Workshop envy!

I don’t have my own workshop, just a desk in my bedroom that is more likely to have a pile of kid socks on it than an actual project. (Or, even more likely, it would have both projects and socks on it, making for a huge mess…) Consequently, I’m envious of and fascinated by other people’s setups. So, please share your workspace, workshop, desk, bench, what-have-you! Leave a URL in the comments, add a photo to the MAKE Flickr pool, or send me an email (johnb at makezine dot com) and I’ll post the most interesting ones.

(Thanks to Pat for the photo of his excellently messy workbench.)


44 thoughts on “Workshop envy!

  1. I recently built a workbench for the garage, and the photos of that one are on my Flickr account. The best one that shows the bench in its proper position is here:

    This photo shows it in the middle of the garage:

    And this shows how much junk I had to pile on top of it:

    I’ve just tidied up the electronics lab in the house, so I’ll get a good photo of it and post that later.

  2. Here’s the workshop I set up in a corner of my garage using the skeletons from 3 old MDF cabinets and a bunch of parts from Home Depot and the Habitat Reuse center. It’s stronger than I expected it to be.

    I’ve added more tools, pick bins and glued a new layer of 1/4″ hardboard on top since I took the photo. I used some old drawer slides to make a pull out tray and screwed pick bins into it. This has been really useful, I’d add another if I had space:

  3. My workspace looks a lot like the one in the original post. Whenever I get it organized, it only lasts about 10 minutes before it is a mess again. It really is just a U made of 2 IKEA desks, and one bookshelf unit.

    I’m curious as to what kind of organization solutions people have found. I’ve tried tackle boxes for electronic parts, but I find them to be pretty awkward.

    1. I agree. I have purchased several “tackle box” or divided plastic organizer boxes, thinking that finally, this time, they’d be the solution to my component storage. But they all end up in the trash bin, eventually.

      My lasting solution was to make a heat sealer. I guess you could buy one for $40.00 or so.

      I seal components in small plastic bags (white ones that you can write on), then I can put about 20x more stuff into a single, small box than could fit into a larger organizer if I put just one kind of component into each divider.

      Conversely, when I have a lot of 1 type of bulky item that doesn’t fit into an organizer, it will still fit into a heat sealed plastic bag and fit into a box without dividers.

  4. Here’s my main workbench at “Street Tech Labs.” Well, my MAIN workbench is my Biomorph desk that’s to the left of this picture.

    I’m blessed with this gorgeous sun porch on the back of our house, with windows on all three sides and a clear-story ceiling. As soon as I saw this room, I thought: This has GOT to be my studio and we have GOT to get this house. It houses three main desks, this workbench, a Biomorph desk with my Mac on it, and another Biomorph with a PC. There’s also a little sitting area to the right. When my wife and I used to do graphic arts, this is where we’d meet with our clients.

  5. I want you all to know I’m shedding a tear right now.

    My beautiful Electronics Laboratory has been in storage for the past two months, and I don’t get to play with any of it for another four months. All I have with me is my trusty Amprobe meter, and a few random tools. It’s hard to stay motivated with designing cool electronics stuff when all I’ve really got to work with is a laptop that can barely run Eagle.

    I’m feeling very jealous and sorry for myself right now :(

    But on a more upbeat and curious note, how do you all keep your workshops organized like that? I’m assuming that if you’re anything like me, those pictures were taken IMMEDIATELY after your annual/biannual workshop cleanup.

    I’m a huge slob. I don’t leave food or drink or stuff like that out, but I always have papers and probes and components and boards and wires and ESD bags and other random things on the bench. And of course, three or four projects in various stages of completion.

  6. >if you’re anything like me, those pictures were
    >taken IMMEDIATELY after your annual/biannual workshop >cleanup.

    You are correct, sir. You DO NOT want to see my bench now. You CAN’T see my bench now. Probably time for another of those biannual cleanups.

    1. Hey, you can’t just redact a large portion of the workbench without at least giving us a hint about the top secret project you’re working on there.

    1. That’s clearly a Terrorism toolkit! TSA, Stop that guy!

      Seriously, though, I had a partially built Hard drive platter LED clock in my check baggage last year and it almost didn’t make it through. Just wanted to take it home on vacation to show Mom what I was working on.

      It was literally a couple platters bolted together, a switch, and several LEDs sticking through drilled holes in the platters. No wires yet. No batteries or scary semiconductor chips. Just metal platters, one switch, and several LED’s attached.

      I can’t remember ever getting asked so many questions at the airport before, or getting so many concerned looks.

      And with that, I wish you the best of luck getting that sweet, yet suspicious-looking luggage through an airport.

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My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal

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