Desk Design questions
#10
Question    
The Covid work has given me both a reason and a need to build a new desk.  I'm flummoxed about certain design aspects and wanted your thoughts.  Picture a "typical" floating top table with an arched apron and curvaceous legs.

Because of how I work, I don't really need storage.  At most, a pull out drawer on the left will hide between the floating top and the apron and on the right a flat pull out panel will also hide in the same way.  The left drawer will be just deep enough to hold a packet of sticky notes, and the panel on the right will only be used on those rare occasions I need to take "paper" notes during a meeting.  The main usage will be typical:  wall mounted monitor, mouse/keyboard, laptop/docking station shoved over there to the side.

This will sound like a detour, but it's not.  I am developing a lot of lower and upper back pain.  Lower back from too much slouching and slumping.  Upper back from sitting on a pillow.  The pillow forces perfect posture, relieving lower back/hamstring strain, BUT forces all that strain into the upper back.  The solution is to cross my legs--but then I can't type well because now my leg/knee is too high to fit under my current desk which leads either growing an extra 8" of arm OR balancing the keyboard on my lap.  That latter sometimes leads to accidental key strokes and an emergency call to our european data center.  Rolleyes

Here is my befuddlement: what is a good/best way to go about figuring out the desktop to floor and floor to apron bottom dimensions to accommodate the ergonomics?  I know this sounds like a "just go measure yourself" question, but it's really not that simple.  Thoughts, guidelines?
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#11
  Re: Desk Design questions by jgourlay (The Covid work has g...)
When sitting erect with good posture and looking straight ahead, your eyes should be looking at the top ½ of the screen. To do all that requires the proper chair with proper cushioning. From that basic good posture, determine what the proper keyboard height is for you. From those two measurements, you should be able to calculate the desktop top to floor measurement. IMNSHO & YMWV
Thanks,  Curt
-----------------
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards."
      -- Soren Kierkegaard
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#12
  Re: Desk Design questions by jgourlay (The Covid work has g...)
I recently built 2 to replace the ones we had, and I just used the dimensions of the commercial units we owned. What about just measuring some in a store? The one I built were as you described, just tables (not quite the same style you described), though I just used a center pull out drawer to hold the keyboard.
I started with absolutely nothing. Now, thanks to years of hard work, careful planning, and perseverance, I find I still have most of it left.
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#13
  Re: RE: Desk Design questions by fredhargis (I recently built 2 t...)
I have built around a half dozen for coworkers using electric legs ,   they are fairly inexpensive, make the process extremely quick, and let you adjust the height is very small increments.  Most have memory so you can set a sitting height and a standing height so you can switch back and forth during the day.  The only modification I needed was to slot the mounting holes in the frame to allow for wood movement.   This is not one of the ones I bought, both manufacturers I used are now listed as unavailable,  but this is the general idea https://www.amazon.com/Electric-Stand-De...den&sr=1-4   I prefer dual motors, because they move very smoothly.
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#14
  Re: Desk Design questions by jgourlay (The Covid work has g...)
Google Office Ergonomics. There are a LOT of graphics which show dimensions. A standard desk height can accommodate a wide size range of users. The key is a very good office chair that has adjustable height, lumbar support, and adjustable height arms. At work, we also have standing height desks, which avoid the sitting thing altogether.
Still Learning,

Allan Hill
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#15
  Re: RE: Desk Design questions by barryvabeach (I have built around ...)
(07-28-2020, 07:02 AM)barryvabeach Wrote: I have built around a half dozen for coworkers using electric legs ,   they are fairly inexpensive, make the process extremely quick, and let you adjust the height is very small increments.  Most have memory so you can set a sitting height and a standing height so you can switch back and forth during the day.  The only modification I needed was to slot the mounting holes in the frame to allow for wood movement.   This is not one of the ones I bought, both manufacturers I used are now listed as unavailable,  but this is the general idea https://www.amazon.com/Electric-Stand-De...den&sr=1-4   I prefer dual motors, because they move very smoothly.

Really cool!  Thanks!
MAKE: Void your warranty, violate a user agreement, fry a circuit, blow a fuse, poke an eye out...  http://www.makezine.com

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#16
  Re: Desk Design questions by jgourlay (The Covid work has g...)
I was looking for something a little easier for this.  I purchased 2 of these tables from Home Depot https://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-62-in-.../301810799 They easily adjust, I may convert to a electric motor on one, or use a drill.  I bought the first one because I had foot surgery last year, before all of the COVID-19.  It is wide enough for my lift chair to fit underneath it, since I had to keep my foot up. I have continued to use my lift chair with it this year.

I kept the wheels on it to allow me to push it out of the way. I plan on making some desk toppers to hold my 3 monitors up and give some storage.  I do like the electric ones others have shown and may consider them. Dan
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#17
  Re: RE: Desk Design questions by rudedan60 (I was looking for so...)
If you go the electric route,  I would read the reviews carefully.  I just read some of the reviews on the one I linked to, and some of them they sounded planted to me.  Some of the english and word choice was awkward.

The first four I bought operate really smoothly , quietly and quickly.  When I went to buy a few more, they were no longer available, and I went for a cheaper version, and while they work, the mechanism is a little louder and slower.  It wasn't very loud, but not as impressive as the versions that were closer to $300.   While I also like the one Dan posted, it does have a bar between the legs  which could be an issue depending on how deep you sit.  Note that on the ones I liked, the bar between the legs is at the top of the assembly, so you either have to use a desk drawer that is slightly less than half the width of the top,  or you have to arrange in so the back half is not as high as the front part, and passes under the bar. Most of them wanted a very clean look, so none of them asked for a drawer.  One of my friends came up with a great idea of using a small shelf ( say 1/3 the depth and 1/4 the length or a little less ) and mounted that below the top using all thread , and the computer sits there, since you rarely turn them on or off any more, then  we put mounts on the rear for the monitors.  That gives you a really clean look on the desk itself - just a wireless mouse and keyboard.   Barry.
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#18
  Re: Desk Design questions by jgourlay (The Covid work has g...)
Have you considered a standing desk? It's made a world of difference for me, and I'm on a computer practically 24/7. 

I don't have the best setup, but:

 * Standing desk (I ... borrowed ... one from work)
 * Rubber floor mat (about 1" thick and soft)
 * Two footstools so I can put a foot up and shift weight back and forth
Computer geek and amateur woodworker.
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