Make Your 'helping Hands' 100x More Useful for Soldering / Gluing Small Parts





Introduction: Make Your 'helping Hands' 100x More Useful for Soldering / Gluing Small Parts

An easy way to make your 'helping hands' thing 100x more useful for soldering, gluing, and many other things. I'm a little embarassed posting this cause it's so simple, but people seem to be surprised when I show them this.

Step 1: Switch the Magnifying Glass With One of the 'hands'

The problem with the helping hands when you buy it is that the alligator clips are too far apart to hold thing really close together. Just unscrew the magnifying glass, unscrew one of the alligator clips, and switch them (or just do away with the magnifying glass, I never use it).

Step 2: Add a Third Hand

if you have a second 'helping hands' or just the necessary parts, add a third hand to the thing.

Or, make a third hand as seen here:

Also, you'll want to put tape or heatshrink tubing, or wire insulation around the alligator teeth so that they don't bite into the wires you're working with.



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One could apply the sleeves to this item too;

I love your instructable and I made some improvements on your idea at:

Theses are great and can be picked up at Harbor Freight for under $5 and under $3 on sale. I added a 6" X 6" block of wood as a base. I just attached it with four screws with large washers to hold it in place.

When you're soldering electronic components, one of the functions of the clips is to conduct heat away from the sensitive parts. If you use, say, aluminium foil wrapped around the jaws you can keep this function and also protect the components. Don't use PVC tubing, it will melt.......!

The use of flux also helps in conducting heat faster and minimizing melting of the insulation. It takes some practice, but it works. I do this kinda stuff for a living.

the function of the tubing around the jaws is to keep the jaws from cutting into the insulation of thing wires that you are soldering. also, the more heat that's drawn away from the part you are soldering the longer it takes to solder. For many sensitive components it's best to solder it as quickly as possible to lessen the amount oftime exposed to high heat, drawing heat away from the component means you have to leave it at high heat longer for a good solder junction to form.

Smart thinking with the shrink-tubing. This is really a brilliant way of making a useful tool even better. Well done!

i keep a pair of extra pliers on my workbench that have heatshrink tubing on them, too. i make custom cables, and i use them to hold connectors during hand assembly... keeps the connectors pretty, and saves my wrists. Lots of other uses, too.

I agree, that's really useful. I'm going to add it to the third hands I made sometime soon.

Another useful mod is to put a strong spring washer under the screws or nuts so the ball-ended rods move more smoothly (ie don't catch on irregularities). I used a plain steel washer bent a bit in the vice.