I have put together a sitting standing desk and all but one part works. The bit I would like some advice on is how to dynamically raise the keyboard/mouse surface to switch between ergonomic standing and sitting workstation heights.

  • It is very important for use that this height adjustment can be done very easily,
  • essentially in one move, and definitely without requiring any unscrewing and without needing any kind of tool use.
  • At the same time, I'm not looking for an electrically powered lift, but a mechanical manual design.
  • and the keyboard and mouse need to stay flat horizontal throughout the raise

A) I have a solution in mind, but the current issue I have is I do not know how the component I am looking for is called :) So I cannot search for it or order it, which I would like to do. It is a metal component, one of which is attached to each side of the keyboard surface, but explaining it with words is not easy, so I made a video showing the component made out of Lego


Do you know what this kind of component is called? Or even better, where such components are sold?

B) Maybe there is a better dynamic mechanical solution? Maybe this component will not hold, although I'm sure I have seen it somewhere working?

P.S. What I have is not actually a desk as such

P.P.S. This question is related in general aim to this one How do I make a height adjustable desk? but my question is a bit more specific and has design constraints in mind.

  • This question could use a better title. As you're not asking about the construction of the entire desk, only a single part for it.
    – Tester101
    Commented Jul 10, 2015 at 15:10

3 Answers 3


The device you're describing, sounds like a four-bar linkage.

Not sure if you'll be able to find one available that suits your needs, or if you'll have to manufacture it yourself, or if it's even the best design for what you're trying to accomplish. But hopefully that will help you find what you're looking for.

  • Nice technical solution--I love simple technology that works. ;-) Commented Jul 10, 2015 at 17:45
  • Thanks, but could you show how this would be used to lift a surface up or down (while keeping it flat), instead of turning a wheel?
    – Cel
    Commented Jul 11, 2015 at 8:24
  • @Cel You showed it in your video.
    – Tester101
    Commented Jul 11, 2015 at 12:40
  • ok, the wikipedia images look confusing to me for my purposes, i found these more useful - youtube.com/watch?v=-iI_mb5ga1c or youtube.com/watch?v=-iI_mb5ga1c Now the problem is I cannot find it sold anywhere when I searched for "four-bar linkage" :(
    – Cel
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 9:02
  • 1
    That's the problem with DIY, you often have to manufacture your own parts.
    – Tester101
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 11:41

As an alternative, you could consider what I've done. My desk at the office is electric (I found a good source for electric desks at economical prices and we have several of them). But at home, I raised my entire desk up on blocks so it is at standing height, then got a "drafting stool" style of chair--basically an office chair with a longer gas tube and a foot ring.

enter image description here

  • That's exactly my plan.
    – keshlam
    Commented Jul 10, 2015 at 16:23
  • 1
    @keshlam It works well. If I'm sitting, I tend to like to lean back a little bit and the foot-ring doesn't really work well if I'm doing that, so I put an old wood kitchen chair under the desk for a footrest. A stool or small end-table or something would do the same job perfectly. Also, get a good anti-fatigue mat. Sometimes I roll the mat up for double or triple thickness. Good luck! Commented Jul 10, 2015 at 17:43
  • great idea! unfortunately, I already have a very ergonomic (and expensive) chair that works really well for me, so still looking for a standing/sitting desk combo solution..
    – Cel
    Commented Jul 11, 2015 at 8:35
  • Just for what it's worth, I did make my tall Frankenchair by taking the more ergonomical seat off of one that I really liked and put it on the taller gas cylinder. i don't know if you're at all open to a whole different desk, or what you consider expensive, but here's one of the desks that we use, and it's great. You can get it without a desktop for under $500. Commented Jul 11, 2015 at 18:48

I would use a hydraulic, similar to what is found on a door. One like the one linked below has a small button you push to set it, and then to release you just relieve the pressure from the hydraulic and it will come down..

Amazon - Hardware Door Closer Hydraulic

  • I understand it would be attached something like this? youtube.com/watch?v=_IJnq6j5NOk And does pressing the button actually lift it without me lifting it, Im not sure what you been by "set it" ? i.e. Im not entirely clear what role a hydraulic like that takes on exactly and would i need supports to keep the keyboard surface horizontal at all times etc..
    – Cel
    Commented Jul 11, 2015 at 8:32
  • 1
    @Cel you'd have to lift the keyboard tray, thereby extending the piston. Once it's lifted, pressing the button locks the piston in the extended position. Lifting the tray should then release the button, and allow the piston to slowly retract. However, these devices are designed to work with heavy doors, not really light keyboard trays.
    – Tester101
    Commented Jul 11, 2015 at 14:18

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