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  • Custom soldering helping hands

    Hey everyone.

    I do a lot of electronics soldering for hobby stuff. I currently have a set of these helping hands, but i dont think they were built the best. The alligator clips always come loose from thier mounts, and the base is way too light to stay stable.



    This popped into my email today, and i liked it. The price is good enough i probably couldnt make it for cheaper, but then i started to think about the details...


    https://hobbyking.com/en_us/mr-jig-soldering-aid.html

    I dont use most of the connectors its designed for, but it has the simple clamp on one side that would work great for the connectors i do use. The other down side i see is that its one giant heat sink. I dont see how someone would get solder to flow into brass pins in those holes like they show.

    Has anyone built anything that they could share pics of, that would help inspire? Most of my soldering is to small circuit boards (under 2x3"), wire to wire, or wire to LED type connections. I kind of want something i can say i built instead of bought, but ideas are good.

    Thanks

  • #2
    I stumbled on this the other day, it struck me as a handy version of the classic "Third hand" fixture.

    Would be easy to make a version customized to the particular sort of work you do:

    https://www.etsy.com/listing/5232016...a6b3:523201629

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    • #3
      I have to say like most buying sites today , I find that one is required to provide a very great deal of what I personally consider to be, personal details which can and usually will be sold on to others for profit. I have a disability and do not wish to receive any emails telephone calls (I have had them ) and other time wasting and time consuming bothersome experiences . So sending of blindly all this or indeed any personal information re my own and family details . And so myself purely on the grounds of these objections which I am entitled to mention I will not get personally involved. Alistair
      Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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      • #4
        Thanks Alan, I was thinking about something like that that uses some better quality aligator clips (if they can actually be found). I was also not sure of where to get some flex like they had, although i do have some 10awg solid copper wire that may work. I also have lots of lead, some of which could be cast into a 5-10 LB brick to use as a base.

        Alistair, sorry, i dont think i understand what you were getting at. Unless you added this to the wrong thread.

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        • #5
          I couldnt find it with a search, but thinking back, wasnt there someone who stuck some helping hands to the top of a bowling ball a few years ago? Then used the bowling ball in a base so it could be tilted to any angle...

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Dragons_fire View Post
            Thanks Alan, I was thinking about something like that that uses some better quality aligator clips (if they can actually be found). I was also not sure of where to get some flex like they had, although i do have some 10awg solid copper wire that may work. I also have lots of lead, some of which could be cast into a 5-10 LB brick to use as a base.
            One option for the flex arms it to twist a bunch of small gauge soft iron wire (think like the stuff used to tie rebar) into an bundle. They make a good flexible arm that holds its position. You can put some sort of sleeving around it to make it look nice. Not my idea, Evan posted about it here a long time ago, but I think his photos have vanished. I've used this trick for a work light I needed and it works great.

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            • #7
              What I did was open up the address under the photograph added to basket then opened up pay by paypal ( which I normally just press pay) instead it was a form to fill in sorry. Alistair
              Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Dragons_fire View Post
                I couldnt find it with a search, but thinking back, wasnt there someone who stuck some helping hands to the top of a bowling ball a few years ago? Then used the bowling ball in a base so it could be tilted to any angle...
                I remember discussions on bowling ball vises: http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/threads/37483
                that also included a "welding positioner" (a more sophisticated version of the bowling ball vise, to be precise) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OnF6_V28DM
                Last edited by MichaelP; 06-02-2017, 09:10 PM.

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                • #9
                  Way too big, look at engraving vise, then build your own ..or maybe PanAVise..

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                  • #10
                    I think those awful alligator clip third hands are universally despised....the problem is so prevalent (work holding) that we all felt their purchase irresistible at some point.

                    Are you looking for something for electronics, or general? I've a few rigs i've come up with for general fixturing for soldering but not specifically the challenge of electronics. Looking at the device you've shown, its not clear to me how its used - any 'action shots'?

                    edit...ok, this makes it a little clearer http://thejigsup.net/....a very simple thing. Still unclear what all the brass cylinders on top are for.
                    Last edited by Mcgyver; 06-03-2017, 01:07 PM.
                    .

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                    • #11
                      Brass cylinders are the gold flashed "Bucket" ends of the battery plug pins. Fill with solder and feed wire vertically down into bucket.

                      Regards Ian
                      You might not like what I say,but that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

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                      • #12
                        ahhh, thanks. I was thinking they were somehow part of a clamping system - like a jewellers peg vise. Talk about trying to make it complicated lol
                        .

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                        • #13
                          It's a bench block, it's a third hand, it took entirely too long to build! Sure looks pretty sitting on the desk though:



                          I included ports to upgrade it to 4 arms someday. The center counterbore is the exact size for a spool of solder. And although it is aluminum, it's got enough mass to stay put for most things.

                          Original inspiration actually come from a kit that SparkFun sells.

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                          • #14
                            thanks iointerupt. that's basically what I'm looking for. I'm thinking something similar but maybe with a few slots cut in the block to hold the connectors I use. can you give any insight to where you got the "arms" from and did you use anything special for clips?

                            pretty much all my requests of a device like this would be to hold wires or connectors when they are joined. I also sometimes work with small PCBs that I'm populating or adding/removing wires from.

                            I saw some neat clamps made from square bar online, and I have some 1/4" square brass that I could use to make clamps. not sure how the arms would support the extra weight of the brass too though. I'm typing from my phone right now but will attach a pic later of what I'm talking about.

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                            • #15
                              I forgot to mention that most of the soldering is for radio controlled model electronics. once in a while I will solder small (<1/8") brass rod or tube together with the iron and electronics solder. the connectors I keep referring to are Deans Ultra or JST style connectors.

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