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Thread: DIY 4-Arm Helping Hands Solder Tool

  1. #1
    SuperX Hex and X8 Flyer! ross_badger's Avatar
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    DIY 4-Arm Helping Hands Solder Tool

    This is a quick DIY post on how to make a 4-arm helping hands solder tool. This tool is extremely helpful for holding wires, connectors, boards, or anything else that you typically solder together. The arms are easy to move, and they stay put during intricate soldering tasks. I use mine every time that I solder and it makes this job MUCH easier and more fun!

    Parts list, links, and approximate costs:

    Aluminum Flat Bar (6061-T6) 1/2" x 4" x 14", online metals = $9.84 + shipping
    https://www.onlinemetals.com/merchan...=76&top_cat=60

    Pomona 3264 Banana Plug w/Stud & Solder Lug, Thread 8-32 x 0.5" = $7.88 + $6.95 shipping
    http://www.mouser.com/Search/Product...ualkey565-3264

    2 each 41401 Loc-Line Hose Segment Pack for 1/4" system. Includes (2) 5 3/4" segments. Approximately 1 foot = $11.66 + shipping
    http://www.modularhose.com/Loc-Line-...Loc-Line-41401

    Loc-Line 1/8" Round Nozzle for the 1/4" ID System, pack of 4. Nozzle tapers to a 1/8" round opening = $4.06 + shipping
    http://www.modularhose.com/Loc-Line-...Loc-Line-41403

    Loc-Line 1/8" 90 Round Nozzle, pack of 4. Nozzle tapers to a 1/8" round opening = $5.67 + shipping
    http://www.modularhose.com/Loc-Line-...Loc-Line-41471

    Loc-Line 1/8" NPT Connector, pack of 4. NPT is the type of threading used in the USA = $4.06 + shipping
    http://www.modularhose.com/Loc-Line-...Loc-Line-41405

    5/16" Jaw Spread Alligator Clips - 4 pcs/box from local hardware store = $2.00
    or
    DELTRON EMCON - 303-0000 - CROCODILE CLIP, 15MM, 5A = $2.45 + shipping
    http://www.newark.com/jsp/search/pro...sp?SKU=45M6829

    Adhesive cork bottom from local hardware store = $7.00

    DIY Build Steps:

    Step 1: Prepare a 6"x4"x1/2" aluminum plate by sawing from a larger plate or by ordering a pre-cut plate from the link above. File all sharp edges.
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    Step 2: Drill four 3/8" diameter holes in the aluminum plate. The dimensions I use are 1.5" from one edge and 0.5" from the other edge. Use cutting fluid during drilling.
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    Step 3: Use a 1/8" NPT tap to cut threads at each drilled hole. Use cutting fluid during tapping.
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    Step 4: Sand the drilled and tapped aluminum plate with 120 grit, 220 grit, and then with abrasive Scotch Brite pads.
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    Step 5: Gather the rest of the parts from the links above.
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    Step 6: Use a 8-32 thread tap to cut threads in the ends of the straight and angled orange nozzles, and then assemble the threaded banana plug connectors.
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    Step 7: Assemble the four orange NPT connectors into the aluminum base.
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    Step 8: Cut the adhesive cork sheet to fit the aluminum base and stick it on.
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    Step 9: Assemble the blue Loc-line coolant hose together with the orange straight and angled nozzles / connectors. I use a special plastic pliers for this, but you can click the parts together with your hands as well. I typically use 10 hose segments for the back and 7 hose segments for the front.
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    Continued in the next post.......
    Last edited by ross_badger; 31st May 2012 at 07:36 AM.

  2. #2
    SuperX Hex and X8 Flyer! ross_badger's Avatar
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    Step 10: Assemble the completed arms to the aluminum base.
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    Step 11: Assemble the alligator or crocodile clips to the banana connectors, and you are done!
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    Note: I am now using "crocodile clips" since they open wider than a typical alligator clip so it makes it easier to hold onto connectors such as Dean's when soldering.
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    I hope this was useful!

    Ross
    Last edited by ross_badger; 5th May 2012 at 11:07 AM.

  3. #3
    SuperX Hex and X8 Flyer! ross_badger's Avatar
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    For those of you who don't want to build a 4-arm helping hands solder tool themselves, I do usually have a few for sale. I will sell them for $54 + shipping to anywhere worldwide. I have sold roughly 100+ of these tools on this and other forums.

    PM me if you are interested!

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    Thanks,

    Ross
    Last edited by ross_badger; 12th July 2014 at 08:00 AM.

  4. #4
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    Hey Ross

    Looks good

  5. #5
    SuperX Hex and X8 Flyer! ross_badger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredz View Post
    Hey Ross

    Looks good
    Thanks! I really will never go back to "plain" soldering now without this tool. As you can see from the picture, the arms are very sturdy and can hold all sorts of things other than connectors and wires. I also have some just built in stock if anyone doesn't want to build one themselves!

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    Ross

  6. #6
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    Hey Ross an update on your great "Helping hands" fully built kit you supplied - They are the best available (imo).
    The arms are stiff enough for me to apply some pressure with the soldering iron without them moving around or away whilst working on Deans connectors.
    In general a very useful and practical addition to my solder station, I had to use it to repair a new 4 blade 5.8 antenna and it worked a treat holding it all together
    whilst touching up the solder points.
    I nearly enjoy having to solder now.......
    Cheers
    I Fly Mode 3

  7. #7
    SuperX Hex and X8 Flyer! ross_badger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lifter View Post
    Hey Ross an update on your great "Helping hands" fully built kit you supplied - They are the best available (imo).

    Cheers
    Alan - I'm glad that you are enjoying it! I've had people tell me that this tool keeps them from having to have their wives hold the wires they are soldering. Hopefully this will save a marriage or two, or at least, a burned finger.....

    Ross

  8. #8
    Navigator Freshmint's Avatar
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    FOR SALE?

  9. #9
    SuperX Hex and X8 Flyer! ross_badger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freshmint View Post
    FOR SALE?
    Yes, $54 + shipping worldwide. PM me if you are interested!

    Ross
    Last edited by ross_badger; 12th July 2014 at 08:01 AM.

  10. #10
    The goggles do nothing! chicken sashimi's Avatar
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    Discounts for buying more than one at a time?

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