Soldering third hands, or helping hands, range from relatively inexpensive to heavy duty. There are also DIY and customizable modular hose setups, such as SparkFun’s third hands kit.
This GRS double-arm third hands soldering station (004-570), on the other hand, takes things to a whole other level.
Designed for jewelry-making and other high-precision work, this third hands station features smooth pivots, replaceable clamping tips, and a replaceable 6″ x 6″ soldering backer-board.
The clamping tips can be shaped to hold components, or swapped out and replaced with custom tips to hold delicate materials.
If you want the precision clamps but not the soldering board, the same company also makes a weighted base version (004-568) that can be moved around to wherever you need it.
The soldering station is priced at $125, and the single weighted base version is $55. Both models can be used on any benchtop surface. If you want the third hands soldering station right in front of you, the optional compatible bench-front mounting plate (004-557) is $19.
Buy Now(Soldering Station via Otto Frei)
Buy Now(Base Adapter via Otto Frei)
Buy Now(Weighted Base via Otto Frei)
More Info(via GRS)
For all you professional and hobbyists machinists out there, this would probably make for a great DIY project.
What I find appealing about this setup is how all of the components look cleanly designed and nicely machined. My helping hands setup has these rough and gritty pivots and cheap alligator clips, and even my custom-made Loc-Line ones have so-so alligator clips because that’s all that’s available.
These look like the finest third hand products I’ve seen.
The only thing I don’t like is the high – but probably justified – price.
Wow,that looks pretty neat.
I wonder if just the clamps are available, and one could figure out a way to fit them to loc-line arms.
Man, if they only sold the clips for five/ten bucks each I would buy a couple of those because based on their way of connecting the joints looks like I could use them for this helping hands…
Yeah, price is pretty high for me…when I get more into the SMD components I might jump on it though.
The arms are available separately for custom attachment projects, but not the clamps.
I don’t do much work with SMD components, but would think that these arms/clamps would be overkill and possibly even unsuitable due to their size. For SMDs, I would want a hold-down clamp that gently pressed an SMD in place on a board.
I recently had to solder in a LED light that was .90mm x 1.5mm on a circuit board. Some SMDs are very tiny that you need tweezers to put them in place….and this is what I envision with these clamps….tweezer like.
By the picture alone it looks like the clamp tips can be remove…I can picture myself removing them and grinding the tips to a very fine point to handle suck small SMD components in place. If the springs are to strong, add a machine threaded screw to adjust the tension…heck I could even envision using micro flat head screw drivers like for example a set like this….
chop of the tips…and now I have a custom flat head tip clamps for bigger SMD components.
But that’s just me…maybe there is a better DIYer clamps to handle SMD components…tweezers have their draw backs…you need a good amount of force to squeeze them…and your hand moves around to be used as a precision arm.
Doesnt look that tough to make really.
The arms with the gimbles on the ends look like they were turned in a cnc lathe.
The materials for this could be pretty cheap if you used something like 1018 or something of that nature. If you found a good place to have it coated with electroless nickel for looks and rust prevention.
A fun challenge would be to make it out of stainless steel or something. Placement of the spring holes seem crucial to how they’d operate. The round discs could be waterjet or lasercut,they dont look all that thick. maybe .040 or .050?
I’ve had this for around 7 years now.. paid the same price for it back then too.
Works well and the price is worth it when you add up how much the coolant hoses cost individually.
I made one with a very similar Y-shaped configuration, although the parts cost a lot less than $40. Still, a great design and very useful. I suppose that ready to-go setup is worth it for those that don’t want to fuss with separate Loc-Line parts.
Granted, there IS a chance this seller might be stretching the truth, the fact this item is American made is rather shocking. Now unless he/she means this was assembled in America, that is another case though.
I have to admit though, if you end up replacing this units time after time, this does make sense to spend $40.00 now rather than more later.
Where did u buy the individual hoses Stuart?
I’d be interested in making another.
I’ve ordered from Enco, Amazon, and ModularHose.com.
The hoses aren’t the annoying part – it’s tracking down threaded alligator clips that are *just right* that slowed down the project.
A quick search of the Internet located another source – that also sells different styles: