@Max: Have you thought in buying one of those dissipative rubber mats for your desktop? In addition to solving ESD issues, they also protect your workbench table of being burned with your soldering iron.
I'm looking for a convenient unit for my own home-lab, so if I find a cool offer I will send you the reference (3M has a very good range of products, and you can buy one directly from online stores such as Digikey).
Hi Max, Three ways I link to solid ground is to use the scope ground, the soldering Iron, wont buy a soldering station without a ground socket for a strap, and finally a modified wall socket plug with an earth clip mounted to the outside of it.
As I am used to powering up space boards stuffed with components which cost millions of dollars, one thing I like to do first is check the polarity of components and the pin one allocations. Along with the correct devices being fitted.
I also like to measure the impedance between power and ground rails to ensure there is no direct short alothough with modern high power FPGA this can still be a low value. Then thre is the first application of power at a low voltage 0.5 v ish with a low current limit to ensure if it does trip out there is not much power