When I first arrived at Simpson Strong-Tie as an intern, I wondered if building DIY projects was some kind of initiation for working here. A previous intern created a video showing how she built a worktable using our WBSK Workbench/Shelving Unit Kit, and I figured I would have to do something similar. Having never built anything in my life, I worried about the potential hole I would drill in my hand due to a power tool mishap. Lucky for me, my internship ended and I was hired at the company full-time without ever having to drill a single hole… until now.
At a team-building meeting last week, we were surprised with a hands-on activity to build our own DIY computer stand. Standing desks are becoming more popular in our office as a way to increase energy and productivity. The DIY computer stands we built allow you adjust your monitor so you can stand while you work, but can be easily removed when you want to sit down. A bunch of people are already using these stands around the office, so I was excited to make one for my own desk and learn a few new DIY skills.
Joe, who builds many of the projects featured on our DIY Projects page, greeted us in the workshop. He had all of the tools we would need to complete the project, including the hardware and pre-cut lumber.
All five of us on the team would never consider ourselves “handy,” but Joe was an excellent coach. He first demonstrated how to use a chop saw to cut lumber. We all got the chance to measure and practice cutting the 2x2s. Joe generously precut the tabletops for us, but we had the chance to sand them down ourselves so we could decorate them when we were finished building the DIY computer stand.
Building the computer stand was easier than I expected since the Simpson Strong-Tie® Rigid-Tie® RTC22 connectors we used pretty much do all the work for you. It’s like putting together a puzzle with those things – you just need to figure out what fits where. After that, you just clamp pieces together and start drilling.
Drilling proved to be the fun part… for everyone else. I would like to say the whole project went smoothly without any injuries, but I required a Band-Aid immediately. I learned quickly not to hold the screws as I was driving them!
When we were finished building the frame for the stands, we painted the tabletops using stencils and attached them to the frame. Then we went over the paint with a few clear coats of sealant to finish it off. For my first DIY project, it wasn’t half bad!
As we were building, the whole project became almost therapeutic. Taking time out of the day to build something got us away from our normal daily routines and helped get our creative juices flowing. There are many more uses for our project than we originally realized. Other members of my team decided that they would use the DIY computer stand as a breakfast tray, lap desk, and even a kid’s play table.
Would you like to see plans for this project? Let us know in the comments below.