Create A Dry-Erase Standing Desk With Built-In White Board

The DIY standing desks just keep on coming from the folks at IKEA Hackers: last week Ammar showed us how to make a standing desk out of an IKEA Lack side table for under $20. Today, Liohn Sherer provides the steps to a slightly more ambitious version...

The coolest thing about Liohn's standing desk design is that the surface also functions as a white-board -- handy if you like to scribble down designs or computations on the fly. To build your own version of the dry-erase standing desk, you'll need an IKEA Linnmon high-gloss white tabletop, an Expedit 4x2 shelving unit, two Expedit drawer inserts, 12 Capita legs and a Lack shelf (red).

Here's Liohn on how it's done:

My wife and I have wanted to put together a standing desk for a long time, and took our recent move as an opportunity to finally do it. After spending a lot of time on Ikea Hackers and a couple of visits to Ikea, we've ended up with this.


When designing yours, you'll want to keep in mind the target height of your desk, and account for it by varying the legs you use. Ikea offers the Capita legs in three different heights, so by combining them you should be able to get pretty close to your desired height.


  • Build the Expedit, in our case leaving out one of the smaller shelves to make room for the computer. (NOTE: Looking at the Expedit in the horizontal position, the vertical separators are indispensable. In my opinion, you would be ill-advised to leave out any of those, as they provide structural support.)
  • Drill 6 Capita legs into the bottom of the Expedit. The Expedit seemed to be made of solid wood, so a drill was necessary but the capita legs feel nice and stable.
  • Ikea makes a caster set designed specifically to support the Expedit in its horizontal position, and they use 6 casters, including 1 pair to support the middle of the unit. Based on that, I decided to use 6 Capita legs, including 2 for support in the middle.
  • Break out the Linnmon tabletop, and line it up on top of the Expedit. Figure out where the Expedit will be below it, and mark the widest (most stable) possible locations for the other 5 (yes 5) Capita legs.
  • Given that there wouldn't be much weight on the desktop and that I wanted to use the space between the Expedit and Linnmon for storage of stuff, I decided not to use a Capital in the middle in front. You can sort of see in one of the photos what I mean: There are 3 legs along the back of the tabletop, but only 2 in front.
  • When you're thinking about how you want to position everything, keep in mind that the further back you set the Expedit under the Linnmon, the harder it'll be to get at those drawers.
  • Drill holes for the capita legs in the Linnmon, and screw them in. Note that the edges of the Linnmon are solid wood, so the outside 4 legs are good. But the center of the desktop is fibreboard, or hollow filled, or whatever, so be gentle with that center Capita. It's only there to provide support, and you're only drilling it in to prevent it from sliding around.
  • Now figure out how high you want your monitors. "Ergonomics" says that the top of the monitor should be right around eye level when looking straight forward.
  • If you're going to use the lack shelf to support your monitors, FIND STUDS IN YOUR WALL. If you screw the shelf into drywall or particle board and put two monitors on it (possibly even one monitor), it's liable to just rip right out of the wall, wrecking everything from your wall to the Expedit below, including your monitor. If you don't know how to find studs or aren't comfortable, you have lots of other options: prop the monitors up on books; get another piece from Ikea (we considered the Alex Alex shelf with drawer) that you can just sit on the desktop), get a monitor riser from another shop.
  • Quick note: If you're going to rest your monitors directly on the desktop, they're going to add a lot of weight to the back of the desktop, and depending on how you've placed your Linnmon on top of the Expedit, it may not have a lot of support at the back. If this is the case, the monitors might be heavy enough to flip the desktop up. You can address this in a number of ways, but one option is the Vika Byske legs which extend tall enough to provide support at the back of the tabletop. Even one in the center of the table would probably be enough.

    There you have it. Load in the drawers and doors (if you're using them), connect everything, and you're good to go.

It might not be the cheapest or easiest standing desk hack out there, but we think the results speak for themselves.

[Via IKEA Hackers]

See also: How Sitting All Day Is Damaging Your Body, And How You Can Counteract It | UpDesk PowerUp Review | A Bargain DIY IKEA Standing Desk


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