Make Your Electronics Lab In A Box

Unless your lucky enough to have a big personal workshop where you can have dedicated stations for all kinds of different tools, you’re probably like most of us here at Hack a Day — lots of projects, but never enough space.

[McLovinGyver] lives in a small flat, and finds setup and cleanup time often take longer than the project itself — so he’s come up with this handy dandy Electronics-Lab-in-a-Box (trademark pending).

The guide is really more of a series of pictures of his process of building the portable lab, but he shows off some great ideas of things you might want to include in your own personal version of it. The first step is deciding what tools you need in the lab. In general, your power supply unit, soldering iron, hot air re-flow and fume exhaustion are going to dictate the general size and shape of your lab — from there, it’s just a matter of filling in the gaps with the rest of your small tools.

One of our favorite features of this portable workstation is his clever wire management system — he’s added a compartment to hold all his wire and solder — everything is fed through small openings, allowing for easy access to whatever you need — without fumbling with a spool!


So, are you going to build one? Let us know in the comments, and if you make a really nice one, don’t forget to send it in through the Tips Line!

27 thoughts on “Make Your Electronics Lab In A Box

  1. I thought about something like this when it came time for me to setup an electronics workbench. In the end I setup a dedicated workbench on a desk. One has to have their priorities straight in life you know?

    1. I think the station from the HaD article is much better than the Make one. First it’s much more compact in it’s inactive state and second in the Make one if you need wire while working on a piece you have to awkwardly lift your whole work area. A big factor in choosing between the two styles is how you plan to store/move the station. The more out of the way you want it to be when packed I’d suggest going for a more vertical style like the one above. If you’re looking for more of just compacting down a larger work bench and won’t be moving it much then the Make one isn’t as bad of a choice, though I would change how the wire is accessed.

  2. I would raise the components inside the box and install a slide out tray underneath. This way there is no need to put everything away, just leave your tools, board on the tray, slide it in and close the box.

    1. Drool..
      I can imagine a butler silently appearing with a single antistatic bag on a little silver tray. Just when the master needs a voltage regulator.

      What would set it off perfectly, is the inclusion of a flush mounted leather look antistatic mat that looks like an antique desk writing surface, with gold leaf scroll work round the edge.

      I’ll jut have to make do with my hunk of kitchen worktop on a knocked up set of 2×2 legs.
      Not pretty, but it works.

  3. That is very cool!

    I’ve considered doing something similar for cooking, when visiting friends. Mostly to hold quality spices and ingredients, essential knives, etc.

    And I suppose I do the same thing with a bunch of tools when I frequently work in a friend’s shop. I have about 6 toolboxes there. Ya know you gotta have your end mills, reamers, drills, precision measuring devices, magnetic bases, raw materials, fasteners, scribes and layout tools, reference squares, punches, vises, etc. Ok, so it is actually more than six toolboxes. And it does take a bit to setup and teardown when I’m working on a complicated project.

    1. I found more:–aF8c
      One of the white version (perhaps the one in your link) seems to have weird swinging hinges for the side “boxes”. We see it quickly in the video. Look cool but complex.
      The whole thing is quite big and must be heavy as well. But inspirational.
      He actually made a bunch of different versions through the years. see his design files (in some proprietary format :-/ ) here :

  4. Just use a couple (or more) stackable toolboxes. Some even come with parts trays or tool trays built in. Use smaller plastic boxes, and tool rolls (cloth with pockets that roll up) which fit instead the toolbox to keep things even more organized. I don’t see the upside to spending time on re-inventing the box.

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