Electronic Workbench Advice

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  • #701961
    Waldo Nell
    Participant

    I am about to build an electronic workbench to help optimise space usage in a room I am currently using. I have a space of about 2.3m wide available. For those that do not know what an electronic workbench is, it is basically a standard workbench but built in such a way that one can add stacked racks on top of it to support devices such as power supplies, oscilloscopes, testers, meters etc. I want to build something that is between super fancy and hacked together as I have limited time and budget.

    I was planning on 2m wide by 0.7m deep and about 0.85m high. The top is 25mm thick and the dies are 50mm square.. I have an I-beam for support. I have two questions:

    1. Would this design work?
    2. What kind of joints should I be using on the frames? Should I treat each side as a frame and use mortise / tenons? How do I join the I-beam?

    #701994
    Benoît Van Noten
    Participant

    You can adapt to your needs one of the following projects (search in the videos)
    – how to make a table; (just make it bigger and without the arches)
    – moving workshop table (without the wheels ?);
    – console table;
    – assembly table;

    Study thoroughly those videos and choose.

    For an electronic work bench, it is nice to be able to work standing or with a stool. If you are happy with the height of your kitchen countertop, use a similar height.
    Don’t put a lower rail where it would hinder your feet or leg. If you use lower rails at the left and right ends, a middle lower rail joining the two lateral rails might be nice to put your feet on while sitting on a stool.

    #702052
    Waldo Nell
    Participant

    Thanks for your response. I think I watched almost all of Paul’s videos. I even built my own chess table based on his how to build a table series and chessboard series, with drawers etc so I understand the theory.

    However, none of the projects you mentioned would work for me. I do not want an apron around the edges. If I am sitting on a stool I do not want to bump in to that. Also this is a combo sit / stand table so the workbench is out. However it needs to carry a load so it has to be strong and reinforced.

    Hence my question if my design would work and if it does, how do I join the I beam in the middle? (Which is far enough from my legs that it would not interfere with sitting).

    #702055
    Roberto Fischer
    Participant

    What about a design similar to a trestle table? You pretty much have two leg frames joined by wide middle beams that are right in the middle, one above the other.

    The problem I see with your design is that there’s very little preventing the legs from rocking side to side.

    One thing you haven’t mentioned is what this workbench will need to withstand.

    #702062
    Sven-Olof Jansson
    Participant

    Hej Waldo,

    Just to add an example to Roberto’s suggestion.

    https://www.leevalley.com/en-us/shop/tools/workshop/workbenches/benches-and-tables/31152-veritas-workbenches?item=05A0201

    While this version of Veritas’ Workbenches appears to no longer be available, it seems that a trestle base is a feasible alternative. As for joinery: bench bolts and angle brackets are a quick way towards a base. Add a glulam or lvl slab as top and there’s a workbench.

    Sven-Olof Jansson
    London, UK; Boston, MA

    #702065
    Waldo Nell
    Participant

    I have made some adjustments. The top shelf is a removable piece so do not focus on that too much for now. I added a beam to the back of the two side frames to prevent leg wobble.

    The load is not uniformly spread out. The heaviest items will be placed closer to the sides, nearer to the support frames. I calculated it and it seems fine even without my I beam so I think it will be ok. See attachments.

    #702069
    Waldo Nell
    Participant

    Hi Sven-Olof. Funny you mention it – I own that exact workbench. Is there a big difference between my square frames and the trestle based approach in terms of stability, functionality and strength? I want to get away from that low center beam design.

    #702070
    Waldo Nell
    Participant

    This seems similar to what I am trying to accomplish – minus the end caps and vices.

    No-Nonsense Workbench

    #702099
    Waldo Nell
    Participant

    I tried again – is this better? I dropped the second stretcher to give me more room. 99% of the load will be pure gravity. It is not a workbench that will experience lots of lateral forces therefore I thought it was safe to drop that second stretcher.

    #702194
    Sven-Olof Jansson
    Participant

    Hi Waldo,

    Based on the tables I’ve made, I think you should be fine with version two. (With a height of 850 mm rails can be added, while still allowing for sitting with the knees under the table top.)

    Sven-Olof Jansson
    London, UK; Boston, MA

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