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
Pomona 3264 Banana Plug w/Stud & Solder Lug, Thread 8-32 x 0.5" = $7.88 + $6.95 shipping
2 each 41401 Loc-Line Hose Segment Pack for 1/4" system. Includes (2) 5 3/4" segments. Approximately 1 foot = $11.66 + shipping
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
Loc-Line 1/8" 90º Round Nozzle, pack of 4. Nozzle tapers to a 1/8" round opening = $5.67 + shipping
Loc-Line 1/8" NPT Connector, pack of 4. NPT is the type of threading used in the USA = $4.06 + shipping
5/16" Jaw Spread Alligator Clips - 4 pcs/box from local hardware store = $2.00
DELTRON EMCON - 303-0000 - CROCODILE CLIP, 15MM, 5A = $2.45 + shipping
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.
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.
Step 3: Use a 1/8" NPT tap to cut threads at each drilled hole. Use cutting fluid during tapping.
Step 4: Sand the drilled and tapped aluminum plate with 120 grit, 220 grit, and then with abrasive Scotch Brite pads.
Step 5: Gather the rest of the parts from the links above.
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.
Step 7: Assemble the four orange NPT connectors into the aluminum base.
Step 8: Cut the adhesive cork sheet to fit the aluminum base and stick it on.
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.
Continued in the next post.......