Benches and Tables
My workbench has been through dozens of redesigns over the last 10 years or so. I currently use a bench that’s reinforced with floor joists, and has a removable 2′ deep chipboard work surface. The idea is that if I have a chemical spill or damage the surface, the chipboard can be popped out and replaced in a few minutes. I cover most of the bench with large cutting mats, so I don’t have to worry about running a blade across the chipboard.
A Few of the essential tools (like screwdrivers) are fixed to the wall for easy access, and there is plenty of spot and flood lighting so I can see into all of those difficult places when I’m repairing something. I have a safe block (for quick connecting power) and a modified computer PSU on the back of the bench at all times, so I don’t need to mess about with running cables and getting tied in knots.
The multimeter can be connected to a computer screwed underneath the desk, and can display or record values on a monitor that’s fixed to the wall. There is also a video capture card and TV output from the computer so I can capture and inject video signals through a special set of leads that I wired to the side of the bench.
There is an oscilloscope fixed under the bench, and an easel above. I like to think that I’m working between two different ends of the creative spectrum, with art above me and science below. The bench is seldom completely tidy, and several part finished projects are stashed in the plastic boxes above my head. The walls are plastered with a combination of sketches, photographs, and circuit diagrams.
There is a dedicated cabinet for flammable materials, and a few sets of drawers loaded with assorted electronics and craft materials. I like to have everything at hand when I’m working, so I don’t need to keep stopping to find bits and pieces. I think that this incarnation of my desk is the best yet, but I still plan to make some changes to the wiring and positioning of some of the tools. After all, life would be boring if everything was perfect, wouldn’t it?
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