Introduction: Improved GorillaPod Helping Hands Tool

Those who dabble with the odd bit of soldering or fiddling with tiny object would be familiar with the Helping Hands tool, it comes with 2 articulated crocodile clips and an attached magnifying glass.

The truth is, though useful, the articulated crocodile clip are dastardly bad, inflexible ball joint with multiple tightening screw and the magnifying glass is often redundant (see Google image search screen grab).

So this is a version of the Helping Hands using a copy cat GorillaPod camera tripod. The end result is something much more effective and much cheaper, very satisfying to use and folds away tidily, I even think this should be a commercial product available to everyone, hence the public domain license.

YouTube demo of GorillaPod:

This is a very easy project, the hardest part is probably drilling a 5mm hole for the tripod mount. Little material is needed, the build is simple indeed.

Here's another instructable that is similar but much more difficult to build requiring coolant hose??

So you will need a drill, epoxy, crocodile clips, of course the flexible copy cat Gorillapod tripod, and for the base, a piece of plastic at least 6mm thick (otherwise the tripod screw doesn't fit) or a scrap block of wood.

Amazon link to the £2.99 copy cat GorillaPod tripod:

Step 1: Dismembering the Tripod

In UK, on Amazon, this is sold as the 'Super grip flexible tripod stand for digital cameras' for £2.99 (with free shipping!) from a seller call ExpressPro, aptly, it is from Bad Boyz Accessories.

The smallest tripod meant for compact digital camera is the one to get, the idea is to pop off 1 of the 3 legs, split the ball joints equally, attached them back on the other 2 legs, thus forming a pair of nice flexible arms, like that robot from Lost in space!

The tripod legs are a series of plastic ball joints, a bit of forceful effort, each joint pop right off, that's it, forcing it back in, it snaps right back.

So pop the rounded ends of the leg off, this is how you can epoxy the crocodile clips, once cured there's hardly any chance of it coming off.

I brought another one of these after finishing this project, it is useful indeed! The original Gorillapod cost 3 times more BTW.  

Step 2: Assembling the Whole Thing

Essentially you only need to provide a mounting hole for the tripod screw, roughly 5mm. It would be sufficient to use the screw  as a self-taping thread. 

The tripod comes with a detachable clip on mount with a soft grippy pad, which adds rigidity when using the 'hands'   

So that's it! Hope you will enjoy making one.