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Annealing Pan/Third Hands


Over the last twenty five years I have fabricated quite a few tools and other pieces of

equipment for my studio. In many instances that might only involve taking an off-the-shelf tool and modifying it slightly to make it function more efficiently for a specific task. A second more ambitious category exists: the production of specialized tool from a disparate collection of items that, when uninted, perform a task that they were not originally designed for. I have a number of such assemblages in my studio. I use many of them frequently.
My most reecent project includes part of both approaches, and began with a cast iron hydraulic pump bracket. It was purchased while rebuilding my vintage log splitter. For various reasons I was unable to use it. When placed on end, it makes a perfect pedestal for an elevated rotating annealing pan which can be created with the addition of a 8” cast iron skillet and a 4” lazy Susan bearing. Using elements from three of the cheap third hand units that are available everywhere (two alligator clips, bar, magnifying lens, and a small cast iron base) I constructed a flexible attached third hand unit that has the ability to accept a wide assortment of tweezer styles, and a collet which will hold a 2.5mm spring steel rod. The addition of a standard 6”x6” solderite board creates a very handy rotating soldering station.
I also assembled a larger third hand unit over twenty years ago. As in the newer model, it uses elements from a commercial third hand unit similar to the ones described above. Its’ base was created out of a countertop sign holder from one of my bookstores. It will easily work with a tripod, and also has the ability to hold a tweezer parallel to the counter one inch above its’ surface. It will accept all of the attachments from the newer unit, and can serve as an additional third hand unit when used in conjunction with it.
I’m sure that many of you have devised similar devices. It would be interesting to hear about them.


Gulliver - very nice creativity. My compliments. Thank you for sharing.


Thanks. It was a lot of fun to build. Time will tell if it was worth the effort.