I'm Conor Patrick. I made U2F Zero which is currently on Amazon. I write to share what I've learned and to get feedback. In my last project, I started making a clock with levitating arms. Let's stay in touch. You can subscribe here.

My home workspace

15 November 2017

Everyone’s workspace is different. Mine is a culmination of things that I’ve seen from other people’s workspaces and tools that I’ve found useful.

Here is my main desk.

It’s a bit messy but that’s okay. I use it as a workbench often, and you should never trust a clean workbench.

Some things that I think are important:

I also use a 3D printer regularly for prototyping.

It’s great to have something like this right by my desk and makes quick work of mechanical problems I run into. I used to have a homebrew delta printer that I used to use but I got tired of the maintenance and wanted something capable of dual extrusion for supports. I got an Ultimaker and it’s been great so far.

Having a whiteboard helps me organize my thoughts from time to time and keep track of things I have finished.

This is my garage.

I live in a townhome with two others and I’m fortunate they were okay with turning the garage into a mini-workshop.

The heart of most of my work happens here, at the work bench.

I highlighted a number of important parts.

  1. Arm-mounted monitor. It’s nice to plug a laptop in and do some “live” firmware development or just pull up some datasheets. I can always swing it out of the way.
  2. Top shelve space.
  3. Wall mount and plastic bins. Basically more shelving space. Can also 3D print custom bins/hooks easily but I haven’t done that yet.
  4. Hot air reflow gun and soldering iron (I recommend Hakko brand).
  5. Nice long power strip.
  6. Function generator, oscilloscope, digital programmable power supply. It’s also nice to have these on some sort of hutch to save space. My DMM is only single channel and it would be really nice to have two channels. I recommend going for a two-channel.
  7. Peg board for hanging stuff. I don’t have very much, I’d recommend getting more space pegged out.
  8. Bench vice. I should get a slightly bigger one.
  9. Lower shelving/storage space.

More shelves. Can never have enough. The wire-based shelves are pretty strong and easy to assemble and collapse. Akro-Mils storage bins are great for dumping projects in. They are strong, stackable, fully closed, and easy to open/close.

And have I mentioned shelves on wheels yet?

Having some easily movable shelves is great for context switches between projects. I got these for $10 from a Virginia Tech surplus auction.

And lastly, I have a second home-made workbench. (And let me tell you, it’s much easier making the 2nd workbench…).

Here I put some larger tools and more shelving. Drill press, chop saw, band saw, and an air compressor. I was lucky to get the bandsaw and compressor from a yard-sale and auction. I’ve used the air compressor the most and have used the other tools moderately.

My space

I’ve been optimizing my workspace for a while now and it’s kind of converged on this. I just wanted to share what’s worked for me. There’s certainly some amount of tools not shown that I never used. Maybe I’ll make a “things I shouldn’t have bought but this is what I was thinking at the time” kind of post.

Have any questions or comments? Contact me or comment below!