Walking desk conversion

rweait's picture

I built a project from wood today. Shown in the image are the drops from the little bit of cutting I had to do. Yes, the facets are supposed to be asymetrical; only the uncut sides are intended to be parallel. No, the faces are not supposed to be that wobbly. Oddly, the one in the foreground was cut second and should have had the benefit of improving with practice. It did not improve. I'll say that I had the first piece positioned better in the vise. I'll have to remember that.

What did I make?

A Walking Desk Conversion

I added a desktop to the treadmill to create a walking desk. The design goals were to make a walking desk that:

  • allows easy conversion from treadmill to walking desk and back
  • is a capable, usable walking desk
  • near zero incremental cost
  • near zero incremental space / storage requirements
  • quick build

The drops in the photo above are from the notches in the support arms. It was hoped that the notches would fit nicely against the irregular shape of the treadmill console and drink holders. They might not be perfect, but they seem to work.

The support arms hold the desktop surface level, and the notches prevent the desktop from sliding off the arms of the treadmill. A tablet, or laptop and mouse, if you fancy one, will fit comfortably on the desktop.


The walking desk was assembled from wooden scraps around my workshop.

  • support arms, two bits of tubafor 2x4
  • desk top, a laminated shelf
  • lateral support, a length of S4S lumber
  • lateral stops, some bits of 3/4" x 3/4" trim
  • fasteners, drywall screws and 5/8" wood screws


A minimum of tools were used. Your favourite tools will be suitable substitutes for the ones I used.

  • improvised workbench
  • improvised marking gauge
  • carcase saw
  • coping saw
  • drill and countersink bit


I test fit the parts from the scrap bin and found that they had the makings of a fair walking desk. From the rough assembly, I used an improvised marking gauge to mark the notches for the horizontal support arms. The notches prevent the desk from moving towards the walker, and falling off the treadmill arms. The notches also brought the horizontal supports from an angle to a horizonal position, providing a horizontal support for the desktop.

Cut the support arm notches with a carcase saw and coping saw. I secured the stock on an improvised work bench composed of a dining room table and a home made joinery bench.

Dry fit the assembly and check for level.

Drill, countersink and fasten the desktop to the support arms with drywall screws.

Mark the lateral support for length and mark the locationof the horizontal support arms.

Cut lateral support to length.

Drill, countersink and fasten lateral support to horizontal supports.

Cut lateral stops to length, then position lateral stops in the dry fit assembly.

Drill countersink and fasten the lateral stops to the lateral support.

Add laptop and test the walking desk.