An easy to make "fourth hand":

I guess most of us own a “third hand”: A heavy base with a couple of alligator clips, tweezers and a magnifying glass. Great for holding objects in place when soldering or adjusting.
Add to that a “PCB vice clamp” (I own a vintage version, probably older than myself) and the work table is complete.

Well, IMHO almost complete: I have also made what could be called the “fourth hand”.

A piece of wood in whatever size you like, outfitted with:

  • A bicycle spoke bent to a springy shape, in a way, that will push a sharpened end against the wood. It sits in a drilled hole (tight fit) in the wood. It will fix small parts by pressing them down.
  • A clothes peg. Modify the shape according to your needs. It is mounted with hot melt glue, but only a couple of drops, to allow me to pry it off, and put it somewhere else on the board. It can hold small objects that are not shaped to be pressed against the board.
  • A lump of sticky tack ( or blue tack… Or as we call it where I live:“elephant’s snot”) that will hold the really annoying shapes, or wires that must be kept out of the way. Do not overheat it.

I use it more than I use my commercial “third hand”.
The great advantage being, that it can be adjusted to whatever use I fancy. I just move things around to fit.

Thanks for sharing your idea.
This will be great for holding down SMD parts prior to soldering them, I'll be making one.

Great idea!

I love wire coat hanger wire.

Yeah, neat idea.


Rob

Thanks.

I prefer bicycle spokes over coat hanger wire, because it is more springy and stainless.
(But I use both)
When scrapping a bicycle, it is easy to just cut the spokes along the rim with a (quality) side cutter, and I'll have a bundle of wires.

The easiest way to form the "spring", is to twist the wire around a piece of pipe.