Desktop covering


I'm going to be doing quite a lot of work on computers (repairs, upgrades etc) and I have a desk that will be ideal as a workbench. What is the best type of material to cover the top of the desk so that I don't scratch the computer cases or the top of the desk itself, and also taking into account electrical requirements as well, ie, static, earthing and the avoidance of short circuits?
TIA
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That's easy - unobtanium. Next best bet is probably wood, but it will get scratched up by case corners.
NT
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John wrote:

rubber
Without a doubt the best workbenches for electronics are covered with rubber sheet and, if there is enough carbon in it, earth it via L angle edge strips.
There may in fact be rubber made exactly for this.
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On Sun, 18 Sep 2011 18:41:08 +0100, John wrote:

Not ideal but I use 'table protector' obtainable from furniture shops. I have a proper antistatic mat on one part of it.
--
Use the BIG mirror service in the UK:
http://www.mirrorservice.org
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Whatever you've got (wood, metal, rubber) covered in a roll of foam rubber netting, sold cheaply as anti-slip mat. This allows a bit of space for loose screws and wire ends to sit, without poking up and scratching cases.
Rubber sheet is a good topping, if you're building. Most black rubber (i.e. not vinyl) is sufficiently conductive to avoid static problems. Static is over-rated as a problem these days, unless you're handling at the bare chip level.
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snipped-for-privacy@wanted.com says...

Brilliant, thanks everyone.
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John wrote:

http://www.polymax.co.uk/Rubber_Sheeting/Anti-Static_Rubber_Sheeting_Polymax_Beacon.shtml http://uk.misumi-ec.com/eu/ItemDetail/10300284840.html http://www.jbedford.co.uk/antistatic_workbench_accessories.html
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On 18/09/2011 18:41, John wrote:

I wouldn't worry about it.
Whatever the bench is already covered with will be OK, unless it's a metal bench connected to your van-der-graff generator, of course.
As to the suggestions of rubber being anti-static, than I say bollocks. Rubber is an insulator, and provides no anti-static properties.
If you want to go with anti-static kit ( which is over-rated for the most part IMHO ), then the 'rubber' mats they provide are impregnated to make them slightly conductive, and they have a snap-on connector which needs to be earthed. That's totally different from a plain rubber mat.
My workbench is covered with an off-cut of grey flooring vinyl, which serves for electronic, electrical, and mechanical work.
--
R




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Mine is covered in cuts and holes, burn marks from welding etc.
If I'm doing something clean, I put a small sheet of 4mm hardboard down.
I agree about static being a low risk - never encountered any problems
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Ron Lowe wrote:

shows how totally ignorant you are.
Rubber is loaded more, or less, with carbon to make it conduct.
V important in tyres to prevent static buildup.
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The Natural Philosopher wrote:

Not necessarily deliberately with that intention, but often conductive.
A locomotive electrical cabinet was once under test. On top was a device with three incoming electrical connections, spaced 120 degrees apart. It had a transparent protective dome, with a rubber sealing strip around its circular bottom edge.
During the test, the dome suddenly burst into flames. Upon measuring a rubber strip from stock, its resistance was about 1K0, so students can work out for themselves what that would dissipate connected in delta across a three phase supply. ;-)
As it was a bought-in component, we manufactured a more compliant no-flammable cover. I gather the scrapped ones were popular in Loughborough veg plots as individual cloches.
Chris
--
Chris J Dixon Nottingham UK
snipped-for-privacy@cdixon.me.uk
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Industry standard for this is Linoleum/ Marmoleum (Lino to you and me) Its often specified for workbenches in the electronics industry
http://www.forbo-flooring.co.uk/default.aspx?menuid=1545
Paul Mc Cann
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On Mon, 19 Sep 2011 01:51:04 -0700 (PDT), fred wrote:

Is that linoleum with Marmite as an additive? (along the lines of Creomite).
--
Peter.
The gods will stay away
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… which is Marmite with added creosote?
--
Jón Fairbairn snipped-for-privacy@cl.cam.ac.uk
http://www.chaos.org.uk/~jf/Stuff-I-dont-want.html (updated 2010-09-14)
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On Tue, 20 Sep 2011 08:52:24 +0100, Jon Fairbairn

I actually thought it wasn't marmite - some of it looks like like marmalade spread on the floor.
--

Rod

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On 19/09/2011 09:51, fred wrote:

And they even do a special anti-static version
I've used offcuts of the normal stuff as a bench top The computer I'm using sits on one (with a wood front edge to make it look neat.)
Jim Chisholm
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On 19/09/2011 02:21, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

The mil spec aircraft I used to work on had conductive rubber between each spine panel and the structure so as to make a conductive path to the airframe. All the rest of the airframe was carefully bonded together.
As you say, the tyres had to be conductive to prevent a static build up that could track across and strike an arc on landing. All sorts of nasties on an aircraft can ignite.
In flight, the static was never a problem, as it was discharge through sacrificial trailing wires on the wings etc. On landing, the only way to get rid of it was through the tyres.
Dave
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A length of chain attached to an anvil would be cheaper.
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I use something like this
http://cpc.farnell.com/chiltern-connections/ccl-cnm-b/conductive-bench-ma t/dp/TL08608
but I didn't pay that much for it
--
geoff

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