Introduction: Making a Set of Third Hands: Welding Fixtures!

Welding is fun! But sometimes you just need a few helping hands to
hold your work while you weld. This Instructable goes over how I made
my third hands: welding fixtures.
Thanks goes out to schip666's Instructable
https://www.instructables.com/id/Third%2c-fourth%2c-and-possibly-fifth%2c-hand/
for giving me some basic ideas on how to fabricate my fixture.
I tried to simplify my design as well as make it versatile and capable
of clamping objects at any angle.

Things I used:

Cold Saw
Drill Press
Bench Grinder
SandBlaster
MIG Welder
files
tap
weldable steel rod
steel tubing
plate steel
nuts and bolts
C-clamps

and of course...
TechShop San Jose =)

Step 1: Prep the Materials

First I cut my steel tubing to roughly 1.5" segments with the Cold Saw. I made
two third hands and needed two joints for each one. Each joint needs two tube
segments, and each third hand needed two joints for a total of 8 tube segments.
I then used the drill press to cut a single hole into each tube, large enough
for the bolts to fit through.

The weldable rod I cut into two longer pieces for the main stem of each third
hand. I also used the bench grinder to put a bit of a beveled edge on the rods
so I had room to fill when welding. Then I cut four slightly shorter rods as
the adjustable arms.

Cut my steel plate to make two nice little bases.

Cut some smaller steel rod to about 2" semgents, to be used later for making
wings on the bolts.

Using the SandBlaster, I removed some of the coating on the C-clamps to make
sure I got a good connection when welding those later.

Step 2: Welding!!

Starting with the easy welds...
attached the large rods to the plates to make the main stem with base.
attached the C-clamps to some of the smaller rods
attached the small rods to the bolts, so the they can be easily hand tightened

then the more important welds...
the main part of this whole project are the  adjustable joints that hold
everything together.
These were welded together in two stages. First I welded the nuts to each
of the tubing segments. And Secondly welded those segments to one another.

Step 3: Clean Up

Based on the quality of your welds this step could either be non-existent/
very minimal to very difficult and time consuming. Luckily I only had a
few minor issues to clean up.

Using a round file I got rid of any buggers on this inside of the tubing
until the rods could easily slide through.

With a tap (matching the threads of the nuts and bolts) I cleaned up and
buggers that got into the nut.

Step 4: Assemble and Use

Slide all the rods through the tubing and use the winged bolts as set screws.
Now clamping work pieces at any angle is a breeze. =D

Comments

author
studleylee (author)2013-03-22

Great idea!!

author
morfmir (author)2013-03-22

wauw this is awesome. It is always so dam hard hold the pieces when welting. I use to just burn my hands trying to hold them together.

author
kz1 (author)2013-03-19

To overcome the necessity to attach these to a work surface, a metal weight from a barbell set makes a nifty portable base. Various size weights can be used to determined by the size and weight of the item being supported. Simply slip the Third Hand fixture through the barbell weight and there you are. I use something similar to steady lights rigged on a pole.

author
pheenix42 (author)2013-03-18

What a great idea--every welder always has those moments when two hands aren't enough!

author
audreyobscura (author)2013-03-18

These look great, and you did a great job explaining how you made each fixture.

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