For those of you who may have been curious, here is a photo of my basement shop. I call it Fubar Labs. This name is kind of tongue and cheek and harkens back to the day when I was building rockets. The majority of the rockets I build would come home fucked up beyond all recognition. Hence the name.
Recently I decided to do a little renovation of my shop. Actually it was a major renovation. First I removed everything from my shop. Then I re-worked all the wiring and put up studs along the outside walls. Drywall was next then re-building the workbenches. I took out the giant 4 x 8″ plywood and particle board work bench, and replaced it with a nice custom made pine butcher block work bench. I found that having a large workbench didn’t make my work area any larger; it just became a target for clutter.
Out with the old and in with the new, well not entirely. I made new workbenches, but I put all the old parts back. This time all my parts and do-dads are organized. It was my work that inspired me to clean up my act. We practice 5s and Lean manufacturing techniques, this kind of thing kind of rubs off on a person after a few years.
I also picked up a computer rack at a factory auction. I inherited my wife’s POS mini laptop (net book) and since we have an iMac now she doesn’t have any need it. So I borrowed it to use for programming the Arduino. I usually program my arduino’s with the iMac, but it doesn’t work for programming my xbees. The little POS net-book does this admirably except for the lousy human interface. The keyboard sucks, the track pad blows, and the screen is way too small. I had bits and pieces of computer junk lying around, so add in a monitor, USB keyboard and mouse and viola, a POS laptop that functions just fine. I plugged in my home made xBee interface and USB programming cable for my Roverbot and all is good.
It is kind of Ironic how just as I get everything ready for serious work I am called upon for yet another trip to Denmark. I already miss my newly remodeled shop, but I will get some quality time upon my return. Who knows, I may get some new toys from Spark Fun. Hint hint…
Just a few thoughts.