loading
Picture of QuickMods - Soldering Arms
intro - (pan) tools and materials.jpg
For those of you who solder, you know how hard it can be to hold your soldering iron, wire, and 2 (or more) pieces you're soldering. These are two arms attached to a piece of wood that can bend in any direction and stay that way. They also have clips on the ends which grab stuff. This is my version of "Helping Hands" by John Otto.

I have incorporated more common materials into this project, so this version is more accessible to people like me who don't want to go out and buy alligator clips and such things.

Hover your mouse on the yellow squares for tool uses. You might be able to use something else instead.

MATERIALS ==========

LARGE WOOD PLATFORM, approx. 1.25 feet by 1 foot
2 COAT HANGERS
2 CLOTHES PINS
TAPE, preferably electrician's
4 SCREWS, I don't recommend using nails

TOOLS ==========

SCREWDRIVER or DRILL
SCISSORS
PLIERS
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Screw in the Screws

Picture of Screw in the Screws
step 1 - (zoom) this is how high the screws should be.jpg
Screw the screws in the top right hand corner, one farther back than the other (approximately 1.5 cm/0.6 inch apart). Don't screw them in all the way, leave enough room for the coat hangers to easily go under them. REPEAT FOR THE OTHER SIDE.

Step 2: Bend off the Wire

Picture of Bend off the Wire
Twist the coat hanger at the top to untie it. Use the pliers to bend off the highlighted section of wire in the picture. Do this to both coat hangers.

Step 3: Make a Small Loop

Picture of Make a Small Loop
step 3 - (zoom) make a small loop.jpg
Using the pliers, bend a small loop at the end of the wire. Do this for both wires.

Step 4: Place Wire Under Screws

Picture of Place Wire Under Screws
step 5 - (zoom) screw the screws all the way in.jpg
Place the wire under the screws and screw the screws in really tight. Repeat for the other side.

Step 5: So Far So Good

Picture of So Far So Good
This is what it should look like by now.

Step 6: Clothes Pin Stuff

Picture of Clothes Pin Stuff
step 7 - (zoom) saw off the edge of clothes pin.jpg
step 8 - (zoom) tape down spring ends.jpg
I put the clothes pin into a vice and sawed off the angled edge. This will help with holding what ever you use this thing for.

Then I taped down the top of the spring. The spring moves around a lot so I highly suggest doing this, no matter how much of a pain it might be. I then taped it in several places to keep the spring on even better and keep the clothes pin closed tight.

Step 7: Attach the Clothes Pin to the Arms

Picture of Attach the Clothes Pin to the Arms
step 10 - (pan) this is what it should look like.jpg
Thread the wire arms throught the hole in the spring. You might have to break through any tape you put on before. Repeat for the other side.

The next picture is what it should look like by now.

Step 8: Curl the Wire

Picture of Curl the Wire
Curl the wire like this, it's the same size as the curl you did in the beginning of this project.

Step 9: Wire and Clothes Pin

Picture of Wire and Clothes Pin
step 13 - (zoom) you may have to open the tape up by cutting it..jpg
step 13 - (zoom)  it should be pushed in all the way.jpg
There is a small hole in the middle of the clothes pin. To find it, you might have to open the tape up by cutting it a bit until you see the hole. Fold the tape back over and cover it up with some more. Push the wire into the hole using the pliers. If their is a lot of excess wire sticking out the other side, bend it over or cut it off with wire cutters or something. Repeat for the other side.

Step 10: DONE

Picture of DONE
Yay! You're done! You must feel really special. Now go solder something for no particular reason.

Oh yeah, and in case you DON'T know how to use it, bend the wire arms to the position you want to hold something in. Then use the clothes pins like normal and pinch your materials in them.
instead of sawing u could file it down and it would be much easyier
A thought to help the clothespins - wrapping a rubber band around the clothespin will give it more tension to help it hold things better in case the spring is too weak.
Aeshir (author)  calculusrunner8 years ago
If you put the tape on the clothespins really tight like I did, that probably wouldn't be nesessary (agh, I can never remember how to spell that). It would be a better alternative however.
lauriek Aeshir7 years ago
Never Eat Cake, Eat Sausage Sandwiches And Remain Young

;)
rush_elixir8 years ago
Get an alligator clip its much easier to put on to the wire hanger
Great idea. Thanks
Aeshir (author) 8 years ago
I need one with a lot shorter arms..... -_-
spinach_dip9 years ago
Aeshir (author)  spinach_dip8 years ago
Woah that one is really cool.
leevonk9 years ago
cool project, they sell something similar called 'helping hands' for $5
(http://www.allelectronics.com/cgi-bin/item/HELPH-M/search/HELPING_HAND_WMAGNIFIER_.html).
They are very very useful, I use them for all my soldering jobs. You should do one modification to make them more useful if you buy them: http://www.instructables.com/id/EGHGI21YFWEP287TUT/
rajat9 years ago
I read this and I instantly knew that this is what I've really wanted so many times! Anyone ever had to solder two wires VERTICALLY?? I couldn't do it earlier with just two hands, but we're now talking four of 'em here! Thanks!
Aeshir (author) 9 years ago
Yay! I feel special! Thanks guys.
andorphin9 years ago
PetervG9 years ago
Great idea. I'll defentilly make one of these if I ever get into a project.
this is a really good idea its so simple yet so useful
mikesty9 years ago
That's freakin' sweet.