Soldering Helping Hand and more
Soldering Helping Hand and more
Soldering Helping Hand and more

This instructable was made with the intention to make a

  • low cost soldering helping hand,
  • which will occupy very less storage space
  • and some thing that can be broken down in a couple of minutes to make easily portable,
  • with things that you may already have at home.

    This inscrutable was inspired from the "Third Hand++: A multi-use helping hand" by rstraugh

    90% of the part you need to build the helping hands, you should have at home like pencils, tape,super glue , six used batteries(AA)...

    You will also need a 3D printer to print the part required.If you dont have a 3D printer at home,find a Maker space close to where you live ,which should have one..You can use PLA or ABS filament for the prints.

    In addition you can enhance the helping hand by adding another hand for larger PCBs, or add a fan to keep your self away from the harmful solder fumes.You should be able to get fan from a old desktop machine(PC)/ laptop cooling station or you can by one for 5-7$ at a store that sells computers/laptops..

    Step 1: Gather everything you need

    Soldering Helping Hand and more
    Soldering Helping Hand and more

    Parts need for the basic build:

    Pencils - at-least 4 to get started

    at-least 6 AA batteries - use the ones that you have already used.

    3D printed parts

    Alligator clips

    Tools:

    Screw Driver

    3D printer

    Super Glue

    Tape

    pliers

    Safety first ! don't forget to wear glass to protect your eyes !

    Optional part - for add Fan enhancement
    Cooling fan

    Power source to run the fan

    screws

    3D printed part to hold the part

    Step 2: 3D printing parts

    Soldering Helping Hand and more

    3D print the following parts, using the STL files attached

    Battery Base holder

    Pencil T holder - you'll need 2

    Alligator Clip holder - you'll need 2

    I used the Printrbot Simple Metal with Hatchbox white 1.75 mm PLA with first layer temperature of 210C and other layer temperature of 200C.

    Approximate print time 1hour 10 minutes for all the part..

    battery_base.stl
    Soldering Helping Hand and more
    battery_base.stl395 KB PencilT.stl
    Soldering Helping Hand and more
    PencilT.stl21 KB pencil_Alligatorclip.stl
    Soldering Helping Hand and more
    pencil_Alligatorclip.stl250 KB

    Step 3: Preparing the base

    Soldering Helping Hand and more
    Soldering Helping Hand and more

    Take about 6 AA used batteries and tape 2 batteries to make 3 sets.Now tape two sets together to form a 4 battery base and then add another set on top.

    Apply more tape to the top set if the batteries don't fit in snug in the battery holder, ensure that the batteries should not fall off if you rotate the base..

    In addition you can use super glue to secure the batteries to the holder base.

    Step 4: Building the verticals for the hands

    Soldering Helping Hand and more

    Cut the pencils after deciding the approximate height of the helping hand.

    Tape the pencil, so that it fits snug in the base stand(the hexagon where the pencil fits in is slightly larger to accommodate all type of HB pencil) , you may have take the tape 2-4 times around the pencil, based on the thickness of your pencils

    Tip: Secure only one of the pencils to the base using super glue, only if you are happy with the height.

    Add the horizontal T shaped part to the top of pencil, apply a couple of circles of tape for a snug fit, DO NOT glue this end, as you will need move this around based on the size of your PCB or the area you need to solder..

    Step 5: Building the Horizantal part of the hand

    Soldering Helping Hand and more
    Soldering Helping Hand and more
    Soldering Helping Hand and more

    Get the T-shaped 3D printed parts off the vertical pencils to attach the other parts which will form the vertical part of the hand

    Cut the pencil, if you have long pencil a good idea is to cut in half.

    Apply tape to the pencil so that the 3D printed T shape fits snug.

    Attach the alligator clips to 3D printed part using super glue , and leave it for about 5-7 mins to dry..You may need a plier to change the shape of the alligator clip end so that it fit in the circular cut of the 3D printed part..

    Apply tape to the other end of the pencil so that it fits in nice and snug with the alligator clip 3D printed part..

    Attach the horizantal hands to the vertical hands

    Step 6: Adding another Hand for larger PCB's

    Soldering Helping Hand and more

    Follow steps 4 and 5 again to add another hand to hold larger PCB's

    Here you may need a longer pencil, and print another

    -Pencil T holder

    - and Alligator Clip holder

    Step 7: Adding the Fan - Parts required

    Soldering Helping Hand and more

    Additional parts need for to attach the fan

    3D printed fan parts ,you'll need two, the stl file is attached

    Fan - which you can scavenge of an old desktop PC / Laptop cooling station

    Screws(i am using Machine Screws 32x 1- 1/4 in) to attach the fan to the 3D printed parts, you can get this at any hardware shop like Home depto, take your fan and 3D printed parts with you..

    Power source to run the fan, here you have multiple options

    - use the power supply of you desktop PC from which you salvaged the fan

    - use a AC to DC power adapter , you can get this at a hardware/electrical shop (i am using enerrcell AC-to-DC 1.5V to 12V power adapter from RadioShack )

    -or check if you Arduino Uno power supply is sufficient

    Jumper wire to connect the fan to Adapater

    Screw driver

    one pencil

    3DFile_fanHolder.stl
    Soldering Helping Hand and more
    3DFile_fanHolder.stl193 KB

    Step 8: Adding the Fan to the base

    Soldering Helping Hand and more
    Soldering Helping Hand and more
    Soldering Helping Hand and more

    Screw the fan to the two 3D printed fan mounts

    Add tape to the pencil if required and insert it into the mount

    Test the fan by connecting the power source, at this point in time figure out the direction of the air flow.

    Add tape to the end of the pencil and insert into the base ,ensure that the side that blows out air faces away from you while soldering..

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