I'm sure that most makers and electronics enthusiasts have encountered the dreaded cheap helping hands that continue to tip over at any and every opportunity, generally ruining the current project. i'm also sure that many of you have looked at better vices and helping hands, the problem with these is the price! a popular model can cost as much as £40/$57. So, in this instructable i aim to show you how to turn some cheap helping hands and some other junk into the ultimate PCB vice!
Step 1: Gather Materials and Tools:
Before you go about creating this project you need to find a few things, most of the parts can probably be found in your parts bin, failing that you can go to your local scrap yard/dump and see what you can find there.
1. cheap helping hands. Gearbest Eu+Us
2. Large transformer*
1. Hot glue gun. Amazon EU+US
2. drill/pillar drill.
3. metal cutting drill-bit. Amazon EU+US
*transformer or other heavy metal object. these can be commonly found in: microwave ovens, fridges and power supply units.
Step 2: Assembly:
Now that we have got all of the stuff, we can go about building it. the main problem with cheap helping hands is the rather puny little weight that utterly fails to keep the vice upright, we can solve this problem by redesigning the frame and adding a second more heavy weight, hence the electronic transformer. now to start making:
step 1: take off all of the parts from the helping hands, leaving only the alligator clip assemblies intact.
step 2: attach the rod directly onto the base with one of the connectors.
step 3: push both alligator assemblies onto the rod, make sure to tighten them so they don't get in the way later.
Step 3: Base Assembly:
Now we have a good frame we need to create a sturdy base to mount it to, for this we need the transformer, a drill bit capable of drilling into the metal casing, some coolant (Wd-40 will do fine), you will also need a glue gun and some glue sticks.
step 1: put the drill bit in the chuck of your drill, make sure that the bit is the same diameter as the shaft of the helping hands.
step 2: mark the location that the shaft lines up with on the side of the transformer.
step 3: drill a small pilot hole to allow you to centre the larger bit.
step 4: slowly drill into it with the larger bit whilst dripping coolant onto the hole.
step 5: clean out all the swarf from the hole and start heating up your glue gun.
step 6: fill the hole with glue and quickly push the rod into it, make sure to align it before the glue dries.
Step 4: Finish!
Congratulations, now you have made yourself an effective, cheap and very heavy PCB workstation! if there is any detail that you do not understand, feel free to leave a comment and i will do my best to help. i hope to publish my next instructable detailing how to make a different type of electronics assistance device, so make sue to check back for it. good luck with all of your projects thank you for reading!