I have an IKEA adjustable standing desk I'd like to anchor to the wall in case of an earthquake. Requirements:

  • The desk should still be adjustable, that is, I don't want to anchor it just up or just down; I should still be able to raise and lower it without removing the anchor.
  • It should be possible to adjust the desk without (say) crawling under it to switch anchor straps
  • I don't want to mar the top of the desk if I can possibly help it.

I've done some searches, but I seem to only be able to find fixed-position solutions.

  • Can you post a picture of the desk? I can imagine using large L brackets to go from the feet up the wall... – Aloysius Defenestrate Sep 14 '18 at 3:49
  • Have you considered securing the feet to the floor? – longneck Sep 14 '18 at 10:39
  • Here's the desk in question - ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S49022492. I think it's going to be top-heavy enough that fixing the feet to the floor will be an issue. I might also have to go through the downstairs neighbor's ceiling to mount something strong enough even if so. – Joe McMahon Sep 15 '18 at 10:14

Bi-fold doors use channels mounted to the underside of the door opening. Most of the load presented by these doors is taken up by the hinges, but the track serves to guide a roller at the edge of the door panel. Some shower doors are suspended by rollers, which take the entire load of the door.

If one is handy, one could use a shower door track secured to the wall and mount the wheels to the edge of the desk or to the underside with the wheel extending. I am able to remove my shower door by lifting it, moving it in a direction perpendicular to the track and pulling the bottom edge clear.

In the case of the desk, you would want to have a second "idler" wheel which pushes against the track, pulling the guide wheel into its rail, preventing such a movement. Another method of preventing the guide wheel from disengaging would be to have wheels riding outside of the track, preventing the sideways movement necessary to disengage the guide wheel. This is more like a monorail design.

The above thought process leads me to consider some amusement park rides in which a series of rollers/wheels surround a large diameter tube (ride track) but this could become unsightly.

Think of a handrail mounted on the wall. The rail need only to be secured at the top and bottom, just outside the travel range of the desk. Behind the rail, between the rail and the wall, the securing wheel/roller pulls the desk to the rail, while side wheels prevent left/right misalignment. If necessary, another wheel between the desk and the rail keeps the desk from contacting the rail.

roller coaster track mount

The image above is necessarily more robust and perhaps more complex than that needed to protect a stand-up desk, but works well enough as a concept clarification. One word is worth one one-thousandth of a picture.

  • This is a really good idea. High quality pocket door hardware (u channel that the wheel can't escape from) would be a very simple off-the-shelf solution. – Aloysius Defenestrate Sep 14 '18 at 13:36
  • I'll take a look and see what I can find at the hardware store, but this is probably the easiest way to handle the up-and-down part of the mechanism without me having to build it out myself. – Joe McMahon Sep 15 '18 at 10:11

Keep it simple. A short length of tubing (PVC pipe, square steel tubing, whatever) attached to the desk, sliding vertically up and down over a long length of smaller tubing, attached to (and stood off from) the wall above and below the travel distance.

  • Simpler is always better. I've made a similar device in the past and for some reason, was unable to dredge it up from the dying brain cells this time. – fred_dot_u Sep 14 '18 at 20:52
  • Right - I can see how this would work; the short tube is a sleeve over the one mounted to the wall, and the one on the wall can be fixed into the studs. Thanks. – Joe McMahon Sep 15 '18 at 10:09

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