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Breathtaking Handmade Electronics Workbench

Technology Woodworking
Breathtaking Handmade Electronics Workbench


Love Hultèn is a Swedish designer who likes to fuse modern high technology with traditional woodworking and shopcraft, creating a unique blend of everyday functionality with pleasing aesthetics and mad fabrication skills. We’ve covered Love’s amazing work before, in his supersized Lego computers and wooden MAME console, but this workbench takes the cake.

The “Tempel,” as he calls the piece, looks like a stately, finely-crafted 19th century writing desk from the outside, but open it up and it screams 21st century workstation. Inside the cabinet, Love has hidden a high-end, liquid cooled computer and electronics tools. The desk is built from ash and walnut with brass hardware accents.

At the center-back of the desk, a motorized walnut frame rises up to reveal a hidden 24″ flat screen monitor. On the left-hand side of the desk is the hardware interface controls for the computer: Data ports, control knobs and switches, and cooling system controls (with a tres Captain Nemo bubble viewing port for monitoring coolant levels). On the right, the electronics work area houses a temperature-controlled soldering station and a voltmeter with an analog needle gauge display. On both sides of the work area can be seen the speaker grills for the 2.1 sound system built into the desk.

The desk also sports a whopping 26 drawers, plenty of space to store all of your tools and tiny electronic components. Along the inside back, behind the screen deployment area, is a pin wall for organizing and hanging hand tools. When the desk is closed, an illuminated solar system display is viewable on the folded up top, an outrageous little design flourish that underscores the design virtuosity evident in this gorgeous yet functional piece of furniture.

7 thoughts on “Breathtaking Handmade Electronics Workbench

  1. brucej says:

    Looking at my scarred, burnt, cut, glued- and painted-on workbench, I think I’d be terrified of actually using such a piece of fine furniture as a workbench!

    1. Joey says:

      beware of clean workbenches — sure sign of no work going on =)

      1. Leif Burrow says:

        I thought that too but clearly this is a working maker or the bench would not exist! I bet it doesn’t still look like that today.

    2. Leif Burrow says:

      My workbench is nowhere near as nice looking as that. I’m not making any claims as to being anywhere in the same league as this guy!

      But.. I did take the time to woodburn reference information, a yardsitck and a metersitck into the front edge of the overhead shelf. I used a propane torch to bring out the grain in the plywood I used for the work surface and shelves. I stained it and put polyurethane on it.

      My wife told me not to do any of this. She said I would be afraid to use it after I was done. I haven’t let that stop me! When I am doing something particularly likely to cause damage I do throw a piece of plywood over the top and use that as a temporary work surface. Other than that I don’t let the little dings and marks get to me.

      A workbench has no value if you don’t use it! But.. if I hadn’t built it up to the image in my head… I wouldn’t have felt happy with that either.

  2. Erl says:

    Check out the cool Lego-style gaming computers this guy has built:

  3. Das Wookie says:

    Where is the power supply, or the oscilloscope, or the rework air gun???! And a ****** ANALOG volt meter? This is all flash and pretty, but honestly, other than a nice amount of storage, I don’t see how this equates to an “electronics workbench” as it’s missing 75% of what you actually NEED to do actual electronics work.

    Is it pretty, you bet. Is it usable… uhmmmmm.

    1. blade says:

      My thoughts exactly. Very steampunk chic, but too much space wasted on non-essentials. A built-in computer and speakers, for real? How about a cheap-a** laptop that can take some spills (and solder) without making you cry, and that can be folded up and put out of the way? My own very functional and much cheaper (and quite similar) alternative is this IKEA drawes/desk combo, which is unfortunately out of production:

      A thick cork mat cut to the inside dimensions of the desk works well as a work surface (taking solder spills and scratches) and can easily be slid inside with all the work still on it so the desk can be folded up. This thing used to run around $100, great value.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn
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