Helping Hands for Soldering

Introduction: Helping Hands for Soldering

This instructable will show you how to build my version of the helping hands tool. 

Now I must admit that I did not think of this myself exactly.  There are a lot of Helping Hands ibles out there.  What I did was I took three ibles, and took what I liked out of them and put them all together.  

The three ibles that I am talking about are,
Improved GorillaPod Helping Hands Tool
Third Hand++
Illuminated Helping Hands

For the first link I liked how a GorillaPod was used for the arms,  The second I liked how there was three hands,  and the third I liked that there is a LED to light up what you are trying to solder.

Step 1: Parts and Tools

The parts and tools you will need are as follows.

Block of wood (for the stand)
GorillaPod or a cheaper brand
3 alligator clips
2 bright white LEDs
100 ohm resistors
2.1mm power jack
USB to 2.1mm power plug
Epoxy and hot glue


Step 2: Take Apart the GorillaPod

For this ible I used a GorillaPod because the top of it did not work very well.  If you need to buy one for the project I would recommend that you buy off brand.  It will be cheaper and the quality is about the same. 

All you need to do is use some strength and pull apart the legs form the top part.  Also pull off the rubber bottoms.

Step 3: The Base

Take a block of wood.  Mine is about 7 by 4 inches but it can be any size you like. 
Fist we need to drill holes in the wood base for the three arms.  Mark where you want the arms to be attached and drill a hole that is just a bit larger than the base of the arm so it fits in. 
Next fill the hole will epoxy and then place the base of the arm inside, support it with something so it does not move and let the epoxy harden over night.

Step 4: The Alligator Clips.

Now we will put the alligator clips and put them into place.

Fill the end of the arm with epoxy and place the alligator clip inside.  I used a peace of tape to hold the clip in place until the epoxy hardens.  Do this with all three arms.

Step 5: Getting Ready for Electronics

Now we can work on the LEDs that light up what ever your hands are holding.
Drill two small holes on the top corners of the base. 
Now on the bottom of the base dig out a trench for the wires to run to the power jack.
Next carve out a spot for the power jack.

Step 6: Wiring the LEDs

Look at the power jack there should be three prongs comming down.  Two that are in a row and one to the side. Do not worry about the one to the side.  The back prong is + and the front is -.
You will need to include resistors depending on what voltage your Leds are set to.
My LEDs are 3 to 3.7 volts so I used 100 ohm resistors.
Solder the two resistors to the positive prong and then solder wires to the resistors.  Make sure that the wires are long enough. 
Now solder two wires to the negative prongs.  Take one positive and one negative wire each and feed them through the two holes so each hole has one positive wire and one negative.  Twist the wires together.  This will help the wires to be more manageable.  Make sure you keep track of the + and - wires so you can solder the LEDs on correctly.

You can not test out the unit by plugging in the power cord.  I have a cord that plugs into my computer for power.  you can also use a cord for a wall outlet or a cord connecting to a battery pack.
Once every thing is connected and working you can use hot glue to secure the jack and wires underneath in place.

Step 7:

Finally you can take the ends of the pod legs and use them as bumpers for your base so it does not slide every where when you are trying to use it.  I have not done this yet so can not post any pics.

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    nice ible it would be really cool if you had a variable power supply that ran to the alligator clips