Yet another third-hand soldering aid. [with built-in fume extractor]

Picture of Yet another third-hand soldering aid. [with built-in fume extractor]
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
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Step 1: Gathering tools and materials. [gather, not buy]

Picture of 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
Kirbsome!4 years ago
It's a pretty good 'ible, just one problem: The extractor has no filter, but just spreads the fumes around.
espert92 (author)  Kirbsome!4 years ago
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.

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.

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.
razor71773 years ago
maybe the gavial clips would not be enough 4 most people.....or maybe they 2 crack....
u are right
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
Exiumind3 years ago
I love it, you simply described me hah thanks for this one
putty1cat4 years ago
Thanks for this 'ible! You have inspired me to do my own helping hands workstation.
fundash4 years ago
cool, I made one out of an altoids tn instead of a fan, it works great!