Building A Rustic Industrial Standing Desk

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Update: I've decided to switch to a minimalist rustic industrial sitting task desk, be sure to check it out (it's less expensive, more sturdy and took only 30 minutes to put together).

Full Front View of Desk

This weekend I decided to build a standing desk. It was a lot of work, but with a little time, a little intuition, a few trips to Home Depot and a couple of setbacks, I am now writing this post from my rustic industrial standing desk!

Hopefully this detailed summary and retrospective will be enough inspiration and documentation for you to go and build your own.

![Rustic standing desk](/img/rustic-standing-desk/final-desk.jpg"

#A Good Desk Is Hard To Find

If you've ever done research online to find a desk, you've probably been exactly where my wife, Jackie, and I have been: lost.

There are a lot of desks out there, but finding one both parties can agree on is hard, and finding one that's in a store for you to look at makes it nearly impossible. Throw into the mix that I have started standing to do work, which means I'd like a standing desk, and you have yourself a Herculean task.

After hours (spanned over the course of 2 weeks) of doing research and finding no good solutions for under $1500, on a whim, Jackie and I decided Saturday morning to just build our own standing desk.

What follows is the process of going from a mere idea to a tangible desk, a retrospective of what I learned (and some gotchas) and some thoughts on what I would have done differently.

#The Idea

This project started as all good weekend warrior projects start: A trip through Google Image Results and Pinterest.

Jackie has been into the rustic industrial look lately, and as I'm a huge fan of wood and metal, rustic industrial was the easy decision.

The desk we found that we liked best as a starting reference was the Postobello Industrial Metal And Rustic Wood Desk: a sitting desk ($945). What stood out was the minimalist look (no drawers or frills), the dark metal on the bottom and the rustic wood. The major modification we had to the idea itself was to use pipes.

I looked around the internet for a little bit longer and stumbled onto a DIY tutorial on rustic pipe workbench. This was exactly what I needed to get an idea of where to start.

#The Sketch

The first thing I did was figure out what the height needed to be so the desk would be at a 90 degree angle to my elbows while standing. For me, it was around 44".

After sketching it out, I figured out that I'd need certain pieces, and I was adding up the lengths of all the pipes to make sure I had the exact right lengths.

I'd suggest not doing it this way. Once you've figured out the types of pieces you need, just go down to the building supply (Home Depot in my case), and start piecing stuff together to make sure that, with an extra 3.5" (taking into account the height of your runner boards and top boards), the pipes will give you a good 90 degree angle at your elbow.

I ended up having to redo my math while I was in Home Depot anyways, so it would've saved me a lot of time to just go down there and physically put together a single leg for testing.

#The Pre-Build

I made a material list in Excel based on the sketch and a cursory look at This helped me come up with a good estimate for about how much it would cost. The Raw Materials list below is the final material list, and this list came in about $50 under my original estimate, mostly because I ended up getting black iron pipe where I'd originally estimated galvanized steel pipe.

#Raw Materials

| Count | Material | Length | |:

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