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Another third hand

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I have really enjoyed working with the third hand clamping fixture that I took the day off work and made a new one from the proverbial scrap box. I am also going to link to all the other small clamping devices clamps and fixtures for holding small parts. I know that the forum is well organized by sections I just wanted to get the clamp threads linked into one place to save having to scroll through all the 26 pages of the tool section.


I used some old legs from a tripod, A bit of blue anodized aluminum tube left over from a project. a scrap of spalted maple that I have had hanging around for years. some " O" rings for gripping the brass locking nuts. The blue tube and the tripod leg parts are a slide fit and by pushing them offset with the o ring nuts the units lock onto the scrap of 3/8th drill rod. The holes in the brass bars are the same as on the other third hand that i made a couple of weeks ago.












Now for the links to the other ones I found in the 26 pages of tools


A third hand for high places


Holding tool for small parts 


Clamp for holding rope for splicing


make your own clamps


Clamps and old trick revisited


Preac clamps


Homemade Mini clamps


Another type of clamp



Cheap keel clamp


Tilt a whirl positioning fixture


small wooden clamps


I hope this helps.



Edited by michael mott
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I should have just posted this here.


Jim thanks for the compliment





The tool is made from stock wooden dowel 

1 x 3/4 x 3 1/2 long

2 x 3/4 x 2 1/2 long

1 x 1/2 x 8 long

2 x 1/2 x 2 1/2 long

2 x 3/8 x 2 long

6 off 8 x 32 x 3/4 long round head machine screws

1 off 8 x 32 x 1 long round head machine screws

7 off 8 x 32 brass thumb nuts

1 piece wood for base, mine is 8 x 4 1/2 x 3/4  oak


The top clamp arms do not have the second rotation but for most tasks this would not be an issue there is still lots of control, and on my one I ran out of brass thumb nuts so I had to use different nut on the base post, and the 8 x 32 round head screws are reversed on one side to show that it can be done without the brass thumb nuts.


basically the screws are threaded in from the bottom with the clearance hole on the top so that the brass thumb screw presses the top half of the dowel down.  without the thumb nuts the machine screw pulls down the wood.








pdf.gif  wood third hand tool.pdf   287.75KB   0 downloads


So I hope that this information is useful to those who want to make one for themselves The only machine tool I used was a drill press to drill all the holes, this could have been accomplished with a good hand drill

hand tools included a small back saw

a hack saw

a thin file

an 8 x 32 second tap



Edited by michael mott
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The simple inexpensive third hand is good but I just could not leave it there. I had to try a few more Ideas. A couple of different ways to clamp the parts together without marring any finishes, using split nuts etc.


Castello, Padouk, Ebony,  Fiddleback Maple, Brass, and Blued steel






This one is strictly for rope rigging tasks.



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  • 3 weeks later...

I have just finished a pair of third hands for a local Jeweler.




This design is one I am thinking about making to sell. It has one pair of spring clamps and a single toolmakers type, but only if there is an interest. It is a lot of work to set up to manufacture a product as some of you are already aware. If this does become a go they will only be made to order.


The bottom plate is 6 inch diameter 6061 aluminum alloy, the bottom bar is 10 inches long blued 3/8 tool steel

Uprights are 1/2 diam brass side thumb screws are 8x32 top and bottom thumb screws are 1/4 x 28 replaceable tips in the spring clamps are 1/8th tool steel.


If anyone is interested send me a pm they will cost a few pennies.



Edited by michael mott
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  • 1 month later...

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