[Nixie] was tired of using whatever happens to be around to hold things in place while soldering and testing. It was high time to obtain a helping hands of some kind, but [Nixie] was dismayed by commercial offerings — the plain old alligator clips and cast metal type leave a lot to be desired, and the cooling tube cephalopod type usually have the alligator clips just jammed into the standard tube ends with no thought given to fine control or the possibility of reducing cable count.
[Nixie] happened to have some unneeded cooling tube lying around and started designing a new type of helping hands from the ground plane up. Taking advantage of the fact that cooling tubes are hollow, [Nixie] routed silicone-jacketed wires through them for power and low speed signals. These are soldered to five banana jacks that are evenly spaced around an alligator clip.
Even if you don’t need power, all those extra alligators would come in quite handy for circuit sculpture or anything else that requires a lot of hands. [Nixie] put the files up on Thingiverse if you want to make your own.
We’ve seen plenty of helping hands over the years, but this concrete-based helper ought to cement your decision to make your own.