Instructables
This Instructable will show you how to make a simple "3rd hand" tool, for use in soldering projects. Since I've found so many great soldering projects on Instructables, I decided to build myself a "3rd Hand." But since I know I'll spend more time looking at it than actually using it, I decided I wanted it to be attractive and interesting looking as well as functional. Hence the "steampunk" flare.

The full name for this device is the Brazilian Steampunk 3rd Hand, or "Terceira Mão Vaporpunk." Since I made this in Brazil, with mostly Brazilian tools and materials, I decided it deserved a Brazilian name;-)

Materials:
• Block of wood
• 4 bolts
• 4 knobs
• 3 alligator clips
• Magnifying glass
• Copper Electrical cable
• Metallic paint (optional)
• Varnish (optional)
• Decorative coin (optional)
• Padlock hasp (optional)

Tools:
• Power drill
• Pliers
• Saw (if your wood needs cutting)
• Grinder (optional)
 
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Step 1: Drill wood

Picture of Drill wood
I used a piece of Brazilian hardwood called "Massaranduba." I chose this scrap of wood because it was already cut to the exact size I was looking for, and it was particularly heavy for it's size, (about 4 inches by 5 inches, and an inch thick).

Drill four holes in the wooden block, where you want your "hands" to be. (If I had this to do over again, I might have put the holes in the four corners, to make the finished device a bit more "sure footed").

Optionally, you may want to sand or grind the sides of your wooden block. I used a grinder, to give the edges a darker burnt appearance.

Step 2: Stain wood

Picture of Stain wood
stain 3.jpg
stain 2.jpg
This is purely decorative, but I decided to use a Brazilian varnish called Sparlack Neutrex, the same varnish I used for my Instructables, Painting metal to look like wood my Rustic wooden towel rack and my Steampunk Incandescent USB lamp.

You can use any kind of shellac or varnish, depending on your taste.

Let dry overnight.
nanosec122 years ago
I have been contemplating making a set of 'third' hands, but most of the designs I have seen are very complex and require parts you have to order online. I like the simplicity of your design, and the availability of all the parts. Well Done !!
Winged Fist (author)  nanosec122 years ago
Thanks! If I had it to do over again I'd probably skip the drawer knob feet, and just cut the bolts flat on the underside, or put them on the corers for better stability. If you do make one, please post a photo here!
Very good and simple!!! I think I have to do this. Thanks for the idea.
Winged Fist (author)  thechocolatist2 years ago
Thanks Chocolatist! I look forward to seeing your version;-)
Very cool, and super simple!
If you want to make a brass magnifying lense you could try using Brass tubing and brass stripping from the hardware store maybe.
Winged Fist (author)  Sparkytastic2 years ago
Thanks Begrado! The tricky part about a brass magnifier is attaching it to the copper cable. It certainly can be done, but no longer "super simple";-)
Indeed!