WAVE - the World's Simplest DIY Soldering Vise! (PCB Helping Hands)




Introduction: WAVE - the World's Simplest DIY Soldering Vise! (PCB Helping Hands)

About: -----------------------------------------------------------------16 year old, sick with a deadly disease called DIY-itis!-----------------------------------------------------------------Hi FTC! My I'bles con...

WAVE is probably the weirdest Helping Hands device you've ever seen. Why is it called "WAVE"? Because it is a Helping-Hands device that was built out of Microwave parts!

But the fact that WAVE looks weird, Doesn't mean that it can't be the best homemade "Helping-Hands for Soldering" device ever, Here I'll show you how I made it!

About a month ago, I built The Ultimate 14-in-1 Soldering Helping Hands Station. And as listed in the title, It has 14 different functions. The only problem is that the Helping-Hands aren't really that strong because they're made of a flexible material (They can hold ~500 grams, But when I solder, I put more pressure on the PCB, Which makes it fall...). This made me think of "Why does the arm need to be flexible?" "It just makes it uncomfortable"!

I decided to make one that doesn't have flexible arms, Is strong enough to hold any PCB, And will never fall over, Which is: WAVE!

Ok, Enough! Let's get to work!

Step 1: What You'll Need


A Small Aluminum Vise How can it cost only $3?!)

Self Adhesive Rubber Feet

A Big Microwave Transformer (Mine weighs ~3.5 Kg.)

Metal Epoxy (Or a Welder, If you have one...) +Mixing Stick

Silicone Adhesive


Metal File / Sanding Stone

Vise (A real one, Now as a tool)



Why: Because Circuit Boards don't hold themselves!

Protection Gear Needed: A Respirator

Cost (for me): <$3.50

Needed Skills: Sawing, Epoxy-ing

Approximate Time: 30 Minutes

Step 2: Saw the Vise (Saw Off the Screw Part)

I used a hacksaw to saw off the part of the vise that holds it on the table, It was really easy because the vise is made of Aluminum.

I kept the screw part of the vise in case I would need it for another project, Such as turning it into a C-Clamp :)

WARNING: I bought a cheap Vise so I could make this project, Do not ruin a real vise! A Hacksaw won't be strong enough to cut through a real vise anyway...

Step 3: Roughen the Surface of the Vise & Transformer

To help the Epoxy adhere better, I roughened the surface of the Vise and the Transformer with a metal File.

Step 4: Glue the Vise to the Transformer W/ Epoxy

After making sure that the surface was rough enough for the Epoxy to adhere well, I smeared some Epoxy onto the vise and stuck it onto the Transformer. I also added some more epoxy around the edges to strengthen the adhesion even more, As shown in Picture #2.

Step 5: Add the Rubber Feet

I added some self adhesive rubber feet to the bottom of the Transformer so it wouldn't scratch my worktable. If you don't have these rubber feet, You can add a dab of hot glue in each corner

Step 6: Upgrade the Strength of the Jaws Grip (On the PCB) W/ Silicone Adhesive

I wanted to ensure that the grip on the PCB was at its best, So I added smeared a thin layer of SIlicone Adhesive onto the the Jaws of the Vise. This helps add more friction which makes the PCB sit firmly in the Jaws.

Bonus: The silicone also protects the PCB from getting scratched by the Jaws (If that's even possible), And because Silicone is an insulator, It stops any accidental Short-Circuits (If the paint gets removed from the vise after a long time)



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28 Discussions

I'm totally going to make this! It would come in very handy for various electronics repairs. However, I don't have the materials. I plan on using a heavy piece of metal instead of a transformer, but what can I use instead of the vise?

1 reply

Awesome! I don't know, maybe some kind of clamp, if you have one. Let me know how it went! :)

You could also try using a cast iron weight instead of the transformer.

1 reply

1 year ago

can i use a c clamp instead of the vise, because if i can then i will get building on the one u made

6 replies

If you're able to connect it properly, why not? You tell me!

I fanilly got a c clamp so i am gonna try to work on it tonight, probably with a wodden base because i dont have a old microwave to take apart but i dont got a c clamp with holes in it( so i can bolt it on the side of the wood) and i got a LOT of ramdon bolts

If the C-clamp isn't hardened, maybe you can drill a hole through it. Or maybe glue it?

Good luck! :)

Thanks! I will let you know how it goes

I am sorry i mean i do got a c clamp

Looks great! If I remember correctly, the aluminum vise that I bought actually costs less than your vise, which is smaller.

You can clamp yours to the table, glue it with magnets to the wall, or attach it to an articulating lamp - all features that I would want! :)

Absolutely brilliant. I often need a portable vise, perhaps when gluing or soldering something, or a secondary vise alongside my main one. This will do nicely and can be put away when not in use. I love the quality of your photos, you seem to have the right kit and know how to use it.

Next time I see an abandoned microwave it will be mine... all mine... Whoaahahahaha

1 reply

Super - practical - and like you mentioned "a must". My only comment to the welder option is that welding cast can be tricky and almost impossible for this application. Otherwise a perfect solution - Something I should do.

I agree the photos look great


3 replies

I didn't get notified for your comment...

Why would it be impossible, Because you have to weld aluminum to steel? (That's my best guess)

Thanks, I should (hopefully) now have even better pictures because I installed better lighting on my table :)

Again just want to highlight - your project is really inspirational and something I look forward to doing. The welding comment is from experience and more mistakes than I care to mention. Welding cast alone is not easy - it cools off differently and almost always cracks. I think the epoxy used here is just right. Enough said, good project.

Thank You!

If the Epoxy wouldn't be strong enough (and break), I could always do it again and strengthen it with some Rope, Zip-ties, Or a big Hose Clamp. I see no reason for it to break, It doesn't stand that much pressure...

Make sure to share pictures if you make it!

so please confirm: the transformer is really only there as a really heavy counter-weight that is square for mounting right?

1 reply

You do not need a transformer.

I just used the transformer because it works great as a heavy base