Recently I posted the picture below over on Linkedin, so far it’s had ~15,000 views and has triggered quite a few comments and questions related to the setup, which hopefully I can answer below.
After much searching for a standing desk setup which met my requirements – large real wood desktop, dual motor electric hight adjustment, built in charging, not too expensive – I gave up and decided to assemble my own, the last item being the main driver.
The desk itself is made up of a piece of 960mm deep x 40mm thick solid Oak worktop which sits on an electric height adjustable frame from eBay. The worktop arrived roughly sanded, unfinished and 2 meters long, allowing for holes to be drilled and the desktop cut to size before finishing with rounded edges, sanding and a few coats of Danish oil.
Cut into the desk are 2 x 60mm holes, the left housing an ICY BOX USB 3.0 Desk Hub which provides USB Type-A & Type-C ports alongside a pair of 3.5mm audio sockets and a cable entry hole, which is uses to route the keyboard and Stream Deck cables, and the right housing a QI wireless charing pad perfectly placed for charging iPhone, AirPods Pro, etc.
In an attempt to keep the desktop clear of cables, there is a lot going on under the desk. As mentioned previously, cables from wired desktop devices are routed down through the desk via the ICY BOX hub’s cable entry hole and then cable tied on the underside of the desk towards a pair of rear mounted cable baskets. These baskets also house all of the power bricks, docks, hubs, etc and a surge protected power strip.
This desk setup was assembled in June 2020 and I’m still very happy with it.
Computers & Monitors
With the exception of the M1 MacBook Air which you can see mounted in it’s Brydge dock on top of the desk, all other ‘desktop’ compute is mounted under the desk where there is an Intel Mac Mini (in an under desk mount) alongside a Lenovo M93p Tiny (in a VESA mount enclosure).
I used an M1 MacBook Air as my main work machine and it is connected via the Brydge dock to both a Caldigit Thunderbolt 3 dock and a Dell D6000 USB-C dock. The Caldigit dock links to my portrait monitor and provides ethernet, and connectivity to USB peripherals. The Dell dock is a relatively new addition to allow for a 2nd monitor on the M1 MacBook Air using DisplayLink.
Currently the Apple Silicon drivers from DisplayLink do not support rotation, so the main 32″ AOC 4K monitor is connected via Dell D6000 dock using DisplayLink while the secondary 27″ AOC 1440p monitor is connected via Caldigit dock to allow for rotation.
Some may consider my peripheral setup a little strange, it is the result of lots of trial & error over the years and I finally settled on the 60% mechanical keyboard, trackpad and mouse arrangement around 5 years ago. The hardware changes occasionally, but the concept remains the same.
Currently I’m using a Ducky One2 Mini mechanical keyboard (a fairly recent upgrade from the original Ducky Mini), Apple Magic Trackpad and Logitech MX3 for Mac (again, a recent upgrade from an Apple Magic Mouse).
For those switch nerds out there – I use Cherry MX Brown switches.
A new addition to the setup is an Elgato Stream Deck which I’m still playing around with – expect a future post to cover that in some more detail.
Although I’ve worked from home for the last few years, this last year has seen a massive rise in the number of video calls, recorded presentations, etc. and a requirement for audio and video recording capabilities. To that end some research was required to build a small setup capable of recording/streaming good quality audio and video.
When on a video call, wandering around the house or out and about I tend to use Apple AirPods pro, but when sitting at the desk normally prefer eitherSony WH-1000XM4noise cancelling headphones or stream to a stereo pair of Apple HomePod Minis.
I prefer to work standing up and the anti fatigue mat provides a nice soft surface to stand on which also encourages continuous small movements while standing for long periods. I’ve also had a Steelcase Lets B Draughtsman Chair for the last few years which I’m very happy with.
The eagle eyed among you will also have noticed the 3D printer over in the corner, this sits on top of the home network cabinet – I plan to post about those separately soon