Build a Pair of Helping Hands

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Introduction: Build a Pair of Helping Hands

With just a few items you may have around the house you can build a soldering, gluing, or assembly jig. Its an extra pair of helping hands.

Step 1: Gather the Parts

1. Items required: a) 2 five inch pieces of 12 gauge copper wire which can be taken from home wiring cable, b) two solderless ring lugs, c) two mini alligator clips, d) a 3" x3" block of wood or decorative molding - available at your local home improvement store, e) one small wood screw (and a suitable drill bit for the pilot hole).

Step 2: Add the Ring Lugs

Crimp the solderless ring lugs to the wire. I recommend you crimp the lug in two positions for a secure connection.

Step 3: Add the Alligator Clips

Remove the rubber boots from the alligator clips as these won't be needed. Crimp the alligator clips to the other end of the copper wire. You may need to solder this connection to insure strength and longevity.

Step 4: Attach the Wire to the Base

Drill a small pilot hole in the center of the wood block. Use a wood screw (pan head type) to secure the two ring lugs to the base.

Step 5: Its Ready for Use...

Use it as a soldering jig, gluing jig, assembly fixture, photo stand, or however you see fit.

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88 Comments

Wow! I took apart a cell phone just like the one being dissected in the photo of the helping hands! Too cool!

Very simple and useful idea. I made my own third hands loosely based on this instructable. This also looks like a very popular one, with many comments (68 right now), and I don't know if what I'm writing here has been already written on other comments.

- I've not used the ring lugs. I've just made a small ring using the copper wire and attached it to the wood with a screw. Actually, I've used one screw for each copper wire.
- I've used 2 small alligator clips (useful to hold small parts and thin wires), plus 2 bigger alligator clips (useful to hold bigger things, like a PCB). There is also a space "reserved for future use" onto which I might add a bright white LED and maybe a small fan (like this).
- I've tried to solder the alligator clips to the copper wire, but I failed. The solder did not fix the clip to the wire strongly enough. It broke a few seconds after using. I'm still looking forward to another solution (maybe I should try glue? or maybe just using pressure should be enough)

I still don't have any photos of it (and it looks ugly, anyway :) ), but it has already been damn useful! Thank you for this simple but effective idea.

Use JB weld to hold on the alligator clips.

Okay, found it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JB_Weld

I've asked because, since I don't live in USA, I didn't know about that product.

Yeah, JB weld is the brand name of a fast weld adhesive. (One fluid metal, one hardener.) Similair to epoxy glue.

Great idea. I stumbled across some slate at the hardware store. It makes for a more stable base.

slate_helphands.JPG

Thanks for suggesting this. It prompted me to look for junk lying around that's compact yet heavy for the base:

helping-hands.jpg

Hey! Is that a western digital hardrive? Is it by chance the Caviar 33100 HDD?