MacGyver soldering tool

The desk bicycle desk lamp assembled

This is a short guide on how you can build a 3rd hand to help you when you have to solder those tricky parts.

Bill of materials

  • An empty CD spindle case
  • 6 normal size pegs
  • A ballpoint pen or something similar that can be used as a rod
  • A bag of sand or something heavy
  • Two elastic bands
  • Hot glue

The parts needed

Project outline

Two pegs are mounted in the spindle case. The pegs are attached to a rod with two more pegs clipped onto. These pegs are glued togeather with a second peg so the can hold your PCB.

Step one

You need something that can work as an axis that the pegs can clip onto and rotate around. I think a pen should do just fine but I had a small metal rod in a box of scaps that I chose to use. Mount two pegs onto the rod.

Attach pegs to a rod of your choice

Step two

Make two holes in the top of the spindle case. The holes should match the size of your pegs while attached to the rod. Take care not to ruin the case too much - it is quite fragile when you start cutting in it. As you can see the case cracked a bit from the force of my utility knife. However, hot glue seems to fix this quite well. When the holes are cut, mount the pegs well with hot glue.

Cutting holes in the top of the spindel case

Step three

Take two pegs and glue them together so one end can hold onto your axis and the other to your PCB. Make two of these.

Glue pegs together

Step four

Attach all the pegs to your rod. To avoid the pegs sliding too easily, add rubber bands to the pegs attached to the rod.

Add rubber bands to add extra friction

Step five

To assure that this contraption will stay fixed on your table, fill it with something heavy. I had some small metal clippings that i filled in bag and put inside of the spindle case. You can use sand or something else heavy as well.

Add weight