Things used in this project
Having received a brand new Hakko Soldering iron for my wife and I's 9 year anniversary, I decided I wanted to reorganize my electronics box since there was no way a soldering station would fit into the original plastic box.
I also decided that I need a DC power supply built into the box so I wouldn't have to look for it when I started a project.
At this stage, measurements are arbitrary, and will depend on you and the materials you have on hand. The box I built was of scrap 1/2 inch plywood that came from a broken bed. I found I had enough to build a 14x20 (outside) box 14.5 inches deep. Those measurements are really only important if you decide to clone this unit.
Step 1: Evolution
The original box wasn't going to have drawers. But after I built the base box and started messing with the power supply, I realized that I need to store all the stuff from my original electronics box inside somehow, and that I wanted some form of organization to keep tools and components separate.
Sorry I talk so much in my YouTube videos, but they really are for me, and my jabbering keeps me changing and reanalyzing each thing I make and do.
Step 2: More Drawers
The drawers are smaller boxes with angled wooden blocks glued and stapled to the fronts. The blocks (handles) are cut to feel comfortable in my hand and were done by eye/feel. Each drawer is made to fit within 1/8 of an inch of the front to not shake much in transit with the drop desk closed. The construction is as simple as cut a rectangle, glue, and then staple each piece in place with a pneumatic stapler. Nails, screws, or even dowels could be used, but getting this done quickly is paramount. (I love that word.) Plywood construction means I can get away with gluing EVERYTHING, and after painting, wood movement should be minimum.
Step 3: Organization First. Ish.
The whole point of this is to be able to store my most used electronics tools and components in a portable manner that can be locked up (I have tiny kiddos) and carried easily in the car, or on a dolly, to any location I need. (Fixing a friend's computer, the washing machine, or just working on a project that I don't want to move.) Organization is a necessity. As I progress, I put stuff where I want it. Then glue and staple a divider in place so each spot is specifically tailored to the tool/component therein.
Step 4: Power Supply
You'll find about 9,650,901 ATX PSU to benchtop power supply tutorials on the web. This ain't that. However, I will share my front panel unit with ye.
And yes, even the acrylic is scrap. It was given to me when someone repaired the brake lights on their trailer. I had to sand (A LOT), buff, and polish it to get it to look okay. I typically go to the shop late at night, and it sort of clears my brain working. Simply put, the panel takes each voltage I use and transfers it to a set of jacks that I can easily plug things into and prototype at will. The lowest jack is variable insomuch as it switches between each voltage as necessary.
I've had some thoughts on how it can be improved (in the video following this step).
To switch properly without skipping detents, you will need a "Non-Shorting" rotary switch. Jameco has a good one: https://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/P...
Step 5: Dat Tabletop Tho
Yep. Here it be. It's a little shorter than the box is tall because I'd like to add LED lighting at the top so that my big head is no longer an issue. A salvaged continuous hinge is the workhorse here, and you quickly learn how square your materials were. (They weren't. I'm not surprised.) Some chains may be observed in the video:
Same as the last. But I will likely use webbing in the future as the chains get in the way when closing.
Step 6: Where the Hakko Roams
For a while, I slid the Hakko in and out by hand. This is tedious, and forced me to pull its stand out each time or store it on the work surface. Some recycled drawer slides will fill the bill. For the record, if you've made it this far, all the drawer side pieces that the drawers themselves slide into are a little over an inch shorter than the drawer itself to allow cords to be fed behind. Proper planning and so forth.
There may be more to this project in the future, but it will likely be arbitrary steps like closing mechanism and the final organization. But that is all personal choice, and most people may choose different than I. Thank you for reading and watching my videos. Please vote!
Step 7: Finishing Up
I've painted and added dividers to the drawers, improved the Hakko holder and added a cover to the cord exit point.
I've entered this into 2 contests, please vote for me! And maybe consider sharing and liking the YouTube vids!
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