Creating a New Tinkering Space

For most of my projects involving soldering or putting parts together I have basically been taking over half of our computer desk. I wanted to create my own space so that our desk doesn’t end up looking like this every other weekend…

There’s some space on the other side of our office so I measured, and I’ve got about 6 feet of wall space to work with, so I started looking for desks. Most average computer desks were around 4 feet long, so I tried to find something simple in that dimension. The space I’m going to re-purpose:

Reading reviews and searching on amazon, I came to realize that a lot of the desks out there are crap. I toyed with the idea of a flip top desk, but I couldn’t find a nice one, and really didn’t feel like building one. Finally after a while, I decided to go with a simple table top and 4 legs desk, at 55 inches wide. The Need Computer Desk 55″ Large Size Office Desk Computer Table Writing Desks in the black/brown top, to match most of the other office furniture.

After it arrived, I noticed the top was scratched to hell. WTF. It’s not like the foam packaging was damaged. I came to the conclusion it was like this when it was packed.

Since I’m using this for a hobby desk, I don’t really care. I used some black sharpie and the scratches aren’t too noticeable. Had I been using this for a real computer desk, I would have been forced to repackage it and send it back. That would have been a real hassle.

It was easy to assemble with only 8 screws holding it together and here it is in the space I will take over. The scratches aren’t really noticeable now.

Time to stock the desk. While I was fixing my quadcopter, my soldering iron broke. I’m surprised it lasted this long honestly. I decided to get a real iron and ordered a Hakko soldering station.

Lighting isn’t all that great, so I wanted a cool looking desk lamp too. I decided on the Anker Lumos E2 – Specifically because I could adjust the color temperature. I *hate* flourescent lights, and I could make this lamp emit a warmer light color. I’m very pleased with it.

To go along with my new soldering iron, I also ordered a new Third Hand. My little metal helping hands were getting bent, and one of the alligator clips had fallen off from being bent around too much.

Starting to lay out my swag on the new desk:

I ordered the plastic drawer organizer to be able to store all my electronic and RC parts. I really liked this one after looking at a bunch online.

I ended up mounting it on the wall and it is almost full already. I didn’t realize I had so many parts just laying around in containers…

I started looking for a way to easily organize my smaller hand tools like my strippers, pliers and snips as well as my little hex screwdrivers. After some searching I came across this pliers holder that I think works perfectly. I drilled some holes in a piece of 1×2 and sicky tape mounted it to the pliers rack to have all my small tools in one place. Nevermind the giant scratch I put in the table top trying to secure the desk lamp. Woops. That will be covered in a minute anyway.

I wasn’t concerned about the scratch because I ordered a power strip bar that I planned on mounting to the back of the desk. Because I had more room now, I also ordered a bigger cutting mat. I think the black looks better too.

Here it is all set up.

I stowed a bunch of stuff away in a new accent table with drawers. It fits nicely in the corner, and will make the perfect platform for the home of a future 3D printer.

I decided to be really lazy and in order to not have to roll to the other side of the office I brought my laptop over to this desk from a cubby in the living room where it barely ever came out. It was taking up space on the desk though, so I found this cool articulating arm on amazon that comes with a notebook tray, or can be used for a monitor. I think it turned out pretty good.


In use:

Now I have my own space to work in and won’t encroach on our actual home working space.


List of purchases for this project:


Qty Product Price Notes
1 Need Computer Desk 55″ Large Size Office Desk $156.99
1 Hakko FX888D-23BY Soldering Station $138.95
1 Hobby Creek Helping Hands Third Hand Soldering Tool $44.95
1 Akro-Mils 10144 D 20-Inch by 16-Inch by 6-1/2-Inch Hardware and Craft Cabinet $29.22
1 Beadalon Acrylic Pliers Rack $20.12
1 Dahle 10672 Vantage Cutting Mat, 18″ x 24″ $12.00
1 9-Outlet Surge Protector Wall-Mount Power Bar $26.59
1 Winsome Daniel Accent Table with 3-Drawer $63.70
1 2 in 1 FLEXIMOUNTS L01 Full Motion Swivel LCD Arm,Desk Mounts for 11″-15.6″ laptop $69.99

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