tenkay desk

deadlift1

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incredible work! This has been such an enjoyable build log to follow. How is the stability with the desk in it's highest position?
 

jamsomito

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incredible work! This has been such an enjoyable build log to follow. How is the stability with the desk in it's highest position?

Thanks!

Well... it wobbles. Sitting height is rock solid. Standing, not so much. If you rock it, it wobbles a lot, but even if you're just nodding your head to some music with your hands on the desk top, it still moves a little bit. It's never really scary like it's going to fall over or break, but it definitely moves. The latter is more of an almost-unnoticeable-but-makes-you-motion-sick when you're focused on what's on-screen kind of motion. I was a bit disappointed by this, but I also didn't want to spend $1000+ on the top-tier extra sturdy brands, so you get what you pay for I guess. Overall, it was kind of expected albeit still disappointing, but it's not a huge detractor to the value to me personally. It works really well and is a lot quieter than I was expecting too.

I think the wobble due to 4 reasons:
1) the structure just wobbles by nature of how it's made. look up some reviews and they all say above about 42-44 inches tall it sways a bit, and that's definitely true. I have it between 46 and 47 inches for my personal height, so definitely above the "break" where the 3 sections of the legs surpass one of the internal supports. The Jarvis legs are known to rock left and right, and the UpLift legs are known to rock front to back (they have an extra triangle welded to the construction where the legs meet the top). What's weird is I thought having the legs at an angle would alleviate some of that, but nope - still rocks front/back and barely any left/right. If I were to do it again, I might choose the Jarvis legs because if you think about it, when you're standing at the desk, you're probably going to push on it front/back more than left/right.
2) It's resting on carpet, which has some give in it
3) I angled the legs about 60 degrees to match the end cuts between the 3 desk top pieces, which takes a little away from the depth of the legs, essentially narrowing the support footprint.
4) The desk is very back-loaded. Like probably 150 lbs on the back and 50 lbs (or less) on the front. The adjustable feet really helped with this though, it's a nice feature. Especially for getting it lined up with the other desk sections when it's lined up.

I already was thinking about how I could stabilize it a bit. Being so back-loaded, it wants to lean back towards the wall. I might put a couple of wood strips on the wall between the ~20 inches range height I use and put a couple casters on the underside of the desk top to ride on those up and down, putting weight on the wall and eliminating motion in one direction. That way it would only "wobble" forward if I lean with a lot of weight on the front, which would have to be an intentional action. But, I want to use it a bit more and get more familiar with its quirks before designing a solution. There's also surprisingly little room on the underside of the desk top to mount more stuff. Between the structure, motor electronics, cable management, it's running out of room quick. I'd rather not have stuff in my lap when I'm sitting there either so I'm trying to keep it all in the back, right where I'd have to mount these casters... Idanno, we'll see.

edit: aaand that was an epicly long answer to a simple question... sorry, just thinking out loud.
 
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deadlift1

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I built a fixed standing desk several years ago because I had concerns about the stability of the adjustable height desks. I've got a similar setup - PLP with a 4th monitor on top along with speakers and I feared the wobble effect. I'd like do a similar build although I lack your woodworking skills. My plan is to use a Jarvis base with a cedar slab on top. Thanks for the feedback on the Jarvis.
 

jamsomito

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I built a fixed standing desk several years ago because I had concerns about the stability of the adjustable height desks. I've got a similar setup - PLP with a 4th monitor on top along with speakers and I feared the wobble effect. I'd like do a similar build although I lack your woodworking skills. My plan is to use a Jarvis base with a cedar slab on top. Thanks for the feedback on the Jarvis.

That sounds awesome - cedar is a beautiful wood.

I figured I'd share some of my research on standing desk legs, in case you or anyone else could benefit from it. I found basically 3 sources to base my decision on. The Wirecutter's roundup, Reviews.com's roundup, and Beyond the Office Door's roundup and individual reviews. I'll give some links and summaries below. Just make particular note that most of these sites judge a desk on appearance and quality of the tops as well, and if you're supplying your own that doesn't really apply. Also, one of the sites manufactured one of the desks, so there may be some bias there.

The Wirecutter
https://beta.thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-standing-desks/
This is a big name in the tech world, so I figured they were trustworthy (or sell-outs lol). Plus they spell out their testing procedures and which desks they tried and it seemed like a large sample of what's out there. This is the review a lot of lesser sites just point to and parrot. The Wirecutter picked the Jarvis, claiming it's more sturdy, moves slightly more quickly, and has a better quality/nicer looking top.

Reviews.com
http://www.reviews.com/standing-desk/
Another quality review with testing procedures spelled out and a good sample size. They also picked the Jarvis with UpLift coming in a close 2nd. The top was again a factor.

Beyond the Office Door
https://www.btod.com/blog/category/comparisons/electric-standing-desk-comparisons/
Now this is where it gets interesting. They have by far the most techincal data, going back to all the OEM's of the lifting mechanisms in each desk, and including videos of the stability at various heights. They were surprised everyone was picking the Jarvis - it wobbled just like the rest of them - and they gave the edge to the UpLift. Check it out: Jarvis vs UpLift, Jarvis vs VertDesk, UpLift vs VertDesk. Videos of wobble here: Jarvis, UpLift, VertDesk (there's always the question of whether they assembled everything tightly on every desk, or if the dude doing the "test" was applying the same force every time, but it's a decent comparison IMO). What's interesting is they gave the highest remarks when considering affordability to the VertDesk v3. Ultimately I couldn't choose this option because I needed my legs to be at an angle and their cross-bar support forces a 90 degree orientation (or parallel, however you look at it). The VertDesk v2 had a lot of strikes against it with stability, but I have to imagine if the company is trying they would have listened and made improvements, which I believe they did, substantially. Also, Beyond the Office Door is the manufacturer of the VertDesk, so I didn't want to take their word for it directly. I found a good reddit page about standing desks, but no advice there and not a lot with a google search either, so I figured it was relatively new with not so much experience with it out there. Combine the issues of the v2, the only real review being straight from the manufacturer, and the parallel legs and I had to pass. But, it was intriguing and tempting. [note the VertDesk has a 2-piece leg system whereas the Jarvis and UpLift have 3-piece systems. Generally, 2 piece leg systems are more stable because internally each piece is longer and thus more room for support internally. 3 piece leg systems will extend further but at a cost of slightly lesser stability]

So it was really between the Jarvis and the UpLift for me. I chose the UpLift because it got better remarks from Beyond the Office Door, who seemed to be the most objective of the reviews I saw. It also has an "upside-down" orientation for the legs so it wouldn't catch dust inside the mechanism. BTOD shared one concern with the worm gear drive for the legs that they were open and could collect debris, so the UpLift design addresses that issue. Lastly, I liked the triangular addition to the structure - it really solidifies the left/right motion of the desk. I also saved about $50 getting the UpLift on Amazon vs having to order the Jarvis from fully.com. The only thing I'm regretting is not getting the industrial steel finish of the Jarvis (not available on other brands)... but otherwise, with expectations under control from the get-go, I'm really happy with the UpLift (so far). For someone fresh in the market - I'd say any of the 3 would serve you well, but if you don't mind the cross bar, I'd give the VertDesk v3 a closer look.
 
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spugm1r3

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Thanks!

Well... it wobbles. Sitting height is rock solid. Standing, not so much. If you rock it, it wobbles a lot, but even if you're just nodding your head to some music with your hands on the desk top, it still moves a little bit. It's never really scary like it's going to fall over or break, but it definitely moves. The latter is more of an almost-unnoticeable-but-makes-you-motion-sick when you're focused on what's on-screen kind of motion. I was a bit disappointed by this, but I also didn't want to spend $1000+ on the top-tier extra sturdy brands, so you get what you pay for I guess. Overall, it was kind of expected albeit still disappointing, but it's not a huge detractor to the value to me personally. It works really well and is a lot quieter than I was expecting too.

I think the wobble due to 4 reasons:
1) the structure just wobbles by nature of how it's made. look up some reviews and they all say above about 42-44 inches tall it sways a bit, and that's definitely true. I have it between 46 and 47 inches for my personal height, so definitely above the "break" where the 3 sections of the legs surpass one of the internal supports. The Jarvis legs are known to rock left and right, and the UpLift legs are known to rock front to back (they have an extra triangle welded to the construction where the legs meet the top). What's weird is I thought having the legs at an angle would alleviate some of that, but nope - still rocks front/back and barely any left/right. If I were to do it again, I might choose the Jarvis legs because if you think about it, when you're standing at the desk, you're probably going to push on it front/back more than left/right.
2) It's resting on carpet, which has some give in it
3) I angled the legs about 60 degrees to match the end cuts between the 3 desk top pieces, which takes a little away from the depth of the legs, essentially narrowing the support footprint.
4) The desk is very back-loaded. Like probably 150 lbs on the back and 50 lbs (or less) on the front. The adjustable feet really helped with this though, it's a nice feature. Especially for getting it lined up with the other desk sections when it's lined up.

I already was thinking about how I could stabilize it a bit. Being so back-loaded, it wants to lean back towards the wall. I might put a couple of wood strips on the wall between the ~20 inches range height I use and put a couple casters on the underside of the desk top to ride on those up and down, putting weight on the wall and eliminating motion in one direction. That way it would only "wobble" forward if I lean with a lot of weight on the front, which would have to be an intentional action. But, I want to use it a bit more and get more familiar with its quirks before designing a solution. There's also surprisingly little room on the underside of the desk top to mount more stuff. Between the structure, motor electronics, cable management, it's running out of room quick. I'd rather not have stuff in my lap when I'm sitting there either so I'm trying to keep it all in the back, right where I'd have to mount these casters... Idanno, we'll see.

edit: aaand that was an epicly long answer to a simple question... sorry, just thinking out loud.

My first thought was a something akin to a drawer slide on the back, centered or at the corners. It would have to be extended when raised, in order to hide it, but it could offer a touch of stability for the front-to-back sway.

I appreciate the feedback though. The sit-stand frames have always been interesting, but have made me pause due to the cost. Nice to have a better idea what I could be getting myself into. Cheers!
 

jamsomito

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Messages
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My first thought was a something akin to a drawer slide on the back, centered or at the corners. It would have to be extended when raised, in order to hide it, but it could offer a touch of stability for the front-to-back sway.

I appreciate the feedback though. The sit-stand frames have always been interesting, but have made me pause due to the cost. Nice to have a better idea what I could be getting myself into. Cheers!

Sure, hope it helps. I have always had a bad back, and ever since I started working from home a few years ago, work and play in the same room with bad posture all the time has really worsened it a lot. Having the ability to go from sitting to standing whenever I feel like it multiple times a day is really helping a lot. For me, there wasn't any really conceivable way to do this without having my whole desk move up and down. You can see my attempt earlier at a main sitting workstation and an adjustable table-top standing solution for just my laptop, but I just can't get the same amount accomplished with just the one small laptop screen. Two entirely separate workstations was more expensive, not to mention a space hog, so I decided to risk the "wobble" for the other flexibility it provides.

Using it again today, the wobble really isn't that bad. You kind of find a way to balance yourself so you're not leaning on the desk and minimize the wobble (in my limited experience anyway).
 

spugm1r3

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Sure, hope it helps. I have always had a bad back, and ever since I started working from home a few years ago, work and play in the same room with bad posture all the time has really worsened it a lot. Having the ability to go from sitting to standing whenever I feel like it multiple times a day is really helping a lot. For me, there wasn't any really conceivable way to do this without having my whole desk move up and down. You can see my attempt earlier at a main sitting workstation and an adjustable table-top standing solution for just my laptop, but I just can't get the same amount accomplished with just the one small laptop screen. Two entirely separate workstations was more expensive, not to mention a space hog, so I decided to risk the "wobble" for the other flexibility it provides.

Using it again today, the wobble really isn't that bad. You kind of find a way to balance yourself so you're not leaning on the desk and minimize the wobble (in my limited experience anyway).

I guess we can just call the wobble a feature, an indication of some posture issues and a weak core :)
 

Logan321

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Is your flooring hard or soft (carpet?) You might be able to stabilize with a plate under the feet if it's a soft floor.
 

jamsomito

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Is your flooring hard or soft (carpet?) You might be able to stabilize with a plate under the feet if it's a soft floor.

It's carpet and could very well be contributing. That crossed my mind but I don't want to stub my toe on a 3/4" thick board under the feet. I suppose I could doctor it up with rounded corners but I think I'd rather try my caster / wall plate idea first.
 

Logan321

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It's carpet and could very well be contributing. That crossed my mind but I don't want to stub my toe on a 3/4" thick board under the feet. I suppose I could doctor it up with rounded corners but I think I'd rather try my caster / wall plate idea first.
Maybe just try putting something under the back feet? It doesn't need to be 3/4" thick, could just be 1/8" aluminum plate, 6" round or something. Maybe try just putting it on top of your chair glide to try it?
 

jamsomito

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Maybe just try putting something under the back feet? It doesn't need to be 3/4" thick, could just be 1/8" aluminum plate, 6" round or something. Maybe try just putting it on top of your chair glide to try it?

Hmm, yeah just to make the feet bigger, I see what you're saying. I'll keep it in mind, but as I use it more it is becoming a lower priority. The sway really isn't that bad, especially once you get used to using it in a way to minimize the movement (which isn't a big change).

Eventually I do want to put hard wood floors in this office, but the house needs a roof first. Maybe in the next 5 years or so for our whole main floor flooring.
 

K-Mac

Weaksauce
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Aug 5, 2009
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looks great man, i remember checking this out like a year ago and thinking, damn thats going to be bad ass.
 
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