Wooden Vice for Soldering PCB (with a Fan)





Introduction: Wooden Vice for Soldering PCB (with a Fan)

There is a cheap small helping hands made from iron that look-alike a scorpion to help you when soldering wires or electronic circuits . But the problem is that it's lightweight with small base dimensions and when you try to solder a PCB , it moves and shakes and as you know you need your soldering object to be stable for a good soldering joints.
So I am going to build a wooden vice to hold my PCB and it will have a moving jaws that will accommodate almost all common sizes of PCB , some parts I don't have them ready made in my area so I will have to improvise with the help of some people in a workshop .

Step 1: Tools & Materials :

Tools :

1- Hand Saw .

2- Electrical Drill .

3- File .

4- Chisel .

5- Screwdrivers .

6- Vice .

7- Small Plane .

8- Sandpaper .

Materials :

1- A piece of rectangle shape wood 30 x 20 x 1.2 cm to be used as the Base .( I took mine from unused shelf of my computer table and it is a particle board a plywood will do better ) .

2- A piece of wood 30 x 4 x 2 cm to be used as the Jaws .

3- A piece of wood 26 x 2 x 2 cm to be used as the Stopper .

4- A piece of T-track 40 cm long , 2 cm wide , 1 cm height to be cut into two 20 cm each to be used as the Rails . (see note 1 down )

5- T- bolt screws (4 pieces 5 cm long 4 mm diameter ) with 4 butterfly nuts . ( see note 2 down )

6- Small metal 90 Degree Angle Bracket 5 cm ( 2 of them ) .

7- Small case fan .

8- Wood screws 10 Pieces 1 cm long ( flat head ) .

9- Wood screws 6 pieces 3 cm long .

10- Rubber Feet (4 of them ) .

11- Female dc connector ( to add it to fan's wires for easy connection to AC/DC adapter ) .

Note 1 : Since I couldn't find a T-track and T- bolt in my country I went to workshop for aluminum accessories ( those who do aluminum windows and aluminum doors ..) .and I bought a 40 cm piece of rectangular tube 2 cm wide and 1 cm height and asked them to cut it into two 20 cm long + make a 7 mm wide groove on one of the 2 cm sides all the way + drill three holes on the other side of the 2 cm side for both pieces .

Note 2 : I used a 4 mm diameter screw 5 cm long with a 15 mm washer inside the tube via the groove with a butterfly nut at the top instead of T- bolt screw .

Step 2: Preparation :

1- Clean your 30 x 4 x 2 cm piece of wood with the plane then cut it into two pieces of 15 cm long .

2- Mark each piece as above photos then cut the same height and width as aluminum rails using the hand saw and the chisel .

3- Mark both for drill holes same as photo above and drill both parts with 4 mm drill bit

4- File the space you made to make it smooth

5- Make with the hand saw a groove of 3 mm wide 2 mm depth 5 mm from top of the wood for both pieces on one side only .

6- Now align aluminum rails (T-Tracks) to be screwed in parallel 7 cm from each other on the large base wood and secure each of them with 3 wooden screw 1 cm long ( you may need to predrill screw holes) .

7- Insert the screws with washers inside the aluminum track and put the white wooden jaws on the track via the drill holes and secure it with the butterfly nut for both tracks .

8- Cut the 26 x 2 x 2 into two 13 cm and mount them with 3 screws 3 cm long for each at the end of the rails to be as a stopper to secure the jaws from falling when moving the vice and the jaw's butterfly nuts are not tight (pre drilling necessary ) .

9- Screw the two Small 90 Degree Angle Bracket near the edge in the middle of the main board from the other side and at a distance exactly the width of our case fan's holes (pre drill also).

10- If you wish to paint it unscrew all and sandpaper all and wipe with dry cloth then paint .

11- Now you can add rubber feet .

12- Assemble all .

13- I didn't mention when I published this Instructables on Oct 30 , 2015 that the case fan should blow air away from you and your PCB cause I thought it is common sense but a comment from Mr. Tigger32810 bring that up so just to remind anyone in doubt .

Step 3: Safety :

1- Be careful when using an electrical power tool (the drill) .

2- Wear safety goggle when using electric drill .

3- Wear respirator before painting .

Step 4: Hints & Tips

1- Almost any Wood will do .

2- Paint is optional but remember if you use an old painted shiny piece of wood to sandpaper it and wipe it off with dry towel before painting it .

3- The final width of the jaws is 16 cm so if you need larger than that just use larger base wood and longer rails.

Step 5: Additional Thought :

1- A wire from a clothes hanger with alligator clip at the end can be added if needed .

2- A wire from a clothes hanger with Led light at the end can be added if needed .

3- You can use it also to hold PCB in order to drill holes for components .

4- Maybe in future a spring mechanism can be added to one of the jaws .



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    Please be positive and constructive.




    I quite like the idea of using a T track or something similar. As an alternative I tend to cut slots into the base plate itself.. Which is alright, looks traditional, but wood is prone to shrinkage eventually! Gonna have to pick up some aluminum myself! Thanks for the inspiration

    1 reply

    Well slots into the base plate will work and it would be better if you use hard wood .

    And thanks alot for your feedback .

    Hello and Thank you very much

    Did you draw it? Which application did you use?

    What you suggested is a good idea and I think you need 6 nuts but I need a stable heavy soldering vice so not to move while soldering .

    Thank you very much and also for the photo .

    I like it! Simple and very Functional. Could even be used for SMD soldering with addition of a microscope.

    1 reply

    Thanks a lot for your comment and to tell you the truth I never assembled any SMD components .

    I like it! Simple and very Functional. Could even be used for SMD soldering with addition of a microscope.

    After spending 17 yrs as senior bench technician I never found a need for something such as this. I still do soldering at home as well. I also made sure to have a fan pulling air across my work away from me so that the fumes are minimized......I do hope your fan is pulling air from your work and not pushing it towards you across your work. You also need to add a grounding cable to this. Many components are susceptible to static while working on them......or just handling them.

    This is a great idea for those that are not familiar with soldering and working with circuit boards. I never had one move while working on it but we also had rubber mats on our benches as this kept all boards from moving.

    Reading through your instructable has made me miss my work even more though.


    1 reply

    Thank you very much for your comment and for sharing your experience and concerning the fan as you know most of them have two arrows on the side showing rotation direction and air flow direction and I put it to pull the air away . About grounding I think its a good idea . Thanks again

    like the idea but I'd add one mod- a tunnel from the back of the fan to vent outside of the work area, the way it is any fumes are blown back away from the operator but have the opportunity to bounce back at them.

    3 replies

    Its a good idea if you are near a window to use a tunnel so to blow away the fumes outside the room.

    Thank you very much .

    Even if it is not to an outside window it would be safer (but to a window is better). Otherwise your mouth is towards the work area while soldering so in the area when and where the fumes are more concentrated. If you were concerned about any stains or residues being deposited on your houseware then make a small baffle box. Any fumes caught in your airstream are directed away from you while working.


    That is a great idea or maybe with the use carbon-activated filter to contain the fumes . I hope to see this idea from you soon on Instructables

    This is the first time ive seen someone put all the assembly pictures together into a .gif as a progression. That is absolutely brilliant, very nice! Love the large amount of pictures of each step too. It reminds of back in the day, all those lego assembly instruction manuals; so easy to follow along. Keep up the good instructability!

    1 reply

    Thank you very much for your comment and encouraging words and yes the photos takes almost half the time and effort .