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Hacked Gadgets Workbench Contest
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Joined: 03 Oct 2008
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 11:38 am    Post subject: My work area Reply with quote

Contest Entry #12

My workbench is a combination of some small electronics work and some wood working stuff. I made all the workbenches you see. two of them I put scrap pieces of laminate countertop on from where I replaced my kitchen countertops.

Here's a pic of mostly everything. It's kind of hard to fit everything into one pic.

Another view trying to get everything in:

My miter saw

Vice and tools stored underneath

The area I work on small things and electronics.

Storage for small things

The computer mount I fabricated. I couldn't find anything online in my price range to mount my computer so I made this one myself. It swivels and tilts so it works out great. I'd be happy to make you one too if the price is right. Very Happy

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HG Junior

Joined: 21 Aug 2006
Posts: 16
Location: Denmark

PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Contest Entry #13

Hey y'all

So you made me clean my workbench Razz
Well this is my place.

I live in a one room apartment so I don't got that much space, but I put op a workbench in the corner and some shelves.
As you can see the shelves are filled whit various parts, projects, books and equipment.

Behind my chair is a dresser with bigger parts and junk.

In front of me on the shelve is my access point and 500GB HD, my Tektronix 2245 100 MHz scope and the power supply i made as a kid, some of my frequently used tools, my printer and audio amp.
On the table is a little storage draw with components, my soldering iron and multimeter, my laptop with dual screen, my headset and some trays with small parts.

My main power switch.
I got LED light under the shelve and to save space on my desk i put op a magnet to hold my scalpels and some hooks for cables and other things.
I also started to put up jars for parts by screwing the lids under the shelves to get ride of some of the trays on my desk.

Why only use one side of the shelves???

I put USB, parallel and serial ports up so i don't have to get behind my laptop to connect things like my Pickit 2 or Basicstamp.

I got a folder for all my SMD components and a little table vice.

The wiring is under my desk and behind the scope.
It's all wired to a USB power saving so when i remove my laptop from the dock everything except my alarm clock shuts off.
I got a backup 5V power supply for the USB just in chase I don't have my laptop.

Hope you like it and got some new ideas.

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Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 1
Location: Warsaw, Poland

PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Contest Entry #14


I'm a student of electroincs on Warsaw University of Technology. I moved out from my home town and rented a small room. It is now my place where I study, work eat, sleep and so on...

This table is my only workbench. Equipment:
- Computer and laptop
- Digital oscilloscope
- Soldering station
- Multimeter
- Holder for PCB boards
- AVR programmers (not shown on the picture)
- DIY symmetrical powet supplly
- DIY frequency counter
- DIY wave generator
- DIY digital oscilloscope for PC
- DIY passive load for amplifiers

Apart from chandelier I've got only this small lamp in the corner.
As a bench surface I've got a piece of wood-like tablemate.

This is my audio corner with DIY preamplifier and amplifiers.

This is my components storage and my study materials.

And the last picture. The rest of my books, notes, materials and two toolboxes.
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Joined: 03 Oct 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Contest Entry #15

so here is my turn to expose my workbench...
first a general view of my "clean" desk, where I do mainly electronic stuff, soldering and microcontroller programming.
these desks were build by me, so that they fit in the room, are large enought to work with ease, and strong enought to support heavy measuring instruments...
I also like big drawers where you can put lots of stuffs so that the desk is clean.

the left of my workbench and a detail of a cabinet full of long drawers...
and a range of electronic books always usefull to have on hand.

one for measuring portable instruments...
there is a simple multimeter (the more efficient is on the bench), a precise lcr meter, a self built analog esr meter, a peak atlas semiconductor identifier, and some cables to experiment.

one for microcontrollers (programming or not) modules...
you can see a usb pic programming module, an pic icd2 clone, an usb avr stk500 programmer, a freeduino and an avr butterfly. you can also see on the main desk a cypress psoc prototype board.

the drawers where I store my electronic components...

the detail of my bench measuring instruments, all of these where collected for years on ebay...
an analog hameg scope
a precise hameg multimeter
a hameg frequency generator
a hameg frequency counter
an analog power supply
a triple digital hameg power supply
a fluke 200 MHz combiscope (analog + digital) 4 true channels

I still dont have a logic analyzer, but I dont need it for now. with a 4 channels scope you can still do a lot of debugging even on logic signals. I mainly plan to buy (or build) a small 8 channels logic analyzer with usb interface to the pc when I need it to debug a thing I can't debug with my scope...fast i2c signals for example...

I use the magnifying lamp when I do smd soldering, or when I want to have more light than the neon can provide. but the light actually is enought for electronics. it is a 20W 60cm neon bulb.

the right of my workbench with other instruments
an electronic load
a battery charger/discharger/tester
a wonderfull weller wmd3 soldering-desoldering-hot air unit

a very usefull differential probe (the yellow thing on the table) to see what's happens on high voltage things such a smps, and not to explode the house fuse if you probe directly the scope on these high voltages...

a view of my main work plane, with actual stuff I'm working on
I'm planning to add some useful measuring instruments directly accessible from the bottom of the bench: a small video screen to work easy with video signals, a audio signal injector and listener. I will put all these under the first "floor" of my bench.

a view of all the electrics plugs, on the bottom of the first stair, they don't bother you there, they are accessibles, and there are plenty because you never have enought !
There is also a main protected switch (at the left) , to switch off everything before going to bed...
You can see the end of an usb cable, standard and a mini one, to connect easily the programming modules directly to the pc without doing too much speleology under the desk...

another big drawer to put all the waiting stuff

under the left of the workbench are some old cards where I can extract some components I may need...

and here is my "dusty" workbench in another part of the home. here I do all the dirty stuff, wood stuff, drilling, everything that makes some dust.

another view of the main dusty workbench

there are also big drawers in this dirty workbench to store all the tools
here the drawer for the measuring tools

and a last view of the wood cutting machines

hope you enjoyed the visit !

Last edited by kripton2035 on Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:27 am; edited 6 times in total
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Joined: 19 Oct 2008
Posts: 1
Location: Singapore

PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 8:20 am    Post subject: CONTEST ENTRY #16 (?) Reply with quote


I was lucky to be able to fully renovate my house and command three of the rooms. I decided to segregate my mess. Paperwork and all the un-fun stuff goes in the office. Electronics/sewing/computer/art projects (the clean stuff) goes in the 'Clean' lab in the attic. Bicycles, RC Cars, and all the dirty stuff does in my downstairs workshop, shown here.


What did I spec for my workshop?

I live in Singapore, which is 70miles north of the equator. That means it's always hot, I'm always sweating, and the tools are always rusting. That means I end up working at night, when it's slightly cooler. So I need bright mercury lights illuminating the porch. And a wall-mounted oscillating fan. I have a retractable canopy that keeps the heat off me during the day. Inside I have a ceiling fan that keeps the air fresh too.

Rusting tools is a harder problem. I keep stuff wiped down with sewing machine oil and lately I've been using camphor blocks in the tool drawers, which is apparently an old woodworkers' trick. Dunno if it works or not.

To maximize space, I made the "door" the entire wall -- it's a rollup shutter. I made a slope to the edge of the floor so that I can roll my rolling toolchests in and out of the room.

The room is spartan, with a red epoxy floor and gray walls. The color scheme comes from my granddad's (a great mechanic with a terrific workshop) old battery charger. I always loved the red lightning bolts painted on the side of the gray box.

This week I'm having adjustable shelving mounted in the back wall of the shop so that I can get some of the clutter up and out of the way. I hate piles. I'll owe you a follow-up picture I guess.

I work on everything from small RC cars to bespoke bicycles in the shop, so I am always using different things, moving in and out, so I actually don't want a massive monolithic workbench. When I'm working on RC, like I was when this photo was taken, I tinker at a round cafe-style metal table. When I am working on bikes, I drag the table outside and the park tool stand comes out. I had a massive, heavy steel plate welded to the bottom so that it is very stable.

My tool segregation is simple... all general hand tools go in the tall chest on the left. All my bike tools and manuals go in the large Snap-On roller chest (mostly obscured behind planter boxes) on the right.

One problem I have is figuring out whether a tool goes in the Clean Lab or the Dirty Lab. I realized at some point, each deserved some of the same tools, like screw drivers. The labs are still quarrelling over who gets the vacu-vise.

Problems? I don't have a large heavy-duty vice yet. Why? Because I don't know where to mount it. I don't have a big monolithic workbench corner. Everything else is too lightweight. And I want 270° access at least, so mounting to a wall is not feasible.

Other problems? The same that everyone w/ a workshop has -- if you are not vigilant, it can easily become a bloated storage shed.
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Joined: 19 Oct 2008
Posts: 1
Location: Simi Valley

PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 11:37 am    Post subject: My Workbench Reply with quote



What can I say, I'm messy. It gets like that with all the multitasking as I usually have several things to work on at any one time.

Follow the Flickr link for more details of what is what.
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Joined: 19 Oct 2008
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


I'm a freshman in college now, but this was my work area/bedroom throughout high school.

I've got the standard multimeter and soldering iron(s), plus a scope, JDM pic programmer, 3 computers (a laptop, a desktop, and an always-on server, though the server's headless, and both monitors are actually connected to the desktop), a modded Xbox running Evox with an upgraded HDD, and a 360 with hacked drive FW, all withing arms reach. My setup may be cluttered as hell, but it keeps all my most used parts within arms reach. In many cases, I can actually go from idea to finished device without leaving my chair.

Power for all the equipment comes from 4 daisy-chained power-strips and a handful of those 3 plug residential extension cords all connected to a single outlet under the desk to the right.

This pic was taken from my bunk bed, under which is most of my salvaged junk, wall warts, computer parts, spools of cable, a few odd appliances, that sort of thing.

Whether you believe you can, or cannot, you're right. -Henry Ford
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Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Contest Entry #19

This is my main work area located in my garage. It contains all the basic gear. soldering iron, pc, parts organizer, bench vise, etc. Not shown is my oscilloscope, but it is just to the right of the frame. In the center you can see a homemade third hand tool which is much larger than your standard third hand tool. I recently bought the solder dispenser off of ebay for a couple bucks and it was really worth it. I had a diy one before and it was constantly coming off its tracks... I find that simple things like this can affect your efficiency in a major way.

Which brings me to my second pic. My wife helped me organize the parts for a project that I have been repeatedly building... The color coded labels are a nice touch, and this system saves a ridiculous amount of time - most of it while unpacking and sorting orders from Mouser and Digikey but also during the actual build.

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HG Contributor

Joined: 20 Oct 2008
Posts: 36
Location: Vancouver Island

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:43 pm    Post subject: My Contest Entry Reply with quote


Ok, I guess it's time to reveal the Inner Sanctum for the contest.

This is my main assembly bench, with the table saw off the end of it. The machine in the foreground is a home built 1" precision belt grinder. The object on the bench is a 15W CO2 laser, a current project, almost finished. Underneath is tool storage, including a small generator & a hydraulic chassis punch set, up to 3".

This is my electronics bench. It is my firm belief that those with ultra clean benches have too much time on their hands. Razz
Underneath the bench I store junk boards for parts, my copper stash, & my collection of cases, cabinets & project boxes.

This is my machine shop area, including my custom built machinist's tool chest. I have a precision boring head for the milling machine, that allows me to produce holes of any size from 1/8" to 12", with accuracies within 100 millionths of an inch.

This is my welding area. It has a Miller Econotig TIG welder, a suitcase oxyacetylene rig, & my oxyMAPP brazing torch & oxygen concentrator machine. I am equipped to weld any metal known to man, other than radioactives. The gray cabinet under the welder is a tool cabinet, which contains just about every known hand tool.

Another welding machine. This is a MOT based home built resistance welder. I use it for spot welding thin stock & wires.

This is my bandsaw, which has been heavily modified in order to cut steel up to 3" thick. Also shown is my transformer & magnet wire stash.

This is my main parts storage area. All components are sorted by value & type. One lower drawer contains my boxed hardware, screws, nuts, washers, etc.

Another parts storage area.

A parts mine, where I keep stuff to be junked for parts, & larger hackable assemblies.

This is where I store my shop supplies. Chemicals, solvents, paint, epoxy, brushes, etc.

And last, my washup area & fledgling chemistry lab.

In addition to this, I have a comprehensive collection of hand power tools, as well as many air tools, including a precision die grinder that turns at 100,000RPM. I also have taps & dies for most threads under 1/2", including pipe threads.

That's about it. This is where I create. Of course, a workshop is an evolving system, & mine is only 3 years old. I have many enhancements planned. Very Happy
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Semi Newbie

Joined: 19 Oct 2008
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


So, hereīs my Attempt at an Entry:

Hereīs where I normally sit and fiddle with a gazillion projects,
I do take the time to clean it up at it IS quite organized - although
it has been weeks since last time Laughing

And hereīs where I print PCBīS (or rather - plot them directly onto
the PCBīs themselves, the Eprom / Microcontrollers also get
burned there...thats what the two computers are for, one for burning
and the other to handle the rather old Plotter.

The backside of my workbench.... easy to reach cables and

Although the Internet is my no #1 source for Datasheets, books
are invaluable - theyīre SO much easier to get "Indepth" with
and handy when working controllers & other stuff.

The "Repair-storage" & Etching & Drilling section (yes - I do cover
stuff when I drill - I donīt have that much space, this is a small

This is my Main Computer section, here I plot the "next" mad science
project, or work with 3D, animations , Character design...or try
various Linux editions out.... Nevermind the naked trolls in here
donīt ask Very Happy

That previous picture looked too clean, letīs take a look at
some floor area.... Thereīs a curve tracer under the insane scanner
and a box of huge lytes, plus some SMD boxes with assorted smds in
there...didnīt know where to put it... There are a LOT of ICs
on the floor in long containers that you donīt see Wink

No space in my appartment gets free from storage ops. Where there
is some free space....junk gets in.

Just to illustrate how "small" my workshop room is, Iīm pressing myself
against the wall to take a "bigger" picture of it...

Cleanliness is next to godliness (just to annoy Tekwiz):

Aaarhh...that last picture above was just to prove that I actually
have a "SANE" area for "normal" people...and the odd relaxation
where itīs nice to have a "CLEAN" and "TIDY" area to walk around
offer beers to guests etc (yes..there is a bar behind it, but enough
with the clean pictures already - we WANT MESS!) Wink

Oh well - that was my Entry.

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Joined: 22 Oct 2008
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:49 pm    Post subject: Soldering station Reply with quote


Hey, folks. With all the amazing benches in this thread, my post should be deleted by the next moderator that passes by. Smile

I'm just a hobbyist, mostly into PIC micros for low level hardware hacking. My very modest bench reflects this. So there's no fancy equipment, but there are a few little tricks that I think are pretty neat that I wanted to share. Plus I didn't see anyone else who had an ANVIL!

To sort/store my various microcontrollers and other IC's, I came up with this solution. I cut the rack out of plexiglass and hotmelt glued it to the side of my refridgerator - which turns out to be a perfect fit.

To eliminate some wires, I put a regular USB port on my programmer so it plugs right into the side of my monitor. I also commandeered the programming button and routed it to a widened output port.

For small tools, I made the tool rack in the background. It's just a steel rod from a printer, supported by some plexiglass. I put pliers on top, and I hang some commonly used stuff on there with magnets. If I want to hang something that isn't ferromagnetic, I put a small screw in the handle. [And in the foreground, you can also see a space saving 3.5watt LED lamp with tool/pencil holder and magnetic tool bit-holding base.]

My transition to surface mount parts was a bit rocky, but I finally got a handle on it by using a test tube rack. Above it, you can see a small rack of commonly used solvents and machine oil in handy squeeze bottles. On the left you see how I keep hotmelt glue always on tap with a glue gun modified to sit directly in a power strip.

One of my most useful "mess eliminators" turns out to be my DIY impulse sealer. I found I could bag and tack stuff right onto a cardboard "wall." When I run out of room, I target the stuff that's been dormant and put it away somewhere more permanent.

Some of the most simple tricks turn out to save me the most time. Here's a drill holster I made by heating some foam board. I can leave even the finest bits in the drill without fear of breaking them.

... and here's a another simple trick that saves me lots of time. I keep some "epoxy balls" hanging off of a couple lengths of teflon wire. This keeps them from sticking to anything until I need them. In this case they're hanging from notches on my DIY LED lamp. In the back row is Magic Sculpt, a.k.a "Permanent Blu-Tac." In the front row is Kneadatite, a.k.a. "Gum-crete."

Here's my high tech wet-sanding and machining station, a.k.a the kitchen sink. As promised, it's replete with a (1-pound) anvil. In the second pic, you can also see the handle of my "mess-containment" device standing close by.:

So here's a shot of the entire bench.. Just a 6 foot table and a $25.00 bookshelf:

Well, that's it. Smile
If it ain't broken, just gimme some more time with it.
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Kevin DeMarco

Joined: 23 Oct 2008
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:29 am    Post subject: Bench Contest Entry Reply with quote


Here is my electrical work bench:

Test Equipment (All purchased on Ebay):
-Tektronix 465 2 CH Oscilloscope
-HP 6281A Power Supply
-HP 3312A Function Generator
-Basic Digital Multimeter

Microcontroller Programmers:
-PICkit 2

Test Platforms:
-iRobot Create
-Digilent FGPA PCB
-SuperCub RC Plane

Lab Assistants:
-Tesla (Rat - Female)
-Johanna (Rat - Female)

Custom bipolar power supply powering Wein-bridge oscillator and PIC.

Box O' Junk (organized)

Tesla getting ready to drive the Create...

The RC Plane...

I have a simple blog for the projects that I am working on at:

My photoblog (not always electronics related) is located at:

Thanks all.

-Kevin DeMarco
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Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 1
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 11:31 am    Post subject: contest entry # 24 Reply with quote


I live in a small 2 bedroom apartment... Nothing can be attached to the walls so I am kind of limited. but here it is:

-Chris Rybitski
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Joined: 16 Oct 2008
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 4:20 pm    Post subject: Contest Entry #25 Reply with quote


My Workbench
My workbench is spread out on two sides of my garage. It has electric outlets on the walls every five feet and a large electrical strip on the front of the work benches. There is also a 220 volt outlet. The lighting is amazing with multiple fluorescent light fixtures over all the work benches and there is a furnace to keep warm. There is compressed air piped through the whole garage. Sadly, I only have 2 good voltmeters for test equipment. If you can get an Oscilloscope, it would help you greatly. For storage space, I have a tool chest for electrical tools and boxes under the benches filled with spare parts and more tools. There are also shelves above the workbenches for more supplies. For storing electrical components, I have some jars. If you can, get a compartment cabinet. I have plenty of counter space with a workbench spanning each side of the garage. Of course, it’s commonly covered with tools and projects.

In the electronics area, I have these main tools and equipment:
A power supply
A voltmeter
Soldering tools and supplies: iron, solder wicking, solder sucker, solder, sponge, and helping hands.
Screwdrivers and pliers. For electrical work I use my smallest tools.
Lots of wire
There is a sink with cold and hot water next to the workbench. This is nice for wetting the sponge I use for soldering. You can also see the boxes I use for storage under the workbench.

Some of my favorite tools are the tools I use for manufacturing components. You can see them in the picture above. The drill press is nice for any drilling needs and the vice is a must have for bending and holding objects. The vice and drill press will not help you make high precision metal objects; that’s where the sheet metal machine comes in. This machine shears, bends, and slip rolls. I also have tools for heavy metal working like a welder and plasma cutter. The plasma cutter can cut through extremely thick metal.

I hope you liked my workbench/garage!
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Joined: 29 Oct 2008
Posts: 1
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:35 am    Post subject: contest entry # 26 Reply with quote



I'm a fine-mechanical student, and this is my workbench, looks like a kind of a mess... there are to much projects to do...to less time, and never time to clean...

The work table;

The other side of the room. The place to make the PCB's or where the engraving happens;

The place where the thinking and flashing happens:

Last edited by ladido on Thu Oct 30, 2008 4:09 am; edited 1 time in total
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