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Soldering third hand


#1

I’m looking for a good quality ‘third hand’ setup. I really like the kind that Soham Harrison uses in his videos - two upright posts on a heatproof base with articulated arms and ‘pincers’ atop each post.

I bought a cheap version from the internet and it is ABSOLUTE RUBBISH!!! All the parts work loose and it doesn’t hold parts securely or allow accurate positioning. I think it was made in a shed somewhere.

My problem is further compounded by the fact that the best looking models appear to only be available in the US, which attracts prohibitive carriage charges to the UK where I’m based.

Does anybody in the UK have experience of a good quality reliable tool of this sort which is available in the UK (or at reasonable carriage cost)?

Regards from John in Delightful Dartmouth, Devon.


#2

What you’re looking for is stands for indicators. These are used by machinists to position dial indicators on lathes and milling machines. You can use them to hold alligator clips, or other clamps, instead of indicators. They come in several styles and qualities, but for a third hand the cheap ones will do fine. Here’s a page on McMaster-Carr’s website that shows the variety. I’m sure there are UK stockists for machinist’s tools that will be good for you. Search for “dial indicator base” or "dial indicator stand."


#3

Love this tool. https://www.grs.com/browse/benchmate-jewelry-tools/third-hands-soldering-stations/

Third hand From GRS Doesn’t get all bendy and hold things in place.
Hope this helps!


#4

Many thanks. The picture attached shows exactly what I’m looking for. Does anybody know of a UK supplier of this or similar? Carriage from the States is prohibitive!

Thanks for all the helpful responses.

John in Dartmouth Devon, UK.


#5

I use the GRS third hand also. As I do a lot of platinum work, I made the tips out of tungsten welding anodes available at most welding shops. They have to be ground using diamond tools, however, but last forever.


#6

If you are handy, here is an idea:

~

Alternatively, you could buy several items as shown below from UK sources, take them apart and reconfigure to your liking. In my experience, all of these parts are screwed together, thus they can be redesigned by mixing up the various parts from different sources.

You might already have a small round base, but you need to add weight or width to the small round base if you attach an arm with three segments.

Also, if a base has a felt bottom, just rip it off to find the screw that attaches the arm.

Just look closely at what is offered to understand how parts from the various items can be interchanged.

https://www.cousinsuk.com/product/third-hand-on-soldering-board?code=S31899

https://www.hswalsh.com/product/grs-third-hand-attachment-004-546

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Silverline-633830-Helping-Magnifying-Workpiece/dp/B000O3RJFC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1510224717&sr=8-1&keywords=third+hand&dpID=41SgVRB%2BT1L&preST=SX342_QL70&dpSrc=srch


#7

Fantastic! I think the magnetic dti base is the way to for me. I’ve found some on eBay. Many thanks all.
John in Dartmouth.