This project came about when i recently ordered some Shape Lock. Shape Lock is a durable plastic with a low melting temp. At about 150 F it becomes very pliable and can be easily shaped by hand. It is sold under a few different names but the pricing is about the same for all of them. Best of all the stuff is reusable. Just heat it back up and its ready to become something new. So i have been looking around the house for good uses of the stuff when i saw my set of Helping Hands. I realized i could use this stuff to help make them more useful.
My biggest complaint about Helping Hands is the small and often unstable base. I didn't want to make a larger base for it since that would get even more in the way. I decided that a good set of hands is nothing without a good arm behind it. So i went online and found the cheapest swing arm desk lamp i could find. I figured with the help of the Shape Lock i could create some sort of coupling part to join the Hands to the arm.
Here is how i improved on my set of Helping Hands.
- Helping Hands ($7 http://www.amazon.com/Helping-Third-Magnifier-Magnifying-Glass/dp/B0015YJV7S)
- Swing Arm Desk Lamp ($12 http://www.amazon.com/Swing-Desk-Lamp-Clamp-Black/dp/B004MH9A2Q)
- Shape Lock ($15 http://www.makershed.com/product_p/mkshl1.htm)
- Flashlight (any will do as long as it offers the lighting you want.
- 2x screws/bolts w/ nuts (your choice in size but you won't need anything over an inch long. I used what i had on hand)
- Box Cutter
- 3/16 inch Drill Bit
- Screw driver/wrench (whatever is appropriate for the screw/bolt your using)
Step 1: Teardown of the lamp
Upon receiving the desk lamp i went about stripping it down. I knew i wanted the Helping Hands to attach in the same place the lamp was attached so the lamp had to go. Taking the lamp off was easy enough. All i had to do was remove the wing nut and screw and it came right off. I wanted to try and remove the lamp without having to cut the wires. Unfortunately the wires where riveted into the light bulb socket so i was forced to cut them. I then pulled all the wire out of the Swing Arm frame. Now we are ready to attach the hands.