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Picture of Magnetic 3rd Hand

Anyone who plays arounsd with elecronics knows how important a 3rd hand is. It gives you the ability to hold solder in one hand and the soldering iron in the other and easily add solder to a component.

I've been using some homemade 3rd hands for some time and can't imagine building a circuit without one. Recently I was using a couple of magnets for a project and a resister got stuck to it. I had a bit of an epiphany and realised that adding a magnet to a 3rd hand would be a quick and easy way to hold a part whist I add solder to it.

The project is an easy one and will definitely become a welcome addition to your solder station.

Step 1: Parts and Tools

Picture of Parts and Tools


1. PVC Cap 100mm - Hardware store. If you are in Australia then you can get these from Bunnings

2. 3 X Square washers - Hardware store, Bunnings

3. Plastic Flexible Water Oil Coolant Pipe Hose - eBay

4. Rare Earth Magnets - eBay


1. Epoxy Glue

2. Drill

3. Superglue

marinusddekok2 months ago
how much does it cost?
lonesoulsurfer (author)  marinusddekok1 month ago
I had most of the parts but if I had to guess I would say around $8-10.
DIY_YID3 months ago
Interesting instructable!
lonesoulsurfer (author)  DIY_YID3 months ago
KJMagnetics6 months ago
Nice! Be careful not to overheat the magnets...they can be weakened by high temperatures!
The demagnetisation temperature of a magnet is wayyyyyyy beyond soldering temperature (a least 3x higher). No worries there!
no its not, most common plated neodymium permanently loose their magnetic field at about 350C see the near the bottom under temperature effects.

ive also recently been tinkering with selectively blanking sections of neodymium with heat, so i can say i have first hand evidence that a soldering tip will easily go above 400C
And right you are. Never knew the curie temperature of neodymium was that low. But for ferro magnets it is much higher. (>750° C) Not 3 times higher than soldering temperature but almost twice.
So I stand corrected and the advice is to use ferro magnets for this project.
I suppose you could double up the magnets and replace the outer one as it wears down.
hollyblue5 months ago
I'm about to order parts to build this. The magnet in the picture looks smaller than the size in the link - 50x25x10mm - what size did you use? What is the size of the flat nozzle? Thanks.
lonesoulsurfer (author)  hollyblue5 months ago
Hey there.
I think they must be 20mm x 5mm x 3mm. I'll have a look tonight and work out the exact dimensions and will update the parts list.
Mad44006 months ago
Great Idea, it would be even better if you could incorporate the pipe into a fume extraction unit.
lonesoulsurfer (author)  Mad44006 months ago
That's actually a really good idea!
DanielG7076 months ago
Gentleheart6 months ago
Brilliant idea! Surely will try this out!
lonesoulsurfer (author)  Gentleheart6 months ago
Thanks very much. It's come in very handy on a few recent projects
Added bonus: the magnet will disappate some of the heat from the soldering iron.
RobertC26 months ago
Already have a 3rd hand device?
Add a magnet to any of the metal alligator clips to see if you like how this concept works... then, if you like it, think about making it more permanent; with a larger magnet, perhaps.
Henmarsh RobertC26 months ago
One thing I learned from replicating. Lonesoulsurfer's 'ible is that a powerful magnet isn't a great idea. Sure, it hold the components firmly but it also attracts the soldering iron too which is a PITA. Component are light, so less is more in this case and a weaker magnet will work better.
RobertC2 Henmarsh6 months ago
Thanks, that's something I hadn't even considered!
lonesoulsurfer (author)  RobertC26 months ago
yep - good idea!
Wayne TheS6 months ago
Very inovative and very well done.
lonesoulsurfer (author)  Wayne TheS6 months ago
RobertC26 months ago
Excellent idea! Love it! Definitely adding a magnet to my 3rd hand!
Here's a dumb question: Can a magnet damage sensitive components, like a IC?
lonesoulsurfer (author)  RobertC26 months ago
I don't think there will be any issues with damaging IC's with magnets
Henmarsh made it!6 months ago
Loved the idea - why didn't I think of it? An instant rework of one of my existing arms et voilà! As you'll see from the photo I use magnets on the bases too so the arms are easy to adjust (I use a steel sheet under a silicone sheet on my workbench).
lonesoulsurfer (author)  Henmarsh6 months ago
Nice job!. Love the use of a peg as well :)
gomibakou6 months ago
Nice and clever aid... makes me feel dumb of not having realised something like that before.
lonesoulsurfer (author)  gomibakou6 months ago
will have to show this to my ITT teacher, I think he will love it!
lonesoulsurfer (author)  YOUTUBEFREEKYOYO6 months ago
It's def an easy way to quickly hold components for soldering
Donutlou6 months ago
i love it. so simple but So useful. i just ordered the coolant hose
lonesoulsurfer (author)  Donutlou6 months ago
Cool. Let me know how it works out
Joe19676 months ago
That's a great idea. I made one similar from a bendable,, magnetic based work light that burnt out.
MuhammadZ1806 months ago
i like this post
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