Hacking with leftovers: the three tables

Materials: Udden workbench, Inreda magazine rack, Brada Laptop stand, Ribba consoles, Bygel Trolley, Rast bedside table, Pax hook, Honeycomb door, wood, Fabian shelf.

Description: Hacking often leaves leftovers, but sometimes these are perfect for a next project. I actually like this kind of chain-reaction hacking when bits from one project inspire the next.

Like I said, my next project was going to be a standing desk. I work a lot at home, and my wife often does too. We shared one desk in the attic, a Galant desk. She wasn’t too keen on switching to a standing desk, I was, and I also wanted to improve the general organization of our attic workplace, all on a small budget and in an attic with an all but level floor (it’s more of a U-shape). This hack evolved through some testing and try-outs:

1. Sell corner Galant, buy straight Galant desk (2nd hand), for a more compact workstation.
2. Test drive a standing desk with a Rast table on Galant, realize it’s nice to work standing up.
3. Try out prototype of final setup with Udden workbench frame from previous hack and wooden worktop from never-used hobby table in the attic corner.
4. Suddenly realize you now have a place and enough stuff to make a small workstation for your wife, who has very different desk organizing habits.
5. Make small/snug workstation and wife happy with it.
6. Measure height for standing workstation, make standing desk with enough storage space.
7. Use leftover piece of Rast table to make a laptop/couch table.

The standing desk is the Udden workbench I had from a previous hack with a solid wood top cut to fit. Three thick wooden planks attached vertically help carry the honeycomb door (painted white) at the right height, and keep it from bending; two on the sides from front to back, which stick out a little on the back to keep room for cords between desk and wall, and one at the back in the middle.

The door is attached with small brackets to prevent sliding. The door worktop now sticks out over the front of the workbench, so my legs don’t bump into the cabinets. I got the whole setup level despite the U-shaped floor with the adjustable legs on the Udden bench.

The small section cut from a Rast bedside table works as a monitor stand. My document holder is a Brada laptop stand with an Inreda magazine rack on top; the Inreda rack was a chance find in the as-is section. It makes the document holder much larger, fits the color of my screen bezel, and on the Brada stand it leaves a small bit of room for my mouse cord to pass through. The two Udden cabinets hold my printer and paperwork, and hide all the cables.

Since my wooden worktop had large holes (it used to be above a radiator, the holes let air pass through) these are great for passing wires through. The Udden cabinets have room behind the shelves for passing water tubes etc, which also helps in working away all cables. I wanted a drawer for small desk items, but instead of installing one under the worktop, I used the Bygel trolley. It’s less work, has a drawer, can act as movable extra workspace and is a perfect place to hold my laptop bag.

The Grundtal magnetic containers attached to it hold paperclips and staples etc. With no drawer there, the extra room under the worktop is great or stashing stuff that would otherwise clutter the desktop, and it holds the desktop computer at reach in a relatively dust free but ventilated place. The Vitamin stool is actually too low, but we already had it and it works nice for occasional resting between standing up. The Pax hook hangs on the cabinet door to hold my headphones.

The sitting desk is basically the Galant desk and Bekvam chair we had, with a monitor stand on birch wood Ribba photo ledges, inspired from this one. I cut one Ribba ledge in pieces for the sides and used a full length one in the back. Now my wife can hook up her laptop and place it under the monitor.

The printer sits on a small Ikea drawer unit we already had. I had the printer and monitor ready for sale, but this proved a much better use! Three metal brackets sticking out just over the table top edge help to prevent the monitor stand from tipping over the side. A Brada laptop stand works as a document holder. The Fabian shelf holds her books at arm’s reach.

Inspired by the modular coffee side table hack, I chain-hacked the leftover large section of the Rast table to make a nice laptop/couch table in the living room.

The only things I bought were the Bygel trolley, the Fabian shelf, the honeycomb door (these are really cheap) and the Udden cabinets for the workbench. The cabinets were the most expensive items, but they do provide a lot of extra comfort.

~ G.V.M., The Netherlands