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Workbench Challenge Update

Wire messBack in April I posted about a goal I had for this year: setting up a decent workbench for myself in a corner of my (minuscule) home office. As the year comes to an end, I think it’s time for an update.

Did it happen exactly as planned? No…

Did I make progress? Yes!

So what happened?

We’re in limbo right now. We live in a rented apartment, which the owner has put on the market for sale. That means at any given day we may get a 30-day notice to vacate. I simply didn’t feel it was worth it to go all the way with getting rid of stuff to make room for a bigger table (it will inevitably happen when we have to move) and buying the table/bench (that would have to fit the exact dimensions of the space available here, possibly not being the ideal size for the next place) just yet.

I did make some improvements: I doubled my work area (with an additional table – another dinner tray table! – I use when I’m working on something) and I added a few items to my set of equipment. I got a digital multimeter (my old one is analog, which I still keep as I read it can be useful to show changes in values) a bench-top power supply, hot glue gun, several large breadboards, much needed tools and a myriad of parts.

All in all I don’t have the workbench I had envisioned (yet), but I have a bigger workspace, much needed new equipment and a lot more parts to play with!

On a related note, I came up with ideas for two bigger projects I want to work on which will be ongoing, in addition to the small stuff I build for learning purposes. I’ve placed so many orders from MCM Electronics, Jameco clearance center/outlet, Lightake and CuteDigi lately, that I’m sure my husband now fears I have a shopping addiction, given the volume of boxes left at our doorstep… I am excited to start working on these projects and sharing them here. Stay tuned!

My current setup:

Messy home office

The work area:

Messy electronics workbench

And storage:

Messy electronics storage
{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Wow,
    Thanks for sharing your work space. This reminds me of my dad so much. I had a flash back. My father was a director at National semiconductor where he worked for over a decade as an electrical engineer. He always was tinkering and i remember all the little bits and pieces in the garage. His workspace. diagrams.
    Good luck on your inevitable move once the owners sell the place. I don’t envy you. :O

    • Thanks for stopping by. One day the entire garage shall be mine…. mwahahaha…

  • Nice. My workbench is a sort of a virtual, portable concept which can only manifest on any flat surface for which I’m able to shove a bunch of junk out of the way. I’ve been dreaming of a proper electronics workbench for awhile now. Your post is part of my recent motivation to purge stuff I don’t need to free up space. Somehow, by juggling the remaining mountains of crap around, I hope to make room for a real, permanent, electronics bench somewhere… So far I’ve managed to acquire approximately 1/2 of the garage but… since I want to stay married, I must yield to my dear wife’s desire to park her car inside 🙂

    • Michael, I’m so glad I’ve inspired you to get rid of the clutter in order to create a permanent workbench for you. Increasing my work area was only possible for me after some serious decluttering, so I can relate.

  • I use 2 standard office desks for my workspace. One is primarily for my workbench and includes several stacked cabinets with many drawers for parts. It also contains my cheap but awesome SMT microscope that I got from Stanley Supply Services for about $350. The other desk is primarily for testing/modification and holds my scope, isolation transformer, variac, power supply, meters, etc. I have a soldering iron on each desk because I got tired of hopping from one to the other for a minor circuit tweak.

    • Sounds like a great setup, David. On two desks… yes! I recently bought a new desk (that has yet to be assembled, though…) And one will be the new bench (goodbye wobbly folding tables!) while the other will have the desktop computer with printer, etc… The old desk (new bench) will hold the stacked plastic cabinets, power supply, soldering station, works in progress and the laptop. If you want to submit a pic of your workbench, I will start a new page here with reader submitted pics… (eye candy, you know…) (I don’t have a form for that yet, though, so you’ll have to email me at natalia@tinkerhobby.com, and I’ll post it). (Only if you want it, of course!)

  • thank you

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