Electronics Workbench Ideas, Pics, and More

Thread Starter

ElectronicsFanatic

Joined Feb 12, 2012
30
I am in the process of putting together an electronics workbench and looking for ideas from the forum members to help me out. I want to build it this week so that it will be ready the following week when I start my electronics classes.

I have decided to build my own and I am thinking that I wont be able to go any bigger than 2' x 4'. I wish I could make it bigger but I have limited space. I was wanting to add some shelves to the upper part and be able to put some of my equipment on those so that I have a larger work area to deal with.

I was thinking of using the following 1" x 2' x 4' white melamine shelf from Homedepot as the top piece.


And making the legs and supports out of 2" x 3" pieces of lumber (also from Homedepot)



I want it to look something like this:


Except in all wood.

I would love to see pics of anyone willing to share their workbench/workstation to help give me some more ideas or even recommendations on things I could use.

I am a student so my budget is a bit limited. I would love to spend a bunch and make a good one, but I have to stay around the $50 range. I know that isn't much but I think I could come up with something that would get me by with a little help from a collective mind. :p
 

nerdegutta

Joined Dec 15, 2009
2,676
It's fun to start making a workbench from scratch. :)

Here's mine.

The desk:


The workbench:


I've installed some more shelves for storage boxes, so I easily can find what I need.
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
20,904
Make the top surface white (at least one half of the bench) so you can find those SMD components. I use a sheet of bristol board.

Also consider anti-static surface.
 

bluebrakes

Joined Oct 17, 2009
250
I made mine out of MDF and Steel.
So an mdf worktop and mdf racking ontop of the workbench. The base are mild steel legs welded into a box frame, which the worktop bolts onto. I also use the steel frame for my static straps.

Kitchen worktop is another good alternative, as it's very strong and resistant to burns/staining.

I would build a basic desk first and then consider how you want your rack shelving for test equipment (power supplies are heavy, so make sure they are strong enough)
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
20,904
Here are some pics of my electronics workbench. Not much in the way of test equipment, one DVM and one analog test meter:




You will also need some parts drawers for storing components:




and shelves for bigger stuff. But as a student with limited space, you can of course start out small.

 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
20,904
For a student always on the move here is what I have done for a desk/workbench.

I get two 2-drawer file cabinets for support and on top I get a used or seconds hollow door.
Easy to setup, take own and move out.
In fact I still haven't moved out:

 
Last edited:

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
25,573
When I was in college I built a decent workbench from scratch lumber. One thing to keep in mind is the need for good bracing to make it sturdy. I put in some eye-bolts in the back legs and made an X out of cables with turnbuckles, which worked very nicely. I built it so that it could be dissassembled and moved and it made it through four moves. I sold it to the guy that moved into the apartment I left when I moved to take a "real job" figuring that I would build something even better. I never have because I have found that I am very happy with just a 6' folding table. I play the same shelf game that you see in some of the other pics by using boards resting on top of spacers made of scrap lumber or bricks. The result is something that is easily reconfigured and adjusted: You need an additional couple inches of space under your shelf for that new supply? Add a brick to each support. You want to move your microscope stand to the other side and have to move your shelf to accommodate it? Do it.

I still have fantasies about building a really nice workbench with all the bells and whistles, but have decided that I will not make the attempt until I know I am in the house I want to retire in. Even then, I know that my needs and desires will change over time, so anything I do will have to be flexible and reconfigurable. On second thought, I may be staying with the folding table and boards on bricks approach for the duration.
 

Thread Starter

ElectronicsFanatic

Joined Feb 12, 2012
30
I made mine out of MDF and Steel.
So an mdf worktop and mdf racking ontop of the workbench. The base are mild steel legs welded into a box frame, which the worktop bolts onto. I also use the steel frame for my static straps.

I was thinking of using some steel legs. Where did you get yours (the legs)? Or did you just make them yourself?
 

Thread Starter

ElectronicsFanatic

Joined Feb 12, 2012
30
2' x 4' can be really cramped if you want to add shelves or test equipment.
Mine is 30" x 5.5' and I feel really cramped for working space.

I would agree with you patm. This makes me feel cramped just looking at it, and it is smaller than mine? :( I really wish I had more room, but for now, I will just have to make due I guess.
 

Thread Starter

ElectronicsFanatic

Joined Feb 12, 2012
30
Also consider anti-static surface.
MrChips, I would love to have an anti-static surface, but everything I have looked at has been pretty expensive. At least more than I can pay for. Do you know of a brand or type that you would recommend so that I can keep it in mind when I am ready to get one?
 
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