Introduction: Magnetic Third Hand
Quickly and easily hold components for soldering using these magnetic third-hands. It's easy to make and makes soldering much easier, too. The flexible lines allow you to hold any size component and at angle angle.
Flexible coolant line - We used 1/2" Loc-Line but 1/4" would also work
Neodymium Magnets - We used 1" mounting magnets like these here.
Screws - We used #8 screws since they fit the countersunk holes of the magnets
Glue - Hot glue makes it easy!
Step 1: Glue Magnets to Base
To make gluing easier, remove two sections of the coolant line. Grab the magnets, screws, and a piece of scrap steel.
Place the screw thru the magnets and place them onto the steel. Align the section of line with the magnet and fill the hole with hot glue.
Magnet's don't glue easily to plastic. Using the screw and filling the hole with glue helps hold the magnet in place via the screw, rather than relying on the magnet and plastic.
Step 2: Glue on the Clips
Take your alligator clips and simply glue them to the end of the line.
The package of line came with the orange tips, so you don't have to use as much glue. You can also find packages of just the clips so you don't have to snip the wire.
TIP: Fill the small hole with glue first, allowing it to harden. Then glue the clip.
Step 3: Assemble and Use!
Almost done! Just press the line back together and you have a set of magnetic third hands!
Stick to any steel surface and move the lines around to get the perfect height and angle for soldering.
MAGNET TIP: Choose a fairly strong magnet. The mounting magnets we used have a listed pull force of over 35 lb. This may seem like a lot, but gluing a tall object to the magnets creates a lot of leverage. If you use a weak magnet, even the small amount of force of soldering to a board could leverage the magnets off the steel. We tested a few smaller sized magnets before finding the right ones.