Saturday, March 7, 2015

Workshop evolution and upgrades

In October of 2014 I moved to a new house which included space for a workshop which has been a huge upgrade for me, as I had been working in a sort of foyer at my old house.  I will be detailing the evolution and advancement of my workshop in addition to offering advice for building your own or upgrading an existing workshop.
To start off the workbenches are Home Depot worktables, which are inexpensive and are an economical alternative to other workstations, they have simple but very sturdy construction (though it may need a bit of tweaking for maximum stability) and probably should be polyurethane varnished to prevent breakdown of the MDF work surface. The over-bench lamps are generic $10 goose neck lamps bought at Lowes upgraded with a 3 pack of daylight (6500K) LED drop-in bulbs (also bought at Lowes) for maximum work surface illumination and shadow elimination. After installing the steel shelves I realized that they are not very stable after they almost tipped over several times because shop cat decided it wanted to take a nap on the piles of coiled wire. After a bit of research it was decided that sturdy wood shelves were needed, plans were found and a week later the installation was complete. The main problem after that was the overall illumination, it was far too dark for good video to be recorded. Drop lamps were the cheapest solution but had the issue of causing humming and dark lines to appear in video due to the rolling shutter synchronizing with the 60hz mains frequency. LED tubes eliminate this problem by being DC driven and not requiring a ballast, therefore removing the hum emission. I bought a set of these tubes and direct-wired in to the neutral and live wires. I am EXTREMELY satisfied with these lights as they are very bright and cool colored and produce excellent video compared to the single LED bulb I was using previously. I still have more upgrades to add to the workshop and will be definitely making more videos and blog posts to detail those once they are added.

Base room before it became the workshop
Blurry picture of the boxes upon moving in initially
Workbenches are in, terrible steel shelves and a LED light added in place of the incandescent bulb
Wood shelves being added in, steel shelves still present
New shelves moved into
Cleaning some more
Added a whiteboard and tripods
New LED drop lights and 2 additional LED workbench lights (greatly decreased fuzziness in this picture)
Workbench with a single light which was far too dim for precision work
Dual lights on the workbench (forgot to light balance on the notebook)
Workbench, with 3 LED lamps and bits of my coilgun

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