Electronics Workbench #2: Sketchup Model

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Blog entry by LegendInMyOwnMind posted 04-18-2013 05:19 PM 8499 reads 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Starting Thoughts Part 2 of Electronics Workbench series no next part

Starting with the laminate countertop idea, I did some work on Sketchup to get an idea of what I wanted my workbench to look like. Here’s what the Sketchup model looks like.

Here’s some of my thoughts,

  • I chose to go with a 29” tall top rather than use tall chairs like some benches require.
  • The top shelf is 20” deep
  • I placed the legs in a bit so that I’m not running into them as much.
  • I recessed the upper shelf front support edge back so that I could put power strips on them.
  • Lights could conveniently mount under the shelf and if they were towards the back would shine just fine down to the desktop.
  • 2×4 parts are cheap but I need some fairly straight pieces
  • You can’t see it in the picture but I put a 2×4 on the bottom of the benchtop mounted the short way so that it only goes down 1-1/2” below the bench bottom. I might run into it less that way.

-- Doug - When all you own is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

4 comments so far

View Grumpymike's profile


2425 posts in 2829 days

#1 posted 04-18-2013 06:37 PM

Hey Doug,
I built a bench just like this years ago when I was doing electronic service work.
After about a month of using the bench I removed the front legs for the top shelf, they were always in the way.
I put a 45 degree suport from the front of the shelf to the back of the workbench; it gave me alot more room to work but still in the way alot of the time.
I had my scope, meters and other test equip. on the shelf for many years. I also had some parts bins up there.
Of course the chassis that we were working on “back in the day” were alot larger than what we see today.
If you plan to sit on a stool while working at this bench, might think about a shelf under the table about 6” off the floor and inset about 6” for a foot rest … and to store the extra junk that always needs a home.
I would suggeat that you put your AC outlet strip along the back wall; the hanging cords from front mounted outlets will cause lots of stuff to be pulled off the bench by rolling chairs, feet and phantoms. And with the AC outlets along the front edge, it invites electrical shock at a very tender spot.
I used to use carpet scraps for the top covering, I found that laminate and masonite was too slick, and the most expensive chassis would slide to the floor #$%[email protected]#%$.

Just something to think about … Great drawing on the Sketchup.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View SirGareth's profile


128 posts in 2714 days

#2 posted 04-18-2013 07:21 PM

Great job Doug! I need an electronics bench too and I like your basic design, along with some of the modifications Grumpy suggested.

Grumpy, what about ESD with the carpet? The devices you likely worked with were not subject to static damage, but it could be an issue with some of today’s components.

-- Even if you fall on your face, you are still moving forward. - Tim, Southern California

View LegendInMyOwnMind's profile


199 posts in 3100 days

#3 posted 04-19-2013 05:24 PM

Grumpymike – Great comments, thanks.

-- Doug - When all you own is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

View Grumpymike's profile


2425 posts in 2829 days

#4 posted 04-19-2013 05:27 PM

Yeah Tim you are right, most of the stuff I worked on was High end stereo and the like. (think vaccume tubes here)
When the Ic’s became used more and static was an issue, we had a grounded static matt that we would throw over the carpet and put the circuit board on that.
Gotta remember that I was working on this stuff when Zenith put the first integrated circuit (IC) in a TO-2 package and put it in a consumer product … they even put it on a 7 pin connector socket so that the TV techs would know that it was a replaceable part. (You would be amazed at how meany were destroyed by puting them in the tube checker). BTW that was 1968 …

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

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