I’ve had a number of requests from readers to see my workbench in its entirety, as most photos of it are just backgrounds to projects. So, I thought I’d post some photos and explanations in an article. Maybe someone will get some helpful hints or perhaps someone will lend me some helpful advice.
First off, here are some wide shots of the mess:
Wide shot of Andy's Electronics Workbench
I made the table. The top is made out of three 10″-ish wide pine boards glued together side to side using biscuits. I had a custom piece of 3/16″ glass to fit the top. Half of the top of the table is covered with conductive foam to keep static at bay. I ordered a couple big pieces of that from somewhere on-line, can’t remember where. It’s super convenient for stabbing parts into to hold them neatly. It’s also great for discharging static. The legs I’ve had a while. They were part of a giant desk I built years ago. I got them on-line many moons ago. They have bases that are screwed to the bottom of the tabletop. They then screw into the bases. They’re made of steel or aluminum or something strong like that. Under the tabletop, I put a big “X” of 3″ wide interlocked pine planks for rigidity. I can stand right on the center of that table and it barely flexes. More
I threw together a video of the warp core’s control circuit and eight stupidly bright white SMD LED strips for the rings. The original rings were going to be through-hole bright LEDs, but I realized how much soldering and drilling would be required for that. That is dumb and painful. So, factory-built strips of LEDs, complete with self-adhesive backing, resistors, and snap-on wire ends ready for 12-volt DC power it is!
Here it is in action:
There will be more to come as we start to construct the body of the warp core.
The Short Attention Span version: I ripped apart a cheap remote controlled car and repurposed most of the parts into a self-balancing robot based on the Domo character because I thought one of the partners of the company I work for would enjoy it, as he seems to enjoy Domo stuff. I got the idea from a coworker who suggested I build this for the Domo partner.
The idea is not original to me. I was sent a link to Instructables.com that showed one in action. I didn’t follow the directions, so the engineering is my own brew. But, I will say, that’s an ingenius way to make an upright, two-wheeled roboto-doo-dad.
I recently rebuilt the lighting in my office because the crappy 12-volt strung lighting from Ikea that the previous owner installed was insufficient for working comfortably in my Man Cave™. Here’s the NEW lighting above the sound-proffed barn door window shade things:
I have been dying to post photos of my latest colossal time-sucker-of-a-project: My Halloween 2010 costume is Tony Stark. Iron Man would have been a pain in the mechanical arse, but Tony Stark’s only challenge is that crazy super-glowy round life-saving thingy thing in his chest which is visible under a shirt. This is the most ridiculous and complicated build I’ve done to date.
This post is about building the arc reactor Tony Stark needed to survive in the Iron Man movies. The particular version I wanted to build was the RT Mark II, which Tony built in his home lab once he got home from his captivity in the desert. It’s more refined than the first version he built in the cave and every bit as swanky. Mostly, I liked the look of the second one better, myself. The one I’m talking about can be seen in the movie fairly up-close when Pepper Potts has to remove the old one and replace it with this new one.
I had a couple of car stereo speakers sitting in the cabinet in the garage and some other miscellaneous parts relating to those. All I ever used for music in the garage was an old AM/FM radio that worked well, but it didn’t allow for using my little portable XM satellite receiver or my iPod or iPhone. So, I ran out and bought a low-end Pioneer 2200 car stereo and a 600-watt computer power supply and BOOM! Semi-instant garage stereo system with XM and iPod capabilities.
I usually put my burning cigars across the top of a ceramic mug on my workbench when I’m in the garage. The great thing about ceramic is that it’s pretty much fireproof. What fun is that? The real problem, though, is that the cigars got short enough toward the end of smoking that they wouldn’t fit across the mouth of the mug. So, I built an adjustable holder that IS flammable:
Adjustable cigar holder complete with rare earth magnets
Run down to your local craft or hobby store and grab a $7 quartz clock movement thing. Sand the crap out of the face of an old saw blade. Get a permanent ink pad (I used black and some squishy clear stamp things) and stamp the numbers on the face. Hang it in your workshop or garage.
The Office Chairiot™ is a project I’ve been designing and building since last summer. The Office Chairiot™ is a battery-powered office chair towing device built with custom steel work and motorized scooter parts purchased on-line. With the amazing welding skizillz of the father of one of the owner’s of the company where I work, my dream of a modular powered office chair came to fruition recently.