In my prior blogs (Continuing to organize - laser marking upgrade to lightring. and Continuing to organize - laser marking upgrade to light ring - part 2 ), I was busy working on my soldering station. Well no big surprise, I still trying to improve on my tools and procedures, in an attempt to clean up my soldering area.
I have been very happy with my previous improvements and acquisitions, but I suffer with chronic disorganization. I tend to put things down and then struggle to find them when I need them next (even if I put them down less than a minute ago). Recently I was in the process of building up a batch of boards for a client, when I noticed that I was constantly looking for my tweezers. I tend to use two different tweezers, with each use based on their unique features. I use cross lock or reverse action tweezers () to hold components in place while soldering (larger ICs in TQFP-like packages and/or connectors), or curved and rounded tips tweezers(similar to ) to place and solder smaller SMD components. The curved tweezers are used more frequently and they are constantly being switched between my right and left hands depending on whether I am placing components (right hand) or holding components (left hand) during soldering. With all the hand and tool switching, I always seem to be looking for my tweezers.
Here are some images of my cross lock or reverse action tweezers in action:
What suddenly dawned on me during the removal of the cross lock tweezers is that I could clip them on to the vise jaws on the board holder and they would be handy the next time I needed them.
Now the cross lock tweezers are at the ready for the next component that needs to be held in place. I tried using this approach to keep my tweezers in a known place through the assembly of the next few boards. I did forget to them there a few times, but like any habit, I just have to keep trying to remember and repeat the process until it becomes second nature.
This morning I started thinking down the road a bit to the next step, which would be to build/print a holder for the curve tip tweezers. I am thinking of creating a closed bottom tube with a clip that will allow be to hang the holder onto the backside of the jaws. This would allow be to have the curved tip tweezers to hang nearby the board being assembled. More on this in an other blog.
I have really been enjoying my Panavise mini vise () and the heavy Base Mount (). This vise and the Duratool turntable () have truly improved my soldering experience.
Update 9/7/21 - I have printed a dual toolholder to slip on the lower edge of the jaw. This turned out perfectly, I could not be happier with the results. The only issue is that I made the slot in the holder that straddles the triangular gusset just a bit too deep, allowing the toolholder to slide almost all the way down to the base of the gusset. I will need to print a tiny filler to limit the depth of the slot and hence the distance that the holder can travel down the gusset.
Here are so pictures of the toolholder installed on my PCB vise: