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I am planning to build simple, large desks for my children. They would be made from a 160x80x22 cm plank and legs. I am not sure which ones to choose:

  • standalone
  • or "plain" (sorry, I cannot find the proper English word for those - I mean ones which are in one piece, perpendicular to the longer axis of the table. The linked one is just an example)

I have no particular preference, except maybe a small one for the standalone version as they allow things to freely move between them but what I am particularly concerned with is the stability of the construction.

Which of these two types of legs will yield a more stable table? (minimizing the lateral and frontal rocking, as well as the "one leg too short" syndrome)

EDIT: I ended up buying a frame for a standing desk (the linked article is the one I bought which I put here to give an idea of the kind of frame). I will mount it in August and will update how it went.

FINAL EDIT

Below is the end effect. See also Which varnish to choose for a first time job (desk)? for the upper part (including a final edit too).

The children are happy, we will see how the marks go this year (they now have EVERYTHING to succeed :))

As for the legs, there is nothing special to say (at least for the model I linked to). They are very robust, this is a nice solid device.

Since it is really heavy, it is difficult to manipulate it alone (I connected all the pieces together, then screwed the wooden plank turned upside down (the plank was on the ground, the legs were turned upside down)

enter image description here

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  • Thanks for coming back to let us know what you did! I just bought a leg set very similar to that from that big Swedish flat-pack store. As soon as my desktop arrives... :) – FreeMan Jun 26 '20 at 17:57
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    @FreeMan: I saw them too in IKEA but they seemed quite expensive (at least in France). I opened today the one I bought (to see how it fits) and found it very robust (and heavy...). When I am done (including the top plank) I will make a final edit with the real-life result. – WoJ Jun 26 '20 at 18:29
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Given that your table is reasonably heavy (19kg), I'd choose the second leg ("plain"). (And for what it's worth, I can't come up with a good description of them either, except to call them steel box legs.)

The only thing I would want to do is attach a panel across the back of the two legs that would prevent the table from swaying left to right. If that's not clear, leave a comment and I'll include a sketch.

I'm less impressed by the standalone legs... for starters, the description seems to say that they can carry a maximum weight of 50kg. Somebody climbing on the desk could easily overweight that. The place where they attach doesn't seem very wide, so they aren't likely to take abuse.

Regarding leg length, you could fill up any gaps with felt pads.

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  • You might want something sturdier than felt - felt would crush and leave the legs uneven. Metal washers between the leg and the bottom of the table should do the trick, though. – FreeMan Jun 26 '20 at 17:55
  • @FreeMan: the legs I bought had both hard plastic devices you put between the bottom of the table and the legs (to keep a constant distance), and the touchpoint between the legs and the ground are adjustable (you turn them to make them higher or lower) – WoJ Sep 8 '20 at 8:23
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I would recommend building or buying two saw horses. Seephoto

Your width of 80cm translates to 2 1/2 feet. Obviously, the pair of saw horses should be long enough to adequately support. I would attach brackets on the bottom of the table top in order to secure the top to the saw horses.

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