Herr Heinisch’s Homemade Helping Hands

Herr Heinisch’s Homemade Helping Hands

In response to our Your Favorite Tools post from two weeks ago, German Oliver Heinisch sent in some snaps of a cheap, clever bench-top clamp arrangement he put together from pickup materials. Ingenious!

Hi there.

31xaybvxj-lI have lots of “favorite” tools. Besides a special plier I made thirty years ago (another story), this little helper is one of my most used tools for gluing and soldering. Forget about those expensive “third hand” gripper clamps. Real makers use self-made tools!

As you can see in the attached picture, it’s a simple piece of chip board (which was originally a leftover from a shelf project, also from 30 years back) with a wooden clothespin glued on at one end. The hot-glue that covers the spring is important; if you don’t glue the spring, the top half of the clothespin tends to flip off if the work you’re gripping is too big. The red clamp is a suction-cup clamp made by “wolfcraft” (not sure if this brand is available worldwide) made of plastic. It’s attached with a screw, as the chipboard won’t hold suction from the cup.

As you can see, this tool is very worn. I’m thinking about a new one, which will be made from a brand new piece of thick plywood and a new clothespin. But that’s a future project, in case the next MAKE magazine takes too long to reach me in Germany.

Thanks for producing such a nice magazine.

Oliver Heinisch, Germany


Thanks, Oliver, for reading, writing, and sharing! Auf Wiedersehen!

Update: Thanks to commenter MrJohnk for identifying the clamp (or a very similar one) as Wolfcraft #3628470.  Now $1.29 $6.49 (with shipping) on Amazon.

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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