Sunday, October 12, 2014

Quick 3rd Hand Build Run Through

I wouldn't call this a guide, but it should be enough for you to build your own. A station like this is much more maneuverable and useful than a standard third hand.
There are other guides out there like this one, but many of them are outdated or don't include parts' sources. There are also some methods of construction that I use that may be easier than these aforementioned guides. 

Instructions after the jump!

Materials needed:
 - Drill. I used a drill press, but I'm sure you can manage with a hand drill.
 - 7/16" Drill Bit
 - Table Vice.
 - WD-40 
 - Adjustable Tap Handle, like the one pictured here: 
 - Tap, 1/4 Npt Pipe Size, 18 Threads Per Inch (McMaster part: 2525A113)
 - 1/4 NPT Coolant Hoses (eBay link here)
 - 8-32 Threaded Alligator Clips (McMaster part: 7236K86)
 - 8-32 Flat Screws, 1" Length (McMaster part:91500A199)
 - Something for the base. I used a block of aluminum from McMaster. 8975K78

First, take your base, and drill a 7/16" hole in whatever position you prefer.I went all the way through the aluminum, you can just drill it as deep as you need it.

I chamfered the hole a bit to make it easier to center the tap.

Secure the tap in the tap handle, and place the base into the vice.

Center the tap as best as you can. I suck, so mine is only mostly centered. But it works. 
Spray some WD-40 into the hole, to ease tapping the thread.

Now put some elbow grease into it. You're going to have to manually turn that, and it gets more difficult as the threads go deeper. I threaded it enough to make it the hoses go all the way into the base.

This doesn't require the hole to be fully threaded, just enough.

Next, we prepare the coolant hoses.

Angle the hose end like this and just keep pushing to pop it off the blue assembly.

Widen the outlet on the hose end by maybe 1mm, so that way you can thread a flat head screw through it. It needs to sit as far in the hose end as possible to prevent movement issues.

You can see a bit of a a space above the screw's face. This will let the blue assembly to rotate freely still.

Thread the alligator clip on.

I saw other guides that had different methods of attaching an alligator clip, but I thought this was a very very simple way to do it, and would be effective, too. 

Replace the hose end back on the blue assembly, and twist the coolant hose into the base.

You can add as many coolant hose arms as you think are neccesary. I think I'll add a few more to mine later.

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