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How I Set Up A Standing Desk + Home Office For $50

Even though I think the health benefits of standing are a bit overstated – anything done in moderation is probably going to be better for you.

And in my case – I needed to moderate my sitting.

I generally just did what any normal person would do – stand up every few minutes to stretch, re-focus, drink water, then sit down and go back to work.

But running my own business and working just whatever hours I wanted to work led me to need a small spot at home to talk with clients in a different time zone, and generally have a place out of the way to take care of those tasks that – in an office – would take 10 minutes, but in the home generally end up taking  30 minutes – with a frustrated me and frustrated family members as well.

We have a small place – and I definitely didn’t want to buy or place a desk in my bedroom – or any other room for that matter (we live in a small condo).

And I had the whole standing desk in the back of my mind (very geeky fad) – but they generally cost $$$ and take up wayyyy to much space.

Then, I saw a great post about the Ikea Wall-Mounted Drop-leaf Folding Table (also called a “Norbo” – brilliant Swedish word BTW).

Laptop On Norbo Folding Desk
Laptop on Norbo Folding Desk
Support of Norbo Drop Leaf Folding Desk
Open Laptop on Ikea Drop Leaf Desk

It’s a 3ft by 2ft desk that is held up by a swinging support – so it collapses out of the way. Here’s what it looks like.

It’s a really neat product – it gave me a great alternative standing desk, a hide-away home office, and I plan on getting one of those office chairs that raises up and down – so I’ll have the option of sitting like a normal person as well.

What To Know Before Buying and Installing

1. This desk is heavy. Drywall anchors aren’t going to cut it.

And the pre-drill holes don’t line up with 2×4 studs (or at least according to American building practices).

So what do you do?

You’re going to need a 48″ strip of wood. It can be whatever you want, but I got a 1×4 so I could get #1 grade pine – for aesthetics. But a cheap(er) 2×4 would work just fine as well – you’ll just need longer screws.

Cut about 4″ off your strip and mount it where the bottom support is going to be, then mount the longer strip where you want to mount the standing desk. (Tinkering Monkey has a great diagram of the ergonomics here).

Mount the strip directly on at least 3 studs – with minimum 3″ screws (assuming 1/2″ drywall)….

Then mount the drop leaf desk onto the strip.

2. The instructions are not clear about which way to turn the L brackets and mount the T (you’ll know once you start assembling). Just go slow, and don’t mount it to the wall until you’re sure everything is in the right place.

3. You’re going to need another person to help. And a level, screwdriver, power drill, and pencil.

The End

Disclosure – I didn’t actually pay $50 for it…I got it as a gift from my in-laws – so all the better.

But great product, and super-useful. Paired with an adjustable office chair it might make a great permanent desk, either way it’s cheaper, and better made than most standing desks out there.

Credit to Josh Earl for pointing out the idea to me.

By Nate

I'm Nate Shivar - I live in Atlanta and love exploring the city, outdoors, books & Internet. Read about me, my Now page, or my work.

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6 replies on “How I Set Up A Standing Desk + Home Office For $50”

I am just about to copy this install. Got the desk unpacked and was too scared to stick it on the wall, awfully heavy!

How many studs did you end up drilling into? Everything still working well?

Great post! Thanks :D

Great! Glad I could help – I had the same problem when I got it.

It is surprisingly heavy! I ended up mounting the 1×4 into 3 studs on the wall, using 6 screws in total, before mounting the desk into the 1×4. So far it’s solid! No movement, and bears a ton of weight.

It does squeak a bit where the triangle piece is held in place – but I solved that with a little rubber cover.

Good luck, and let me know if it’s not working right!

Thanks for the comment Mel – I hope the installation goes well. And yeah – I was floored by it’s weight. Definitely nothing a drywall anchor could handle.

I came across your post a bit later… After a lot of research, I had decided to give the Norbo drop-leaf table a try as a standing desk. I’d already been “test driving” the idea of a standing desk by placing the frame of a Poang footstool on top of my regular desk.

Your description and instructions were particularly helpful. We mounted the table last night. I’m still in the process of tidying up the rest of the office in response to the change, but I’m already very happy with this set-up.

If and when I want to sit down, I’ve got a tall chair at the ready… And now my old desk is a nice place to sit down to do some knitting. ;)

Great to hear Jennifer! Glad you found it to be useful. I’ve got the same setup going with the tall chair. Good luck with it – and thanks for the comment!

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