Tag Archives: tools

Meet Big Daddy Hands

Mr. Hands

If you are handy with a soldering iron, you’ve probably come across one of these ultra-handy soldering tools. It is various known as a
third hand soldering tool, a set of helping hands, or, as it was introduced to me, as “Mr. Hands.”

Mr. Hands is a great guy to have around for holding a small circuit board or for holding two wires against each other. He provides a third (or even fourth) hand to hold things and prevents your fingers from getting burned. There are all sorts of clever mods that you can perform to them, and they are very cheap– typically $2-$6. You can also make your own equivalent with the same kind of budget, which is good from the standpoint of being able to choose different designs. (I’m partial to the alligator-clips-on-big-fat-wires method, myself.)

The only weakness of Mr. hands is, well, weakness. He’s small, can’t hold heavy or big things, and probably got picked last for kickball. And if it starts to cause a problem, then that’s when we bring out Big Daddy Hands, shown here with Mr. Hands for scale:

Continue reading Meet Big Daddy Hands

What it is


It’s time to reveal the mystery tool!

Wow– we’ve had some great answers– and some great restraint from those of you who already recognize it.

Thanks to everyone who participated!

Here are some of the guesses that were entered as comments– it’s a great list, and worth a read. My real surprise on this list: four guesses were that it was a piece of a time machine.

  • Scoop for lifting boiled eggs out of water. (X5)
  • Time Machine or part thereof (X4– WTF?)
  • Golf ball retriever (X3)
  • Eggcup (X2)
  • Egg dipper for coloring Easter eggs (X2)
  • Yolk separator (X3 — might work; kinda sharp.)
  • Candle Snuffer (X2 — probably won’t work.)
  • Antenna for communicating with intelligent aliens. (X2)
  • A spiral (Yup.)
  • Cocktail stirrer or Cocktail whisk
  • Mayo whip
  • Egg Beater
  • Frothing whip for an espresso set.
  • Heat sink for pouring hot water into glass (Does such exist?)
  • Potato Masher
  • Futon tataki, for beating the dust out of futons
  • Magic wand for putting the magic smoke back into blown components! (Nice!)
  • Magic wand – other (X2)
  • Eggpoacher
  • Hair ornament
  • Implement to politely push away public huggers
  • Ectoplasm handler
  • Sproingy Springtime hamsterlift
  • Barbeque tool
  • Rejected design for a supppository.
  • Manufacturing tool to keep two materials separate.
  • An “Infinite Speculum.”
  • “I’m not at liberty to say.”
  • Golden Ratio Bubble Wand! (Neat idea!)
  • Instrument used to keep eyes open whilst driving. (Ow!)
  • Fancy urethral sound
  • A bismuth crystal scoop.
  • IUD
  • Cone stand from an ice cream shop.
  • Thalidomide baby contact-lens application tool. (High points for originality.)
  • High quality nose picker.

To this list let me add my own “guesses”:

  • Professional level egg-in-spoon-race spoon.
  • Lollipop for robots.
  • Support armature for world’s largest lollipop.
  • Advanced nose-hanging spoon.
  • Dieter’s ice cream scoop.
  • Traditional umbrella for use during Festivus.

The tool is so simply and beautifully constructed that it is very difficult to judge the overall scale of the object. Is it three inches or three feet long? Of course, it turns out to be pretty small.

Nine answers assumed that the tool was the right size to hold an egg. And it sure is– a robin egg. ;)

You could indeed balance a chicken egg in the spiral, but it would be unsteady. The most popular answer was a tool for lifting boiled eggs out of water. Even for robin eggs, that would be difficult because (1) there’s very little angle between the spiral and the handle, and (2) the handle is very short. It might work as a golf ball retriever if the water trap is no deeper than your Beta bowl and you don’t mind turning the bowl upside down to get the ball out.

Honorable Mentions: The tool would be very good as a…

  • Tea bag remover thingy
  • Olive spoon for getting olives out of jars.

But of course, as one person answered, it’s a tool…

Continue reading What it is

Five Electronics Tools You Might Not Know About

resistor bendersuction toolchip inserterusing the crimperchip remover

You’ve got your wire strippers and your soldering iron…now what? You probably know that there is a standard set of essential tools that you need on your electronics workbench. You can find helpful lists of these tools at Lady Ada’s site and Dan’s Data.

However, real tool junkies always want just the right tool for the job. Here are five electronics tools you may not know you were missing. These esoteric tools go a bit beyond the basics that everyone should have.

Continue reading Five Electronics Tools You Might Not Know About