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Workbench Surface Preference?

Discussion in 'Amp Tech Center' started by James Knox, Nov 24, 2020.

  1. Laren

    Laren Tele-Meister

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    One of those cheap yoga mat, 'camping mattress' things cut in half.
     
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  2. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    A single 14" x 14" rubber-backed industrial carpet tile is great for a small bench because it won't unravel at the edges, and it provides two surfaces (flip it over) based on the work you're doing.

    If you want something larger, get a rubber-backed carpeted 'welcome mat' designed for the front door, and cut it with a knife to the exact size you need. Make sure to get the type that has the carpet fibers encapsulated in the rubber backing. This stuff is tough and lasts many years.
     
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  3. WalthamMoosical

    WalthamMoosical Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    Yes they are. But I will buy one of those when I find the right size and shape ... I saw a large one one in Jo-Ann's yesterday for $199.99. Maybe I should have tried to see if the 50% off coupon would have been accepted for that!
     
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  4. screefer

    screefer Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I use an anti fatigue rubber mat from the Dollar store. 3/8" thick. Use some cardboard where vulnerable to solder drops.
    Roger on NO Carpet as it will hide bits that will bite yer guit or chassis.

    IMG_1324.JPG
     
  5. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Afflicted

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    Workbench Surface Preference?

    1 - Wood : non-conductive, astatic and non-slippery.

    [​IMG]

    2 - For delicate surfaces items : towel(s).

    [​IMG]

    But it's me, OK ? :D

    -tbln.
     
  6. Timmay

    Timmay Tele-Meister

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    "Preferred", but rarely found that way at my house.
     
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  7. GratefulDean

    GratefulDean TDPRI Member

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    I was just looking at some leather bench tops. They have them for gun cleaning and I think they would work well for amp chasis'.
     
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  8. Jon Snell

    Jon Snell Tele-Holic

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    Many years ago, when I first became an Authorised Service Centre for Philips Consumer Electronics, I bought some rubber mats. They have rounded valleys and ideal for placing equipment on them and for placing screws etc in the many valleys.
    I used them for years in my workshop and kept a couple for use now I have retired.
    IMG_0659.jpeg IMG_0660.jpeg IMG_0661.jpeg As you can see, great for placing the larger components.
     
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  9. Nickfl

    Nickfl Friend of Leo's

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    Depends on what your workbench is. When I used to work on amps on the dining room table I would put down a towel, but I've since moved on to using my old office desk as my electronics work surface and since it is never going to be anything other than I work surface for that I don't bother protecting it with anything.

    Unless you have a really nice workbench you want to protect I don't think there's any reason to put anything down for amp work since the surface is not going to damage your workpiece. I think people get a little too precious about work benches sometimes I can see if it's a handmade joinery bench so that's a beautiful piece of woodwork in and of itself but otherwise it's just a space to work on and the only thing I'm worried about protecting is my work piece.

    Right now my workshop in addition to the office desk I use for electronics I've got a harbor freight woodworking bench (that was actually pretty decent for the money with a little bit of modification), a metal frame tool stand with a 18 x 24" piece of three-quarter inch plywood on top, and a office Depot type flat pack press board laminate surface desk that was left behind by the previous owners of our house that I use as my general purpose assembly and finishing table. The nice thing about all of these is that if they're gunked up I can always just send them down to a new smooth surface and maybe throw a quick coat of finish on them if they really need it. It's gotten to the point where I don't even bother putting plastic drop cloth down when I'm spraying finish anymore because that cheap laminate topped desk is so resilient.
     
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  10. mefgames

    mefgames Friend of Leo's Double Platinum Supporter

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    I prefer Clear and Clean, but hardly ever is that the case !!!
     
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  11. ce24

    ce24 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yoga mat....cut in half for two layers. Oooops didnt see the previous post on this..
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2020
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  12. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Old towels/tshirts or pieces of non slip mat.... I get a roll of it...

    I don't like carpet as it can hold scratchy things....

    non slip mat.jpg
     
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  13. eviltwin

    eviltwin TDPRI Member

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    Wood with some Rockler Bench Cookies when needed.
     
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  14. David C

    David C TDPRI Member

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    I'm using an old round glass top kitchen table that is stuck away in the basement. I have a small piece of cardboard to protect the glass. Parts are everywhere, stuff is disorganized, and there has to be a better way if I really worried about it.

    I'm having fun, so why worry? I'm about building the amp, not the ambience of the setting.
     
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  15. Swatt101

    Swatt101 TDPRI Member

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    TSC has thick rubber called stall mats...
     
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  16. mojodelic

    mojodelic TDPRI Member

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    For old (analog / tube amps) my old RCA Service Co. mat works great. For guitars I use a Music Nomad pad (cheap and comes with a nice neck cradle). If you're using carpet on newer circuits with CMOS or any sensitive electronics be extremely mindful of esd- it'll fry your stuff in a heartbeat, sometimes without you knowing it until later.
     
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  17. Wulf

    Wulf Tele-Afflicted

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    like you...no dedicated workspace...bit tricky in a first and second floor maisonette
    i keep finding guitar parts in almost every room...pickups and odds and sods...i just seem to put them down when distracted...then forget where i put them....then either find it or stand on it....sometimes days later
     
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  18. Wulf

    Wulf Tele-Afflicted

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    bit of a bugger when all those tiny screws you dropped...and cant find... rattle their way into the hoover though...best metal detector invented for domestic use...apart from bare feet
     
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  19. loopfinding

    loopfinding Tele-Afflicted

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    same
     
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  20. HotRodJon

    HotRodJon NEW MEMBER!

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    One thing I don't see mentioned is a basic need to work on any electronics - ESD (Electrostatic Discharge) protection. I've worked in the electronic product design world for over 3 decades and its these little things that get glossed over. This becomes even more critical as we get into winter and the air is dryer.

    So, my basic setup is to have an ESD mat on my bench. This gets connected (through a very high value resistor) to earth ground. I also use an ESD wrist strap, connected to the same point. This creates an equipotential surface between me, the unit being worked on and ground; that is, there cannot be a discharge event from me to the equipment (thereby blowing out or weakening components in the unit) because all items and me are held at an equal potential (ground, in this case) which, by definition, means there is no voltage generated to cause a discharge.

    With that, having carpet on your bench (or anything with nylon or synthetic fibers) is one of the worst surfaces you can put an electronic device on, since plastic is a very good dielectric material and therefore builds up a nice charge in dry air. Ever walk across a carpet and touch a door knob?

    These ESD mats are cheap, wipe clean, and can be rolled up and stored when you are using your bench for other work.
     
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