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The Easiest Way to Make an Industrial-Style Standing Desk

The Easiest Way to Make an Industrial-Style Standing Desk | Just a Girl and Her Blog

A huge thanks to Simplified Building for providing product for this post. My favorable opinion of beautiful, high-quality pipes and fittings is 100% my own. For more information, see my disclosures here.

Sometimes I feel a little bit bad for Donnie. I’m always coming up with these big ideas for ways we can improve different areas of our home, and most of them involve a lot of work from him to carry out. Not only that, but more often than not, the projects that I come up with are for spaces that are more important to me or the Cs than to him. So when he mentioned that he thought it might be nice to have a standing desk for his basement office, I immediately said, “Let’s do it!” and finally, it was his turn to have a fun project that was solely for him!

Donnie is a major researcher, so as soon as we decided to go ahead with the standing desk, he began scouring the internet, looking for the very best way to build an industrial-looking version. I pointed him to a few of my favorite industrial-inspired projects: amazing pantry shelves by Roeshel at DIY Showoff, and this incredible work bench by my friend April at House by Hoff, and he loved the look of them too.

When he came across this YouTube video by the guys at Simplified Building, he was sold. He contacted them to ask a few specific questions on a Friday, and by Monday we had packages of perfectly cut and sized pipes and fittings at our door. They even took Donnie’s specific measurements so they could tailor the desk to his exact height– can’t beat that!

The Easiest Way to Make an Industrial-Style Standing Desk | Just a Girl and Her Blog

We opted to leave the fittings their natural color but wanted the pipes to be darker, so we sprayed them with Rust-Oleum’s Carbon Mist, which is a super dark gray color. We were a little concerned that the spray paint might not stick to the metal or that it would look way too shiny, but neither of those things ended up being a problem, and we love how they turned out.

Here is everything we ended up using to create our standing desk:

The Easiest Way to Make an Industrial-Style Standing Desk | Just a Girl and Her Blog

Tools/Supplies needed:

  • Cordless Drill with Allen Bit
  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil
  • Level

This desk was oh-so-easy to assemble. The biggest reason that we went with these particular supplies is because of their unique design. Rather than having to go to the home improvement store and have them cut and thread your pipes for you (which often ends up with a desk that is not completely level if the pipes are not *exactly* the same), the Kee Klamps slide right over the non-threaded pipes, and then we were able to tighten them into place quickly and easily with our cordless drill.

The Easiest Way to Make an Industrial-Style Standing Desk | Just a Girl and Her Blog

We started with one side of the desk, attaching flanges to the bottom. We then slid a single socket tee clamp onto one of the shortest horizontal bars and connected it between the two 40″ pipes using a single socket tee clamp on one side and a 90* side outlet tee clamp on the other side.

The Easiest Way to Make an Industrial-Style Standing Desk | Just a Girl and Her Blog

We assembled the other side of the desk the same way, then connected the two sides together by attaching the 50″ pipes using the available fittings. Donnie wanted to have two pipes connecting horizontally rather than just one so that he could have a foot rest. (And after testing it out, he was really glad we added this feature! 🙂 )

The Easiest Way to Make an Industrial-Style Standing Desk | Just a Girl and Her Blog

The picture above shows the top flanges attached to the pipes, but we actually ended up taking them off and connecting them directly to the desk top before inserting the pipes. Again, the unique design of the Kee Klamps makes it easy to take them on and off as needed.

The Easiest Way to Make an Industrial-Style Standing Desk | Just a Girl and Her Blog

Donnie measured out the spacing for the flanges (which, as you can see, ended up being slightly different than IKEA’s pre-drilled holes) and drilled them into place. We were then able to slide the pipes into each flange and tighten them up with the electric drill, and we were done!

The Easiest Way to Make an Industrial-Style Standing Desk | Just a Girl and Her Blog

I truly could not believe how easy this project ended up being. Not only did all of the pipes and fittings arrive directly to our door, measured and cut to perfection, but putting everything together took us no time at all. Simplified Building even goes one step further and offers kits to make your own desk or table in various styles, completely taking the guesswork out of the process.

The Easiest Way to Make an Industrial-Style Standing Desk | Just a Girl and Her Blog

Donnie is like a little kid on Christmas morning, all excited about his new toy! He keeps looking for excuses to go do work so he can use it!

The Easiest Way to Make an Industrial-Style Standing Desk | Just a Girl and Her Blog
The Easiest Way to Make an Industrial-Style Standing Desk | Just a Girl and Her Blog
The Easiest Way to Make an Industrial-Style Standing Desk | Just a Girl and Her Blog

I wanted to say another thank you to Simplified Building for working with us on this project! Not only were they so sweet and awesome to work with, but I cannot say enough about the high quality of their products. Be sure to check them out if you’re planning on creating your own industrial furniture, or pop over to their blog for more fun ideas. Have a wonderful day!

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A huge thanks to Simplified Building for providing product for this post. My favorable opinion of beautiful, high-quality pipes and fittings is 100% my own. For more information, see my disclosures here.

31 Comments

  1. Love standing desks! I also have a little table stacked on top of my other desk right now. I’ve been using some version of a standing desk for years because it makes such a difference in my focus in the afternoons and how my body feels at the end of the day. Thanks for passing on this kit!

    1. It really is amazing how much a difference a standing desk makes to energy levels and productivity!

      I really liked working with these infinitely adjustable Kee Klamps as opposed the threaded ones most people use. Certainly easier to build with.

  2. I switched to a standing desk a few months back using Ikea’s trestle style legs with shelves and it has been awesome for posture, energy and overall health. I like the simplicity of your DIY solution Donnie. If I hadn’t already switched I would give this a go as I think it would be easy to add a shelf under the desktop. It looks easy to do, especially with the clamps.

  3. I need a picture of him standing at it because it doesn’t look any taller than a normal desk to me! Get that man to pose 😉 But it really looks awesome and I love the industrial vibe.

    1. Believe me Rachel… I would ruin the picture! I will say that the desk is massive so it may look shorter than it really is.

  4. It’s gorgeous! I love it! What a COOL product! Definitely pinning for future pipe projects. Thanks so much for sharing! And thank you for the shout out too! 🙂

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much, Roeshel! And thank YOU for the beautiful inspiration!! Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  5. Mandy Hank says:

    Great looking desk Abby, the style is perfect- love it!!!

  6. Meg @ Green With DEcor says:

    I love the industrial look of this desk!! What a fun project!

  7. OK, there’s no paper on the desk — but where is the scanner? ;-p

    1. Good point Karen! I actually keep my Fujitsu Scansnap S1300 in a little case on a shelf and only bring it out once or twice a week during my scanning sessions.

  8. Hi, Abby ~ Great project, and it sounds like Simplified Building was a dream to work with! I love the look of this standing desk and have been wanting to do something around our house that incorporates that industrial style. But I was always worried about the complexity of the project. Now I know how to deal with that problem..order a kit. :0) Enjoy your standing desk, Donnie! Thanks for sharing!

  9. For an even cheaper setup that you can purchase and setup in a day if you have a local Ikea, get the Linnmon top that you want and the appropriate amount of Gerton adjustable legs (1-5).
    My setup at work uses an Expedit 5×5 bookshelf. Linnmon top and 2 Gerton legs.
    My setup at home uses 2 of the Kallax 4×2 shelves on either end with 1 Gerton leg in the middle because I used the 78″ Linnmon table top.

    https://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80251358/ – Linnmon
    https://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/60261626/ – Gerton

  10. Krista @ the happy housie says:

    This is awesome!! I love the industrial feel of it- perfect for Donnie’s office!! And what an easy way to do it… great company!

  11. Christy@Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer says:

    Very sleek! I’m sure Donnie loved building something that was just for him this time. If I had a standing desk, I’m sure I’d be better at sticking to the task at hand and not sitting at my computer for an hour or two longer than I intended too!

  12. Great design, but I have to talk about the desktop.

    As a woodworker, I look at materials, and usually have no problems with mixed material products, but that desk top is filled with honeycombed cardboard. Having bought an Ikea desk for my daughter, I found out the hard way when I assumed that it was solid MDF, and accidentally knocked over the desk top during the assembly onto a corner of a headboard. The impact punched a hole right through it, and revealed the inside of the desktop, and it all went right back to our local Ikea. I ended up building her a desk (which I should have done from the start) out of solid cabinet grade Baltic Birch plywood, a far superior material for utility furniture.

    1. They’re certainly not solid wood top with a nice finish for $35! Ikea does have a solid birch option in the $60 or $70 range I believe. I have this same desk top I used on this project on a sit down desk and it’s still going strong after five years.

      Building a top is a great way to go but I needed to do this project in an hour or two. Also, my wood finishing skills are poor and I never end up with a smooth finish that I’m happy with.

      Thanks for reading Ross!

  13. I have been so intrigued by stand-up desks. I find myself hunched over the computer at our kitchen counter so I don’t have to sit at a table. It’s probably ergonomically terrible! I may need to figure out if we can swing this…

    Looks awesome!

  14. Michael @ Crafty Dad . com says:

    Sweet desk!

    I’m on the list for a stand-up desk at work and anxious to get it! So, so tired of sitting all day long. : (

    I need to do something like this for my home office too. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Looks great!

    –Michael

  15. Kim@NewlyWoodwards says:

    This is so awesome! I actually stand at our island and work a lot, so I feel like a standing desk would be a great idea for me. And I love the industrial vibe. Great project.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you, friend! And I never thought about it, but an island would perfectly double as a standing desk! Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  16. We love these industrial-pipe-looking desks and when my hubby got a new office he wanted two of them. After pricing aluminium pipe & fittings (yikes!) we opted for 3/4″ galvanized pipe and fittings from the local Home Depot paired with a solid oak countertop from IKEA (Hammarp). The guys at Home Depot even cut the IKEA countertop to fit both desks for free!

    Built both a sitting and a standing desk for less than $400.

    That said – I love the way the black pipe looks with the aluminium fittings.

    1. Thanks for reading Craig. This is definitely the easiest way to build an Industrial-style standing desk but not the cheapest. I really think these Kee Klamps are amazing but the cost of the project could be reduced by sourcing galvanized piping from a local store. That being said… it was amazing getting everything delivered right to my door via UPS!

      1. Yea – UPS delivery would have been nice. Between the gawd-awful trip to IKEA and 3 trips to Home Depot I was beginning to doubt my choice by the end. And by the 3rd HomeDepot visit I was getting the doubtful eye from the hubby as well…

        And I agree – the Kee Klamps are nicer looking and super easy (no pipe wrench needed).

  17. This is such a great idea! Thanks for sharing!!

  18. Amanda @ Dwelling in Happiness says:

    Awesome! I love the look of this table. I’ll be showing this to my hubby too, as our “Desk” is our kitchen table. It’s awful! I’ll go check out this company! 🙂

  19. I purchased the linnman birch top ( for both kids) and made them a desk but now concern about markers or inability to removed ink or pencil marks ( still in plastic) do u suggest to paint it or prime it what should I do? Thanks

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Shelly! We haven’t had any paint or marker on it yet, but with the shinier surface, I’m guessing it would clean up pretty easily. I use Mr. Clean Magic Erasers on *everything* and they work like a charm!

      ~Abby =)

  20. MomHomeGuide says:

    I love your standing desk! I have been wanting one, since I spend too much time on the computer daily. I’ve just been thinking of adding a crate or two to my desk to make the computer higher — but I’d much rather have a desk like yours! I love the (work boots?) in the photo.

  21. I was looking for DIY standing desk for home use since I have one at work that I find fun to use and yours came up! I’m so glad it did because it looks really- cute, for a lack of a better word. Sure, it looks industrial, but it has a nice charm to it that feels homey as well and relaxing. My desk at work doesn’t have that, but it gives me this ‘i should work vibe’. Though I do tend to switch from sitting to standing a lot and my desk at work can adjust with that. But gosh, this just looks really nice. It’s especially cool how the company cut everything to be Donnie’s height!! If only every company was like that. I might just try to make something similar to this though as a desk rather than a standing desk to that I can have a converting top that stands/sits when I want. I do have a question though and I probably missed it as I read through. How sturdy is this desk? I know the desk I have at work can be heavy (since it’s the one you place on top of the desk. Link is: https://standsteady.com/ . Their flexpro ) and if it can’t hold that along with the weight of two monitors, I would have to find another product.

    Regardless, I love the look of this DIY desk!

    1. Donnie Lawson says:

      Thanks Yennie! It’s incredibly sturdy!

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