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Author Topic: Solder third hand with screw mount base  (Read 1515 times)
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Ayer, Massachusetts, USA
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My daughter is trying to branch out to making jewelry, and is asking for a solder setup for her birthday.  I have a cheap unit, but ideally she should have her own.  I'm thinking about getting her a third hand unit, and the one's I seen don't have mounting screws.

I would like to mount the third hand on a wood platform for more stability, and also to protect the table underneath.  I've checked a few of the hobby electronics places like adafruit and sparcfun, and their third hand units don't seem to have mounting holes.  At least with the unit I have, I doubt my drill would be able to drill through the metal to make my own mounting hole.  Do they make third hand units with pre-drilled screw holes that I can mount on a wood base?  At this point, I would need to order from an American distributor since her birthday is in 2 weeks.
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You want a third hand, not a bench vice ( vise ? ).
A hand is movable, by definition smiley-wink should just have a stable base to not move too easily or by itself...

I'd rather prefer a heavy solid base, which discourages any attempt to drill mounting holes.
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Get a "PV Jr" and the tray base.
The PV Jr. is very versatile, genuinely useful.
The tray base is about 8 inches or so diameter, won't tip, stays put, and it has rubber feet.

http://www.panaviseonline.com/Panavise_Jr_Model_201_p/pv-201.htm
http://www.panaviseonline.com/Panavise_Parts_Tray_Base_Model_312_p/pv-312.htm
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Have you thought about building one?

Here's a really nice one made from generic "loc-line":

http://www.instructables.com/id/Third-Hand-A-multi-use-helping-hand-for-electro/

Here's an interesting one which uses a PC fan as a base, to blow the soldering fumes away:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Yet-another-third-hand-soldering-aid-with-some-n/

...and here's a dead simple one that you could probably make from junk in your electronics stash:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Super-Simple-Third-Hand-Tool-done-within-30mins/

All of them are very inexpensive; I think if you could somehow combine the first version with the second version, you'd have one heck of a solution there. It would be unique, while useful. Best of all, she'll always remember who made it for her, with love and attention.
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Ayer, Massachusetts, USA
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You want a third hand, not a bench vice ( vise ? ).
A hand is movable, by definition smiley-wink should just have a stable base to not move too easily or by itself...

I'd rather prefer a heavy solid base, which discourages any attempt to drill mounting holes.
Perhaps I was unclear.  I wanted drill holes so that I could put a larger base in so that the third hand wouldn't tip, particularly if you use the soldering stand that comes with the cheap kits.  If the units came with a proper base that is at least 6"/17cm wide in each direction (or one that is heavy enough) then I wouldn't need drill holes.  All of the third hand units I've seen in person or on the net, have tiny/flimsy bases.

In fact, I was soldering tonight with my third hand unit, and it was unstable, particularly when I put the soldering iron in the holder.

A second thing that was in my mind, but I didn't mention, was to put wood or plastic underneath so that when my daughter solders, she doesn't scratch the table she is using.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2012, 11:02:55 pm by MichaelMeissner » Logged

Ayer, Massachusetts, USA
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Get a "PV Jr" and the tray base.
The PV Jr. is very versatile, genuinely useful.
The tray base is about 8 inches or so diameter, won't tip, stays put, and it has rubber feet.

http://www.panaviseonline.com/Panavise_Jr_Model_201_p/pv-201.htm
http://www.panaviseonline.com/Panavise_Parts_Tray_Base_Model_312_p/pv-312.htm
While it looks like a nice vice, I want something more flexible that would allow you to position two or more clips to hold wires (or jewelry parts) together so that you can solder them.  The vice would only be able to hold one item.
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Ayer, Massachusetts, USA
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Have you thought about building one?

Here's a really nice one made from generic "loc-line":

http://www.instructables.com/id/Third-Hand-A-multi-use-helping-hand-for-electro/

Here's an interesting one which uses a PC fan as a base, to blow the soldering fumes away:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Yet-another-third-hand-soldering-aid-with-some-n/

...and here's a dead simple one that you could probably make from junk in your electronics stash:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Super-Simple-Third-Hand-Tool-done-within-30mins/

All of them are very inexpensive; I think if you could somehow combine the first version with the second version, you'd have one heck of a solution there. It would be unique, while useful. Best of all, she'll always remember who made it for her, with love and attention.
Bingo, those modular hose clamps in the first post would give even more flexibility than a normal third hand.  I've seen them before for camera tripods for point & shoot cameras, but I didn't know where to buy just the basic parts.  In fact, as I was looking at the picture, my wife asked what they were, and my daughter heard the conversation, and she now wants me to make one for her.  I believe I will order several of the 40413 kits: http://www.modularhose.com/Loc-Line-14-System/14-kits/Loc-Line-40413

I'll have to think about adding the fan.  I probably won't initially, but it is fairly simple to add.

The third link just does not look strong enough to me.

Thanks!
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Why not drill the bottom and use self threading machine screws??? Mount it to an Oak or other real Hardwood and punk it up... Steam Punk Style also if you remove all that rubber stuff in the bottom you might.. drive a couple of screws up from the bottom to use as anchors for an epoxy bond if as I suspect there is a cavity under the "Rubber Bottom". Either solution I offered is IMO permanent... So maybe someone else has another opinion... Perhaps do it right and drill and tap mounting holes on the bottom of the unit... Lotsa solutions... If the bottom is 'perfectly' flat you could even use Shu Goo. I used it to stick a diamond lap to a piece of white oak wood for my kitchen knife sharpener after JB Weld failed twice. Lotsa Idea's

Bob
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Why not drill the bottom and use self threading machine screws??? Mount it to an Oak or other real Hardwood and punk it up... Steam Punk Style also if you remove all that rubber stuff in the bottom you might.. drive a couple of screws up from the bottom to use as anchors for an epoxy bond if as I suspect there is a cavity under the "Rubber Bottom". Either solution I offered is IMO permanent... So maybe someone else has another opinion... Perhaps do it right and drill and tap mounting holes on the bottom of the unit... Lotsa solutions... If the bottom is 'perfectly' flat you could even use Shu Goo. I used it to stick a diamond lap to a piece of white oak wood for my kitchen knife sharpener after JB Weld failed twice. Lotsa Idea's

Bob
Sooner or later, I'm going to have to upgrade my drill (handheld drill probably bought 20 years ago) or at least the drill bits.  Right now, I don't think it would  drill through metal as thick as the small base of my third hand unit.  I've had some problems in drilling through oak.  I also bought a concrete bit to mount some shelves on the wall in the garage, and gave up because I could not get more than 1/8".

In terms of the plastic underneath the third hand unit, the unit I currently have, does not have any plastic underneath, and there are no holes.

I was thinking of using my wood router to make a base to fit the third hand in, but I suspect if you knock it hard enough, it would come out of the base without having screws to hold it in.
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If you can make a "Close" fit you can use glue to hold it in the recess... Or epoxy or shu goo... or?? like I said "Punk it up", I read that thread about your camera and was totally impressed with your skills and imagination... Put 'em to Use...

Bob
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Sooner or later, I'm going to have to upgrade my drill (handheld drill probably bought 20 years ago) or at least the drill bits.

Get some new bits, Michael. There's no reason for a quality drill to go bad in 20 years. The chuck might get loose, but you can replace the chuck. Get a set of titanium nitride coated bits. I have some from Ryobi, and they're great. DeWalt are good as well. I'm sure that Freud, Porter-Cable, and Makita are good too. But the titanium-nitride coating makes a difference in how long the edge stays good. BTW, I used to through 3/16 bits like crazy installing melamine cabinetry, but I save the dull ones for drilling into drywall.
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Ayer, Massachusetts, USA
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If you can make a "Close" fit you can use glue to hold it in the recess... Or epoxy or shu goo... or?? like I said "Punk it up", I read that thread about your camera and was totally impressed with your skills and imagination... Put 'em to Use...

Bob
On the steampunk/renfaire events, I've had bad luck with glues of different sorts holding, so I mostly use screws to hold things together (preferably 1/4" screws).

Note, while I will probably decorate it somewhat, my daughter (whom it is for) is not into steampunk.  She is more of a renfaire and WoW type of girl.  But the important thing is that it hold the jewelry pieces in place and allow her to do the soldering to attach things.  Sometimes punking things up can interfere with the functionality, and since at the moment neither of our work areas is 'on stage', I want to go for core function first.

I do think eventually when she has her tent up and is selling at events, she may want to think about soldering/wiring/etc. during slow periods.
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Sooner or later, I'm going to have to upgrade my drill (handheld drill probably bought 20 years ago) or at least the drill bits.

Get some new bits, Michael. There's no reason for a quality drill to go bad in 20 years. The chuck might get loose, but you can replace the chuck. Get a set of titanium nitride coated bits. I have some from Ryobi, and they're great. DeWalt are good as well. I'm sure that Freud, Porter-Cable, and Makita are good too. But the titanium-nitride coating makes a difference in how long the edge stays good. BTW, I used to through 3/16 bits like crazy installing melamine cabinetry, but I save the dull ones for drilling into drywall.
Yes, the bits are probably on the old-ish and probably need replacing.  However, as I said, I had bought a concrete bit specifically to hang some shelves (project #823 of my undone projects) and I couldn't get it to make a hole with the new bit.  So, I assume I need something with more torque.  I don't know when we bought it, but I think my wife bought it primarily as a power screwdriver.
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Yes, the bits are probably on the old-ish and probably need replacing.  However, as I said, I had bought a concrete bit specifically to hang some shelves (project #823 of my undone projects) and I couldn't get it to make a hole with the new bit.  So, I assume I need something with more torque.  I don't know when we bought it, but I think my wife bought it primarily as a power screwdriver.

Concrete can be quite difficult. I don't remember that I've ever drilled into it with a plain old drill. It really takes a rotary hammer (hammerdrill), and even then, I've come across some concrete which was very hard, and gone through multiple bits. If you look at a masonry bit, you see that the end isn't a cutting edge, it's more like a broad v-shaped chisel. The intent of that is to break the concrete (or mortar, or brick). Just spinning it will get you almost nowhere, unless you're drilling into something softer, like plaster, or maybe some brick or mortar. I used to have one of these. That was the shizznit! Works as a regular drill too. There are smaller versions from various makers available. Even cordless.
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