A Peek At Other Computer Technicians Workbenches #2

A work bench of some sort is something just about every Computer Technician needs. Earlier this year we shared photos of various Computer Technicians workbenches and it is a great way to get inspiration for your own computer workbenches and see how other  Technicians are doing the same thing differently. It is about time we do another one so here are the workbenches of Technibble readers.

Ask Erik:
“These two benches are primarily for workstations/servers. I have another bench on the other side of the office for Laptop repair.”

Thirsk Home IT Solutions:
“I only do this part time so it’s only a small office which allows me to work on 2-3 PC’s at any one time, which is perfect for running my little operation part time.”



Tim:



Starkville Computers
“This is our shop. We do what we can with the space we have, and it works very well. Inside, we stock a pretty wide assortment of cables, laptops, peripherals, accessories, desktops, refurb systems, etc. We actually just got some new laser guns for scanning inventory, which are also great for impromptu Star Wars battles during downtime.”




“We keep all of our systems waiting to be repaired on two sets of shelves behind our checkout counter. When we have room to take them to our bench, they go back. We also have a little dedicated ordering station with our printer/fax/scanner/etc setup up in a single spot.”



“And here it is, TechBay. This is where the fun happens! On the right, we have our main system that handles Acronis backups and whatever else we need. It is a Dell Precision with Windows 7 Ultimate x64 and a dual-display. The organized chaos that is the rest of the shop consists of monitors with 2 or 4 port KVMs for connecting systems. To the back of the room, we have our bench for laptops, plus our Mac that we use to handle anything Mac-related.”



“Last but not least, this is our best friend in the shop. He gets used all day, every day (or so it seems). He has cleaned up the nastiest systems, doing so with a smile.”

NeutronTech:
“Here’s the office nowadays. Still not much, but more than before. After reviewing the pictures, I didn’t really get the shots I wanted. Oh well, I’m a tech, not a photographer.”





Lone99Star:
“Heres my shop, keep in mind customers don’t see this area very often.”





Orca Technology:



Blackburg PC Help:
“I just recently moved into a shop myself (in August.) Thought I’d share some pics of my setup, though its still a work in progress.”

General view of the shop. I did the renovation myself (with the help of a good friend and several beers.) We repainted and put in the hardwood floor.

The back wall of the shop. Disassembly and soldering areas.

Closeup of the laptop disassembly and soldering area.

Where I work on desktops, slave hard drives. Bit of a cable jungle at the moment.

My workbenches. I can get 4 desktops and 2 laptops on each bench. 3 laptops if they’re not too large.
blackburg5
Another view of the benches.
blackburg6
A huge thanks to the readers who sent in pictures! If you want your work area featured in our next workbench article, please send pictures to: tips [at] technibble.com



Bryce Whitty

About the Author

Bryce Whitty
More articles by me...
Bryce is an Australian computer technician and the founder of Technibble. He started his computer repair business when he was 17 years old and is still running it 9 years later. He is an avid traveller and spends at least a month of the year in another country.

Comments (24)

  • Webmanoffesto says:

    Nice air compressor
    EC79 6-Gallon Oil Free Pancake Air Compressor
    http://bit.ly/a8s6Y9

  • Todd Hein says:

    Nice shots. I am gearing up to start working on computers part time, (I have been at my factory job for 29 years and I am tired of it). I am going to submit a shot of my work area that I am setting up.

  • andy says:

    can I say that this post has left me reeling with jealousy? I must ask though, If using an air compressor to clean out machines, how important is it to add a line dryer to it? I don’t use mine because I worry about moisture getting in the tank and being blown in to customer computers.

  • edgepcs says:

    I will get shots up of my office in time for the next one of these articles.
    Love the look of some of these setups, gives me ideas for mine :D

  • Very interesting. After 33 years, and 4 evolutions of shops, I can see similarities in all of the pictures. We have a high volume shop with 5 8-foot benches and a separate cleaning room now. As one can imagine, everything is always messy and not suitable for pictures. If we ever clean up…I’ll send some pix. Really enjoy your articles. I find our standard policies almost identical to the advice you give. Keep up the good work!

  • dom says:

    I’m wondering the same as andy, hopefully we get a replY :) Great setups everyone! I’m still working out of my home with nothing close to any of you but hopefully I’ll convert my garage soon.

  • ajc196 says:

    Ha, awesome to see the shop up there. We’ve cleaned up A LOT since those shots, nowhere near as cluttered anymore.

    It’s also cool how most everyone has some DriveSavers sign or pamphlet in their shot. ^_^

  • ajc196 says:

    And about the air compressor, been using it for years and years, even back before I started working there. I thought about the same thing but as long as we keep it inside moisture doesn’t seem to build up at all from the compressor. I still give it a 5 second in-the-air spray out of paranoia before each use though.

  • Alfredo says:

    Awesome Tech Shop you have there ajc196. The TechBay needs some tidying up.

  • ajc196 says:

    It’s tidy now! ^_^ I was part time when I snapped those shots, so I never had time to devote to cleaning. It was in, work, and out.

  • mike smith says:

    If I may be so bold…
    I’ve seen many small PC repair shops over the years. Most of them have the same appearance; disorganized, messy, and loaded with cardboard and paper advertisements that should have been replaced 2 weeks after they were new. At the sight of each one I always think the same thing. “Small time”. Then I wonder if they’ll be in business next year.

    Does your Dr’s office look like your shop? Does he have (comparatively) old and dingy advert signage hanging around? Are his certs in cheesy black $4.59 frames, or are they proudly and nicely displayed on quality permanent frames?

    What does it feel like going to your Dr’s office?
    Got a high dollar lawyer for a client? Whats their office feel like? How does it look?

    Google around for “Dr Office” or take virtual tours of law firms. Does your place convey professionalism above all else? Or is it more like some dude with some signs he got at a computer show?

    Personally, I’d opt for some generic, as in not “dated” signs that read like; “We value your data as much as your privacy” with easily identifiable but still generic image of a computer component on them.

    I’m no ad copy guy, but hopefully you can come up with something better that does not include easily outdated things like modems, or words like baud rate, or companies like Commodore. You get it I hope.

    Clean Neat Professional. With YOUR company name more prominently displayed than intel or microsoft. After all, you pay the rent, not them.

    How about instead of some silly Nvidia brochure, you make your own professional looking brochure (printed on nice glossy paper by a real printer, and not some waxy looking color copier – or worse – inkjet) explaining all of your services, and why your clients are doing the right thing by hiring you?

    I’d work a trade with a designer of some sort. They have computers and need help too. Get them to give you an hour or two of their time, for 5 of yours. You’ll get much more in the long run when you consider the education you get and the amount of extra money you’ll make becasue your place wont look like it’s going to close next week. Perception is king.

    Just my considered 2 cents.

  • ajc196 says:

    True and noted, but in all fairness, the actual “shop” should not be frequented by customers anyway. Privacy concerns and safety concerns, anyone? Now the actual storefront should always be clean, and every tech should heed the good advice above from Mike.

  • scott says:

    Nice shops! I’m still in a basement but it works for my part-time operation.

  • Adam says:

    Clean and professional is nice, but a freshly painted and clean shop isn’t always an option for someone just starting out. A lot of new tech companies have just an old plain shop. The marketing material is a free way to add something. Many customers see the big names and feel more comfortable with you than they would at an empty walled shop. The materials give the impression that you are for real and will be there in the long run, vs an old empty shop that looks like it could close at any minute.

  • PCLapTech says:

    Nice shops only I can dream for mine oneday. I’m still in my living room but it works for my part-time operation.

  • Richard says:

    I totally agree with ajc196 and Adam.

    LOL @ Mike Smith. I kinda understand exactly where your coming from. I mean if I were going to go to a doctor office I would hate to go to the back and see old advertisements for dated medicine on black and white laser copy or a messy exam room. I would be horrified. I then would go around looking for their credentials hanging somewhere. God forbid if their not hanging in frames made of the finest wood, or some kind of brushed mettle alloy / glass. That to me would be a deal breaker…

    Yeah most of my customers don’t even know where I live let alone will ever see the inside of my tech lab. If they did, they are probably trusted and could care less if I had any certifications blaring that I’m comtia / Microsoft certified. They really don’t care, not even my business clients.

    Your are right, I guess in implying that our pride in what we do should manifest itself in how we decorate our private tech benches. A true mark of our professionalism. We need to do better!!! We need GLOSSY!!!

    I personally focus on not being condescending :-) and treating my customers with real dignity. My client base has grown at a manageable rate. I try to provide value to my customers along with technical excellence.

  • Jeff says:

    Well said Richard…I know it’s always good to be organized but I don’t think I want my tech area looking like a doctor’s office. It’s a TECH area and I’ve never had any customer complain. It’s hard to compare an atty or dr’s office to a tech space. Mine is organized chaos and I know where everything is located but I probably wouldn’t eat off my floor!

  • iisjman07 says:

    I think it’s natural for the habitat of a computer technician to be strewn with cables and gizmos.

  • ajc196 says:

    Right. We can’t all be like the Pionen data center.

    The trick is to probably find a happy medium between the extremities of clutter:

    http://www.dciginc.com/2008/06/datacenter-management-101-part-i-cable-manage.html

  • PR Tech says:

    Pulled from my post on 5-8-2010, “We try to run our shop almost like a doctor’s office. It is pretty clean and neat. We get a lot of client comments on how nice the shop is kept. I think people appreciate that we are handling their equipment like it is our own.” The post is midway through the page and includes pictures of the shop. I have since moved to a larger shop, but it is pretty much kept it the same meticulous order. Someone once told me it is impossible to work on a lot of computers and not have clutter. I disagree wholeheartedly. It just takes getting into good work habits and putting items you are not using away. I regularly check over my work area (and those of my staff). Sometimes we all get a bit too caught up in the details of the work and forget to look at it from a broader point of view. I wouldn’t want my computer worked on at a shop that was cluttered and disorganized.

    http://www.technibble.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16171&highlight=work+bench&page=2

  • mike smith says:

    @Richard et. al.

    You’ve missed my point entirely. Let me explain a bit further.
    If you have no certs, fine. I stopped caring about them back in the late 90’s.
    If you do have certs, and you do frame them, put them in a nice frame, not the cheapo kind. Treat them like they are important. Nowhere did I mention the need to have certs. Must be a button for Richard.

    Paint is cheap, even for those starting out. If you can afford to rent a shop, you can afford to paint it.

    As for hanging materials in your storefront, Thumbtacks holding up a poster don’t cut it. Maybe in the shop, but not the storefront.

    @Jeff, re-read your last sentence. If you think your floor is disgusting, and it’s your mess, what do your customers who are privileged to stand in it think?

    It’s all well and good to excuse yourselves from responsibility for the look of your shop, by rationalizing the mess. Your skin isn’t thick enough to be competitive in the long run.

    Lastly, as a customer, like many others, I don’t waste my time complaining. I just don’t go back.

  • Neil says:

    I loved seeing pictures of everyones shops and comments. I just finished leasing a location too and I must say I am still fixing up the shop before I move in. First thing I did was change all of the drop cealing to new white 2×2 panels and put better stronger lighting. I then took out the carpet and put all 3″ hardwood flooring I got at home depot. I couldnt stand to work near carpet all day with the static electricity with these cold winter days coming. Im not saying everyone should waste money in their shop if they dont have it starting off but your shop is representation of you and your services. Its always better to do things the way “You ” want them since in the end its Your customers, your money and your name on the line/future business. To everyone doing well keep up the good work and I have a question for “Starksville computers”, in your shop you have yellow packaged cables on the slat walls of the same brand if you dont mind can you tell me where you got it/ the brand name?. It looks all joined and organized I like it. Oh and regarding the air compressor I just bought a metro data vac for cars/detail work that works great for vaccuming or airing out. I use the vaccum since its a 4hp cleaner and has a small detail tip since I dont have an extra outside room and dont want all that dust in the air. I too will post pictures of my shop/working area/ storage when I am complete. Thanks guys and keep up the good work everyone. – Neil.

  • Richard says:

    @ Mike lol believe it or not i actually do understand your post. You havt a valid opinion about representation of ones shop and how it projects their professionalism and so forth. Without being too personal, I just highlighted the part of his post that, out side of an actual storefront, really doesn’t matter to many techs. We’ll it kinda does. I know with my tech lab, it is organized, color coordinated, wires tucked away, a huge “On Call PC Solutions” banner from Vista-print, and neat (most of the time). Thats because that’s just my way of keeping my things. The tech benches above that are less organized looking cant be an indication of how they are as a tech business owner. To imply that a less organized looking shop may translate to a shop that may be folding in a few weeks can be a distraction for a newbie, because now they are thinking about something that has very little to do with customer care. While your opinion is valid, Technibble is a place where newbies come to learn from the experiences of more seasoned techs. I have seen benches that are so messy i honestly don’t know how they keep up with what they are doing, and yet they have more customers then I can number. So in my opinion, I was, based on my own observations, just saying that your post was silly.

  • Lee N says:

    Nice – I see we’re not the only ones who rely on air blowers! We don’t use a compressor though. We have modified (2) 2000w vacuum cleaners into air blowers (1 for each workshop). Nice, dry, filtered air… and VERY, VERY, VERY powerful. Almost blows the hair off your head. We also customised an array of attachments. Highly recommended, and cheap. Each “blower” was only £35 (GBP).