Please help. What do you use as your third hand?

Some time ago I bought a third-hand kit from Sparkfun. Aside from the fact that from my mistakes I broke one of the arms, I tried to use the other one as much as possible. Until now, the unbroken arm has accomplished his mission if I use it to solder thin wires.

I could not say that I was very pleased with the choice made. Also, this kind of kit can be used only for wires. If you want to solder a pin to a sensor…becomes a nightmare. So, I need a third hand to be stable and fix in place some large components like sensors, controllers, and even small DC motors.

I saw in this video a small vise, similar to this. I think that is exactly what I need.

Is there anyone who used such a vise to help me with an opinion? Also, any other solution is welcome.

Home Vise

Home Vise

  • Posted in: DIY

3 comments » Write a comment

  1. That sort of vice is designed for holding a great big piece of pipe while you cut it, not tiny things. I’ve used one for a little bit of electronics, and it can be really awkward. The jaws have a huge flat surface (relative to a little component or whatever) so they’re really not suitable for holding fragile irregularly-shaped objects; you could quite easily crush things.

    That said I’m speaking from only a little bit of experience so it’s possible that with practice you’d get around these issues. Holding a wire or a board in the vice should be fine (as in the video); the video seemed to show a vice with rubber jaw covers and a relatively fine thread on the big screw through the middle, which I would imagine would make a big difference too.

    • I just found vise jaw caps with rubber finish.

      “The Yost Vises MR-340 4″ magnetic aluminum vise jaw caps with rubber surface attach to and cover a set of 4″-wide serrated vise jaws to shield delicate work from damage. The caps are made of aluminum for durability and have a rubber finish that prevents the clamped item from being marred. The magnetic backing runs the full length of the cap to securely bond it to the front of the vise jaw. Two jaw caps are included.”

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