Robotic/Electronic Work-bench suggestions or plans

Hi, I am slowly getting involved in electronics and soon robotics. I was looking for plans or stores that sell work-benches that would be
great for my new hobby. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I have never taken much stock in "work benches" I would suggest getting a standard inexpensive banquet table 6' long at BJs or Staples (or, gasp, walmart) with a top that can get marred by soldering irons, drills, and so forth.
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wrote:

Fold out tables are ridiculously cheap at Office Depot. I even reinforced a broken one with some lumber scraps and now it holds my drill press.
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I had home depot cut me a piece of high density plywood with sizes that would fit my garage, nail two studs and put on top of workhorses. This way I could care less when it gets scrapped. I can even temporarily nail things to it to help me on whatever I'm doing. When it gets too crappy, I can just replace it with another plywood sheet.
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Good luck getting worthwhile responses...I have asked the same questions several times before with lackluster results.
Could it be that people just talk about building robots instead of actually building them? ;<)
I would recommend several differnet work areas and I would suggest looking at the specialized workbenches available to industry. Many of them have specialized features that can be incorporated into your developement area.
One would be dedicated towards the electronics side of the hobby. Power supplies, oscilloscope, soldering irons...oh my..darn near anything your budget will buy.
The second would allow for physical construction of the robots...think dust and metal filings here. Saws, drills and any other tool known to man.
Both of these would also have storage for the many parts and components you will acquire to support the sickness...err I mean the hobby.
Third would be software development...computers, printers and a white board. And oh yes, food and drink for those long all night debugging sessions in your future.
Also I would include an area for robot testing. It is very convenient to have an area where the robot can roam free as you test your latest mod and allows your pets the peace of mind that comes knowing that they will not be participating in the testing.
Welcome to the hobby....enjoy the journey. ;<)
TMT
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"Too_Many_Tools"

Oh Lord, just now I realized that I need a new bigger home (or a bigger garage) :)
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On 10 Aug 2005 16:54:52 -0700, "Too_Many_Tools"

You mean these pics and flics I see on the Web are all mockups or some photorealistic movie renderings? Even the Cooper Mini based robot??? Shades of Capricorn One!

----- http://www.mindspring.com/~benbradley
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You may be on to something.....think about it...have you actually seen one in person?
And if they exist, where are they created? When I asked for pictures of robot labs, there were no takers.
Next someone will tell me that Unix is the only great OS. :<)
TMT
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Too_Many_Tools wrote:

Hey! Linux is the only great OS!!!
:-)
Eljin
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You know, I never really thought much of my robot work area to post pictures to my site or anything. But here are some pictures I threw up to my web server of my constructions area. Its a bench I made in my shop. No web page to go along with the pictures (yet), but I think they are fairly self explaining.
Oh, and no making fun of my designing, construction or electrical methods! :)
http://www.hossweb.com/images/Robotics/bench/01.gif
http://www.hossweb.com/images/Robotics/bench/02.jpg
http://www.hossweb.com/images/Robotics/bench/03.jpg
http://www.hossweb.com/images/Robotics/bench/04.jpg
http://www.hossweb.com/images/Robotics/bench/05.jpg
http://www.hossweb.com/images/Robotics/bench/06.jpg
http://www.hossweb.com/images/Robotics/bench/07.jpg
http://www.hossweb.com/images/Robotics/bench/08.jpg
http://www.hossweb.com/images/Robotics/bench/09.jpg
http://www.hossweb.com/images/Robotics/bench/10.jpg
http://www.hossweb.com/images/Robotics/bench/11.jpg
http://www.hossweb.com/images/Robotics/bench/12.jpg
http://www.hossweb.com/images/Robotics/bench/13.jpg
http://www.hossweb.com/images/Robotics/bench/14.jpg
-Hoss hossweb.com
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Oops, There is no picture #14...
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Awesome pictures! Love the power outlets because there are never enough in my experience.
Wayne
wrote:

to
No
fairly
methods!
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Hoss wrote:

I like that. Big Beefy construction. You will never have to worry about the bench moving on you. That drives me crazy when I'm working on something like putting screws into hardwood at an odd angle.
I think your electrical work is more than adequate. It leaves you open to modify it at any time. I remember my dad built his dream bench back in the early eighties. It was all prebuilt cabinets and butcher block tops so he could build his model airplanes. We had the wall sockets spaced out along the wall just above the counter top where we thought we would never be without a socket.
We were wrong. We were always hooking up a power strip or a short extension cord, because we never ran any to the cabinet fronts where we could keep the cords off of the work piece. And because we had run them in the walls behind his paneling, we couldn't get into them easily to run new ones.
I like what you did better. It's all open, so you can store stuff underneath and get to it easily. You might try adding a few shelves above and below, but watch that you don't put them where you can bang your knees.
For anybody else reading this, and you have a little money to spend, Craftsman makes these mechanics workbenches that haves butcher block tops. They have built in power outlets on the front underneath the counter top and along the front edge of the shelf over the bench itself. They have switches for both sets of outlets. These are what we use at work, a radio shop. We put everything up to 42" high Master IIIs, which take two of us to heave up there, on these things.
They've also got a set of drawers on one side and a cabinet on the other. On the top shelf I keep all my test equipment and a fair amount of technical manuals. The counter top itself is at least 36" deep, about 6' long and 2" thick. They have taken a lot of abuse over the years and I expect them to be there for many years to come.
Eljin
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Hoss wrote:

What's that silvering-looking cylindrical robot under the table near the middle of the picture (underneath the scope)?
-- Gordon
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I believe that's the robot from the TV game show "3-2-1", Dusty Bin.
Tim
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Heh, that's a trash can. I actually bought it to make a robot with, but so far, I've only actually used it as a trash can. :)
-Hoss
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When I worked in the defense industry, our technicians had these great workstations. We called them "tech benches". The had a large, white, Formica work surface, and a high shelf above that wide enough for an oscilloscope. I think they also had drawers and/or cabinets under the work surface.
I want one of those.
Jeff.
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Jeff Shirley
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Hey -- my friend sent me this link earlier. Check out those cabinets:: http://www.davehylands.com/Wood-Working/Electronics-Workbench/Small/08-Fully-Open.html
apparently the guy uses it more for woodworking, but that's neither here nor there.
here's the index page for the gallery:
http://www.davehylands.com/Wood-Working/Electronics-Workbench/index.html#08-Fully-Open.jpg
-andrew
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A company called "Global Equipment" makes some very nice (expensive) electronic workstations that may be over kill for a hobby, but if I had unlimited funds, I would get several.
Joe
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

If you want something fancy and expensive try Jensen Tools or Contact East. If you want something that works just fine and is reasonably cheap go by Home Depot and pick up a solid core door and a couple of sets of sawhorse brackets.
As long as it's strong enough to hold up what you're working on and big enough to give you adequate workspace and reasonably level and flat it's not the bench that matters, it's how you accessorize. A power strip across the back, a good light, a static mat, and lots of drawers are the most useful adjuncts. Maybe a shelf across the back for instruments.

--
--John
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