Four months ago, I had a vision. I looked at a drafting table purchased for my wife–too shaky to ever draw on. I considered its adjustable height and surface angle. And I realized, this piece of crap drafting table would make the perfect, budget standing desk. Two hastily placed screws later, I learned what being Thomas Edison felt like.
Nathan Frey, designer of the Frey Desk, is a fellow visionary*. His wooden creation is basically two simple components: a tower of notches, and a tabletop surface connected to a pair of elbow hinges. By adjusting which notches the tabletop and hinges fit into, this piece can go from sitting desk to drafting table to standing desk to easel in seconds.
If the user wants to get fancy, there’s also a shelf that can hook in the same way. But to be honest, who would ever do this? They’d have to pull all of their paints and stuff off the shelf, staining the floor in the process, wondering why they ever took that damned shelf out of the box.
The wooden desk, with models starting at six feet tall providing a 30″ x 40″ work surface, appears to arrive unfinished. In fact, the whole aesthetic grows from its CNC production (in which a computer makes precision cuts in raw material), giving it a highly polished, albeit DIY look. The Frey Desk is on Kickstarter now, starting at $325. Assuming it’s sturdier than my wife’s stupid drafting desk was, it seems like a pretty good idea.
*Though, it should be noted in the pages of history, one who really came to this drafting table/standing desk game a bit later than I did.