Author Topic: Steel workbench  (Read 3777 times)

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Offline timothyfrost

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Steel workbench
« on: October 04, 2016, 06:30:15 am »
I'm an electronics noob, and I mean in the very early stages of learning. I live in an apartment so I have limited space for a workbench and I found this steel one on harbor freight http://www.harborfreight.com/multipurpose-workbench-with-light-60723.html. I like it because it's small, has lights and an outlet. I know a steel workspace is a bad idea, but my question is, would this be ok to use if I just put a sheet of plywood on top?
 

Online ataradov

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Re: Steel workbench
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2016, 06:51:26 am »
would this be ok to use if I just put a sheet of plywood on top?
That is more of a mechanical workbench. It is impossible to comfortably sit in front of this because of the lower shelf.

Why not just go to Ikea and buy the cheapest desk you can find? Works perfectly for me and I'm not sweating damage it may take.
Alex
 

Offline timothyfrost

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Re: Steel workbench
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2016, 06:56:26 am »
Unfortunately there's only one Ikea in Michigan and it's 200 miles away
 

Online ataradov

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Re: Steel workbench
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2016, 07:01:11 am »
Unfortunately there's only one Ikea in Michigan and it's 200 miles away
That sucks. Ikea is a nice place for stuff like that. Cheap and next to disposable.

But the idea still stands. There must some furniture stores with reasonably cheap prices for generic wooden desks. OfficeMax, or whatever they are called right now sell some.

For electronics, a real desk is better than a mechanical workbench.
Alex
 

Offline bitslice

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Re: Steel workbench
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2016, 07:01:36 am »
I had everything on a large bit of wood that I kept under the bed,
I just slid it out to work on something, then pushed it back at night.

The plus side was I never had to tidy anything and potentially mess up a project, and it was a massive working area.
Coincidentally when I did get a desk, it was as big as a bed.
 

Offline StuUK

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Re: Steel workbench
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2016, 07:49:25 am »
Unfortunately there's only one Ikea in Michigan and it's 200 miles away

Can you not order from IKEA online?
 

Offline Totalsolutions

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Re: Steel workbench
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2016, 11:59:28 am »
Costco have cheap picnic type tables, have some myself. Right height to sit at plenty if space on the larger unit, plastic surface, you can even fit cable feed through holes by installing the desk tidys available seperately.
So, cheap, chinese made, collapsable and doubles as a meal table.

Sent from my GT-N7100 using Tapatalk

Paul
 

Online Ian.M

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Re: Steel workbench
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2016, 12:31:43 pm »
Is there a second hand furniture/office equipment store in your area?
If so, look at executive desks.  Tell them you want it for a hobby workbench so don't mind refinishing the top.   It will have at least basic cable management. Slide out keyboard shelves, monitor arms, PC brackets etc. are plus points because its always good to declutter the benchtop and keep solder spatter off the keyboard.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2016, 01:31:45 pm by Ian.M »
 

Offline elimenohpee

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Re: Steel workbench
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2016, 01:05:00 pm »
Not sure what kind of access you have to tools, but I just built a table using a few 2X8's of pine from Lowes, and some 1" schedule 40 pipe with pipe adapters from Global Industrial.  Note in the pics I haven't leveled everything out, so it looks a little wobbly; this was just a quick test fit. I think the total cost was like $150 maybe for everything: $~$30 for the table top and ~$100-$120 for the pipe and adapters.  It was a fun project. 
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: Steel workbench
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2016, 01:15:14 pm »
Is there a second hand furnature/office equipment store in your area?
If so, look at executive desks.  Tell them you want it for a hobby workbench so don't mind refinishing the top.   It will have at least basic cable management. Slide out keyboard shelves, monitor arms, PC brackets etc. are plus poins because its always good to declutter the benchtop and keep solder spatter off the keyboard.
I second this suggestion.  :-+

Built my own frames from steel (welded). For the first bench I just bought the top. The second used the top & drawers from a new desk that was damaged during shipping (steel surround was toast; the file cabinet drawer housing I pounded back into shape). Paid $50 for the top only and another $50 for the damaged desk.

And a used office furniture store made this ^ possible (along with a local steel supplier  :P).
 

Offline Jeff_Birt

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Re: Steel workbench
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2016, 01:43:13 pm »
I am using a plastic fold up table from walmart. It a more heavy duty kind with metal bars along the length. It is the same height as my computer desk and sets againt and at a right angle to the computer desk so I just have to rotate my chair to go from computer to work bench.

You could put an ESD mat on the top or a piece of 1/8" Masonite (you can get the Masonite cut for you at most large home improvement stores).
 

Online eugenenine

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Re: Steel workbench
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2016, 09:10:46 pm »
Or look at your local craigslist/freecycle.  Many times people will list free desks if you get them.  Many desks can be disassembled easily so you can carry a small part at a time.
Or go to lowes/home depot get a 2'x 4' sheet of plywood and some 2x4's.
Your in MI, Meijer sells sauder desks.
 

Offline Back2Volts

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Re: Steel workbench
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2016, 09:45:48 am »
Is there a second hand furniture/office equipment store in your area?
If so, look at executive desks.  Tell them you want it for a hobby workbench so don't mind refinishing the top.   It will have at least basic cable management. Slide out keyboard shelves, monitor arms, PC brackets etc. are plus points because its always good to declutter the benchtop and keep solder spatter off the keyboard.

Is there a Habitat For Humanity Re-Store store near you ?   If so you can find very nice deals.   A significant amount of used home office furniture goes thru them very quickly.    If you do not find something that suits your needs, go back a few times.   I got my bench, much larger that you want, just $15, from the local Re-Store.   
 

Offline ebclr

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Re: Steel workbench
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2016, 10:10:28 am »
 
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Offline george graves

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Re: Steel workbench
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2016, 11:37:46 am »
The best desks I've ever had (and do have) either are free or 1/10 the price. 

Every time I've ordered something, the pics looks amazing, and 2 weeks later I regret the purchase.

My favorite for video editing/computer work is biomorph desks.  They are a pleasure to work on.

For electronics, I prefer a low work bench - almost kitchen table height.  And that odd, cause I find that the shorter you are, the higher table it is to work on. I'm 6'2" and can't stand sitting on a stool unless it's REALLY tall, like a drafting table.


Offline timothyfrost

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Re: Steel workbench
« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2016, 04:24:50 am »
http://www.electratec.com/



Really nice bench, but you know what they say, "If you have to ask, you probably can't afford it."
 

Offline Berni

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Re: Steel workbench
« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2016, 06:11:40 am »
Any table will do really. But for a electronics workbench its often better to have it taller than a average table. Components are getting tiny these days so you often end up leaning over close to the board when soldering or probing signals. As a result a too low bench will tend to make your neck and back hurt from the constant leaning over. However if a bench is too tall it can get uncomfortable to sit at due to how high your arms need to be.

Also in electronics having a large and deep table is very useful. Old test equipment is very big and bulky. expect to have the back 50cm of the table surface taken up by it. So a 100cm deep table is a good idea and if you have the space making the table long is also nice as lots of stuff tend to accumulate on a electronics bench (Im not the most tidy person tho).

I made my own workbench because i couldn't find what i needed. Its basically a 300x60cm solid wood counter top with legs and some bracing attached to it, along with another shelf behind the table for holding test equipment off the table. You can buy counter tops and various shapes of wood in most hardware stores for a reasonable price. and then you just screw it all together with wood screws and wood glue.

But if you are just starting out in electronics just use any old desk, perhaps add some shelving close by for keeping tools and common parts at hand. But if you are going serious about it do give it some thought as you might be stuck with the new workbench for many years.
 
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