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Author Topic: Workbench surface material for general electronics work  (Read 1151 times)

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Charlie97L

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Workbench surface material for general electronics work
« on: June 02, 2016, 08:55:56 am »
Hey guys looking for suggestions for a surface covering for my workbench for general electronics work.

I've got a hi temp esd mat for pcb/soldering, but I do do other stuff and would like some advice!

If this is better in another forum please move it!

ChadTower

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Re: Workbench surface material for general electronics work
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2016, 02:19:38 pm »



I always just use plywood.  Cheap, easy to replace, takes a serious beating, nonconductive.

fastbilly1

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Re: Workbench surface material for general electronics work
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2016, 03:46:35 pm »
My workbenches are almost always made out of either 1inch MDF or 3/4inch Birch Plywood with multiple coats of tung oil on top. 

Slippyblade

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Re: Workbench surface material for general electronics work
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2016, 04:36:57 pm »
I toss a sheet 3/16" hardboard on my bench top.  It's super cheap and easy to replace.

Kier

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Re: Workbench surface material for general electronics work
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2016, 09:31:42 pm »
I toss a sheet 3/16" hardboard on my bench top.  It's super cheap and easy to replace.

Same here.

Charlie97L

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Re: Workbench surface material for general electronics work
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2016, 10:58:40 am »
How smooth is that?  My main issue here is i'm getting splinters from the top, it's terrible plywood, and i'm not sure it'll get much better, even if I sand it.

Slippyblade

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Re: Workbench surface material for general electronics work
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2016, 01:25:24 pm »
Hardboard generally has one side that is course and one side that is glossy smooth.  Obviously, put the smooth side up.

Charlie97L

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Re: Workbench surface material for general electronics work
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2016, 05:42:45 pm »
Thanks!  That sounds perfect.

Do you guys screw it down?

Charlie97L

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Re: Workbench surface material for general electronics work
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2016, 10:52:12 pm »
I got a 2'x6' piece of hardboard cut at Home Depot, screwed it down to my workbench and it's fan-tastic.  Thanks for the recommendation!

Charlie97L

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Re: Workbench surface material for general electronics work
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2016, 01:18:17 pm »
Follow up question, I went into the garage today to see the top had bowed.  Did i not use enough screws or did I need to let it acclimate before screwing it down?

Thanks!

Slippyblade

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Re: Workbench surface material for general electronics work
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2016, 01:55:43 pm »
The stuff absorbs moisture pretty easily, so that's probably why.  I stick mine down with an extremely light glue application.  Enough to hold it down, but little enough that I can peel it off to replace.  You should be good if you pull the screws, let it ease, then re-screw.

yotsuya

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Re: Workbench surface material for general electronics work
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2016, 02:27:44 pm »
I did it PBJ-style and found a piece of Formica countertop in great condition somebody tossed in the alley when they did a remodel. I just laid it on top of my bench and I'm good to go.

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knave

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Re: Workbench surface material for general electronics work
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2016, 01:13:44 pm »
LOL, I went with super cheap OSB for one bench and Free 2x6 top on the other...I use a disposable sheet of scrap plywood if I need a smooth surface.

I've also used the lid to one of my storage tubs for when I do electronics work, it catches all the screws I drop.


kahlid74

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Re: Workbench surface material for general electronics work
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2016, 02:55:46 pm »
I used 3/4" particle board and then hit it with 5 passes of clear polyurethane.  it kind of left like a 1/8" thick epoxy type base end to end.  Love it.  Durable, usable, non-conductive.

BadMouth

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Re: Workbench surface material for general electronics work
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2016, 09:56:17 pm »
Melamine for my electronics bench and "clean table" that I do picture framing and other things that a dirty or gouged work surface wouldn't be good for.

For the messy or potentially damaging stuff, I have MDF with a sacrificial layer of project board (hardboard) on top.

Someday I want to build one of those obscenely level woodworking tables.

kahlid74

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Re: Workbench surface material for general electronics work
« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2016, 10:37:24 am »
Someday I want to build one of those obscenely level woodworking tables.

Yes, the ones that look like they are comprised of over 500 individual pieces of wood, Yes Yes.

  
 

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