Friday, August 24, 2018

Workbench in the garage

I've been meaning for a while to set up a permanent workspace for doing electronics and finally cleared a corner of the garage.

Once cleared I of course needed a workbench and whenever I searched on line this steel bench kept coming up. Listed on the UK eBay for about £50 which to me seemed like an OK price to pay for a bench with main surface size of 120cm x 59cm and with a drawer the full length of the bench.

I asked on Twitter what it was like and a few people replied that the metal is quite light but it's sturdy once built.

I got one and for £50 I think it's definitely worth the price.

The metal frame is not the strongest or thickest metal I've seen and without the wood tops being in place it does flex. I expected to have to add braces at the side and back but in the end they are not needed as once the work surface and other wooden pieces are added it gets nice and rigid.
One thing to be aware of is the wood is MDF and so has limited strength in itself.
The lower shelf on mine is flexing already due to the boxes I have on it.  I note this in the video below and also my plan to add some wooden battens to support the lower shelf.
The lower shelf and the work surface are not screwed down and are held in by the frame so it will be easy enough to lift out the self add the battens and put the the shelf back on.

The draw was also pointed out to be quit flimsy and I agree. It's not robust but it works and for tool and storage for light parts it will do the job.  Again the base on the drawer is MDF.

The back pegboard on mine is slightly bowing out.  Not sure if I've done something wrong or if it's the kit.  The top shelf is OK.  Again I'm not expecting it to take much weight but as a place for odd small bits it will work well. It's also high enough above the main work surface that it should be ideal for adding additional lighting in the future.  Maybe some RGB LED strips 

Finally, the instructions are really poor.  The kit I received wasn't missing any parts but let's say with my flat pack skills it took me a fair while to get it all together. 
The one tip I'd give is watch the number of holes in the metal parts to figure out which way is up.

So, overall I'm very happy with the bench. I've used it a fair bit since getting it and I like the size.  Much smaller and it would be a challenge to have equipment out and have a decent sized work surface.  (There is a smaller sized version that's 81cm x 41cm and from searching eBay there are also versions without the back and top shelf.

Finally, here's a video of the bench so you can see what it's really like.

Onward and upwards with the making. 

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