Build Your Own Standing Desk with Integrated Shelves

Desk with Bookshelf

Sitting at work can kill you. Okay, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration. But at the very least, it can have some very damaging effects on your body. If you haven't heard, and have been living under a rock for the past few years, the latest research shows that excessive sitting can cause serious pain, discomfort, lower good cholesterol, lower calorie burning, and a whole lot more. It has even been compared to the smoking of our generation.

Well, that was all the motivation Jeremy needed for investing in a standing desk. He had heard about all of the harmful effects of sitting too much and was ready switch to standing instead. The result is this fantastic desk, with integrated shelving, that you see here today.

Rather than go with a pre-built, or big-box-store solution, Jeremy decided to build his own desk. In doing so, he was able to build something that was specific to his exact needs and save a lot of money in the process.

"Standing desks are so expensive! I wanted to build my own to fit my specific needs without breaking the bank."

Jeremy's desk features multiple layers of integrated floating shelves. The unit spans the majority of a wall that is 11 feet across.

The frame is built using Kee Klamp fittings and pipe which is then combined with common whiteboard for the shelves and desk table top. The shelves are built from 1x10s and the desk top is 2" thick, 24" wide, and 36" long.

Desk with Bookshelf

The desk frame is unique and only possible using Kee Klamp fittings. The shelving is integrated directly into the desk frame, creating one complete unit. To do this, the pipe that extends the entire height of the frame, goes through each board used as a shelf. Jeremy cut a hole in each board in order to do this. He then used the Flange fitting to attach the shelves to the frame.

*Note, that Jeremy needed to cut out the center of the Flange fitting in order to do this.*

"Kee Klamps are great and are easy to fit together for whatever angle project you're working on. One suggestion: make Kee flanges with a hole cut out the center so you can fit them through a pipe to support floating shelves. I ordered many of the flanges and drilled out the center myself."

The image below is an interactive image. Hover over or click on the "+" bubbles to see which fittings were used at that spot.

Alternatively, Jeremy could have used our L61 Kee Lite Flange (just like in this free standing bookshelf) which has an open center, rather than the 61 Kee Klamp Flange which has an internal wall at the center of the fitting to allow pipe to "butt up" against it. If you use the Kee Lite Flange, and want to build something similar to Jeremy's desk, you may want to consider using all Kee Lite fittings instead of Kee Klamp to match the look of the fittings.

Jeremy could have also used the Collar fitting, either sandwiched on each side of the boards or just underneath, to keep each shelf in place (like ideas numbered 14, 16, 17, 27, and 29 in this giant list of pipe shelf ideas).

To create the angled brace, used to provide support the desk table top, Jeremy used the Swivel Flange and Single Swivel Socket fittings. The Swivel Flange mounts underneath the desk table top and to the pipe support, while the Single Swivel Socket connects to the other end of pipe and to the pipe that runs vertically up the frame.

Standing Desk with Shelf

Image from Patchwork & Pebbles

Jeremy's wife loved how his desk came out so much, that she even went on to build her own (pictured above). Again, using Kee Klamp fittings and pipe to create the desk frame. Read more about how she built her desk on the couple's blog, Patchwork & Pebbles.

"We both love the standing desks. I work from home so I am on the computer 9+ hours a day. I alternate between standing and sitting in a chair with a height extender."

Finally, Jeremy mentioned if he were to do it again, that he might take a different approach to the design of the frame in order to make the assembly process a bit easier:

"If I did it again, I'd probably make it so it can be put together in pieces. Maybe route out the sides so the shelves could be put in them after putting up the floor to ceiling pipes. It was difficult to put the whole thing together and then lean it up and get it mounted!"

If you would like to build a desk similar to the one Jeremy built, but aren't quite sure how or where to get started, try browsing through our different Kee Klamp and Kee Lite fittings. Or, try reaching out to our projects team for help. Our team is experienced in building similar projects and offers free design assistance. You could also take a simpler approach, and just use one of our Desk & Table Frame Kits.

Did you enjoy this article? Let us know in the comments below what you thought of Jeremy's desk and be sure to sign up to our email newsletter to receive updates on future projects like this one.

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