Guest Post: DIY Custom UPLIFT Desk

by The Human Solution on September 23, 2015

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DIY Custom UPLIFT Complete

Ryan at his finished desk. Nice work!

In today’s guest post, Ryan Brady describes the process of making his own top to go with our UPLIFT base, and discusses the benefits he’s already noticed from switching positions throughout the day.

I’ve spent the last 15 years of my life as a software engineer, sitting every day. In the last couple of years, I’ve become painfully aware of how my choice of profession has started to take its toll on me physically. I came to the decision that I was past the point of looking for yet another chair; it was time to make a change. I decided to move to a standing desk and started looking around for options. In my research I found standing desk designs from stacking boxes on a normal desk to manually operated desks to complete motorized systems that moved the desk for you.


Getting ready to start the desk build.

I ultimately decided on an UPLIFT Desk base from The Human Solution. The UPLIFT Desk is a completely motorized desk that can lift up to 355 pounds. It has a minimum height of 24.5 inches and a maximum height of 49.5 inches, without the desktop. One of the features I found really exciting is its hands free-height adjustment. You can store up to four heights as presets on the control switch. When you want to move the desk from one height to another, you simply push the desired preset button and the desk does the rest!

The UPLIFT Desk supports a desktop width of 48 to 80 inches, and they have other frame configurations to fit desktops of smaller or larger sizes. I chose to build my own desktop as it allowed me to customize it exactly to my workspace. I’m always looking for an excuse to escape to the garage, and building things seems to be a good creative outlet. I considered a few different designs for the desktop, but I quickly decided to keep it simple and use materials and supplies readily available and affordable.

DIY UPLIFT Desk with stain

Ryan's completed desktop with stained pine boards.

I started with three 2’ x 10 ’x 8’ pine boards from my local home improvement store. I wanted to cut them down to match the area where I wanted to set the desk but leave a bit of room on each side. I decided on 60” and cut them with a compound sliding mitre saw. To join them together, I used a biscuit joiner, biscuits and wood glue. Next I sanded them down with various grits of sandpaper from 60 up to 220. I had some extra 1000 grit sandpaper sheets lying around and my grandfather’s sheet sander I hadn’t had the chance to try yet, so I gave it one final sand using them.   I found a stain that I liked at the home improvement store and used that according to its directions to add color to the desktop. To finish the desktop off, I added a few coats of a semi-gloss polyurethane to add a layer of protection.

Assembling the desk was a very simple and straightforward task. The instructions included a QR code that took me to a video that illustrated the assembly process well. After watching the video, I kept the written instructions close by as a reference and referred to them momentarily from time to time. Most of the assembly time was spent setting the pieces out on the desktop to figure out the configuration and then marking and drilling starter holes. After I screwed all of the pieces to the desktop, I flipped over my UPLIFT Desk and plugged it in. Everything worked immediately and there was no need to troubleshoot. It’s great to see something you’ve assembled work the first time!


Almost finished!

I’ve been using my UPLIFT Desk for a couple of weeks now. While it’s light enough for me to move in my office by myself, it’s very sturdy and seems very well built. The desk comes with a 7-year warranty, so I’m pretty sure The Human Solution is confident in the product too. I spend most of my time standing but a couple of times a day I hit the #2 button and the desk lowers itself to the correct position. I’ve enjoyed having less back pain and because I’m already standing I tend to take a few moments to stretch more. I’m very happy with my UPLIFT Desk and would recommend it to anyone looking to make the switch from sitting.

Create your own custom adjustable height workspace with a desk base from

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