I’ve never been fond of extended sitting around – I’m just not fond, and add a desk to the mix and I’m all just NOPE. But my digital audio workstation is at a desk. So I decided that was dumb, and I’d like a standing workstation, but those cost hundreds to thousands of dollars,and tried a standing configuration with my monitors at maximum height, using a music stand as a keyboard holder.
Since that worked, I decided to make a better keyboard holder, one that would also hold my trackball.
It attaches to any stand that will take a standard mic clip. This was of course intentional. It’s 3/4″ thickwall PVC pipe, filed out on the inside to make the inner diameter wide enough to slip over the microphone pole of a standard mic stand. It doesn’t screw on, it just fits on, so don’t file it too much or it’ll get wobbly. The fit should be snug.
The top board is just some leftover plywood I had lying about, tinted with some leftover stain and polyurethane. Completely unnecessary, but looks nice. The board is held to the PVC frame with plumbing securements and brass bolts. Don’t use wood screws; quarter-inch ply doesn’t give you enough of an anchor for that.
Also, there’s a layer of double-sided tape between the metal securement hoops and the PVC end caps. If the fit wasn’t tight, that wouldn’t work – but it is, so it works well.
The end caps are important. You need them so that the T in the middle of the PVC support and the ends of the PVC support present the same frame diameter to the attachment system. If you didn’t do that, either the board or the PVC pipes would bend a little once you bolted everything down. This way it’s consistent and flat.
I think it came out as an attractive bit of kit. The screws aren’t flush, but the keyboard has feet and those are thicker than the screw heads, so it works out. I kind of expected the screw heads to sink in a little, but they didn’t; you can always drill a little bit into the wood with a bit the size of the screw head to flatten it a little bit further, if you need to. But that’s tricky with 1/4″ ply, since it’s so thin.
Since the mic stand’s telescoping pole reaches the top of the T inside the PVC frame, you can raise and lower the tabletop just like you would a microphone, so it’s adjustable to the height you like – at least, within limits.
The PVC pipe is also the right exterior diameter for a mic clip! If your mic stand is stable enough, you can totally do this, too, which lets you raise or lower the table like a boom mic. My stands aren’t awesome enough to be stable doing that for a heavy thing like a keyboard and trackball, but I could use this for other, lighter items if I wanted. The hard part is getting the clip not to rotate left and right – the clamping bolts on my mic stands don’t clamp firmly enough. If yours do, then great!
Very quick build, about an hour except for the staining and polyurethane, but that’s optional. This is quarter-inch ply, and that seems plenty strong enough for this purpose. It’s 65cm wide and 26cm deep, which was about as small as I could get and fit the keyboard and trackball.
What I’d really like is something I could move around just a little, kind of like a mobile rack for the monitors and keyboard, but that appears to be crazymoney. This seems like a reasonable middle ground that cost me, um… two disposable brushes plus stuff I already had on hand. ^_^ So far, I’m getting more work done since this indulges my dislike of chair and desk. We’ll see if that holds out over time.
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