I share my designs for my new electronics workbench and go over some of the design decisions for it. I also cover what makes triangles more stable than squares.
First off, Happy Thanksgiving! If you need a moment to let the turkey dinner settle, take a seat - it’s Enginursday!
Earlier this year, I wrote about building my own electronics workbench. Sadly, the desk had a slight stability problem, which meant that it only worked well when stuck in a corner. There were many great comments, and after pouring over them, talking to SFUptownMaker, and reading some architecture 101, I discovered triangles.
That’s right: triangles.
As it turns out, triangles are the most stable polygon. If you make a square (or any other 4+ sided polygon, for that matter) with corners that can pivot, it can easily be bent out of shape. A triangle, on the other hand, cannot change shape as long as the length of the sides do not change.
The biggest problem with my first desk was that all of the beams running across the legs made rectangles. Even putting 2 bolts or screws in each joint was not enough to prevent the inevitable wobble. I needed to make the rectangles into triangles.
When we moved offices, I got the chance to make another desk. So, I decided to try the triangles theory. The simplest way would have been to make the crossbeams diagonal, but in my quest to learn more about woodworking, I decided to try lap joints. Nothing too serious, just the beams on the back.
SFUptownMaker let me use his radial arm saw and miter saw to construct the second desk (many thanks!). Having the right tools really makes a difference. My poor circular saw would not have cut it (figuratively).
After getting the desk back to my place, I applied a stain and polyurethane just like last time. As an aside, I tried Minwax’s “Golden Oak” stain, but I ended up not liking it as much as their “Golden Pecan” that I put on the first desk (“Golden Oak” came out too splotchy on the pine 2x4s). A few days later, I set up the desk in our new office.
I found Desk 2.0 to be a lot more stable than the first version. If you’re interested in the design files, I’ve uploaded them to GitHub.
Now for the fun part: accessorizing! What should I add to the desk? Mood lighting? Racing stripes?