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 Post subject: Helping Hands
PostPosted: Dec Sat 31, 2016 6:45 pm 
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Joined: Oct Mon 17, 2016 7:34 pm
Posts: 398
I am sure you have all heard of helping hands (no, not your seven year old grand child) which is a tool to aid soldering operations. The instructable site has literally hundreds of ideas for various types. Here is the link:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Third-H ... r-electro/

I got an idea from there for a free standing type (photo below) and am in the process of completing it now. The photo is of one I built with the exception of the alligator clip which is currently in shipping. A nice thing about this version is no threading or drilling is required as in most of the other ones.

Parts are as follows:

1. Black iron floor flange (1/2" FIP thread). $2.89 direct from China (Ebay) but twice that locally.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/322353665488_tr ... EBIDX%3AIT

2. Blue flexible pipe assembly. $3.73 from Amazon.com (includes shipping but is a 2 week wait) thread size may vary. Link below. Thats for six 12" assemblys.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing ... dition=new

3. 1/2" X 1/4" black iron adapter. $1.50 each. I got 5 of these in brass for less than a dollar each direct from China Ebay but have not received them yet so can not guarantee it is the correct item.:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/151314160116?_t ... EBIDX%3AIT

4. Banana clip end. $2.25 each. The kind from R/S have threads and unscrew from the insulated part. I do not have a cheaper source. It is supposed to be a tight fit into the flex line tip but was not so after finally inserting it into the tip I used Shoe Goo glue to fix it in place by filling up the tip.

5. Alligator clamp. 10 cents each non-insulated direct from China Ebay. Slides over the banana clip piece.

Height from tip to base as pictured is 9". This is a good height for my current radio project in the vise on my bench (photo below). The blue segments are removable so the flex line can be shortened or lengthened. The flex line is very stiff so holds the shape very well. The base of this project is heavy enough to hold the work even if it is was not attached to a vise and the base has holes so it could easily be attached to a piece of wood for even more stability.

Total cost to make one like this was about $7 but with a little imagination that could be cut to less than $5. Substitute something salvaged for that flange would cut down the price but without threads you would have to use glue. You could also eliminate the banana clip part if you modify the hose tip and glue in the alligator clamp without the banana clip part. Shoe Goo would work for that. I am gonna try it.
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 Post subject: Re: Helping Hands
PostPosted: Jan Tue 03, 2017 8:30 pm 
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Joined: Jun Thu 12, 2014 3:16 am
Posts: 63
Location: Tarpon Springs, Florida
Great idea!
I don't know how many times I've been in a radio chassis and wished I had a third hand to help hold something.
I might also make one with a LED light bulb on the end.
Thanks for sharing.

Bill

_________________
"There is nothing common about common sense."


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 Post subject: Re: Helping Hands
PostPosted: Jan Tue 03, 2017 9:11 pm 
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Fauxtech wrote:
Great idea!
I don't know how many times I've been in a radio chassis and wished I had a third hand to help hold something.
I might also make one with a LED light bulb on the end.
Thanks for sharing.

Bill

Yes there are many ways to do this. Let your imagination run wild. Here is a photo of an interesting design for the panavise. Quite expansive retail I might add. Not too good for my purpose however.
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 Post subject: Re: Helping Hands
PostPosted: Jan Tue 03, 2017 9:26 pm 
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I do not think discussion of the Panavise is out of line in this helping hands thread. I have a Panavise system which I shopped extensively for to get the best price for one which would be suitable for small radio chassis'.

I selected the standard base and bolted it to a turkey board from Goodwill. I put raised rubber feet on the board so I could use bolts and have no interference from them. The foot screw screws into the bottom. One nice feature of this type board is the drain area where parts etc. can be stored temporarily. Also it allows the whole thing to be removed from the bench easily. Panavise sells an expensive base attachment that does that but the turkey board is far less expensive and protects the bench too. The photo I submitted earlier shows my vise assy.. It is designed for circuit boards but holds my radio chassis quite well. The ridge on the chassis fits into the PCB arms perfectly. This assy. is not the least bit tipsy either even with the heavy radio chassis in the PCB attachment.. Note the standard vise on the right side of the photo. It is easy to transfer the radio/PCB attch. and the vise which I do frequently.

I bought both the base and PCB attachment and a vise attachment used on Ebay for $67 which included shipping. The standard vise came with the base as a combo for $42. The PCB attachment was $25. The board was $3 and the feet a small amount more. Thus the entire assembly was about $75. Vise/base combo photo below.
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Last edited by Ozo on Jan Wed 04, 2017 6:02 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Helping Hands
PostPosted: Jan Tue 03, 2017 10:51 pm 
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Joined: Oct Mon 17, 2016 7:34 pm
Posts: 398
The alligator clips just showed up. I simply plugged one into the 4 mm banana plug (perfect fit) along with a piece of heat shrink tubing and the HH is finished. The clip rotates for convenience and is stiff enough that it will not be rotating unexpectedly. I did not shrink the tubing.

I still plan to make one without the banana clip. More on that later.
EDIT: I just went into my shop and easily cut off 1/8" of the flex tube assembly'' tapered plastic tip and the alligator clip went right in there and is a nice snug fit. No glue required at least for now. The clip rotates but is quite snug. If it is glued it will no longer rotate. For now it is perfect. That cuts the cost of construction significantly. Now just $4.75 each. Also assembly time is down under two minutes.
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