Buying equipment for a small tech workshop

These days, an entire cottage industry has grown up around the repair of computers and mobile phones. 

In 2020, the number of mobile users globally stood at 4.28 billion, and general connections to the internet are growing rapidly year on year.

Considering the sheer numbers of mobile devices, computers, and tablets connecting to the internet each day, a reliable local repairer can find themselves in healthy demand. Many owner-operators find it advantageous to work from home, and a small tech workshop fulfills the need perfectly.

Equipping a small tech workshop space can be relatively inexpensive and well within the average person’s grasp.

Bench and working space

 

While not quite a sterile environment like a laboratory, the tech workshop does require a reasonable level of sterility and cleanliness. 

A height-adjustable workbench may be an asset, permitting the operator to work from either a standing or seated position. High-rise lab chairs are available at a reasonable cost, permitting the workbench to be set up quickly and cost-effectively.

The location and number of power outlets need to be considered. A good multi-outlet power board is an easy option to make power available to multiple items on the workbench. Consider bringing in a qualified electrician for more permanent power-point installations if the situation warrants.

 

General hardware and consumables

 

Regardless of the operation, a range of general small tooling items and consumables will be a must. For general-purpose tools like screwdrivers and Allen key sets, as well as commercial hardware and multi-purpose adhesives, a larger supplier such as Tradefix Direct can accommodate requirements.

Similarly, a good online source for general electrical products such as solder and electrical fittings can assist in building a small general inventory.

 

Anti-static bench mats and ESD protection

 

When working with an electronic componentry, a well set up anti-static area is a must. For the worktop or desk, ESD matting can be permanently installed and will ground any items or components placed on it, effectively draining any static discharge.

Available in a range of sizes, these rubber or vinyl mats should be employed when working with sensitive componentry and when removing any such components from their anti-static wrappings for inspection.

Anti-static floor matting is also recommended and similarly comes in a range of sizes to suit the working area. 

Both desktop and floor matting are readily available commercially and inexpensive to acquire.

 

Lighting and air conditioning

 

A well-lit and well-ventilated workplace is a must for the small tech repairer. Ensure that open ventilation sources such as windows do not disturb or move small components in the working area. A temperature-regulated environment is important when working with componentry, and a good air conditioner is a must-have.

Working areas should be uniformly lit and once the workbench areas are established, give thought to the installation of good permanent lighting. Supplement with a flexible/adjustable desk lap which can be raised or lowered above the immediate working area to provide closer illumination, especially when working with small components and devices.

Add a good quality flexible head desk-mounted magnifying glass to the work area for that finer or precision close-in work.

 

Summary

 

The small tech workshop can be easily fitted out in a home or garage space with a relatively low-cost outlay. The modern-day high-tech cottage industry is alive and well!

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