View Full Version : Your electronics workbench

August 1st, 2011, 11:49 AM
Here is a 2 page article from the latest issue of the IEEE Spectrum which asks the question: Does your do-it-yourself workbench have everything you need?

Do you agree with the list of items? Would you add other essential items?

6356 6357

DOS lives on!!
August 1st, 2011, 12:23 PM
My essentialls are a screwdriver set, soldering and desoldering iron, solder, a flashlight, random screws I find, scissors,a power strip, electrical tape, a voltmeter, and some wire.

August 1st, 2011, 12:36 PM
What my workbench is missing is a room to keep the workbench _in_..


August 2nd, 2011, 09:37 AM
Besides the necessary hand tools and the parts bin with various ribbon cables, switches, enclosures, spare chips, screws, etc, I've a Hakko 936 soldering station, Radio Shack bulb desoldering iron, Edsyn solder-sucker (two models), no-name chinese multi-meter (looking for a deal on a good RMS meter currently). Just recently, I picked up a Gordak 952 SMD rework station which includes a soldering iron and uses Hakko tips and elements (of which I've a plethora of tips). Looking forward to being able to do a bit of SMD stuff - though obviously I've some practice ahead of me (and still need to practice more with the regular iron!)

Assuming that my skills come along, I'd like to eventually add an o-scope, bench power supply, and logic probe. Eventually. I've a long way to go before I can even begin to put those to use.

August 2nd, 2011, 10:49 AM
I'm not sure if there's any good or bad (I'm sure it's crap) but harbor freight had a pretty good price on a heat gun (http://www.harborfreight.com/catalogsearch/result?q=heat+gun) which seems like a handy thing if you're fixing newer consoles.

My work bench could currently use a work area. It accidentally turned into "temporary" storage.

August 2nd, 2011, 02:30 PM
I'm in need of a good pair of calipers. Need to be well made (ie. plastic is not well made!), accurate within .05 mm, have an extension range of ~150mm, and under $150. I've found a lot of choice but does anyone have any recommendations?

August 2nd, 2011, 03:28 PM
Although they're much cheaper, Chinese-made calipers are simply not up to the Swiss-made ones, which should last a lifetime if not abused.

B&S Precision is a good brand, but probably outside of your price range. My calipers are made by Etalon; more reasonable price, still very good quality. Google them--there are plenty of places that sell them.

August 2nd, 2011, 08:29 PM
I could use a good cheap bench power supply. Preferably one of the awesome HP ones. :)

August 4th, 2011, 12:47 AM
I too am missing a decent bench PSU. I'd add magnifying glasses and a decent vaccuum cleaner and some brushes.

August 4th, 2011, 04:38 AM
Nowadays my workbench needs to include one of those headsets with lighted, magnification lenses. Without lots of magnification and illumination, I can't see well enough to solder or do other fine work anymore.

August 4th, 2011, 09:11 AM
I've had three sets of Donegan visor magnifiers (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=bl_sr_industrial?_encoding=UTF8&node=16310091&field-brandtextbin=Donegan) for perhaps 20 years. They do the job, even if you don't purchase the separate light source. Their lenses are optical glass, not cheap plastic. Very much worth the money.

But with SMT, this isn't enough. I picked up a used Bausch & Lomb Stereozoom microscope. These are built like tanks and many are over 50 years old. Good US quality, though Leica, Celestron and Zeiss make comparable products:


August 5th, 2011, 12:07 PM
A prefer a separate lamp. I have an old fashioned anglepoise...