Thursday, January 15, 2015

New microscope bench

For a long time, my microscopes have lived on a folding plastic table in the corner of my lab. It was wobbling and causing blurry images, but I never got a chance to do something about it... until now.

It's been replaced it with a custom-built wooden workbench. I made it big and heavy on purpose to reduce vibrations: The tabletop is 3/4" flooring-grade plywood and the legs are 4x4" posts resting on top of rubber pads. (I actually made two of them, because one of my roommates liked the design and wanted one for himself. )

I don't have any photos of the early build process but here's one of the tabletop and legs before the shelving was installed. It was annoying having to stain and assemble it in the middle of my living room... I can't wait to have a garage or basement to work in!

EDIT: A friend who helped me with the build just sent me this one.
Test-fitting some of the lumber
New workbench, partially assembled
After installing shelves
In its final resting place

The stain turned out a little darker than I anticipated but it actually matched the paneling in my apartment surprisingly well so no complaints there. The 16 square feet of shelf space let me tidy up the lab and remove a lot of miscellaneous junk that had been sitting around with nowhere to go.

With equipment installed
It was a lot of fun to make - I had almost forgotten how much I enjoyed woodworking. Maybe my next piece of furniture will be something more pretty and less utilitarian in nature? (Making it out of hardwood instead of construction lumber, and having better tools, would help too...)

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