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I just got a new pack of nice little clips to hold small parts while painting or soldering. they are simple alligator hair clips you can get for less than 10 cents each.




i had some of these in my tool box since i was a kid (from my grandmother who use to use these a lot while fixing her hair up!) and they have always been handy. just got a new pack to hold a bunch of things in a production line. you can easily glue a pin, toothpick or skewer on the back side to stab them into foam to hold them upright. or glue a little hook to hang on a line for drying, etc.


the pressure is nice and soft to not mar or crush, but just enough to hold small part well. if you want better grip then just wipe a little silicone seal along the inside of the tips.




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just found another use for these little guys. i had a small trim pot that would not stay stuck in a breadboard. hard to get a clamp to hold tiny part like this and have 1/2" height and sitting in from the edge 1/2". used a larger spring forceps to hold it but big and heavy and kept slipping off. took one of these little hair clips and bent the top tip down a bit bout .25" from the end and it now is a good clip to hold the part to the breadboard. nice and light and stays put when you pick up the whole thing.



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we were discussing these in another thread so i thought i would add this info to this thread:



I had to search for these in stores, finally one of our dollar stores had them. places with cheap women's hair stuff would probably have them as well.


i find them very very useful to have a bunch. at 10 cents each if i need something special to hold something i can just bend one all up and if it ruins it no huge loss! they have that just enough clamping w/o marring thats great and hard to find in all the other clamps i have laying around. plus the fact that you can modify them!


ebay is your friend! little bit more but not much with shipping (sometimes free).


this kind has a pointy little tip that gives good flat spot pressure out in the end portion








these guys are nice for larger flatter stuff.






and then a third kind that are flatter and crimps in them to keep the tines more rigid (but you cant bend these well due to the crimps)






you dont want the kind with any teeth as that could potentially mar things. i was thinking about gluing some 400 grit sand paper onto some to see if that would help on anything that is a bit odd shaped from moving have not really had the need yet to experiment.


I even have some smaller all plastic ones that are great to hold small parts for painting, drying, spraying, etc. very gentle and plastic is very soft.


these are some of the best tools i have in the hobby bench!





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I missed this when it was originally posted back in September, but using these as heat sinks for soldering is a great idea.  I'd been looking for some gentle clips that would both hold and heat-sink parts when working on really tiny surface-mount components, as my usual heat-sink clips are just too strongly-sprung.  I'll have to try some of these for that purpose.

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Yep, forgot to mention that use! They are just right clamping to hold small parts and act as heat sinks. I've used them for third hands!


I want to file a couple of them down to tiny points to do small smd LEDs. There is one type of small flat nosed alligator clips good for this but they do clamp too hard for my taste for the little guys.


You can also make test probe clamps with them as well.



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