cheap lab bench shelf add-on

Got a free standing lab bench, but missing a shelf for test equipment?

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Built from re-purposed hardware store parts

I like the Hera Laborsysteme professional line , but as I've seen some prices, they are not the right choice for hobby use. I am not related to Hera in any way, I've just seen their and similar lab benches at various labs and used them a lot.

Most electronic lab benches I come across boil down to the following parts:

A clean free space is the most important part, and quite simple: "Just" a table. But to keep the table clean, it is necessary to not fill it up with test equipment, soldering stations, tools, cable chaos, ... For this, the other segments are necessary.

My hobby electronics lab bench is just a kitchen countertop on massive steel legs. An old printer table from the (g)olden times of giant endless-paper printers, is used as a lab cart. On top of that printer cart, a 19" rack contains an isolation transformer, residual current circuit breaker, normal circuit breaker, a bunch of mains outlets and a 19" DC power supply for all the basic supply tasks.

For now, there is a high pile of test equipment on top of that 19" rack, soldering stations and scopes block the workspace, ... - to reorganize these, I'll build an shelf thing for test equipment storage/placement (green box in pic above) and provide some pics of the progress.

  • 2 × Tischbein vierkant 24x24x500 mm, weiß Hornbach ArtNr2471229
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  • final assembly

    rawe09/04/2015 at 22:07 0 comments

    One hole in the corner, 4.25mm from both edges, used to temp. mount the shelf and mark the locations of the other holes:

    The holes are symmetrical to the bench leg, but the screw heads are too big:


    et voilà:

    some bench cleanup /re-arrangement later:

  • paint & assembly

    rawe09/03/2015 at 17:44 0 comments

    The primer is dry. My lab bench legs are dark/wine red, so the shelf thingy will get red, too:

    Daytime job time!:

    Mounted on the 1200 x 300 x 18 mm fake wood thing:

    Four 5mm screws per leg mount the shelf thing on the table (fake table top used for test):

    Time for a massive stablity/strength test. Choo-choo!

    In the meantime the mailman delivered a special ingedient, originating from the far east, just in time:



    - clean up electronics lab bench (*sigh*...)

    - mount shelf thing on electronics lab bench

    - arrange electronics gadgets around

    - take pretty pictures

    - fix the motor control board with burn marks some insects liked to short out that waits for repair (= lab bench cleanup) for some time

    I plan to put the usual test gear on the shelf. Stuff with too much/stiff wires or a digital scope (viewing angle) may still get on the bench itself. In addition, I'll add a linux driven thin client/barebone, TFT display, ... for datasheet/schematic/... lookup + music playback.

    Btw. lesson learned: Don't place your trusty cordless drill battery charger that got air vent holes on the top near a source of metal chips...

    Whoops -.- , warranty voided, metal chips removed, 10 cent fuse replaced, runs again.

  • legs

    rawe09/02/2015 at 22:52 0 comments

    We start with:

    - 2x 50cm table legs

    - 2x2 18cm shelf brackets

    - 1x 1200x300x18mm board

    - 8x screws to mount on table

    - 8x screws for board mount

    ~20 Eur total

    The end caps of the table legs are useable for other projects - remove:

    cut clamps on shelf brackets:

    Remove paint:

    Mount on board for correct orientation (90 deg.):


    Clean up and paint with primer:

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