Creating a static free work station for laptop and general repair - whats advisable ?

Like having a stainless steel work bench would be crazy ...

Any general advice

Whats best practice ?
fcekAsked:
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
A stainless steel workbench would be the wrong approach.  Anti-static mats typically measure 1 to 10 Megohms per square.  The idea is to drain off charge Slowly to minimize the current flow.  A steel or conductive work surface allows the charge to discharge too quickly which will maximize current flow and possible damage.

This document shows the installation procedure for a standard ESD prevention workstation:  http://www.aratron.com/pdf/AEI-ST010-install.pdf
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OxygenITSolutionsCommented:
This video looks pretty useful.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbDwcGL3yAk
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nobusCommented:
i simply use a ESD wrist band, connected to earth
i don't trust any "running" or "live" electronics on such a mat...
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
The object in the PDF above is an ESD monitor that is made for the purpose.  It's not needed for an individual but manufacturers use them because people will take their wrist straps off if they aren't monitored.
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fcekAuthor Commented:
So if you using a mat like that and dont use a wrist band are you better off not using a mat like that at all?
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
No.  Note that the mat is also grounded.  You can touch ground or the mat to dissipate charge.  The wrist strap keeps you grounded continuously.  In addition to providing a path for static discharge, the fact that the mat and wrist strap are grounded prevents a static charge from developing by keeping everything at the same potential.  If you don't have any voltage difference, you can't create a spark or static discharge.
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fcekAuthor Commented:
How do you ground the mat please?
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
Mats are normally connected to the AC power/safety ground like most things are.  Mats that are intended for anti-static use come with snaps to connect wires from them to a ground point.
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