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Third hand for soldering?

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bungeejumper
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Third hand for soldering?

#214816

Postby bungeejumper » April 13th, 2019, 12:43 pm

Ouch! Not for the first time, I've burnt my hand while trying to apply a bit of solder to a cable end. I realise that I really need three hands - one for the soldering iron, one for the workpiece, and one for the solder**. And I gather that such wondrous gizmos can be bought on Ebay. Any recommendations as to which ones work best?

BJ

**Okay, I admit it. I am still using a reel of old-fashioned leaded solder that was given to me more than 40 years ago by a friendly GPO engineer. Beats the whatsits off today's lead-free substitutes. I am open to offers. ;)

pochisoldi
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Re: Third hand for soldering?

#214822

Postby pochisoldi » April 13th, 2019, 12:59 pm

bungeejumper wrote:Ouch! Not for the first time, I've burnt my hand while trying to apply a bit of solder to a cable end. I realise that I really need three hands - one for the soldering iron, one for the workpiece, and one for the solder**. And I gather that such wondrous gizmos can be bought on Ebay. Any recommendations as to which ones work best?

BJ

**Okay, I admit it. I am still using a reel of old-fashioned leaded solder that was given to me more than 40 years ago by a friendly GPO engineer. Beats the whatsits off today's lead-free substitutes. I am open to offers. ;)


The best thing is whatever's to hand, and costs nothing:

1) The biggest pair of pliers from your toolbox with a thick elastic band wrapped around the handles. (you could even use a pair of ratchet p

2) If you simply want to tin the end of a wire, Your heavy reel of solder to hold down the wire, the biggest pair of pliers from the toolbox goes under the wire to make it stick in the air. so you can apply solder+iron

3) Otherwise use a suitably sized crocodile clip, or a bulldog clip attached to a lump of wood.

If you want to spend money, either look around for something dirt cheap in Poundland, or get something that you can see yourself using for another job between now and the next time you have to solder something - e.g. mole grips, some kind of clamp you might use when glueing wood.

PochiSoldi

Itsallaguess
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Re: Third hand for soldering?

#214824

Postby Itsallaguess » April 13th, 2019, 1:14 pm

pochisoldi wrote:
If you want to spend money, either look around for something dirt cheap in Poundland, or get something that you can see yourself using for another job between now and the next time you have to solder something - e.g. mole grips, some kind of clamp you might use when glueing wood.


I got one of these adjustable, portable vices quite a while go, and it's come in handy for all sorts of 'three-hand' tasks like this over the years -

https://www.wilko.com/en-uk/stanley-maxsteel-vice-multi-angle-1-83-069/p/0290122

Cheers,

Itsallaguess

bungeejumper
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Re: Third hand for soldering?

#214830

Postby bungeejumper » April 13th, 2019, 1:40 pm

pochisoldi wrote:If you want to spend money, either look around for something dirt cheap in Poundland, or get something that you can see yourself using for another job between now and the next time you have to solder something - e.g. mole grips, some kind of clamp you might use when glueing wood.

Yep, I've got the full gamut of clamps, mole wrenches and even a small portable vice, but none of them seem to provide the precision that I need when I'm focusing on a work area that's 2 millimetres square.

But whoopee, I am a new friend of Poundland. For the last year or so, as I've mentioned on this forum, I've been trying to bleed a radiator valve which was (a) stuck fast and (b) rounded so badly on the pin as to be inaccessible to any spanner or bleed key that I possessed.

In a moment of spendthrift madness, I blued 100 of your English pennies last week on a complete "Bleed It Out" plumbing set (where do they get these names? :lol: ), and whaddaya know, the enclosed steel bleed key turned out to be more substantial than the brass ones I'd been using. The stuck bleed pin came loose without very much violence at all.

Whatever will they think of next?

BJ

kempiejon
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Re: Third hand for soldering?

#214847

Postby kempiejon » April 13th, 2019, 2:32 pm

I think they're called helping hands.
I have used these particular types before https://www.amazon.co.uk/Helping-Hands- ... th=1&psc=1

but notice these also on amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/Soldering-Acce ... 4138&psc=1

88V8
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Re: Third hand for soldering?

#214914

Postby 88V8 » April 13th, 2019, 11:25 pm

kempiejon wrote:I think they're called helping hands.
I have used these particular types before https://www.amazon.co.uk/Helping-Hands- ... th=1&psc=1


I have that exact model, used It today.
One has to take care of the magnifier, it is plastic and easily scratched.

V8

bungeejumper
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Re: Third hand for soldering?

#214935

Postby bungeejumper » April 14th, 2019, 9:09 am

Thanks, guys, that definitely looks like the sort of thing I'm looking for. (And at that price, what's the worst that can happen? :lol: )

BJ

Infrasonic
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Re: Third hand for soldering?

#215374

Postby Infrasonic » April 16th, 2019, 12:02 pm

I've got a couple, the bendy 'Octopus' types are better for accuracy I've found, although if dealing with heavy cables they can sag, in which case the rigid metal armed type is better.

The main issue for me is my eyes these days, even with glasses my soldering skills have become pretty useless.

AleisterCrowley
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Re: Third hand for soldering?

#215381

Postby AleisterCrowley » April 16th, 2019, 12:28 pm

I can remember those helping hands jobbies from Practical Wireless ads many years ago. The only thing that puts me off them is the croc clips, which could mark/damage sensitive parts. Trying to find ones with heat resistant soft grips...


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