In fixing up my room and wanted to ask what is the best material for an electronics workbench.
When I started a couple of years ago all I had is a small glass table with aluminum legs. It's a computer desk left over from a previous project. Many times I've found it great for splatterings older while cleaning up because it comes off super easy. However things slide around quite a bit. It doesn't burn or catch fire easily which I think is a plus. However the biggest drawbacks are that it is small both in depth and width and is's height is for a chair with rollers that I have.
I'll have the chance of making a proper workbench out I'd extra wood I have. The biggest plus I think is that I'll be able to make it as wide and deep as I want (in order to fit many things on it at once such as laptop, multimeter, notebook, current project, lamp, Google home device and still have space for soldering). I can also make it as high as I want which would allow me to use a stool instead of a chair or at least a higher chair or ajustable height stool. On wood things will slide around less which is good for soldering since I've resorted to double sided tape many times on glass.
I just don't like the typical beige office desk because it'll just be as slippery as glass plus it'll scratch and conduct. So I don't see many benefits there. A black metal desk would make it hard to see pieces.
I like a DYI wood desk covered with corrugated vinyl runner.
Add: anti static mat or silicone soldering mat or 403 stainless steel surface for magnetic tools.
Add a bench pin for tool attachments.
Material doesn’t really matter much, because you will cover the top with a grounded ESD mat, won’t you?
I use a standard office desk with some kind of wood (or maybe it’s plastic laminate wood effect, I don’t really know) as a work bench for electronics. Glass sounds horrible! Metal would short everything out, not to mention being cold to the touch.
Formica is pretty standard for electronics workbenches and it's "resistant" to burning. But, I don't know if anti-static Formica exists and in production or electronic-lab environments it's always covered with an anti-static mat. ...Really, most "kitchen" counter tops of any type are heat/burn resistant.
"At home" I like particle board or MDF. It's "disposable" and although it's not technically anti-static, I've never seen it generate static. I've seen the shelves of a production burn-in rack covered with a sheet of particle board with the circuit boards placed flat on the shelf and powered-up... No problems, but it fails the anti-static conductivity tests.
Metal can be grounded so static isn't a problem but of course it will short-out a powered-up circuit board and it's just not "pleasant" to work on.
Marcio you ask this in every forum... lol. The workbench material doesn’t matter as long as you use an ESD safe silicone mat to protect against ESD and burning your top. Many folks have done fine work on a plywood board with cardboard and newspapers. If you need something professional look at LISTA for workbenches. A work area with access to power, good lighting and storage is ideal.