Introduction: DIY PORTABLE WORK STATION
After setting up my workplace near to my house I found it really helpful doing DIY projects,as you have all the tools and supplies arranged and available at one place.Later on i get back to my regular schedule,doing small DIY projects.
Meanwhile i started feeling that it will be good to have a mobile unit so that in case if i have to work some place rather than my work space i can have access to some of the mostly used tools and supplies.So i have decided to built a portable workstation that have the following features:
- Space saving
- On board power
- Customized design
This workstation is specifically designed to save space and being more productive at the same time.Moreover i have tried be cost effective by using most of the parts from old computer scraps that are in good condition.. So lets get building!!!
Thanks for going through my Instructable.Any knowledgeable suggestions
are more than welcome.I hope you like my work.To support my work please vote me the the DORM HACKS contest and subscribe to my Instructable and YouTube account for more upcoming projects.
Step 1: Tools and Supplies
This project uses some of the basic wood working tools as i prefer to be more productive with what makes the project simple and accessible to more persons.
- Cordless drill
- Circular saw (Also as Table saw)
- Miter saw
- Screw drivers
I love working with wood so the whole body is going to be built with ply wood and timber wood:
- 3mm red oak plywood sheet (4feet*8 feet) one sheet
- 1/4th inch birch plywood sheet (4feet*8 feet) one sheet
- Timber wood length (2in*2in) 12 feet
- Wood glue
- Oil paint
- 4mm Glass sheet
- Neodymium Magnets
- Handle, hangers, 20 mm dowel.
- 12v 10watts LED panel
- Heat sink
- Old laptop Batteries
- Round headed nuts
- Metal chains
- Multi plug socket,Connectors,Wire,Plug,Switch,12mm jacks etc.
Step 2: Building the Main Block
I have started to built the main box, the box that is going to hold everything together in place and also provide room to put all the essential tools as well as provide room to have multiple drawers for storage.
- Height: 21in
- width : 31 in
- Depth : 6.5in
I have decided built the whole box using birch 1/4th inch plywood.The box in then strengthened with wooden stripes placed at the outer edges to strengthened the box.Inside the box, I built 12 drawers,six placed in each row measuring (2.5in high 3.3in width 5.5in depth)
Just above the drawer two beams (2 in) are placed to give support to the middle frame and later on serve as the housing for electrical accessories (Upper portion)
The parts for the main box are cut down in the following dimensions:
- Rear plate: 21in * 31in
- Upper panels: 6.5in * 31in
- Side panels: 6.5in * 20in
- Middle Beams: 2in * 16.5in
- Drawer Top: 5.5in * 20in
All the upper parts are made of 1/4th in birch plywood
Step 3: Making the Drawers
I have left the lower 5 inch portion of the main box to place twelve drawers for storage of different components.There are two rows,each of one is 2.5 inches high.This middle separation is made using 3mm plywood sheet and then i added up some more plywood sheet to make separated room for each drawers of equal length by dividing the whole space equally in twelve boxes.The pieces were then glued down after making the drawers and adjusting the spaces in order to prevent any error.
To built the drawers i simply cut down down multiple stripes of 3mm plywood and then cut down the required number of pieces for the bottom,front and sides of the drawers using my circular saw mounted as to perform the job of a table saw.In this was it makes me so easy to cut all the parts precisely.
- Base: 57mm*124mm 12pcs
- Front/rear: 57mm*120 24pcs
- Sides: 130mm*120mm 24pcs
I glued all the pieces together and inserted in the drawers panel to maintain the equal spacing between each drawer. Later on i have glued 12mm round headed nuts that are chromed for a nice look to the center of each drawer of front panel.This not only saved some $$ but also give the drawers a unique and neat look.
To finish the drawers i have have sanded the all and drawers and apply a stained coat of varnish to each drawer on the front side.Each drawer were than placed in the assigned compartment ready to use!!!
Step 4: Making the Foldable Doors
To use the space more effectively, I have decided to attach fold-able side doors to each side of the main box.This idea came to me when i have place some of my tools in the main box and found out the most of the front space is been wasted as the tools are hardly occupying. So I made fold able side doors out of 1/4th inch Birch plywood sheet.
- Height: 15 inches
- width: 12 inches
Each door was attached to the sides of the main box using three hinges for each door and made sure that each door hold right in place.
Step 5: Base Plate
I have highly focused to built a customized work surface specially for soldering and all the electronics associated projects while making a solid base plate and keeping the weight low.So i have decide to built a sandwich plywood panel in order to keep the weight low and also have room to put an on board battery bank made out of old laptop batteries.
- Length: 31 in
- Width : 21 in
- Thickness : 1 in
The built base plate is built using 3mm oak plywood sheet,The top was made using two layers of the plywood while the bottom is covered using a single sheet.More over the.Both upper and lower sheets were sandwiched using wooden stripes placed in between wooden stripes.
The parts for the main box are cut down in the following dimensions:
- Top plate: 21in * 31in (Double Layered)
- Bottom panels: 21in * 31in (Single Layered)
- Wood Stripes : 15mm*15mm
Note: All the upper parts are made of 3mm Oak plywood and timber wood.
After cutting all the parts, wooden stripes were glued to the bottom plate.The upper plate was cut hollow piece measuring 10in * 6in to provide a hatch for battery band and cover it with a glass top. Before sandwiching the upper and lower panel i have added nine stainless steel screws and attached a separate wire,also drilled nine holes in the wooden strip following to the battery compartment so that all the nine wire end up being in the battery compartment.
The Idea behind adding a glass top in the middle of the table top is to provide a thermal proof and non conducting surface to enable hassle free soldering.This glass panel is lined with plywood so that i can drill the holes for screws in order to make the cover removable.
I added four neodymium magnets (extracted from old hard drives) to the four corners inside the table top.I did so because i am planing to use magnetic holders at the four corners of the soldering station (i.e.Glass slab) to hold tings in place while soldering things or doing some other stuff that needs extra hands.
Step 6: Power Panel
The unit is composed of an electrical supply panel having a regular 220VAC output using a 12 feet builtin extension cable and i have also added a 12V 6Ampere PWM power supply module which is used as an on board power supply
Step 7: Joining the Table Top to the Main Box
After completing the table top i then mounted it on the Main box using metallic hinges and wooden cut screws.I mounted the hinges to the wooden lining provided on the main box to have a good holding rather than plywood.
To hold the table top in position (90' with the main box), I have used metallic chains available from any local hardware store.The chains are permanently mounted to the main box by using 4 mm cut screws and a washer is place at the top n order to prevent the chain from slippage.The other end is ten mounted to in the middle of the table top using the same cut screws mounted on each side of table top.This time i have not placed washers so that the chain is detachable in order to fold the table top to lock the unit.
This attachment gives a good hold to the whole unit while giving it a neat look too.
Now to hold the table top with the main box while the unit is completely packed, I have used magnetic lock that are used to hold cabinets in place. As the table top is heavy so in order to make sure that everything is locked in place i have replaced the clumsy magnet with the neodymium Magnet extracted from old hard drives.This modification gives the look a reasonably more holding power.The metal strip of the lock was mounted on the tablle top and the magnetic latch was glued using epoxy right in the middle top on the main box.
Step 8: Battery Bank
The work station is equipped with two on board power supply.The primary power supply is 12V DC that is use to power the LED light panel and a 12V battery charger(IMAX B6 AC).
The secondary power supply is composed of 8 cell Lithium Polymer battery bank.This battery bank is made out of old laptop batteries.The batteries currently hold a capacity of 3500MAH .
The battery bank is made using two laptop battery units,each one of which is composed of 4 lipo pack connected in series while each pack is composed of two cell being connected in parallel (1750MAH capacity each). So in total the battery bank is composed of 8 pack being connected in series and each pack is composed of two cell being connected in parallel.The output of the battery bank is given on the 9 stain less steel screws mounted on the table top such that the most left screw serves as the ground or 0v and each successive screw is connected to the proceeding terminal of the battery.
So, in this way as we move from left to right the voltage increases from 3.7v up to 29.6v. I guess that quiet a good range of voltage to work with providing a capacity of 3500Mah.
The good thing about this power bank is that it almost cost me nothing as i have got a supply of theses old laptop battery from old laptop scrap.I have been using these type of Laptop batteries in my previous DIY projects and they are performing quiet well.
Step 9: Soldering Station
Previously i have been doing all my soldering work on my wood working table and often i either drop flux on table or the soldering iron burn marks the table. So to resolve this issue i decided to put a glass cover in the middle of table top such that it covers the battery bank to and give a nice heat resistant surface as well as providing a non conductive platform which is good when you are working with circuits having charged capacitors.So thats why instead of using an aluminum plate i preferred to use a glass sheet.
- Thickness: 4mm
- Length: 155mm
- Width: 205mm
The glass slab is cut 10mm short from each side so that i can line it up with a double layered Oak plywood so the the glass top can be attached by using four 3mm flat head screws giving the slab a good hold and a neat look.
This glass sheet is a tempered in order to prevent any damages in case if i drop anything heavier on it.
Step 10: LED Light Module
I prefer to work with well illuminated work place, So to light up the workstation i have built a light panel using a 12V 10 watts LED light.
- The LED panel is glued to the top of an old Heat sink that I salvaged from an old computer junkyard.
- The heat sing is mounted to a steel plate using some 10mm plywood stripes giving it a neat look so that the total length of the light Module is 6 inches.
- The metal strip is from magnetic cabinet lock which i am going to use for holding table top when the unit is packed.The metal strip serves to hold the Light module
- Later on i added a 12 mm male jack to the LED light panel and the glued the wire at the bottom of the frame.This jack is used to power up the light module from the primary on board 12v power supply.
The good thing about this detachable light module is that it doesn't occupies much space as it uses the same magnetic latch as used by the table top when the unit is closed.
In case if i don't have an AC supply near to my work station then i can also power this module using the on board battery bank.Well that's a useful idea, isn't it !!!
Step 11: Putting Everything in Place
After i have completed most of the work and put every thing together i have started to put the most handy and required tools to fill up the work station.
The drawers were filled with the supplies such as wires,heat sink,servos,LEDs,batteries,nuts and bolts,etc...
together with all the necessary tools i still managed to put my action camera so that i can film while working with DIY projects using the same magnetic holder as used by the table top and the LED light module.
Step 12: Final Remarks
This whole project just got myself with it. At the start of the built i was not expecting to add that much options to this portable work station.As i proceed the built I improvised on everything and took my thing making sure everything will better suits my working style and will last for a long duration.
Later on i have realized that how much useful are the parts from old computer scrap,all those thing Led light module ,Battery bank ,Neodymium magnets etc. cost me almost nothing but are the most useful tools of this workstation.
In the end I am amazed by the space,portability and the on-board options (specially th battery bank power supply) provided by this work station.Moreover the fordable doors really made a big difference at the end providing me almost 60% of additional space to put my tools and stuff.
Thanks for going through my Instructable.Any knowledgeable suggestions are more than welcome.I hope you like my work.To support my work please vote me the the DORM HACKS contest and subscribe to my Instructable and YouTube account for more upcoming projects.