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How many of you have un-modified cheap helping hands on your bench?


CPUWIZ
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Heat shrink tubing is a good idea! I've also thought of coating them with soft rubber (the kind that tool handles are sometimes dipped in). I'm amazed that they don't come that way in the first place; anything would be better than bare metal teeth biting into your boards.

 

I recently got myself one of these instead. I haven't had the chance to use it on a project yet, but it seems like it would work better.

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Yep. I got tired of mine digging into soft wire insulation and did the same.

 

That is exactly why I immediately thought it was brilliant. I am going to do it, to my other one's as well, I have a couple of really tiny circuit boards, that are really only suited for one hand and sometimes get scratched.

 

I want to get one of the new kind, snaky with more than 2 hands.

HelpingHands1.jpg

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https://www.harborfreight.com/hand-tools/vises-anvils/2-3-4-quarter-inch-articulated-vacuum-vise-3311.html

 

I dont have this exact one, but a bessy model of it I caught on clearance, it has a V slot in the jaws for holding round things, but works well for holding boards that fit in the jaws ... and its about 80$ cheaper than a panavice

 

for larger boards they make pcb vices which get expensive real quick, which is a shame cause its like a chunk of smooth rod, a thumb screw and if you want to get fancy a couple springs, make the jaws out of wood or soft plastic blocks

 

https://4tronix.co.uk/store/resources/image/18/d5/1.jpg

Edited by Osgeld
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yea but its about 12$ in material ... if you have some basic tools and a free afternoon (course I made mine out of leftover prototyping material, but I am a bit outside the norm for someone tinkering)

 

though admittedly that is a reasonable price compared to the name brands. panavice makes really nice stuff, but IMO their prices are out of line with home hobby type people, when you can get similar, if not a bit more bulky stuff for 16$ or I payed 11$ for mine on clearance at lowes vs 60-70-80-90$

Edited by Osgeld
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I just did this on my helping hands. I believe there were a cheap set like the ones shown above, but I purchased them from a Microcenter on my way through Kansas a few years back. However, I chose to use clear heat shrink tubing on my alligator clips.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a PCB holder on my bench, but funny enough I don't have any helping hands for wires or other stuff. Also my cheap magnifying glass/lamp combo is broken and doesn't hold its position or just fall out on the desk... I'll be getting a new one after XMas with those helping hands.

 

Also, trying to do electronics with two cats is fun! :grin:

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I also have ancient Radio Shack station but it has served me well for many years.

kRoNehe.jpg

Uses same tip as many other brand like Hakko so I am covered for decades. The iron cord can be detached for replacement if I ever needed to. I ditched the original iron holder for this station also from Radio Shack:

lVsQwmO.jpg

 

The holder can be switched for left handed user, and the spool holder on the back can hold a huge 1 pound roll.

 

Another trick with the alligator grip (stolen from other web site)

EL7qtt3.jpg

s0pLo9Z.jpg

 

If your clip is bent off center, replace it first. Then with high temp setting, melt solder into the center of the clip so it fills the gap and make it less likely to get crushed.

Edited by 7800fan
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  • 2 months later...

I just bought new ones with more arms and more flexibility, reminded me of this thread. These came with the grips already protected. :)

 

I'll post a pic shortly, the pic I took was ass.

 

EDIT: I think I am gonna stick with 4 for now.

IMG_3347.jpg

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