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Remote Worker Builds His Own Lay-Down Desk for $336

This work-from-home Product Manager also turned out to be pretty incredible at DIY.

Remote worker Paul, who has chosen not to share his second name, recently settled down in Paris after traveling for 12 months and decided to adapt his multi-screen workstation to make it as comfortable as possible.

The trouble, Paul explains in a blog post, is that lay-down stations such as the Altwork desk are priced at "$7000 + $1000 for the delivery." 

What could he do? Deciding that buying one of these desks was too expensive, Paul set out to make his own from scratch.

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DIY with 'no DIY tools'

Remote Product Manager Paul decided to make his own lay-down desk despite having "no DIY tools" and no real reference to guide him as he couldn't find "anyone who has done something similar."

At the start of his blog post, the enterprising remote worker explains that there are several factors he must take into account: his chair had to be light, easy to use, and not take up too much space. Paul also had three monitors, wanted a laying down position, had no DIY tools, and finally, he only had a bike for transporting any parts.

It all sounds a bit like the start of one of those problem-solving questions tech companies ask prospective employees to see if they have what it takes — thankfully Paul was well up to this task.

Remote Worker Builds His Own Lay-Down Desk for $336
Source: Courtesy of Paul

To get started, Paul said he was inspired by hacks he had seen of Ikea items being repurposed for different uses. With this in mind, he decided to adapt his Ikea Poang chair and transform it into a reclined seat, as can be seen in the picture above.

The chair cost 69 euros, and Paul had to buy three cushions to extend it. The most challenging part, Paul explains, was transporting the chair 7km by bike, something he says he does "not recommend."

Remote Worker Builds His Own Lay-Down Desk for $336
Source: Courtesy of Paul

After having adapted the chair, Paul set out to construct a "pretty standard" base using a pole that measures 7cm x 7cm. The real tricky part, though, was building the rotation mechanism, which he based on the Altwork desk design.

For this, Paul "bought a GAZ actuator on Amazon which can support 70kg with a range of 31cm. It is built for cars and is pretty cheap at 19 euros," he explains in his blog post.

Putting it all together

Following on from this, Paul built his desk and screen support out of a chipboard plate of 80cm x 120cm, which he cut to fit around his body.

Remote Worker Builds His Own Lay-Down Desk for $336
Source: Courtesy of Paul

He then screwed the desk to the rotational pole system — the pictures show that his lay-down desk was already in pretty good shape by this stage of the construction.

Remote Worker Builds His Own Lay-Down Desk for $336
Source: Courtesy of Paul

"For holding the monitors I did something pretty basic," Paul explains. "I created a box for each screen." He then crafted dynamic arms that could be adjusted to the screens as they were being attached.

Remote Worker Builds His Own Lay-Down Desk for $336
Source: Courtesy of Paul

Overall, the chair cost Paul €285 ($336) to make and took 26 hours of work. That's pretty impressive when the cheapest model on the market is still likely to set you back a few thousand dollars.

Broken down, Paul says it cost him €45 for tools, €130 for materials such as screws and wood pieces, and 110 euros for the Ikea chair and cushions. Have a look at the final result below.

Remote Worker Builds His Own Lay-Down Desk for $336
Source: Courtesy of Paul

What do you think? Would you give more than a day's work and a couple hundred dollars (or euros) towards having your own lay-down desk, or would you prefer to invest that time into another project? We have to say it's a pretty impressive, and practical, example of DYI crafting.

For a more in-depth breakdown of the construction process, and a video of the chair's moving mechanism in action, be sure to check out Paul Paul's blog post on his creation.

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