Height Adjustable Desk ? How would you do it ?


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Hi,

I want to be able to adjust the height of a desk, to fit it correctly. This is not to work sitting or standing up.

With different chair (I do not have access to my office chair, due to travel restriction), I may want to adjust it higher or lower.

The top will be 46" x 24",  made with 1" (final thickness) cherry.

I though of the leg made up of 2 vertical box on each side, with another piece that will ride up and down and its inside.

My challenge, how do I block the inner slider at a specific height ?

1-I do not think hand tighten knob on each vertical slider (2 per side) will be sufficient such as these: https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/hardware/jig-and-fixture-parts/65642-149-piece-1-4-20-jig-and-fixture-parts-kit.

2-Set of holes(1/2") in the vertical pieces, with a space of 1" between each hole. This will give me an adjustment every  1,5", with one hole in vertical leg. 

3-Suggestion?

 

 

 

 

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49 minutes ago, Martin-IT said:

2-Set of holes(1/2") in the vertical pieces, with a space of 1" between each hole. This will give me an adjustment every  1,5", with one hole in vertical leg. 

 

 

 

 

 

I did something similar to this but I put a series of holes in the outer boxing at 4 cm spacing and a series of holes in the inner leg at 6cm spacing. I turned some pegs to go in the holes. By changing which hole I inserted the pegs into I could get an adjustment of 2 cm.

In retrospect I should have put the wider spacing on the outer boxing rather than on the inner leg. I think it would look better.

Another idea I toyed around with was a sort of scissor jack arrangement which would provide infinite adjustment but decided it was a lot more work and I wasn't 100% confident I could pull it off.

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How large is the adjustment range you need? And will the adjustment happen often?

I made a stool with a peg & holes, like @Wood Basher described. It worked OK, but would be difficult to operate in a heavy piece. If I did it again, I'd use an "industrial" design aesthetic that incorporated visible acme thread screws in the legs.

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I like what wtnhighlander is describing, it sounds sort of like the adjustment mechanism on a router lift.

I know it's a mortal sin to mention Ikea in a fine woodworking forum, but they do make height adjustable desks, both manual and electric (Bekant).  As I recall from looking into this years ago they sell the componets separately, so you could buy the base and make your own top.  Or just look at how they did their supports.

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I have a set of metal legs from Ikea which is an inner tube with an outer tube and there is a screw you tighten down to lock them in place.   I think that's acceptable for metal.   Mine are the old Galant system, similar to this Bekant frame... https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/bekant-underframe-for-table-top-black-30252906/

But if you are using wood, then I think the wooden peg or even a steel pin with a cotter pin through holes would be better.      A desk/table has a fair amount of down force, and you have to factor in someone leaning against it to reach behind for something, even sitting or standing on it.   So whatever you do needs to be fairly stout.

I like the idea of having different hole patterns on the outer versus inner, so you have more adjustment than just every one inch.   Being able to adjust in 1/4" increments would be great, 1/2" would be acceptable.   I think 1" is too granular.

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We have Ikea desk in the office, the electric model. We are very happy with them. 

How large is the adjustment range you need? And will the adjustment happen often?

I do not want an 'easy' adjustment. I do not plan to change the height, once it is adjusting to me.

But with a new chair, or a different user, I want to be able to change it.

I am currently relocated due to covid, and I do not have access to my regular office chair.

Like many, force to work from home, I am working at a temporary setup (plastic folding table).

Range of adjustment,  I am currently at 29 1/2", but my chair is too low. It will be in a short range, from 28" to 34".

On Ikea, the one that adjust are:

Min. height:  25 5/8 "
Max. height:  33 1/2 "

Looking online, they seem to be at 30".

I thought to get the Ikea lift mecanism, and wrap it up(https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/bekant-sit-stand-underframe-for-table-top-black-80263224/). But, I do not really want it fully adjustable.

I did not think to make a series of holes on both the inside and outside piece to increase the adjustment capability.

My original idea was to use a star knob on the inside of each post(https://www.amazon.com/Innovative-Components-AN8C-F7S21-2-48-Fluted/dp/B00GORSM3A/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=star+knob+1%2F2"&qid=1588006241&sr=8-2).

Each side, will have a center post made of 2 vertical legs, with an inner piece sliding up and down. Will using one star knob on each pieces (2 per side), be sufficient to hold it up ? Each internal pieces that ride up and down will have a 1/2"  screw that goes from the slider inside of the post,  to a slot on the inner part of the post. The knob can secure the post at a specific height. I am just not sure if it can provide enough grab to prevent it from sliding down.

Instead of just using a washer, I could make a piece of wood with V groove in it, that would match V groove in the post, to provide the friction (2" wide groove,). The knob will use a washer and a movable V groove part that will match the V groove in the post to provide the vertical friction.

The router lift could work ? between each part of the post, I put a threaded wood rod (1, 1/2"), that push the top up or top for the 5" range ? That will require that I buy the tap and die to make it(more tools to buy!!!). 

 

 

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Gluing 60 grit sand paper to one of the mating surfaces can dramatically improve the hold, particularly if this will be adjusted only a few times in its service life.

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  • 1 month later...

This is a picture of the foot of a leg. the vertical post is a hollow 4x4 post, with a 3x3 sliding up and down.  The screw(1/2")  will go into the 3x3, with a nut at its bottom.  On the bottom side of the foot, the screw hex head can be used to adjust the height of the 3/3, raising and lowering the desk.

Question:

1-what is the safest way to lock the nut in place in the picture ? epoxy glue ? threadlocker (never used that product) ? I plan to put a washer to minimize the friction vs having the nut against the wood(it is in the picture).

2-in the 3/3, I need to lock a nut in place. Making a hole with a tight fit will be sufficient ?  Using epoxy to make sure it does not get loose and fall at the bottom of the leg ?

3-I have a drill press. The 3/3 are 24" long, and I need to drill a 1/2" hole 4 inches deep. The drill press can accommodate the length of the 3/3, but how do you maintain the proper vertical alignment ?

3-do you foresee any issue with the raising mechanism (it will be used only when moving the desk, changing chairs...)

 

1637884096_DeskScrew.thumb.jpg.3ace5f79644b9db93bd4faf8f31834c8.jpg

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43 minutes ago, Martin-IT said:

1-what is the safest way to lock the nut in place in the picture ? epoxy glue ? threadlocker (never used that product) ? I plan to put a washer to minimize the friction vs having the nut against the wood(it is in the picture).

2-in the 3/3, I need to lock a nut in place. Making a hole with a tight fit will be sufficient ?  Using epoxy to make sure it does not get loose and fall at the bottom of the leg ?

3-I have a drill press. The 3/3 are 24" long, and I need to drill a 1/2" hole 4 inches deep. The drill press can accommodate the length of the 3/3, but how do you maintain the proper vertical alignment ?

I would use an adjustable leg like this leg, they would be strong enough for what you are doing.

Here is a picture of a drill press vertical drill jig.  You could easily make a temporary one if needed.  This one is from Popular Woodworking magazine.

10203_5F00_vertical1.jpg.c25dcde575120238a3761d1d93a48561.jpg

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