As I discussed in my welcome post, the idea of converting a living room into a workshop area really inspired me. So that is what I am working on now. I have gotten rid of my couch and TV and boxed up my receiver, speakers, and PS3. I made an entertainment center when I first moved into my house that I am going to cannibalize and reuse as much as I can in the new workbenches. [See lovely picture of the soon to be destroyed above.]

I know… but I was so excited to begin demolishing the entertainment center that I completely forgot to take a picture of it as it looked originally. So you’ll just have to use your imagination a bit and picture the taller portion of it on top of the base portion next to the wall with small shelves on the side to hold DVDs and the like. I’m still getting used to this whole document with pictures as I go thing.

The Designs

So what am I going to try to build out of the old entertainment center? My goal is to create 2 different workbenches, which will reside next to my desktop computer. The first workbench will be for electronics so I can work with Arduinos, Raspberry Pi’s, wearable electronics, and the like. The second workbench will be for two reasons: to give me a large flat surface to work on projects, and to give me an area where I can do sewing projects. Now, I know I don’t have enough materials to make both benches, but I do think it will give me a good start.

Some of the elements that I want built into the workbenches:

  • Outlets on the top of the workbench to easily plug in devices and tools that need power instead of having to fight with plugging things into the wall.
  • A 4″ clearance between lower support beams and the floor. (I plan to eventually get one of those new fangled machines that automatically sweep your home every day since I find I get dust bunnies quickly with an all tile floor. And the one I am considering (from Neato Robotics) needs a 4″ clearance to get under furniture.)
  • Tall – I don’t want to bend over a lot so I plan to make it taller than normal desks. I want to be in a half standing and half sitting position so I can more easily move around if I need to.
    • One of my goals/projects is to also build the seat that I can move easily between the benches, but this will come after the benches are built.

So you want a peek at my designs? Well, you are in luck because you can find them below. Let me know your thoughts in the comments, especially if you think there is something I should add that would be helpful that I didn’t think of.

Electronics Workbench

For the electronics workbench I wanted to do something that will help me practice using the nifty tools I just got. I also wanted to practice doing more complex cuts than a straight line to help build up my skill and comfort with the tools. One thing I also like to do is puzzles, so I wanted to make the legs appear to be like puzzle pieces that fit together. I’ll have one drawer for some tools, but I imagine most of the tools, like soldering iron, will stay on top of the bench.


Sewing Workbench

For the sewing and project workbench, I started off with it more closed off in the middle, but after thinking about the design, I think I’m just going to leave it open except for two drawers, one on either side of the table. I am thinking of having the sewing machine stored below along with some thread holders that I can easily pick up and put on the top of the bench. I will sit on the right side of the drawer so the fabric can sprawl out to the left. I am thinking of drawing some lines on the table top to allow for some easy generic measurements. Also thinking about putting some type of clear plastic on top to help protect against fabric snagging on splinters of wood. I plan to make this one first since it should be easier and some of the pieces from the entertainment center are already to size.


Deconstruction of the entertainment center is complete! Hehehe.