My Video Editing Workstation build. In this post I go over the Steps, Products, Material & Tools used to create this Custom Standing Desk Video Editing Workstation Video Studio. I also explain some of the unique features of this Video Editing Setup and how I also use it for a Video Filming Studio for YouTube video.
Thanks to the following companies for contributing to this project:
- Laura Davidson – lauradavidsondirect.com
- The Office Oasis – theofficeoasis.com
- BoYata – Amazon Storefront
- totalElement – totalelement.com
For business inquiries I can be reached at
( info @ Kevin Gittemeier . com )
Some links provided are affiliate in which I receive a small commission.
This helps support my channel & website.
Use Coupon Code KTFG for a discount at the following stores:
totalElement Magnet Supplier
Speed Cube Shop
I had to learn a lot about video editing workstations to complete this project, more than I had anticipated.
- Cable Specs – USB-3, 3.1, 3.2, Gen 1, Gen 2, USB-C, Thunderbolt, Display Cables
- Data Storage, Management, Back Up & Archive plans
- Hard Drive Specs & Formatting (APFS, Containers, Volumes etc.)
- Monitor & Computer Resolution output & capabilities
- Wood Working & Finishing (open/close cell, pre-raise, etc.)
I thought I had a good understanding of these things but
I didn’t know how much I didn’t know.
Short List of the main components of this Video Editing Setup. Full list on the last page.
2019 MacBook Pro 16″ & Accessories
- 2019 MacBook Pro 16”: https://amzn.to/2WWwYFJ
- LG 27″ 4K Monitor HDR10 USB Type-C: https://amzn.to/2ZViwjc
- Caldigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt 3 Dock: https://amzn.to/3f5EO6s
- SAMSUNG T5 Portable SSD 1TB USB 3.1: https://amzn.to/3fXEGXG
- SAMSUNG T7 Touch Portable SSD USB 3.2: https://amzn.to/39pOMhL
- Logitech MX Master 3 Wireless Mouse: https://amzn.to/3hCoGLm
- Apple Keyboard: https://amzn.to/2WXjlX0
- Apple Airport Time Capsule: https://amzn.to/2EK6vVN
2012 MacBook Pro 13″ & Accessories
- Mid-2012 MacBook Pro 13”: https://amzn.to/32VHzo7
- LG 27” QHD Monitor IPS Display: https://amzn.to/39pNsLE
- Anker 4-Port USB 3.0 Hub: https://amzn.to/32U1tQI
- SAMSUNG T7 Portable SSD USB 3.2: https://amzn.to/3g17Epx
- WD 12TB RAID External Hard Drive: https://amzn.to/2OXL70Y
- Seagate 8TB Hub External Hard Drive: https://amzn.to/39qSwzk
- Apple Mouse: https://amzn.to/3f0WPme
- Apple Keyboard: https://amzn.to/2WXjlX0
Standing Desk, Material & Accessories
- Gladiator Adjustable Workbench 6’: https://amzn.to/3eZtLf1
- Hardware Reflections Butcher Block: https://amzn.to/3hCuTqt
- Richelieu Hardware Furniture Leg-642: https://amzn.to/2ZXsCjK
- Large Dual Monitor Stand – Solid Bamboo: https://amzn.to/30RjUmu
- Ball Bearing Pullout Keyboard Slide: https://amzn.to/2BshXnB
- Boyata Aluminum Laptop Stand – N19: https://amzn.to/3eZk28f
- Laura Davidson Stockpile Curve 2 Cabinet: https://amzn.to/2D1f25P
- Laura Davidson Stockpile Curve 3 Cabinet: https://amzn.to/2ZXoIHv
- CyberPower 1500VA 900W UPS (CST1500S): https://amzn.to/32Tfn5x
- Apple Airport Time Capsule: https://amzn.to/30QybQl
- Beats Studio 3 Wireless Headphones: https://amzn.to/3f8pxln
Overview of Video Editing Setup
For this video editing setup, I am working with two separate MacBook Pros, each with its own 27″ monitor (4k & QHD). A new 2019 MacBook Pro 16″ I purchased after my 2012 froze in the middle of a YouTube video project, and my old 13″ mid 2012 that froze.
Wait I thought the 2012 was toast. After purchasing the new MBP, I upgraded the 2012 with a Samsung SSD 860 EVO 1TB Internal SSD & 16GB RAM – Crucial 16GB Kit (8GBx2) DDR3/DDR3L and now it works great again.
I use the 2012 13″ MacBook Pro for productivity (am I making this web post on it) including documents, file organization, Youtube uploads, research, shopping, etc.
I only use the new MacBook Pro 16” for video & photo editing. I don’t surf the internet with it or load it with productivity apps.
This isn’t a necessity and I wouldn’t go out of may way to purchase another machine for this purpose but it was inexpensive to upgrade the 2012 MBP and I find using both helpful and efficient.
For Data Storage I have a 12TB WD My Book Duo set to RAID 1 (Mirrored) for 6TB of media storage. It and my MBP 2012 are backed up with an 8TB Seagate using Time Machine.
Why Time Machine Back up the WD if its RAID 1? More on that later.
For Editing Media Storage (Project Storage) I have a Samsung T7 SSD which holds media files and editing program libraries for current projects. As a back up a Samsung T5 SSD mirrors the T7 using Carbon Copy Cloner. My MBP 2019 and T7 are backed up to an Airport Time Capsule with Time Machine. This is not absolutely necessary but the peace of mind is worth the expense to me. More on why an expensive SSD as a mirror and my Media Workflow later.
I modified two BoYata N19 Adjustable Aluminum Laptop Stands with ultra quiet speed controlled AC Infinity Fan & Blower to aid in cooling.
The MBP 16″ utilizes a CalDigit TS3+ Thunderbolt 3 Dock and the MBP 13″ has a 4-Port USB-3 Hub mounted to the N19 Laptop Stand.
I added onto and modified a Gladiator Hardwood Adjustable Work Bench into a Standing Desk Editing and Filming Setup.
The strange story of how this Video Editing Setup came to be
It is interesting to note that originally I was just replacing a laptop so I could continue my video projects. I then realized I could likely edit much faster if I had a larger monitor to work from. In the back of my mind I knew I needed to get a handle on my data management and invest in a large storage drive… and Down the Rabbit Hole I went!
I then decided I would allow myself to invest 1 years income from my most profitable YouTube video “How to Solve the Rubik’s Cube: So Easy a 3 Year Old Can Do It”. The video was on track to fund a really sweet setup until… Covid reduced advertiser payout and cut my views in half which I found odd. More people at home should equal more views but I think it equaled more people posting on YouTube and more competition. Bad time to be without an editing setup!
More on that later.
So did I come in above or below budget? I may answer that question at the end or I may make it a giveaway question with the winner being the person guessing the closest $ amount above or below.
My original computer desk & filing cabinet purchased around 2004 which recently housed an old HP and a 2010 iMac 27″.
I had stopped using this desk and computers a while ago though because both computers had problems and sitting was painful for my back. Oddly enough this is not why, but this is.
I got in the habit of using my laptop and I only posted 6 videos from late 2008 to 2014. Only 6 videos in nearly 7 years.
From 2014-2019, the videos were edited on my iPhone while hanging inclined on my Teeter Inversion Table.
My First YouTube video posted Jan 2007 of 2004 Footage.
These new Tubers with 4K & better don’t know the struggle!
When my oldest son left for college in 2017 he gave his 2012 MacBook Pro to his sister. I borrowed it in 2019 to start editing larger tutorial videos that I couldn’t on an iPhone.
I had gotten in the habit of using my bookshelf or kitchen island as a makeshift standing desk with the laptop on a shoe box and heat sink to bring the height up.
It had the double benefit of allowing me to prop a leg up to stretch as part of my physical therapy.
Seeing how much I liked this and not sitting down as that increases my back pain, I decided to get a Standing Desk.
Laptops in general (especially Apple products) are not well engineered for heat dissipation. So to extend the life I would put the laptops on scavenged heat sinks from elevator tear downs Playlist. This did a surprisingly good job of drawing the heat away from the laptop passively and even more so with a fan on it.
I also purchased two laptop coolers before building my own and now I also use software to control the laptop fan speeds.
Targus Portable Chill Mat
More on that later.
Time to tackle a lingering problem:
Back in the early days of digital cameras when I was using Windows PC, I was very diligent at organizing and storing all my media. As I accumulated more computers and then with the advent of smart phones and increased number of photos and videos, my media was getting scattered and completely disorganized.
First I gathered up all my external hard drive back ups from my old computers (Dell desktop, Dell laptop, Samsung Netbook, Compaq, HP,) then I made a new back up of all my current computers: iMac 27, iMac 22, MBP 2012.
It was at this point that I realized that I really don’t like the Apple Photos App for storing media. One of my Photos Libraries was nearly 1 TB and its not as convenient as folders to move, view or organize from external hard drives especially for video editing large projects.
I am embarrassed to say that when I switched to Mac 10 years ago back in 2010, I never took the time to learn and fully understand, Finder, Photos App and file management on MacOS. For Windows PC I read stacks of books and watched tutorials.
I now use Image Capture and folder all media with an organizing and naming convention for Storage and Project use. More on that later.
I am in the process of moving and organizing all the data (with slightly revised naming convention and folder structure) from these external hard drives to my Storage Drive, my new Western Digital My Book Duo 12TB RAID Drive.
This will take months but once complete I will store these drives offsite at another location as additional backups in a waterproof Seahorse Case. I choose this case for no other reason than I have a lot of these laying around because I use them for various projects including panel mount electronics as seen in this video: DIY Variable Power Supply
Out with the old, in with the new
Now that the data is backed up, it’s time to remove the old computers and disassemble the old computer work station and make room for the new Standing Desk Video Editing WorkStation.
After extensive research shopping for a Standing Desk I decided I would convert a Gladiator Work Bench into one. It’s rock solid and I needed something sturdy enough to stretch my legs on.
While waiting for it to be delivered I used two Luxor Rolling Carts as a makeshift temporary Standing Desk. At the time I was considering repairing my old 2010 iMac fan issue but decided it was too old and just not worth my time and effort. Notice the Targus Laptop Cooling Pad.
I purchased the LG 27UK850-W 27″ 4K UHD IPS HDR10 USB Type-C Monitor for my new MacBook Pro 16″.
Notice the fan blowing on the MBP 13″ and another blowing on the Time Capsule and Modem. More on that later.
Gladiator WorkBench / Standing Desk
The Gladiator Adjustable WorkBench arrived by mail. I adjusted the legs to the maximum height which put the work bench at bout 41″ tall. After assembling the new work table, I punched some holes in the back plane with a hydraulic knockout and inserted rubber grommets to allow for cable runs. I also utilized some clever cable management products & techniques we will discuss later.
Once I setup the Gladiator Adjustable Work Bench I realized it just wasn’t quite big enough for what I wanted. I also needed to to come up with a storage solution for the Time Capsule, modem, hard drives, keyboards, mice (mouses) etc.
I realized that if the table was deeper I could also use it for shooting video tutorials rather than clearing out my electronics work bench in the basement to shoot YouTube videos on.
At this point I am beginning to consider a Video Editing & Video Shooting Work Station.
I decided to buy a 74”x39”x1.5″ Butcher Block by Hardware Reflections and saw off a 10″ strip for a shelf underneath. That gives me a table top 4″ deeper and 2″ wider than the Gladiator Table Top.
I applied 5 coats of water based polyurethane to the top and 3 coats to the bottom of both the table top and 10″ shelf, sanding between each coat. It has been decades since I had done any significant wood working and I had forgotten how much work was in Wood Working.
Stew-baby “Kevin, it’s right there in the name Wood Working”.
Me “Yes Stu… it is” More on that later.
So do I replace the Gladiator Butcher Block? Not at all, that is not the vision I have and would be wasteful. I simply place it on top of the Gladiator Table on 4″ nonslip legs. I ordered Richelieu Legs but they took too long to arrive so I installed Ikea Capita leg brackets but the legs weren’t non-slip, so I traded legs with my Office Oasis Bamboo Monitor Stand which had non-slip rubber bottoms. More on that later.
This gives my computer workstation a tremendous amount of storage space for power supplies, chargers, keyboards, mice, notebooks, iPads, phones and even other laptops like my old Dell Latitude when I need a Windows machine.
Notice the custom built LED bar. More on that later.
Notice the power supplies are on aluminum heat sinks. Anything that produces heat is either on a heat sink, has a fan blowing on it or both.
Although not absolutely necessary, I have an abundance of heat sinks from elevator & electronics tear downs and I prefer to extend the life of my electronics by keeping them cooler.
Butcher Block Shelf 64″ x 10″
Time to install the butcher block shelf. The 64″x10″ Butcher Block Shelf rests on the desk leg cross members. I use a large aluminum plate (from a GAL Elevator Door Operator) as a heat sink and to protect the finish of my painstakingly applied 5 coats.
The UPS and modem rest directly on the heat sink but the Apple Time Capsule rests on an addition motor soft start heat sink. The modem produces a lot of heat so I have a blower fan drawer air out of the top of the modem and blower across the time capsule.
Custom Pull Out Drawer
I wanted the editing workstation to have some addition storage in the form of a pull out drawer. After failing to find one large enough, I decided to build my own. It took some time for me to find the proper hardware because I didn’t know what it was called. Height Adjustable Ball Bearing Keyboard Slides or Drawer Slides (non side mount).
For the board I used an additional 42″x10″ bamboo Monitor Stand that I robbed feet from. I wanted the Pull Out Drawer ultra low profile so even though the brackets are adjustable I decided to saw off two holes from each bracket to get the pull out to a height of 1.5″. I only intend to store notebooks, pens and maybe Apple keyboard and mouse.
I would have preferred the pull out drawer be 14″ – 16″ deep but this 10″ works well for my notebooks and I came up with a Cutting Board hack. I have 99 uses for a cutting board, but cutting ain’t one.
I didn’t want the extra expense of purchasing a 42″ x 14+” board but if I come across a nice looking one cheap or free, I will swap it out.
The old filling cabinet is about 16 years old and is falling apart.
It is time for a new one but I want something of better quality and durability along with good aesthetics. My wife and I have grown tired of fighting with cheap rollers & drawers that won’t stay closed or open.
After searching online I decided on Laura Davidson brand file cabinets for their solid metal construction and ball bearing slides.
I had originally planned on putting the cabinets on the sides of the standing desk.
For space savings I decided to put them underneath which meant removing the 10″ butcher block shelf I spent so much time finishing.
Brings new meaning to the term Shelf Life.
I considered laying the butcher block shelf on top of the cabinets but the tower UPS was too tall. I decided to place the 45″ reclaimed aluminum shelf on the cabinets to provide shelf storage for my Time Capsule, 12TB Raid, 8TB Time Machine back up, tripod mic and stands.
My dog Sadie enjoyed laying under both the old and new desks so I put her bed there which also hides the two power cables running across the floor.
This is the standing work desk in its’ current configuration but we need to explain some components including the laptop stands, monitors & stand, thunderbolt dock and the old 2012 MBP.
I modified the Office Oasis Dual Monitor Stand by adding another leg to the front center. Though this in not necessary with these monitors on it, with the iMac 27 it was sagging slightly in the center.
Video Editing Workstation Setup List
Desk Material List
- Hardware Reflections 74″x39″x1.5 Birch Butcher Block: Home Depot
- Varathane Ultimate Polyurethane: https://amzn.to/31jtPkZ
- Richelieu Furniture Leg 642: https://amzn.to/2ZXsCjK
- All Metal Ball Bearing Keyboard Slide: https://amzn.to/2BshXnB
- Solid Bamboo Board 42″ x 10″: https://amzn.to/30RjUmu
- Wire / Cable Grommets: https://amzn.to/3fnsWN1
- Black Rubber Bumper Feet: https://amzn.to/3ifbTyG
- Laura Davidson Stockpile Curve 2 Drawer: https://amzn.to/2D1f25P
- Laura Davidson Stockpile Curve 3 Drawer: https://amzn.to/2ZXoIHv
- DeWalt Circular Saw:
- DeWalt Orbital Sander:
- Keter Folding Table Work Bench: https://amzn.to/31YtjJ9
- Sanding Block 3.7″ x 7″ 3M:
- Sand Paper 3-2/3 in. x 9 in:
- T Square:
- Milwaukee Drill:
- Drill Index:
- Hydraulic Knockout Set: https://amzn.to/3fmntWM
- Dremel Go Screwdriver: https://amzn.to/314BJjj
- Seahorse Case: https://amzn.to/3k3hsBW
- Luxor Work Cart STC222: https://amzn.to/2PjdfMh
- Targus Laptop Cooling Pad: https://amzn.to/33jS05p
- GE Power Stip USB: https://amzn.to/39viKku
- Folding Headphone Stand (HH03): https://amzn.to/2ZVPvUB
- Tripod Mic: https://amzn.to/3h06TOh
- G Technology 4GB USB-C External HD: https://amzn.to/33YSCh4
- Seagate 4GB External Hard Drive: https://amzn.to/345bTNQ
- Toshiba 2TB External Hard Drive
- Toshiba 1TB External Hard Drive
- WD My Passport Ultra 1TB External Hard Drive
- WD My Passport 500GB External Hard Drive (NTSF)
- WD My Passport 300GB External Hard Drive (FAT32)
- Western Digital 500GB External Hard Drive
- Seagate 500GB External Hard Drive
- GAN 2×2 Rubik’s Cube
- GAN 3×3 Rubik’s Cube
- GAN Megaminx