations where the easiest solution is the best solution.

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Could you post photos of how this looks from various angles?

over 1 year ago ·