Standing desks are in, no doubt about it. But, would you really use one? Absolutely, if you just give it a chance. This simple design is an easy way for beginning builders to practice their skills and try out the new(ish) concept. And, hey, if you don't like it as a desk, it could just as easily serve as a bar!

Full photo of standing desk
credit: HomeMade Modern

Step 1

Using a tape measure and a pencil, make a mark at 4 feet on each of the 2 x 6s. These three boards will form the horizontal top of your desk.

Marking the length of the desktop
credit: HomeMade Modern

Step 2

Use a square to draw a straight line at the 4-foot mark, perpendicular to the edge of the board. This will be your cut line that guides your blade.

Making a cut line
credit: HomeMade Modern

Step 3

Use a circular saw to cut along that line.

Making the cut with a circular saw
credit: HomeMade Modern

Cut all three 2 x 6s to length, using a circular saw. The saw blade should be set at a depth just a bit deeper than the thickness of the boards.

Step 4

Make a mark at 38 1/2 inches on each 2 x 4 to create the four legs of your desk.

Marking the 2x4
credit: HomeMade Modern

Step 5

Use a square to draw a cut line at the mark.

Marking the cut line on the 2x4
credit: HomeMade Modern

Use a circular saw to cut both 2 x 4s. Repeat steps 4 and 5 with the leftover 2 x 4.

Step 6

Mark the balusters at 12 1/2 inches. You will cut a total of six pieces. Four pieces will be used as cleats to hold the legs to the bottom on the desk surface, while the other two will be cross braces installed between the pairs of legs.

Marking the baluster
credit: HomeMade Modern

Step 7

Use a square to mark cut lines.

Marking baluster cut lines
credit: HomeMade Modern

Step 8

Use a circular saw to cut the balusters to length.

Cutting the baluster
credit: HomeMade Modern

Repeat steps 6, 7, and 8 until you have six pieces at 12 1/2 inches in length.

Step 9

Sand all pieces with an orbital sander

Sanding
credit: HomeMade Modern

Step 10

While sanding, pay special attention to the exposed ends of the boards.

Comparing sanded and unsanded board ends
credit: HomeMade Modern

Step 11

Sand the baluster pieces with an orbital sander. Be sure to hold or clamp the pieces tightly. They are so small and light that they will move around a lot with the sander if not held properly.

Sanding baluster
credit: HomeMade Modern

Step 12

Use a dusting cloth to remove all sawdust from every piece of wood.

Dusting the wood
credit: HomeMade Modern

Step 13

Apply one coat of Danish oil using a brush or clean cloth.

Applying Danish oil
credit: HomeMade Modern

Step 14

Pay special attention to the ends of the boards.

Detail of Danish oil on the ends
credit: HomeMade Modern

Step 15

Lay the 2 x 6s on your work surface. Line them up so all the ends are matching and keep them as close together as possible. Make a mark at 4 inches in from the end. This will be the depth of the overhang.

Marking the overhang
credit: HomeMade Modern

Step 16

Use a square to draw a line at the 4-inch mark.

Drawing the line
credit: HomeMade Modern

Step 17

Make another mark at 2 inches in from the side.

Making the mark
credit: HomeMade Modern

Use a square to draw a line at the 2-inch mark that parallels the side of the desktop. This will mark the end of the cleats you will install on the bottom of the desktop.

Step 18

Line up the first baluster piece with the lines from steps 16 and 17. Make sure it's square and exactly parallel to the end of the table. This cleat should span all three of the 2 x 6s. Use your power drill to drill two pilot holes on one end of the cleat. The pilot holes will prevent the screws from splitting the cleat when driven. Use 1 1/4 inch screws to attach the baluster to the 2 x 6.

Detail of aligned balusters and the first two screws
credit: HomeMade Modern

Drill the holes in a pattern of 2, 3, 2 (see photo in step 22). Remember to pull the boards as tightly together as possible while attaching the cleat. This will help to eliminate gaps in your desktop.

Step 19

Use a scrap piece of 2 x 4 as a temporary spacer to set the distance between the outside and inside cleat.

Gauging the distance between balusters
credit: HomeMade Modern

Step 20

Drill pilot holes on the inside cleat in the same 2, 3, 2 pattern. These pairs of cleats will secure the vertical legs of your desk.

Pre-drilling inside baluster
credit: HomeMade Modern

Make sure that the scrap 2 x 4 is squeezed as tightly as possible between the cleats.

Step 21

Screw down the inside cleat.

Attaching the inside baluster
credit: HomeMade Modern

Repeat this process on the opposite side. Remove the spacer blocks from between the pairs of cleats.

Step 22

Set one of the 2 x 4 legs upright into the groove between the cleats; make sure the leg is perfectly perpendicular to the tabletop, using your square to assure a right angle. Drill pilot holes through the side of the cleat into the leg.

Drilling a pilot hole into the leg
credit: HomeMade Modern

Double check to make sure that you aren't drilling into the screws on the opposite side.

Step 23

Use the 2 1/2 inch screws to attach the legs; two screws from the inside out and one screw from the outside in.

Attaching the legs
credit: HomeMade Modern

Repeat this process for the remaining three legs. Make sure each leg is perfectly perpendicular to the tabletop.

Step 24

Measure 30 inches from the desktop and make a mark on each leg. These marks indicate where the cross braces will go.

Marking the legs
credit: HomeMade Modern

Step 25

Align a cross brace with these marks and drill the first pilot hole.

Drilling the first pilot hole
credit: HomeMade Modern

Step 26

Use a 1 1/4 screw to attach the cross brace to the leg.

Attaching the baluster
credit: HomeMade Modern

Step 27

Now that the brace is held in place, it will be much easier to keep it on its marks while drilling the next three pilot holes and driving screws to attach the braces.

Drilling the second pilot hole
credit: HomeMade Modern

Repeat this process on the opposite side.

And... you're finished! Flip that desk and get partying! Or working. Or whatever.

Detail of the desk end
credit: HomeMade Modern
Wide angled shot of desktop
credit: HomeMade Modern
An extremely low profile standing desk
credit: HomeMade Modern
Four foot desktop gives ample elbow room
credit: HomeMade Modern
Building your own desk means tailoring it to your exact height
credit: HomeMade Modern