They're alligator clips...alligators definitely have no "helping hands." Anyhow! The plan for constructing the helping mandibles (which are essentially tools used to hold things while you solder) is ...
Wait, so why are soldering iron holders, helping hands, and solder dispensers not bundled together? I work all over the room/house/town and don't want to have to rummage about, looking for helping hands then solder then a place to put my hot, kinda crappy iron... And the soldering station was born.
I also wanted some mobility and storage--the station I designed has a hinge and latch. My meager electronics gear can then be tucked away and I can high tail it to the next pair of bare wires, wherever they may be.
Materials plywood scrap wood small hinge small latch rod (for solder spool) metallic ring switch extension cord two small bolts and matching nuts assorted washers two coat hangers two alligator clips
Tools soldering iron hot glue gun super glue drill coping saw pliers vice
I made a very rough model of the station's base out of paper and duct tape. It would have been cool to have something shaped like this (trapezoids when viewed from the side and triangular from above) but the angles were too much for my woodworking abilities. I settled on a face angled at 45 degrees with a flat back and sides.