Soldering is fun. Soldering is cool.

I remember when I bought my first soldering iron [I was 10 years old :)]. At first it was okay, soldering simple joints was child's play. But as my designs became more complicated, I needed to work around my project while soldering. With solder lead in my left hand and the soldering iron in my right hand, at times I would use my legs to hold the project. I burned my legs. When my legs were unavailable, I would use my mouth to hold the device. It didn't turn out nice either. Once in a while, I made my younger brother hold it for me while I solder. Yeah, I burned us both.

But then I saw instructables about third-arms and I wanted to build myself one. However, the authors use materials which I do not have, so I decided to improvise and make my own instructable :D

Step 1: Gathering Tools and Materials. [gather, Not Buy]

For this instructable, I decided to use scrap materials from old projects, so in the process, I can also clear out some junk from my room so my Dad would stop nagging me.

For materials:
1) 4 alligator clips
2) 1 earphones socket
3) 1 CPU fan
4) 2 feet of hard wire
5) 1 power supply with earphones jack

Take note, only the hard wire and alligator clips are required for the third-arm. However, if you would like a convenient fan for blowing away those harmful solder fumes [I personally think that solder fumes make soldering look cooler]. If ever you decide to use a fan, you may also ignore the earphones socket and connect it directly to the power supply [I use only one power supply with the earphones jack as its plug because it is convenient].

For tools:
1) Glue gun + Glue thingy
2) Soldering iron + solder lead + soldering stand
3) Wire cutter
4) Tweezers
5) Pliers
<p>Shouldn't the fan be slightly raised above the desk so the air can flow into the fan's inlet/ outlet? (I'm not sure which way your fan is blowing?) It looks like the fan is siting flush down to the desk in your picture restricting the inlet/outlet. Other than that this is a really cool and inexpensive idea.</p><p>Thanks</p>
<p>plastic hose is best I bought mine from RS in Corby UK and a tool to join more parts at a later date. That was my total expense the parts being very cheap but the Tool is not necessary and too expensive for what it is.</p><p>That said this is what I decided to do:</p><p>I got a nice large fan from an old computer and put it into a hardboard square now joining plastic containers as a filtration system with a sponge inside a lid from one container has a smaller fan to aid extraction after sponge filter. Sorry no photo as yet. But with your idea and others I have made a very efficient solder extractor.</p><p>Thanks.</p>
It's a pretty good 'ible, just one problem: The extractor has no filter, but just spreads the fumes around.
Better than the fumes in your face though
Only moderately better, since the toxic aspect of the fumes are still in the room. Unless you are in a rather large room with adequate ventilation, all you have accomplished is increasing the length of time before your exposure reaches toxic levels in your system. <br> <br>Adding a simple activated charcoal filter into your system will drastically improve the design. Adding a vent hose/duct to that and venting the filtered fumes outside is the ideal. <br> <br>Otherwise, really nice Instructible. I like the concept of integrating the third hand with the fan, since it eliminates one of the things floating around on your bench while you are trying to make stuff.
maybe the gavial clips would not be enough 4 most people.....or maybe they 2 crack....<br>
u are right<br>
And i got an idea of making the fan USB, it wouldnt let the fan be on high, but it would be enough to move the air around. I like USB stuff because im around computers alot, lol
Cool, Im looking for the stuff to make this thing right now
I love it, you simply described me hah thanks for this one
Thanks for this 'ible! You have inspired me to do my own helping hands workstation.
cool, I made one out of an altoids tn instead of a fan, it works great!

About This Instructable




More by espert92:Dock Charger for iPods and phones Yet another third-hand soldering aid. [with built-in fume extractor] 
Add instructable to: