“Call the spouse in here, I need a third hand!”
This is probably not the best idea when dealing with hot molten solder and funny smelling smoke, but it may be necessary to get those components soldered on for the newest ham radio kit you’ve acquired. May I suggest that you may have a steadier hold, and a better relationship with the purchase of this nifty tool from the land of The Great Wall…
I give you, the Aven 17010 Adjustable Circuit Board Holder, available from Amazon at $12.56 delivered for Prime members.
This is a spring loaded holder that adjusts to hold circuit boards from roughly 1/2″ to 8 1/2″. The spring mechanism holds the circuit board at whatever angle you wish, and allows spinning of the board along the horizontal axis. I’ve found this to be handy when placing parts in through-hole circuit boards, then spinning it over to solder from the back side. The variable angle holding is also a great substitute for those that tend to twist their tongue when concentrating on soldering difficult components, saving the tongue from possible injury from hot soldering irons.
I’ve came to rely on this tool for most of my board soldering needs, and only have one complaint. For smaller width boards, the spring mechanism may not keep the board in as flat a trajectory from post to post. It’s not a deal breaker by any means.
I’d give this a 4.5 out of 5 stars, and a definite “need this” label for anyone that does kit building.